Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cover Reveal: Hot Houston Nights Part 2 by S.N. Garza




Title: Hot Houston Nights: Graham & Isabella PART 2
Author: S. N. Garza
Genre: Erotic RomanceExpected Release Date: Jan. 24, 2015
Hosted by: Lady Amber's Tours
Blurb: How do two soul mates stay away from each other? Simple. They don't. Not long after their one night, both Graham and Isabella both long for more. Fate lead them back to each other and they aren't letting go. Their passions run high and Graham wants to take it to the next level. Until Isabella gets taken. As she hangs on for dear life, is she strong enough to save herself? Or, does she fall to her doom, never to see Graham again?

S. N. Garza is from Southeast Houston, Texas, with her husband and two small children. She is a full time Chilihead employee at Chili's Bar & Grill. Author of steamy, sexy, sinfully beautiful stories about strong alpha men and the women who fall for them.
When she's not taking care of her family, working her tail off at her all day job, you can find her writing well into the night, and reading another steamy romance novel, attaining another fictional boyfriend.
Remember
Where the men are strong, the women, stronger.
Author Links:
Twitter: @SNGarza_author
Amazon author link: Amazon.com/author/stephanienicolegarza Author page: www.facebook.com/Stephanienicolelg
I opened my door and before anyone else spotted us, shoved him inside. When you he lock clicked in place, I felt him come up behind me.
“No one’s gonna hear us right now, are they?” His warm breath over my ear made me shiver and everything around me seemed to heighten in response.
“Ha-ha. Ha-ha. I don’t think so. I’ve never tested out the wall strength.”
I felt his rock hard cock against me and my eyes shut at the hard strength. I knew without a doubt I wanted another go and I might just get it right now.
His hands caressed and tendered some of the tension in my shoulders before caressing down my back, tracing my curves until his fingers found their way into the band of my jeans.
His lips found the pressure point on my neck, kissing a line up to my ear before tugging on it gently.
His hands were warm as they skirted back and forth and then he undid my belt with swift, easy proficiency.
“Okay, sweetness?”
“Yes!” My mouth hissed out the reply and I just wanted him to hurry. He was making my blood boil. He skimmed down my jeans and panties until they were resting tightly around my thighs. I didn't need him to check to see if I was wet. I already felt my arousal leaking from my core, coating my vagina and inner thighs.
But he did anyway. His hand was hot to the touch as he slipped two fingers between my legs, circulating my juices and drawing his fingers up to my clit where he tried gripping it, but my slickness would only allow hard pressured massaging.
“Fuck, you're so damn wet for me. Keep your legs spread just like this for me. ‘Kay, sweetness?”
I nodded my head and leaned it against the door. His hands drew up my shirt and he tossed it over his shoulder. I felt his fingers dance down my neck and shoulder blades to unclasp my plain (ugh. Have to buy sexy under things) bra and threw it towards my shirt. The swift coolness toughened my nipples until they were stiff peaks.
Graham didn't tease them but instead, he cupped my breasts and massaged the swells until my breath was unbalanced. Then his hands fell away and I heard rustling behind me. Unbuckling, unzipping, and something being ripped open.
Whoa. Was he really going to take me like this? So barbaric and wild? Did I want him to?
My answer?
Hell freaking yes

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Blog Tour: Hot Houston Nights: Graham & Isabella PART 1: Review



Title: Hot Houston Nights: Graham & Isabella PART 1
Author: S. N. Garza
Genre: Erotic Romance

Expected Release Date: Jan. 9, 2014
Hosted by:
Lady Amber's Tours
Rating: 5/5 Stars


Synopsis

What happens when a one night stand, doesn’t stay just that?

Out for the first time after a long term relationship, Isabella wasn’t expecting much except a good time with the girls. A one night stand wasn’t in the cards, until she met him.

Graham is damaged both physically and mentally by a past that refuses to let him go. When he sees Isabella for the first time, she wasn’t at all what he was expecting.

One night. No regrets. That’s all it was supposed to be. But fate has different plans. 

This is a three part serial series of hot sexual encounters and conflicting emotions. Their journey to their happily forever after will be a hard one, but so worth it.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Blog Tour: A Sorta Fairytale by Emily McKee: Promo



Title: A Sorta Fairytale
Author: Emily McKee         
Genre: Erotic Contemporary

Hosted by: Lady Amber's Tours

Synopsis

I have my own sorta fairytale. 

Only thing is that it’s with two people. 

Thomas Braxton and Alex McNeil. They know I’m not with them completely. They know I have another. Everything else is pointless… useless. 

From the moment I met Thomas and Alex I’ve thought if only I could blend them together? Thomas’s sexual endeavors. Alex’s sensitivity and passion for life. Then I would have the perfect person. 

But perfect is overrated. 

It doesn’t exist. 

Plus, it’s not at all interesting. 

And my relationships with Thomas and Alex? 
Well that’s a story for the ages…

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Cover Reveal: Bye-Bye Baby by Morgana Phoenix


Title: Bye-Bye Baby
Author: Morgana Phoenix 
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Expected Release Date: Jan 21, 2015
Hosted by: Lady Amber's Tours

Blurb:
​Love has no expiration.

The morning Beth packed her bags and walked out of Cole’s life was the day he swore the only girl for him would be the six year old who called him daddy. He didn’t have time for love, not between raising his baby girl and trying to figure out what the hell he was going to do with his life. But fate has a funny way of coming around and kicking you when you least expect it. Cole’s new life was no exception.  

As a product of a severely broken home, Beth Doan knew better than to ever get married. She’d seen what that commitment did to people and she loved Cole McClain too much to let marriage destroy them. But the minute she boards that bus she knew she was making the biggest mistake of her life. Only maybe she wasn’t, not when she goes running back home to the only man she ever loved and finds him in the arms of another woman. 

When an unexpected accident throws them together four years later, the last thing either anticipated was to become responsible for a little person who needs them a whole lot more than they need their bitterness and hurt feelings. Can Cole and Beth forgive and forget long enough to save the life of a child neither one of them predicted falling in love with?

Or are some wounds just too deep to heal?

International Bestselling author Airicka Phoenix lives in a world where unicorns, fairies and mermaids run amok through her home on a daily basis. When she’s not chasing after pixies and rounding up imps, also known as her four children, she can be found conjuring up evil villains, bad-ass heroines and swoon-worthy heroes to play with. 

Airicka is singlehandedly responsible for her greatly anticipated collections, 
the Touch SagaThe Lost Girl DuologyThe Regeneration SeriesGames of Fire & Betraying Innocence. She also writes mature paranormal & contemporary romance under the dark guise of Morgana Phoenix. To date, she is responsible for the Sons of Judgment SagaMy Soul For You, & Kissing Trouble.

Author Links:
Newsletter: 
http://eepurl.com/VgLqD
LinkedIn: 
ca.linkedin.com/pub/airicka-phoenix/40/432/74/
Facebook:
Airicka: 
https://www.facebook.com/airicka.phoenix
Airicka Author Page: 
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Airicka-Phoenix/252135634831614
Morgan Author Page: 
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Morgana-Phoenix/148839731972606
Airicka's Mystical Creations: 
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Airickas-Mystical-Creations/462373910480084
The Dark Realm: 
https://www.facebook.com/TheDarkCourt
The Touch Saga Page: 
https://www.facebook.com/TouchSeriesByAirickaPhoenix
Twitter: 
https://twitter.com/AirickaPhoenix (@AirickaPhoenix)
https://twitter.com/AirickaPhoenix  (@Morgana_Phoenix)
Goodreads:

Morgana: 
https://www.goodreads.com/MorganaPhoenix
Google+
Airicka: 
https://plus.google.com/u/0/101248439681101533712
Morgana: 
https://plus.google.com/115636000442414081509
Booktropolous: 
https://booktropoloussocial.com/index.php?do=/profile-941/
Book Pages:
Amazon.com: 
http://www.amazon.com/Airicka-Phoenix/e/B00906AGHM
Amazon.ca: 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Airicka-Phoenix/e/B00906AGHM
Amazon.de: 
http://www.amazon.de/Airicka-Phoenix/e/B00906AGHM
Amazon.fr: 
http://www.amazon.fr/Airicka-Phoenix/e/B00906AGHM
Amazon.jp: 
http://www.amazon.co.jp/Airicka-Phoenix/e/B00906AGHM
Barns & Nobles: 
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/airicka-phoenix
iTunes: 
https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/airicka-phoenix/id562768863
Scribd: 
http://www.scribd.com/airicka6phoenix
Inktera: 
http://www.inktera.com
        



Monday, January 12, 2015

Blog Tour: Hater by Cambria Herbert: Review and Giveaway



Title: #Hater (The Hashtag Series #2)
Author: Cambria Hebert
Release: January 12, 2015

Genre:  NA Contemp/College Romance
Rating: 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

It started with unspoken animosity. The bitter bite of jealousy. And now its full blown hate.

It was during my first football game that I first felt the first chill of hate. I looked it right in the eyes and felt its sticky tentacles reach out for me. I’d never experienced something so cold and empty before.

The effect of that look lingered, like an unspoken promise, long after it was gone.
Becoming a couple – becoming the other half of a campus celebrity wasn’t easy. I let down walls guarding my heart and he looked past my glasses and accident prone tendencies. Romeo and I are an unlikely match, a #nerd and a jock. But we made it.

And we’re happy.

Zach doesn’t want us to be happy. He wants Romeo to pay for getting him kicked out of Omega and for the night he spent in jail. He’s going to use anything and everything he can to get his revenge. Including me.

As the weather on campus grows cold and the days become dark, revenge becomes the center of someone’s life and the happiness Romeo and I worked so hard for is threatened.
I can’t help but worry that our love is going to be overshadowed by hate.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Release Day Blitz: Hot Houston Nights by S.N. Garza


Title: Hot Houston Nights: Graham & Isabella PART 1
Author: S. N. Garza
Genre: Erotic RomanceExpected Release Date: Jan. 9, 2014
Hosted by: Lady Amber's Tours
Blurb:
What happens when a one night stand, doesn’t stay just that?

Out for the first time after a long term relationship, Isabella wasn’t expecting much except a good time with the girls. A one night stand wasn’t in the cards, until she met him.

Graham is damaged both physically and mentally by a past that refuses to let him go. When he sees Isabella for the first time, she wasn’t at all what he was expecting.

One night. No regrets. That’s all it was supposed to be. But fate has different plans. 

              
This is a three part serial series of hot sexual encounters and conflicting emotions. Their journey to their happily forever after will be a hard one, but so worth it.


S. N. Garza is from Southeast Houston, Texas, with her husband and two small children. She is a full time Chilihead employee at Chili's Bar & Grill. Author of steamy, sexy, sinfully beautiful stories about strong alpha men and the women who fall for them.
When she's not taking care of her family, working her tail off at her all day job, you can find her writing well into the night, and reading another steamy romance novel, attaining another fictional boyfriend.
Remember
Where the men are strong, the women, stronger.

Author Links:
Twitter: @SNGarza_author
Amazon author link: Amazon.com/author/stephanienicolegarza
Buy Links:
Goodreads link: smarturl.it/GIP1GR
Smash words: smarturl.it/GIP1SW
                        


Men never seemed to fall over me like that. Except Christopher. Definitely a mistake getting with that guy. I know that now, but it was a bigger mistake thinking I could come here and act normal and have some random, hot guy wanna dance with me. Freaking pathetic.

I was almost off the dance floor when firm hands hooked into my two side belt loops from behind and brought me against a firm body.

“Need a dance partner, sweetness?”

Holy cow. The guy behind me was nothing but broad muscle and strong hands. He had two fingers hooked in my loops and the other three long fingers I felt on my pubic bone, and they pressed me against his thighs. His body was hard behind me and it was like my whole body lit up.

He must be taller than me. Well, everyone was, but the average guy was only five feet ten inches. Maybe six foot, but when they were behind me, I felt their groin. Not this man. I felt the thick steel rod almost at the middle of my back.

“Damn, sweetness. I hadn’t realized you were so tiny compared to me.”

His lips skirted passed my earlobe, nipping the edge between his teeth.

Fuck. Me. That little bite sent a sexual bolt of lightning straight down my body until it hit my core. I felt my pussy tighten with arousal. Sweet mother, that voice could rattle cages.

“Yeah, well, don’t judge a book by its cover, buddy.”

“Hmmm...I'll have to remember that, sweetness. For now, let's dance."

Crap. I had no rhythm. At all. Stella was the one who made me look halfway decent.

"Uh. No, but thanks anyway. I should just go back to the bar and have some drinks."

"Please don't. And don't be afraid when I say this, but I was watching you up here and noticed you weren't comfortable. I can make you feel real comfortable, sweetness. Just one dance."

The song that was playing was fast and I had no idea what to do. 

"This songs almost over. Don’t worry.”

The song finished shortly after he said that and 'Skin’ by Rihanna came on.

Double crap. I couldn't dance to this song with a stranger. It was a sex song.

"Is that a blush? Fucking beautiful."

His body began to move against mine, rocking my body and he took a hand and swept the stray hair that had come undone to the side. He dipped and his lips met the groove of my shoulder and I could smell his heady scent fill my nostrils. It was intoxicating. Sensual with a hint of musk and man.

His hands skimmed down and feeling his work-rough hands touch the bare flesh of my shoulder sent tingles throughout my body. Making me feel hyper alert. Gooseflesh sprinkled across my skin and his hands outlined the sides of my breasts which were starting to feel heavy. His hands slowly went down far enough to caress my thighs.

Holy mother, my pussy was aching from his touch. His thumbs hooked between my jeans and silk panties.

Teasing me with unhurried precision. His fingers massaging circles into the pockets…so close to the hood of my already damp vagina.

My head fell back and his breath was hot against my neck.

A small moan escaped my lips and his fingers got bold and traced the zipper seam down and gently circled my clit. It was light and was gone before I could do anything except let out a small cry.

The small orgasm raced through me from the contact and it was enough to make my body mold and press into him. Hits fingers contacted on mine and he groaned against my neck

“Was that?”

I couldn’t help but nod yes. And the dance became more intimate as he moved my body with his. He tucked his body down just enough for me to feel the hard ridge life his shaft against the cleft of my rear.

                                                                                                          
I really wanted to see his face now. The first man to make me come just by mere proximity.


Monday, January 5, 2015

Blog Tour: Forever His Baby by Morgana Phoenix: Review

Title: Forever His Baby
Author: Morgana Phoenix
Published: December 23rd, 2014
Pages: 244
Rating: 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Two brothers. One impossible choice 

From the moment her suspicions are confirmed, Lily knows she’s screwed. What the hell is a nineteen year old with no future going to do with a baby? She can barely take care of herself. She needs help. 

In walks Sloan McClain, the only man Lily has ever truly wanted — and the brother of the boy whose baby she’s carrying. While Lily expects a great number of outcomes when she tells Sloan her news, him proposing marriage and asking her to keep the baby is not one of them, especially not when she has every intention of giving the baby a better future by giving it the home she can’t. 

Having spent the majority of his life protecting his brother from the bone-breaking fists of their father, Sloan is no stranger to hardship, loss and abandonment. He has learned long ago never to rely on anyone to take care of what was his, and that baby is his. He isn’t about to let Lily give away his family, nor can he allow that child to destroy the future he has built for Cole. His only option: marry the mother and claim the baby as his. 

But no secret ever stays hidden forever.



Review

Holy wowzers!!!!  This book was amazeballs!!!!  Forever His Baby simply just blew me away.  I have been reading this genre lately, and it has become my favorite.  When I read the synopsis for this book, I could not wait to get my hands on it!!!  Everything about it was real, and the emotions were so raw.  I had so many feels with this book.  I felt everything.  Their emotions pulled me in and drew me to them.  This is something that could actually happen.  These are some characters that anyone could relate to. 

Lily has had a rough life, but well loved.  She had her family who loved her dearly and her best friend who always had her back.  Now that they are grown up, everything has changed.  At 19, Lily finds herself in a tough situation.  She is pregnant with her best friend's baby, and her best friend, Cole, is away at college.  She wants to do the right thing and tell him which is why she has Sloan take her to him.  But after seeing how is life is now, she couldn't take it away from him.  So here is where the lies start.  Sloan always believed that you take care of what is yours.  And that baby is his blood.  He doesn't want her to get rid of the baby so he makes sure he is there whenever she needs him.  They even tell everyone that he is the father!!  They have always loved each other, and I loved seeing them finally come together and act on those feelings.   I loved both Lily and Sloan.  I loved how selfless they were.  Even Cole.  No matter what, those men do right.

Sloan, Sloan, Sloan.  He is a man that everyone would want.  He is loving, selfless and protective.  The way he was always worried about Lily and taking care of her was so sweet.  He has made so many sacrifices to get Cole out of their town and make something of himself.  Now, he was willing to sacrifice for Lily, even though he wouldn't consider it as sacrificing.  I adored Sloan.  What woman wouldn't.  Cole was a great guy to.  After he learned the truth, he had to make sacrifices as well in order to become a great father.  I loved both of these brothers.  After the life they had, they still became great men.  Always doing whats right.  Always taking care of what is theirs.  Lily also made sacrifices as well.  For her parents, for Cole and even Sloan.  

Forever His Baby was an enthralling story that literally drew me and made me feel.  I fell in love with everything about this book.  It is a definite reread. I am telling you.  Once, you start this book, you won't be able to put it down.  I couldn't.  I had to know what happened next.  Each chapter left me wanting more and before I knew it, I was finished.   If you are looking for a story full of romance, twists, secrets then this book is for you!!!  I highly recommend this book!!!  It is a MUST read!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Blog Tour: Gilded Wings by Cameo Renae: Review


Title: Gilded Wings (Hidden Wings, 4)
Author: Cameo Renae
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Expected Release Date: December 19, 2014
Publisher: Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
Cover Design: Regina Wamba at Mae I Design

Hosted by: Lady Amber's Tours
Rating: 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

As the final battle draws near, Emma finds herself bound under an unbreakable oath. She must seal the bond with Ethon before her transformation, or risk her life and the lives of those she truly loves. Who she wants is no longer an option.
Lucian has unleashed troops of evil beasts from the Underworld, making it impossible for Emma to leave the protective barrier of Alaine’s home. War is inevitable. The Guardians will need to stay and fight their ground, hoping Lucifer keeps his end of the deal and comes to their aid.
In this epic series conclusion, burning questions will be answered, lives will be lost, and sacrifices will be made.
But who will survive, and at what cost?

Tag:
You can choose your path, but your fate is sealed.

Book Blitz: Beautiful Lies by Gina Whitney


Title: Beautiful Lies
Author: Gina Whitney        
Genre: Erotic Romance
Hosted by: Lady Amber's Tours
Synopsis:Enigmatic Cameron Sterling is quickly rising through the ranks at New York’s most prestigious and corrupt law firm Wotherspoon and Associates. He has willfully avoided any meaningful personal relationships and is content to casually hook up with Becky, a young woman who fancies herself as his actual girlfriend. As a child, Cam witnessed his father murder his mother, and this was the genesis of his relationship-avoidance issue. The only thing he cares about now is becoming a partner at Wotherspoon and Associates. Cam is obsessed with the promotion and will not let anything—or anyone—stand in his way.

But when Cam crosses paths with Lilly Amsel, a fashion model, the edges of his well laid plans begin to fray. At first, Cam is unimpressed by Lilly’s exaggerated effervescence and entitled air. However, he is taken aback by her incredible beauty—legs as long as an Amazon’s, silky honeyed-hair, and blazing body. This undeniable physical attraction disturbs Cam on all levels, leaving him intrigued by Lilly and wanting to get away from her at the same time. 

Lilly is strongly aroused by Cam’s moody presence. His dark, erotic looks and heady scent ignite long-dormant embers of wanton desire buried deep within her. Practically hypnotized, she finds her body reacting in the most surprising and carnal of ways. However, the two separate and never expect to see each other again, but somehow they manage to still linger on each other. Lilly’s larger-than-life persona that Cam initially encountered is a sham, though. It is a well-crafted costume that masks deeply rooted insecurity and an unfortunate dependence on prescription drugs. This stems from a horrifically abusive childhood that she is trying desperately, and unsuccessfully, to forget. Her mediocre modeling career was the perfect vehicle for her to escape that tumult and simultaneously receive acceptance and praise. It did not matter to Lilly that the kudos were based on superficial assumptions. She was still almost satisfied with the result and what modeling could not fix, the drugs could. 

Enthrallment and lust have other plans, though. Despite their best efforts to stay apart, Cam and Lilly come back together and embark on a tempestuous affair. For both of them, a torrid weekend getaway in the mountains unleashes years of pent-up sexual frustration and destroys inhibitions. Cam has no problem taking charge as he relishes Lilly’s delicious inner nectar. Again and again, Cam delivers Lilly pleasure she has never known before, leaving her trembling as she reclaims the goddess within.

Gina Whitney grew up reading Judy Blume, and Nancy Drew books. She was raised in the town of North Valley Stream, New York(Long Island)and attended community college for fashion design. At 19 she opened a boutique. She recently published her first paranormal romance novel Blood Ties. When she's not writing, she's hanging with family and friends. She shares a home with her wonderful son’s PJ and Drew, and their 200lb Mastiff Hercules. She currently lives in Massapequa, New York. Reading has always been a passion and
obsession. You can usually find her typing furiously while shouting obscenities over her latest work. She also enjoys a good laugh, being snarky, espresso, and above all steamy swooning angst filled novels. She's pathologically obsessed with True Blood(Eric ;), Games of Thrones, Borgias, Vampire Diaries and Originals. You can also find her chatting it up with readers on Facebook.
Links:

Buy Links:

Chapter One

If I had known then that Lilly Amsel would set such a fierce blaze in my life, I would have taken the next elevator.
All I wanted that morning was to get a hard run on the treadmill and go to my office to put in some weekend overtime. I arrived at The Equity, the most prestigious gym not only in New York City but in the country, and was checking my work-issued Blackberry as usual. I tended to avoid such pretentious settings, but membership was one of the many perks of my employment at Wotherspoon and Associates. As a law student at Aldensburg University, I had interned at the corporate law firm and had been offered a position after I’d passed the bar five years ago. Aldensburg was not as premier a college when compared to the Ivies; in fact most people have never heard of it. But, like me, it got the job done. And professionally the job I was trying to get done now was making partner. I know it was an ambitious goal, but I had nothing but faith in my skills to make it happen.
For the moment I was there at The Equity in my sagging basketball shorts and stretched-out T-shirt, standing amid chichi air kissers. I was not there to hobnob; I actually had a serious goal. I worked out not only to maintain my body but to keep my mind sharp, focused, and ready at all times. That was what separated me from those people. I was a shark among peacocks.
The cheerless receptionist with the sucked-in cheeks eyed me as I stepped through the door. I could see her hostile nostrils widen like a bull’s as she feigned a barely polite smile. She knew who I was but played this ridiculous game with me every day. Always pretending not to know me.
“I’m sorry, sir. You must be looking for the gym down the street.”
That was her way of telling me that my choice of clothing was not up to par, and I might consider some more appropriate attire. I had known plenty of people like her growing up and knew that the best way to handle her was to be in her face every chance I got, to be the proverbial pebble in her shoe. I swiped my security pass card and told her, “See you tomorrow.”
The Equity was an “it” destination for celebrities and all manner of the rich and powerful. The entry level consisted of a wide, stark-white hallway with electric-blue tube lights lining the walls and ceiling, and filled with the ethereal melody of a string orchestra. This main hallway connected with several more, with the last one ending a spacious, low-lit lounge area. Scattered about were suede couches and glass tables; black-and-white photos of perfectly sculpted body parts hung on the walls. This was where those who came to be seen strategically posed themselves just in case an undercover paparazzo managed to sneak in. The lounge was usually empty in the morning because its denizens could not manage to roll out of bed until well into the afternoon.
I made my way across the rugs to yet another hall that led to a bank of elevators. I pushed the “up” button, eager to start my workout. Then I heard the quick click clack of feminine footsteps come up behind me. I sighed because I knew those shoes—probably high heels—were not made for running. This was just another pampered pest whose idea of working out was getting a massage. I did not even have to turn around to figure this chick out.
Her heavy perfume was layered with the fresh smell of soap and shampoo. Typical of someone who saw the gym as a social occasion rather than a place to exercise. I never had patience with lackadaisical people who were not willing to put in the effort to achieve anything. I wanted so badly to turn around and say, “Why are you even here? Shouldn’t you be having Sunday brunch over at Peacock Alley?”  
However, I was not there to judge. I was there to work out. But I was curious as to who was standing behind me. I looked into the stainless-steel door of the elevator to see if I could make out the reflection. The dull surface only revealed that the grayish silhouette behind me was tall and lanky. Not as tall as me at six foot three, but tall nonetheless.  
Then a hoard of more click-clacking footsteps arrived, accompanied by raucously shrill voices greeting the first woman. I thought, Oh god. Jersey girls.
“Lilly!” they all screamed in unison.
The first woman, Lilly, chirped back. “Sweetie pies, how are you?” 
One nasally voice responded, “Fine if you like your nipples turning into Popsicles. It’s cold as hell out there. What’s on your agenda today? ”
“Pilates with Jean-Paul. Thirty minutes.”
“What is he? A slave driver?” another woman said seriously with a croaky smoker’s voice.
“I know, right?” Lilly agreed. All I could do was roll my eyes at that nonsense.    
Lilly had an odd way of speaking that only a discerning ear could pick up. She was trying her best to affect a newscaster accent, that plain Midwestern way of speaking. However, she would occasionally slip into an upward inflection that made every sentence sound like a question. She was definitely a So-Cal transplant. It was beyond me why, in the midst of shudder-inducing Jersey accents, Lilly hid her natural one.
As the elevator numbers slowly ticked down, I noticed in my peripheral vision the number of men passing. They were all doing double takes at Lilly. Either she was gorgeous or hideous beyond measure. Either way, it did not matter to me. I had seen plenty of both and was not swayed by the slop or gloss of anything. An ethics professor a long way back even accused me of being jaded. What he could not understand was that when your life has been a trial by fire, you see things differently from most. The world and all the people in it are just opportunities for you to get what you need. You can’t depend on anyone but yourself. When you have lived in a cushioned bubble like the professor, you just don’t get that. Needless to say I barely passed that class.
The elevator finally arrived, and the herd of new-money cows stampeded past me to get in. I turned back, and Lilly was waiting for me to usher her out like I was the doorman. Sure enough she was decked out in black from head to toe—leggings, turtleneck, and those clacking ankle boots. She had a leather bag brimming with Voss water and vitamin blister packs. She appeared to be in her early twenties, so I was perplexed as to why she needed so many pills.
Still, I must admit that I was taken aback by how beautiful she was. Her hair, pushed back and glossed into a tight bun, reminded me of dark honey, and her graceful, lithe body looked like that of a ballet dancer. And those eyes—they were extraordinarily large orbs of malachite rimmed in chestnut. However, no matter how pouty her dewy lips were, Lilly still acted like an entitled elitist, so pampered that she probably considered Park Slope to be the ghetto.
I watched her standing there looking at me. This woman was used to people fawning all over her, and I was not one to do that. I did not grovel or bow down to anybody. But no matter what I felt about her at the moment, I decided to do the gentlemanly thing.
“Ladies first,” I said.
Lilly sashayed past me and joined her tacky and deeply moneyed crew. As she crossed the threshold of the elevator, she gave me a “thanks” that was nowhere near sincere. I spent the elevator ride to the third floor listening to her companions’ boisterous gossip about other women at the club. Yet I did not hear Lilly utter any comment. I just felt her eyes laser beaming my back. Apparently she was still shocked and pissed that I didn’t think she was the shit.

* * *

“Lilly, you forgot your water,” Jean-Paul yelled out to me. He had been my Pilates instructor for the past six years—my entire time in New York. After I finished my thirty-minute workout with him, I got some fresh acrylics in the spa. I was preparing for an interview with Paramour Life, fashion’s most prominent magazine, later that afternoon. Though I was modeling, the interview was not about me. It was really about my boyfriend of two years, Sig Krok. Sig had come from Sweden twenty years ago and started his own fashion house, Klå. Klå. It quickly became one of the best-selling clothing lines in the world.
This article would be a tribute to Sig. The magazine just wanted my perspective of him and a little insider knowledge of our highly visible yet terribly private relationship.  
With discreet sleight of hand, Jean-Paul handed me my property, and it was not really water. It was my bottle of Klonopin.
“I know how important water is,” he said then quickly dismissed himself to his next scheduled client. I watched him for a moment. I was in awe and bewilderment over how he mastered the art of prancing and swaying like a seasoned burlesque dancer. He really had to teach me that sometime.
Realizing I was running out of time before the interview and still had to get my makeup done, I abruptly turned around to leave. And I turned right into Mr. Scowl—the guy at the elevator this morning. Aw, just great, I thought.
“Excuse me,” I said as I started walking away. By then he had put on some more weather-appropriate clothing—jeans and a cable-knit sweater with a white T-shirt underneath. And the creep did not even respond to me, smirking his arrogant mouth instead. Even though he was pompous, he was kind of cute. Though it was the middle of winter, his skin looked sun kissed. He was a giant of a man, well over six feet tall. His luminous, copper eyes seemed like they were always narrowed, like he was annoyed with people because they were merely human and could not withstand his survey.
I headed toward the elevator, and he did the same. When we got there, I started pushing buttons in hopes it would make the elevator come faster. The bell dinged, and he let me on first. I could tell he didn’t want to but was trying to be The Man.
We stood in opposite corners. By then most men would have engaged me in conversation. He hadn’t. Was he gay? No, I had a fairly accurate gaydar. What was wrong with him then? I was becoming increasingly irritated by this man’s presence. I glanced over at him. He was wiping his sweaty brow, and his hand pushed up his cap a bit, exposing his inky hair cut with perfect precision around the edges. The cap was thready and had a large A on the front. He probably had gotten it from some college a while back. I also noticed that on the underside of the cap’s bill, he had written his name in permanent marker: Cam.  
Even though he grated on me, I could not help but be distracted by his body. He had Adonis-like shoulders, broad and protective. His thick thighs were agape, his wide stance taking up a good deal of space. This square-jawed man was definitely broody, but even without a smile, I could make out the dimple in his cheek. And I did not even want to get started on the size of his hands and feet. They were enormous.
The air vent was blowing a light, steady stream of air across Cam. I inhaled the heady scent of his newly sweaty body intermingled with a woodsy deodorant. I leaned in his direction. One of my eyes went on autopilot and fluttered—that thing that happens when something is real good. I took another breath and leaned in some more.  
Wait! What…the fuck…am I doing? I caught myself right before my nose landed on Cam’s arm. And there he was with the same “what the fuck?” look. He was staring at me going for his pit with my crazy eye. He obviously thought I was about to rape him.
Quick, deflect. I pointed at my ear. “I thought you said something.” I regained my composure and returned my gaze forward.
But he sure did smell good. And boy, was I horny.
WhateverI wasn’t going to say anything else to Cam. He was still nothing but an aloof, smug asshole to me. And I had to endure what seemed like a forever ride to the first floor with him. I turned my face back to the elevator doors with just the sound of the motors and cables to break the silence.
I was so relieved to get out of the elevator, I practically sprinted into the parking garage. I slung my faux fur over my shoulders as I rushed to Sig’s Infiniti QX80. Cam was trailing me, sliding into his leather jacket. And I just knew he was about to ask me for my number despite that fiasco in the elevator. Maybe I hadn’t lost my touch. I was prepared to shoot him down, of course. But he sure was taking his time. I was already at Sig’s SUV.
However, not only did Cam not ask me for my number, he was only walking behind me because he had parked his powerful, black Harley 1200 Custom next to me. He spread his thick legs and straddled it then put on his Aviator sunglasses and revved up his baby. I had to say, that motorcycle…the way it just hung between his legs…looked more like a big, hard dick than anything else.
Cam turned the twist grip like it was his cock and throttled up. The rumble from the motorcycle bounced off the concrete walls of the garage. It was almost deafening. He didn’t care. In fact, if I hadn’t known any better, I would have sworn he’d done it on purpose. I was totally conflicted. Never had I so detested a man and still wanted to fuck the skin off his dick at the same time.
Alas, Cam drove off without even looking in my direction. I let out an audible gasp. No straight male ever looked at me and just turned away.
Hmm…maybe my gaydar was in need of a tune-up.