Archive for January, 2014

Looking forward to reading this! Love the cover.

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TITLE: Always Tomorrow
AUTHOR Laura Beege
RELEASE DATE: March 11, 2014
GENRE: NA contemporary romance
HOSTED BY: The Book Lovers

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Synopsis

Stealing a stranger’s shirt from the laundry room wasn’t supposed to snowball into a big deal. Jemima just needed proof of a lover in order to get her roommate off her back about getting laid. Frankly, she doesn’t have the time or the nerve to actually get involved with someone. After her father ditched her family out of nowhere, forcing her to return to Vegas and leave her dream behind at Juilliard, Jemima has enough on her plate to deal with.

Unfortunately, she stole Ashton Deverell’s shirt. And he doesn’t let her off the hook easily.

Illusionist extraordinaire, Ashton isn’t meant to look for more than a good lay in a girl. He’s turned his back on his criminal past, but he knows that it could catch up with him at any given moment. Sucking a girl into the black hole that is his life is a shit idea and he knows it. Thanks to Jemima, however, for the first time he can see himself with a future that doesn’t involve jail time.

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hr3na-scdkw2hbzf968-jr8ztuujggipiugzaupmofoAbout Laura Beege

Laura likes to call herself an international girl. She grew up in an Asian/European family in Germany, spent some time as an exchange student in France, moved to England after graduation and eventually landed back in Germany, where she’s currently working on her degree in Theater & Film. No matter where she will be next year (Manhattan?) or the years after that (Italy?), she intends to keep on writing.
She loves hearing from readers!

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Get in touch with Laura:

Twitter||Goodreads || Blog || Facebook

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KISS THE SKY    

TitleKiss the Sky

Authors: Krista & Becca Ritchie

Genre: New Adult Standalone Romance

Release Date: January 24, 2014

Hosted by: Love Between the Sheets Promotions

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18308262-kiss-the-sky

Synopsis

Virgin. Sex addict. Daredevil. Alcoholic. Smartass … Jackass. Her five friends are about to be filmed. Reality TV, be prepared.

Rose Calloway thought she had everything under control. At twenty-three, she’s a Princeton graduate, an Academic Bowl champion, a fashion designer and the daughter of a Fortune 500 mogul. But with a sex addict as a sister and roommate, nothing comes easy.

After accepting help from a producer, Rose agrees to have her life filmed for a reality television show. The Hollywood exec is her last chance to revive her struggling fashion line, and boundaries begin to blur as she’s forced to make nice with a man who always has his way.

Twenty-four-year-old Connor Cobalt is a guy who bulldozes weak men. He’s confident, smart-as-hell and lives with his equally ambitious girlfriend, Rose Calloway. Connor has to find a way to protect Rose without ruining the show. Or else the producer will get what Connor has always wanted—Rose’s virginity.

This New Adult Standalone Romance can be described as Friends meets The Real World. Expect fist fights, drugs, sex of varying degrees, crude humor and competitive alpha males. Definitely for mature audiences only.

 LEX’S REVIEW of KISS THE SKY

I’m riding that high. You know, the one caused when that perfect book reaches into you with angst and lust and soul and pulls you so deep into the drama that you never want to come out? Yeah, that one. I seem to always get that buzz when I read books in the Addicted series by Krista and Becca Ritchie.

Although KISS THE SKY works great as a stand-alone novel, it’s number four in the Addicted series and features Rose Calloway and her boyfriend Connor Cobalt.

If you’ve read the others, you know that Rose is the glue that binds the family together. She’s the one who backed up her sister Lily and Lily’s boyfriend Lo when they were dealing with their addictions in the first three books. We’ve come to know Rose as this tough-as-nails girl who doesn’t take shit from anyone. So watching her kowtow to Scott, the sleazy producer of a reality TV show so she can use the publicity to save her failing fashion line, is nothing short of painful. And that discomfort only grows as the show begins to tape and she sees how Scott is editing the footage for maximum humiliation.

But Rose’s future isn’t the only one on the line. Connor is vying to take the helm of his mother’s multi-billion dollar company while he’s in an MBA program. Yeah, he’s wicked smart and hot as hell. Lily and Lo join the cast as they hope to prove to the public that they’re overcoming their addictions in a real relationship, not something contrived to remake their reputations. But the stress of a reality show is not exactly the ideal environment for two recovering addicts. Ryke, Lo’s half-brother, and Daisy, Rose’s little sister, also live in the house, which is decked out with cameras. And while Ryke and Daisy are just friends because Daisy is only 17 and Ryke is 23, their attraction is always simmering on the surface. So the situation, from any angle, is combustible.

Here’s the problem with Rose and Connor’s relationship—she’s a virgin, despite the fact that she and Connor have been dating for a year and he sleeps in her bed when the show starts to tape. But Connor always gets what he wants, so he sets his sights on the girl who is his mental equivalent. People may call Rose a bitch, but he loves her feistiness. And the two of them together are off-the-charts hot as they push each other to the limit.

If you’ve been reading the series, this book was a slightly different experience. Lily and Lo’s books were raw and dark and desperate as they tried to claw out of their addictions. KISS THE SKY, while still awesomely intense, had a lighter feel. I found myself laughing out loud several times.

I probably read 150 books in the last year, but I can count the ones that stood out like the Addicted series on one hand. Becca and Krista Ritchie’s novels just keep getting better, so be sure to grab KISS THE SKY when it goes on sale on January 24 and keep your eyes peeled for HOTHOUSE FLOWER, Ryke and Daisy’s book, in March.

(I received an ARC for an honest review.)

KTS Release Blitz Excerpt (1)

 – – – – – > BUY NOW on AMAZON: http://amzn.com/B00HZVPHGE < – – – – – 

About the Authors

150219_201945006672435_704378981_nKrista Ritchie has a clone…or someone who looks exactly like her. If she’s not writing books with her twin sister, she’s pouring over entertainment news and ingesting copious amounts of pop culture. She likes tennis, that thing called the TV, and beating Becca (her clone) on Sega Genesis. She created YA Book Exchange to combat her book buying addiction and started Nawanda Files, a YA Book Blog that features books into movies news, to share her love for all things bookish. Oh, and she does something called science. Whatever that is.

Krista & Becca Ritchie write New Adult books that make you cringe, gasp, and go ooh-la-la. (If you do that sort of thing.) They are currently working on the spin-offs and final books in the Addicted series.

Connect with the Authors

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KBRitchie

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KBRitchie

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kbmritchie/the-addicted-series/

Website: http://kbritchie.com/

Krista Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7056935.Krista_Ritchie

Beca Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2754148.Becca_Ritchie 

GIVEAWAY!

CLICK the link below for a chance to win:

1  $25.00 Amazon Gift Card

1 Signed paperback of Kiss the Sky

 – – – – – >  a Rafflecopter giveaway  < – – – – – 

1606243_201940586672877_1811984932_o (1)

Book Three

Book Three

Need a hot romance novel to sink your teeth into? Look no further than JB Salsbury’s MMA Fighting series. Book three’s release is just around the corner, so it’s the perfect time to catch up and read the first two, which are de-lish! I mean, if you like smokin’ hot MMA guys with tats, charm and a whole lotta swagger. (Yes, please!)

You can pre-order Book 3, FIGHTING TO FORGET, starting on April 1. The release date is April 15.

SYNOPSIS: Every fighter is drawn to the violence, the release that a perfect hit can bring.

But very few are drawn to the pain.

Rex Carter lives behind a wall of indifference. The demons from his childhood act as an anesthetic, keeping him distant from emotional connections. Only the ache from a knock to the jaw, sting of a tattoo needle, or heat from a piercing, can

Book One

Book One

jolt him back from the numbness. The fiery pain is all he can feel, and nothing compares to the burn.

Or so he thought.

Working in a Las Vegas bar isn’t Georgia Maxwell’s dream. But she hopes it’ll be an end to the nightmare.

Over a decade she’s watched him. Followed his career and kept tabs, all in preparation for this moment. To make amends, repair the wrong. But she didn’t count on the feelings that seeing him again would stir up. The vacant look in his stormy-blue eyes, his perfect body now mutilated by ink and metal.

And only she knows why. She’s lived his pain, every single day, since the day he left.

Changed by time, Rex doesn’t remember the girl from his past. If only

Book Two

Book Two

she could do the same.

Will she get the absolution she’s spent her life seeking?

Or will he continue, Fighting to Forget?

AUTHOR BIO: JB Salsbury, bestselling author of the Fighting series, lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and two kids. She spends the majority of her day as a domestic engineer. But while she works through her daily chores, a world of battling alphas, budding romance, and impossible obstacles claws away at her subconscious, begging to be released to the page.

Her love of good storytelling led her to earn a degree in Media Communications. With her journalistic background, writing has always been at the forefront, and her love of romance prompted her to sink her free time into novel writing.

Fighting for Flight and Fighting to Forgive are the first two novels in the MMA romance series. Fighting to Forget is due to be released in April 2014.

For more information on the series, upcoming signings and events, or just to say hello, visit JB on her website, Facebook, or Goodreads page.

http://www.jbsalsbury.com/

https://www.facebook.com/JBSalsburybooks

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6888697.Jamie_Salsbury

KISS THE SKYI’m riding that high. You know, the one caused when that perfect book reaches into you with angst and lust and soul and pulls you so deep into the drama that you never want to come out? Yeah, that one. I seem to always get that buzz when I read books in the Addicted series by Krista and Becca Ritchie.

Although KISS THE SKY works great as a stand-alone novel, it’s number four in the Addicted series and features Rose Calloway and her boyfriend Connor Cobalt.

If you’ve read the others, you know that Rose is the glue that binds the family together. She’s the one who backed up her sister Lily and Lily’s boyfriend Lo when they were dealing with their addictions in the first three books. We’ve come to know Rose as this tough-as-nails girl who doesn’t take shit from anyone. So watching her kowtow to Scott, the sleazy producer of a reality TV show so she can use the publicity to save her failing fashion line, is nothing short of painful. And that discomfort only grows as the show begins to tape and she sees how Scott is editing the footage for maximum humiliation.Kiss the Sky characters

But Rose’s future isn’t the only one on the line. Connor is vying to take the helm of his mother’s multi-billion dollar company while he’s in an MBA program. Yeah, he’s wicked smart and hot as hell. Lily and Lo join the cast as they hope to prove to the public that they’re overcoming their addictions in a real relationship, not something contrived to remake their reputations. But the stress of a reality show is not exactly the ideal environment for two recovering addicts. Ryke, Lo’s half-brother, and Daisy, Rose’s little sister, also live in the house, which is decked out with cameras. And while Ryke and Daisy are just friends because Daisy is only 17 and Ryke is 23, their attraction is always simmering on the surface. So the situation, from any angle, is combustible.

Here’s the problem with Rose and Connor’s relationship—she’s a virgin, despite the fact that she and Connor have been dating for a year and he sleeps in her bed when the show starts to tape. But Connor always gets what he wants, so he sets his sights on the girl who is his mental equivalent. People may call Rose a bitch, but he loves her feistiness. And the two of them together are off-the-charts hot as they push each other to the limit.

If you’ve been reading the series, this book was a slightly different experience. Lily and Lo’s books were raw and dark and desperate as they tried to claw out of their addictions. KISS THE SKY, while still awesomely intense, had a lighter feel. I found myself laughing out loud several times.

I probably read 150 books in the last year, but I can count the ones that stood out like the Addicted series on one hand. Becca and Krista Ritchie’s novels just keep getting better, so be sure to grab KISS THE SKY when it goes on sale on January 24 and keep your eyes peeled for HOTHOUSE FLOWER, Ryke and Daisy’s book, in March.

GOODREADS: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18308262-kiss-the-sky

(I received an ARC for an honest review.)

Two of my besties, A.J. Pine & Megan Erickson, fellow writers and critique partners, tagged me in a post to share my page 7 from a work-in-progress. This is from FINDING DANDELION, the companion novel to DEAREST CLEMENTINE.

* * *
Music blares on the stereo behind me, but I’m too tired from this afternoon’s workout to budge. I look across the room and laugh.

“Dude, your sister is drunk.”

Sammy is slouched in the chair with her Magic 8 Ball, staring at it like it has all the answers. Her brother Nick, my roommate, barely spares a glance in her direction before he goes back to his cards.

“Don’t even think about fucking my sister, Jax.”

I punch him in the arm. “You’re an asshole. You know that there are two kinds of girls I never touch—little sisters and roommates.”

Nick’s eyebrow lifts. “I’ve seen your sister’s roommates. You’ve never gotten any of that action?”

Air rushes out of my closed mouth. “Are you kidding? She’d chop up my balls and feed them to me if I ever got close to one of them. She’s a little protective.” If nothing else, my twin is fierce.

I don’t mention that whole fiasco freshman year.

Sammy laughs hysterically at nothing in particular and shakes her Magic 8 Ball. “Is there one guy out there for me who will love me forever?” She peers into the black triangle at the bottom of the ball. Her face lights up as she reads, “It is decidedly so.”

I roll my eyes. Grabbing my beer, I take a drink and scroll through the texts on my phone. Kelly, Jamie, Emma. They’re hot. Katie. Lanie. They’re hotter.

My mind wanders to that girl outside the pizza parlor, the one who held the door open for me. I don’t know why I’m thinking about her. She was beautiful but looked young without any makeup. Kind of innocent and wide-eyed. No, definitely not my type.

I go back to the girls in my contacts list, but the sound of the water sloshing about in that dumb ball distracts me from planning my weekend.

“Sam, I hate to break it to you, but that’s all crap. I hope you know that ‘cause I like you too much to let you think there’s one perfect guy out there.”

Nick’s little sister is a senior in high school, and she’s a pretty little thing, but she needs to wise up or some dick like me will break her heart. Only it won’t be me.

She ignores my comment and shakes the ball. “Is there one perfect girl out there for Jax Avery who will help him get past his man whoring ways?” She narrows her eyes as she reads the message that floats to the top, “It is decidedly so.”

Nick barks out a laugh. “How much did you drink? Dad is going to kick my ass if you go home tomorrow with a hangover.” He goes back to his hand and murmurs, “Cause you’d have to be drunk if you think that’s in the cards for Jax.”

Sammy hiccups and then groans like it hurt. She turns to me. “Doesn’t it feel empty? Don’t you want something with meaning?”

This girl needs to stop watching so many chick flicks.

I take a long drag of my beer. “It has meaning. It means I get laid with no strings. That’s a beautiful thing.”

She makes a face like I just took a crap in her dinner. I don’t have the energy to explain why relationships are such a bad idea, but if she were to take a two-minute look at my parents, she’d be on my side.

I reach over for a slice of pizza and ignore the hollowness in my chest. “What time is our team meeting tomorrow?”

Nick squints at me. “It’s at 3, but you should get there early. I hear Coach Patterson is a hard ass.”

“I can handle it.” I continue scrolling through my phone, contemplating how to spend the next 24 hours before soccer completely consumes my life. I’m thinking Katie tonight and maybe Lanie tomorrow afternoon.

As I’m about to look up Katie’s number, my screen lights up. Natasha. Even better. We’re friends with benefits. Minus the friends part.

“What are you doing tonight?”

Smiling, I write back. “Making you scream my name.”

Not a minute goes by before she responds. “Perfect. I’ll be by in 20.”

Sammy sighs at me from across the table like she knows what I’m planning. “Some day, a girl is going to kick you on your ass, Jax. I hope I’m here to see it.”

Why is a teenager lecturing me about my sex life?

“In your dreams, kid. I don’t get attached.”

I learned that lesson a long time ago. Girls are like beer. Here to bookend the important things.

 

(TO LEAVE COMMENTS, click on the dialogue bubble at the top right side of the post if you don’t see “LEAVE A REPLY” at the bottom.)

If there is anyone who is a one-click author, it’s Cora Carmack. I’ve been a faithful devotee since I read LOSING IT. (Yes, I’m a total fangirl!) Literally the moment her books are on sale, they’re on my e-reader. You can pre-order her latest novella, SEEKING HER, which will be available on January 28. SEEKING HER features Jackson, the hottie who was hired to babysit Kelsey as she parties in Europe. (You’ll remember Kelsey as Bliss’s BFF from Losing It.) Below is a link to an excerpt.

SEEKING HER Synopsis:Best SEEKING HER by Cora Carmack

Jackson Hunt gets his turn in this Finding It prequel novella …

Jackson Hunt hasn’t been out of the military for long, but he needs to get a job and find a sense of normalcy if he is going to keep his demons at bay. The job that falls into his lap, though, is anything but normal.

Becoming bodyguard (and babysitter) to spoiled rich girl Kelsey Summers isn’t exactly what he had in mind, but it’s a chance to travel, to get away. The catch: Kelsey’s father doesn’t want her to know she’s being followed.

She’s vibrant and infuriating, exciting and reckless, mysterious and familiar. When Jackson sees her falling into the same patterns he suffered years ago, he decides it’s time to stop watching and help her instead. But getting to know Kelsey is more difficult than he thought, especially because the more he knows her, the more he wants her.

Excerpt: http://www.scribd.com/doc/198514499/Exclusive-Excerpt-of-Seeking-Her-by-Cora-Carmack

Cora Carmack Bio:Cora Carmack bio pic

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life–boring jobs (like working retail), fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

Pre-Order Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Links:

Website: http://coracarmack.blogspot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CoraCarmack

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CoraCarmackBooks

Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6535659.Cora_Carmack

SEEKING HER Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17873497-seeking-her?ac=1

Painting by Angela China. (Used with permission.)

Painting by Angela China. (Used with permission.)

When I recently told a co-worker I write New Adult fiction, she raised an eyebrow and laughed. Apparently, she thought this meant I write a new kind of erotica. This is where I blushed and pretended like I hadn’t read 50 Shades.

First of all, New Adult is not porn. It’s a category of writing in which the characters are older than Young Adult, but they don’t quite fit in Adult Contemporary. NA focuses on the lifestyles, needs and issues of characters in the 18-26 age group. So we’re talking first loves, first jobs, maybe marriage, and possibly that first bun in the oven. For me, I see it as a real coming-of-age.

While love stories in YA are sweet, I don’t honestly expect anyone in a relationship in high school to actually end up with that other person. But in NA, everything is more serious, more real. I met my husband when I was 21 and married him a few years later. (Hello, he’s a hottie. I’d have to be blind not to lock that up.) While I had been in other relationships, even a serious one, Loverboy changed the game, and all of a sudden, I saw my future in him. That’s how I view relationships in NA. With higher stakes and more intensity.

Now, I started by saying that NA is not porn, but I will add that there can be way more sex and steam than YA, but it doesn’t necessarily reach the level of erotica. If I write a sex scene, it’s because it advances the relationship, not because I’m trying to get you off. I mean, if that happens too, bonus, but that’s not my goal. I love romance, making you swoon, maybe getting you to shed a tear, and definitely making you laugh. Some of my characters are shy and demure, a couple are dirty talkers, and they all have insecurities. I hope you’ll take a ride with one of them. (That’s where you insert a “that’s what she said” joke!)

I plan to publish my first NA novel, DEAREST CLEMENTINE, in mid-March and it’s companion novel, FINDING DANDELION, this summer. Here’s an excerpt of DEAREST CLEMENTINE:

* * *

My pen resumes tracing mindless circles in the margins of my journal as I stare out the window of the dusty common room.

This is what I’ve needed to find my footing, to put everything behind me.

Down the hallway, the sound of squeaky wheels is punctuated by a groan and a thump as luggage hits the floor.

“Wait, what will happen if there’s a fire? We’re on the 18th floor,” one girl says, her vowels long and polite. A Southerner.

A deep, male voice reassures her. “I know it’s a hike down those stairs, but don’t use the elevators because the last thing you want is to get stuck between floors. I’ll check each room to make sure you’ve evacuated.”

I can’t make out the rest of the conversation until two girls shuffle by the lounge.

“Holy shit. Our RA is hot!” a girl in a sundress tells her friend as she lugs an overstuffed duffle bag. “I wonder if he has a girlfriend.”

“He’s a senior or a grad student, dork. He’s not going to be interested in you,” the other one says, her accent softening her words.

Hitting on the resident assistant, the upperclassman paid to keep an eye on all of the kids in the dorms, was never my thing. My RA freshman year, Tao, was 5’2” and into Jesus. Not my scene.

I can’t quite imagine who would want that job. Tao was always rushing some poor slob to the hospital with random broken bits. I’ll never forget the look on his face when he found my friend Sarah passed out, piss-drunk, with a broken ankle. How she managed to vomit on all four walls of her dorm room before she went down is beyond me.

Tapping my pen, I shift in my seat. My ritual always works, but it’s never taken this long. Before I go into full-out crisis mode, a voice startles me.

“Darlin’, now you don’t look like a freshman.” Turning slightly, I see him in my peripheral vision, leaning in the doorway. The RA.

“That’s because I’m not,” I say flatly.

“So what are you doing in Warren Towers? I mean, why would you willingly come here? I get paid to be here. What’s your excuse?” He’s joking. I get it. But I’m not in the mood.

“Just looking for some white noise,” I say, not looking up. I can feel his eyes on me. “Look, I’m not some creeper if that’s what you’re getting at. I just need a little inspiration.” I jot down random words, hoping something can pull me out of my writing coma: suitcases, hot RA’s, condoms, diet Coke, donuts.

Trying to ignore the intensity of his stare, I glance out the floor-to-ceiling window. Practically every college student in Boston is moving today, and the streets below are crammed with U-Haul vans and frenzied parents. I’ve always loved this view. I got my first idea here, and for the last three years, this lounge, on this floor, has been my muse. I guess I can’t say I’m not a teeny bit superstitious because, since then, every August 31, I plunk my ass down in this seat until I figure out my writing project for the year.

A quick glance to the clock has me exhaling loudly. At this rate, I’m never going to figure out my next book if I can’t get in the zone. And I have to get in the zone. The thought of being a one-hit wonder makes me want to curl up into the fetal position. Even though I’ve written three books, I’ve only had the guts to publish my first one, Say It Isn’t So, and it’s done well. Best-selling well. But that’s just it. Nothing I’ve written since then has been as good, so my other two novels sit in the bowels of my laptop, calling to me like Golem to Frodo. Who said writers aren’t crazy?

He clears his throat.

“And you thought you’d find inspiration here, a freshman dorm?” I don’t have to look up to know he’s grinning. How the hell do you hear someone smile? my inner voice quips. “Are you having any luck? Finding inspiration?”

Finally, my eyes sweep up, and my stomach instantly lurches. He’s tall with dark, shaggy hair that flops in his face. Intense green eyes stare back. The girls were right. He is good-looking. He smiles a dazzling, mega-watt grin, and my chest clenches at the thought that he probably has lickable abs. Oh, for the love of God, Clem, get a grip. I bite my lower lip until it stings. With that, my heartbeat starts to regulate, and my eyes dart back to my journal.

“No,” I say, wishing I had more time to write. “No luck with inspiration.”

My jaw clenches as my pen returns to drawing circles.

This year, my mission in life is to write something better. Better than my first book, better than my two unpublished novels. I’m aiming for fucking-kicks-ass-takes-you-by-the-balls better. But that will never happen if Henry Cavill’s doppelgänger doesn’t leave me alone.

“I’m Gavin by the way.”

“Nice to meet you,” I say half-heartedly, packing up my stuff. My body, on autopilot, starts to move even though it’s too early. Shit! Fuck-it-all-to-hell shit! You shouldn’t go…You don’t have anything figured out yet!

“And…you…would…be?”

“Leaving.” That inner voice sighs at me. Always such a bitch, Clem.

“Yeah, I realize that, but that’s not what I meant.” He sounds amused.

I shrug on my jacket and swing my bag over my shoulder. “I know what you meant,” I say, glancing up as he blocks my exit. He’s taller than I thought…and built…

The fact that my heart starts racing the second I smell his citrusy cologne pisses me off. I pride myself on being a modern girl, one who doesn’t need a man, especially if all he’ll do is break my heart. So the idea that this guy and his little smirk give me kamikaze butterflies aggravates me more.

Letting out an exasperated sigh as I wait for him to move out of the way, I get an eyeful of bulging bicep through his fitted t-shirt. Stop checking him out. I shake my head as I scoot around him and head for the elevator. I press the button and wait all of three seconds before I punch it again.

“You know, you’re on the 18th floor. This could take a while,” he says behind me. “I’m guessing you probably have more than enough time to tell me your name.” He chuckles, apparently undeterred by my fuck-off vibe.

I sigh. This isn’t my day. I’ve never walked out of here empty-handed before, but then the doors open, and relief floods my chest. I don’t know why I have to get away from here right now, but I do.

I get in and turn around. He’s leaning against the wall with his arms crossed over his broad chest, watching me. He raises his eyebrows at me expectantly. As the doors start to close, I feel a twinge of guilt. Ugh. Fine. I roll my eyes.

“Clem. My name is Clementine.”

The doors close, but not before I catch him grin.

* * *

(If you don’t see “LEAVE A REPLY” at the bottom of this post and you want to leave a comment, click on the dialogue bubble at the top right side of the page.)