The Illicit Boxed set will be releasing tomorrow. If you haven’t picked up your copy you should.
23 books for 99 pennies? You can’t beat that.
But in case you need a little more encouragement, here’s an excerpt from Tempt Me.
Leia couldn’t believe she was sitting in the kitchen, eating one of the best meals she’d ever had with Riley. He and her brother, Andre had met in middle school and had been inseparable ever since.
She could remember coming home from college seeing the tall and lanky kid sitting at her parents’ kitchen table eating everything in sight. At that time she’d had no idea where the food was going because Riley had been nothing but skin and bones.
Then two years later, Riley had walked into the house looking like a Mack truck and that was what he’d been known as ever since. She could still recall his amusement when she’d asked him if he was talking body enhancements. After a while, she realized it was genetic. Someone in Riley’s ancestry had gifted him with his size.
She’d honestly thought that he’d try his hand at professional football. Riley had been a talented player in high school and had excelled in college as well. But he’d focused on his academics instead. She knew that he was an engineer of some sort and that what he did was lucrative but that was all she could recall.
The past seven years of her life had been wrapped up in the ups and downs she’d experienced with her ex-husband. She hadn’t had time to focus on much outside of that. In a way she felt bad when she thought all of the things she’d neglected for the sake of love. She would never make that mistake again. As far as she was concerned, she could remain single for the rest of her life and she’d been okay with that.
Unless she met a man as handsome as Riley.
When had he become so damn good looking?
At first she’d thought she’d still be asleep when she’d heard his voice. Then she’d realized how weird and random it would be to have a dream about her brothers’ best friend. Once she’d jumped up to hug him, she’d definitely known she was awake.
Riley had always given the best hugs. He’d was like a cuddly teddy bear, only solid. In college he’d played defensive end. She recalled going to a few football games and being mesmerized by his agility. Standing six inches over six feet, he was the epitome of a lumberjack in her opinion.
She glanced at him out the corner of her eye, wondering when he’d become so handsome. His blonde hair looked as if he’d run his hands through it several times. Matching hair covered his chin and jaw. His nose was firm and his cheekbones chiseled. But it was his mouth that had her full attention. It was full, generously curved and enticing.
Realizing what she was doing, she quickly raised her gaze and met his blued-eyed one. Embarrassment filled her, but one corner of his mouth curved upward and he winked at her. Just like he had earlier and heat raced over her just like it had the first time. She dropped her gaze to her food, shocked to find her plate empty.
Leia sat her fork down and reached for the glass of wine she hadn’t touched. Now that she had a stomach full of food perhaps she could trust herself with it. She took a sip, then cleared her throat.
“How’s life been treating you?” she asked.
“Pretty good,” he replied as he sat his fork down and leaned back in the chair. “I’ve just been busy working on different projects and traveling.”
Mercy! There was so much of him.
She shook her, puzzled at why she was so aware of him. Even if he hadn’t been her brothers’ friend, he was too young for her. Not to mention she’d just finalized her divorce from a man she should have never gotten involved with. Even though her relationship with Paul had been over for years, the ink on the dotted line was barely dry.
He placed one arm over the back of her chair as he reached for his glass of wine with the other. “Finally glad to be back home. I’ll be here for a while now.”
She frowned. “You haven’t been in Portland?”
“No. My job allows me to move around as much as I like, but I’ve been back in Portland about six months now.”
She frowned. “I don’t recall Andre saying anything about you moving.”
He placed his glass back on the table. “Because technically, I hadn’t. I just took on consultant projects with different clients that no one wanted because I was in a position to. It paid off. Now I’m able to travel if I want to or pass up the assignment if I don’t want it.”
“How long do you plan to be here at the lake house?” she asked. “Not that I’m trying to rush you off. I just didn’t expect you.”
Leia jumped when he gently gripped the back of her neck, his thumb massaged the base of her scalp. A sensation she couldn’t name made its way down her spine as she bit back a moan. The reaction she’d just had to his touch was unnerving but she couldn’t bring herself to pull away.
“I’ll be here until I know you’re okay. You’re one of the strongest woman I know, but even strong people need someone to lean on. Even if they don’t know how to ask.”
To her surprise, moisture filled her eyes. Riley handed her paper napkin. She took it and turned her head as she dabbed her eyes.
“These aren’t tears of sadness,” she managed to get out. “I’m just disappointed that I wasted so much time on the wrong person.”
He took her hand in his. “We all have moments of regret, but I have no doubt that you made the right decision. You deserve to be happy.” He squeezed her hand. “Now, let me put the leftovers away. Then we can watch a movie before we head to bed.”
She stiffened as his words penetrated her foggy brain and Riley laughed. “Get your mind out the gutter.” He pushed back from the table and she rushed to stand to her feet as well. “I can help you put everything away. “I know, but I know you and you need a moment. Take it. I won’t be long with this. Be sure to pick out a good movie.”
Leia nodded. She was off-kilter. The fact that Riley knew her well enough to call it made her even more unsettled. Realizing she did need to collect herself she left the kitchen and headed to her bedroom. As soon as she entered the room, she stopped and closed her eyes.
What was wrong with her? She had to get it together. No matter how tempting Riley was, she had to resist. He was young and virile. Any involvement with him would only lead to heartbreak. As handsome as he was, he could have any woman he wanted.
She needed to find out how long he really planned to stay and keep her distance until then. Releasing a pent up breath, she made her way to the bathroom and washed her face with a warm towel. Her eyes were still a little red, but it was the only sign that she’d been upset earlier.
Once she felt like she had herself together, she returned to the living room. She could still hear Riley moving around in the kitchen. Picking up the remote, she turned the T.V. on and begin to scroll through the menu.
When she came across Deadpool 2 she selected it. It was the perfect movie for two friends to watch. Because that’s exactly what she and Riley were.
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