• The Son of Sobek All or Nothing (Love by Design #3)

    Aidan released me with a groan. What are you doing to me, Pixie? He stood up swiftly, running a hand through his hair. No fucking control, he muttered before storming out of the room.

    Tears shimmered in her blue eyes. Oh, baby girl, you have no idea how much I miss you. But I am so happy you got everything you ever wanted.Not everything, I thought. Micah and I had decided not to be together for the sake of the band, but he liked to torture me daily. Flirting with me, touching me, shadowing me. And then he’d go and blow off his pent-up frustration with a groupie.

    The Unwanteds (Unwanteds #1)

    Oh yeah, he was loving the groupies.That’s why I lost my virginity to a teen drama series heartthrob at a stranger’s house party in LA instead of losing it to the boy I was in love with.It hurt so bad, I had to throw the thought away before I burst into tears.

    A Lady of Persuasion (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy #3)

    I stood in the small living room of the house I’d grown up in and decided not to be so selfish as to dwell on Micah right now. I was home. Mom deserved my attention because Micah got more than his fair share of it.What do you want to do today? I asked. I’m all yours.

    Mom grinned. I was thinking we could go ice skating.

    Ice skating had been our thing. Every birthday, no matter what other plans I had, my mom and I went ice skating. We couldn’t afford a lot growing up since it was only Mom for so long, which meant things other people took for granted were a treat for me. Stupid stuff like going to the movies, to the swimming pool, and ice skating.I didn’t know the man’s name. I didn’t know anything about him except that he had the kind of presence that made everyone else around him fade. At around six foot he wasn’t overly tall; he had an athletic build so it wasn’t really his size that made you look. It was a quality. I couldn’t tell what color his eyes were because he’d never gotten close enough, just that they appeared dark, and they were intense. There was a hardness to his expression, a remoteness that seemed at odds with his apparent interest in my performance. Today he stood apart from the small crowd, his hands in the pockets of his jeans, his head tilted slightly as he listened with that aloof countenance.

    When I got to the part about finding someone like you, I drew my gaze to the darkening sky from beneath the brim of my fedora, my tone as mournful as those heavy clouds above. After the final strum of an F-sharp minor lingered in the air, I lowered my head and let the gentle applause settle over me.I didn’t take much of a break before I immediately began singing an original song. Like I said, most people wanted to hear songs that were familiar to them, but I was a singer/songwriter and it was difficult for me to not sing what I truly felt at least once during a set. Plus, I’d noticed over the last few weeks that the stranger only walked away after I sang one of my own songs.

    Natural Dual-Mage (Magical Mayhem #3)

    Almost everyone who had been standing to listen to the Adele song stayed to listen to my perky, upbeat song with its sad lyrics. When I finished, a few came over to drop change in my case, some offering me praise, even thanks. It was hard to watch the people who walked away without offering me a token of appreciation, so I let them fade out in my peripheral and smiled at those who were kind enough to give me money.There was enough there for a meal, a shower, and use of the laundromat.

    If someone asked me for advice about sleeping rough, I’d tell them how important it is to keep your feet clean and dry. Change your socks every day. There was a laundromat a twenty-minute walk from where I’d pitched my tent and a ten-minute walk from the swimming pool. I could wash and dry the few clothes I had and keep my socks fresh.Feeling grateful, I was filled with smiles as I thanked people in my fake English accent. I would’ve faked a Scottish accent if I could but it always came out sounding Irish with a hint of Australian. I was good at a generic southern English accent so I went with that. Why fake an accent at all? Well, I didn’t want anyone recognizing me, and if they put my face to my voice and then to an American accent, things might get complicated.

    As people dwindled away, I decided to pack up for the day. It was only three in the afternoon but I wanted my shower badly. Plus, those clouds looked ready to break any minute. It was nearly an hour’s walk to the swimming center from here and as I pocketed my cash, I wondered if it would be foolish to use some of it on bus fare. If I got soaked I might get sick and then what the hell would I do?I glanced back up at the clouds and saw one looking ready to give birth to a whole shower of raindrops.

    Yeah, I was going to get the bus.Feeling a familiar prickle on my skin, I looked up and saw the guy was still standing there, his arms crossed as he studied me. I scowled at his assessing attitude.