★ Release Day & Excerpt ☆ Unboxed: The Woodlands Complete Series by Jen Frederick

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UNBOXED contains the following full length novels: UNDECLARED, UNSPOKEN, UNRAVELED, and UNREQUITED.

 

This USA Today Bestselling Series is a four-book box set with bonus content.
**Limited Time Only**

 

Are you ready to find your next book boyfriend?
NOW ON SALE for ONLY $0.99!
Amazon US | UK | AU | CA

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★ Review ☆ For The First Time: Anthology

4KH
Overall, This would have to be a 4 Kinky Heel Anthology.
I Really wanted to give this more, like really wanted to because there are some exceptional reads.

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For the First Time Anthology ~ Saucy Siren’s Review

3KH

Okay, so let me start off by saying that there is a LOT of reading material here, and the stories are really varied so there is likely to be a little something for everyone. So, whether you’re kink is virgins, best friends turned to lovers, bodyguards, f/f and menages, or sexy car talk, you’ll find it here!

Sadly . . . the anthology (as a whole) turned out to be a bit of a disappointment for me. Overall, I ended up rating it at 3.5 Kinky Heels. And here’s why:

While there were some notably great shorts in here, there were also a lot that just didn’t do it for me. Some left me feeling as though the author had tried to cram an entire novel into a short. There were some with over-the-top cheesy lines, like as cheesy as those bad 80s porn movies we all grew up watching. Then there was the misuse of words, terms, phrases, and even whole body parts. And then there were some stories that just…..lacked something.

There was, however, one common theme that REALLY irritated me. It seemed to be in almost every virgin story, and it drove the feminist in me CRAZY!!! (Not that the misconception is unique….) So much so that it really impacted my rating of each and every story, and the anthology as a whole. What am I talking about? Two short little words…….

The Hymen.

So . . . here’s the thing, folks: The hymen is NOT a barrier. In fact, it is only in RARE cases that the vaginal opening is “sealed off” or in any way obstructed by this flimsy bit of tissue (in which case, you would be unable to use a tampon, or you would suffer from major abdominal cramps and distention during menstruation).

In other words, sex for the first time is not like trying to push a pencil through a condom. And sex for the first time does NOT have to hurt. Don’t believe me? Check out this interesting Adam Ruins Everything video:
 

Now, I don’t expect everyone to know this; after all, there are entire societies that demand a woman “prove” her virginity. It is a deep-rooted, long-told myth. But if you’re going to write a book based on sex, then please, please, please, PLEASE – for the love of all that is kinky, know your basic anatomy. If you’re not absolutely certain, then research it. As a society, as WOMEN, we need to stop perpetuating this harmful and degrading myth.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: This is an awful review. Why in the WORLD would I give it a 3.5 rating overall? Well, as I said, I’m basing my general review on the entire experience. The anthology in its entirety, if you will. And some of the stories were actually pretty freaking amazing!

I’m DYING to get to Skye Warren’s follow-up from her short. (I know that you know that I know you totally did that on purpose! And I absolutely love you for it *muah!*)

Sarah Castille has officially landed herself on my radar for future reads. (Super hot! Great job, lady!)

And, of course, there are the “greats” of erotic fiction that never seem to disappoint.

So, overall, For the First Time anthology is well worth the lovely 99c price tag. So go on and grab yourself a copy and get your sexy read on!

Grab your copy here:
Amazon: US | UK | AU | CA

All that said, it’s time to move on to the individual reviews. You’re more than welcome to read them one by one, but you can also use the link navigation just below to find specific reviews.

 

 

 

Sole ~ Alessandra Torre

2KH

Out of all the low ratings, this one is probably the hardest to give out. I absolutely FLOVED Hollywood Dirt, cried happy tears through like the entire last chapter, and even have it as one of my re-read books. Sadly, Sole just didn’t do it for me and I had to give it only 2.5 heels. =(

I just felt like it lacked any sort of conflict, like there really was no justification for the story. Even though I was reading about characters I absolutely love, the whole thing felt flat and nearly bored me to tears. And that has me a little worried that readers may not ever get to know Cole and Summer.

So, if you read this and haven’t read Hollywood Dirt, PLEASE know that Sole is far from Alessandra’s typical story. Cole and Summer are hot and angsty and sexy and…and…and….just PERFECT! Their story is just amazeballs, and Hollywood Dirt is one of my absolute favorites. Even if you’re not sure you’ll like it after reading Sole, please just give it a try. (And if you do, stop back by and tell me how it went!)

—–> Grab yourself a copy of Hollywood Dirt right here!

 

Begging for More ~ Kim Karr

0KH

Okay, so I honestly don’t even know how to review this one. But I’m going to take a crack at it anyway…..

A – Belly buttons are not sexy to me – especially when someone puts their finger in them. The only thing that would have made that line more disgusting would have been if he’d smelled or licked his finger afterwards.

B – I simply didn’t buy into the whole self-loving bachelor that has NO desire to get married because his parents are apparently THAT fucked up meets a girl who then fingers her, screws her, gets drunk, marries her, and then decides….”Eh, fuck it! I’m willing to give it a try if you are.” #sorry

C – Okay, so I flove me a good Dom story. Sadists and masochists are right up my alley. And controlling alpha males? Yes, please!…..But I felt like these words were simply used for the sake of using them. To me, James came off as a rich, spoiled, egotistical asshole who is used to getting his way. Nothing more, nothing less.

D – I really, really wish I had at least SOMETHING positive to say. Sadly, I just….don’t. I HATE giving completely negative reviews because it makes me feel like a really mean bitch and just cruel and over-critical….but there it is. #sorryagain

 

Heartbreak ~ Skye Warren

4KH

Reviewing this story is making me suffer from a bit of heartbreak of my own….I really, REALLY wanted to give it five heels. Skye Warren is one of my absolute favorite authors, and she gave us a really great short story with Blue and Hannah. I loved it SO much, in fact, that I ran and grabbed the full-length novel that comes after. (Tricky, tricky authors, lol).

Unfortunately, I did have to hold back that one heel. It sucks because I really, really did love the story itself and would have LOVED to have had more. But, as it just so happens, I was a foster kid, and to give an honest rating, I had to be true to myself and my past. So, before I rave on about Blue and Hannah, I have a few really important things to say about some of the details of Heartbreak (apologies in advance for the rant)…..

While it is absolutely, positively true that there are awful, horrible foster parents out there, the MAJORITY of foster parents are amazing, loving people. The one I lived with the longest holds a special and permanent place in my heart, and I have nothing but fond memories of her. I also happen to know quite a few current foster parents. These folks take in kids with massive emotional and behavioral problems, often receive little to no emotional reciprocity, and break their damned hearts every time they have to say goodbye to this child they gave their time and love to. I just really wish authors would stop demonizing them because it really does break my heart.

Moreover, it is important to be aware that there are actually minimal living conditions for foster homes. Prospective foster parents must pass what is called a home survey, and they are subject to surprise inspections. If, at any given time, the home is found to fall below minimal standards, children are removed from the home and placed with an emergency foster parent. (Yes, they do exist. They are typically 24 to 72 hour arrangements, but they provide you with a safe, clean place to stay for at least a little while….which made having no place to go at the end seem a little far-fetched to me.)

All that said, yes. There are bad ones. There are absolutely horrible foster parents who molest, abuse, neglect, and outright traumatize these children they are supposed to be caring for. But to create a believable story for a former foster kid, it’s important to remember that these types of abusive homes appear picture perfect on the outside. It’s what’s on the inside–what happens late at night or behind closed doors–that makes them ugly, frightening, and/or traumatizing.

Of course, I get that it’s fiction…but there are SO many of us foster kids out there. We have spent lifetimes working to erase our scars. We have had to learn how to say goodbye to people over and over and over again. We have had to learn how to love ourselves, even though we grew up with so little of it. Please be respectful of that because your words absolutely, positively matter. How you tell our story–the way you depict our world and our emotions–is important.

All of that said….there really, really was SO much good about this story. The push and pull between Hannah and Blue. The heartbreak of what landed this pair where they are. The struggle they undergo as individuals, and as a quasi-couple. The only thing NOT satisfying about their story was how short it was, and how badly I wanted more…like, immediately!

Of course, I’ve always loved Skye’s stories because they have a darker, grittier, emotional element to them. And she’s really just a phenomenal writer that knows just how to suck you in, right from the start. So let me just say this much: If you have not encountered this author yet, RUN and grab something–ANYTHING–by her! Trust me, you won’t regret it!

(**Might I suggest Wanderlust? It’s one of my absolute faves!)

 

Naughty Wishes ~ Sarah Castille

4KH

Argh!!! This one came SOOOOO close to getting the very first five heel rating from me! It had everything that I absolutely love in a short story – just enough story to hook you and make you fall in love, a sexy and dominant male, a super hot two-man menage (Hellooooooo dentist!)….I could seriously go on and on and on. But then I might ruin the story for you, so I won’t. What I WILL say is that Sarah Castille is now on my very short list of click-first-read-synopsis-later authors.

But…sigh…it did start a tad bit slow. Just slow enough that I initially wondered if it would turn out any good, but not for so long that it ruined the story for me. Still, an overall enjoyable experience more than worthy of at LEAST 4.5 heels. And I hope to read more of her stories soon.

Brava, Sarah Castille! You’ve hooked me as your newest stalker. 😉

 

His First and Only ~ Alexa Riley

0KH

Well, crap! Another zero. And I really have to keep this one short because….honestly? Everything about this story was just wrong. An unbelievable premise, over-the-top cheesy lines, and that damned hymen were really just the beginning. I hate to say it (and I feel like a complete bitch for doing so), but this is truly one of those stories I wish I could unread. #GawdIHateThis

 

Decadent Knights ~ Julia Sykes

3KH

Decadent Knights was really, really hard to review because I wanted to absolutely LOVE this story. It had all the markings of a perfect BDSM novel. Like, really, really perfect. And it was so well written! But, for some strange reason, I felt a little disconnected, like maybe I couldn’t quite dig into the characters enough(?). Honestly, I’m not sure what it was, but I am definitely going to pick up the rest of the series. Despite my struggle with this short, I have this funny feeling that I’m going to end up falling in love with Julia Sykes’ stories.

 

A Lake George Christmas ~ Debra Presley

1KH

Even though this story simply wasn’t for me, it wasn’t a horrible story. I just felt….bored and disinterested. Like maybe it was a little too predictable, and there just wasn’t enough going on for me to be really interested. Another big reason this one suffered such a low rating was that the author kept trying to fill us in on what I am guessing is the full-length novel; most of the time, this came across as over-explanation and over-compensation. I think, for me, it would have been a more engaging story if she would have simply left the past in the past and then told the story in the present.

 

Advent ~ Nina Lane

3KH

Advent by Nina Lane was just downright adorable–a very sweet and touching story with a super hot gingerbread baking scene. I was a little confused about a few things, namely the elephant in the room that didn’t make itself known until you were almost completely done with the story. The anxiety about whether or not the relationship would last also left me scratching my head just a bit, but it did make for a cute ending. All in all, I didn’t love it, but I definitely liked it.

 

Looking for a Complication ~ Tamsen Parker

3KH

Okay, everyone….I have a little secret to tell….This was my very first f/f read. I know. I know. I should just hang my head in shame and walk away….but not until I tell you what I actually loved about Looking for a Complication.

First, let’s start with the characters – quirky, different, interesting, and not what you’d expect (which is, for probably the first time in this anthology, a really good thing!).

The story – Although it was maybe just a little out there, it actually worked in a way that actually complemented the characters and their personalities. I found it engaging enough.

The part that made me sad – Okay, so even though I really enjoyed this one overall, and probably would have given it a full 4 heels, I ended up rating it at 3.5 for a few reasons….The first is that I felt like there were some unnecessary pauses in the story, like describing the bedroom. Though this might have been fine in a full-length, I didn’t particularly care with a short. The second is that, at times, the wording felt a little awkward. Not anything major, and certainly not enough to say the writing was poor. It just took a little away from the overall experience.

All in all, a good story, a great way to lose my f/f cherry, and I’ll be looking forward to some more Tamara Parker.

 

Test Driving the Billionaire ~ Cynthia Sax

2KH

Oh, my, my, my…..this one started with SO much potential. I mean, who doesn’t love some hot and heavy car sex talk??? Okay, so I might be the minority, but it was still super hot! Until it became overkill. I’m all for talk about shifting gears and lube jobs…but at some point, I wanted them to talk like actual humans at least some of the time.

Aaaaaaannnnnd…..yep. We met that hymen myth again. Which, by the way, was only made worse by the supposed sex-for-the-first-time-is-as-bad-as-childbirth myth. By that time, I was just kind of done and wanted it to end. But then we have a marriage proposal and a baby. That whole ending just felt like an attempt to tie everything up with a pretty little bow when, honestly, I would have been much happier with a cliffy that hinted at a continuance of their story.

If I’m being honest, I floved the characters. I floved the writing until things just got out of control. And then it ended in a huge train wreck of wtf for me, and that just made me super sad because I really, really wanted to flove this story. =(

 

Delay the Game ~ Jen Frederick

 

3KH

Delay the Game was admittedly cute and sweet. A best friends turned lover story that had a pretty adorable happy ending. The characters were believable enough, and the sex was (for the most part) pretty hot. But there were some too-cheesy moments. And I think I was just a little confused as to why neither one just came right out and said something instead of dancing around the undeniable attraction. Overall, I think it might have been better executed in a full-length where the characters and their motives could have been explored more in-depth.

All in all, a rating that fell just below a 3 but I actually rounded up simply because I’m intrigued enough to find another Jen Frederick story to see if maybe, just maybe, I might enjoy a longer one more.

 

Her First Choice ~ Lynda Chance

0KH

All of the other zero heel stories in this anthology received their ratings because of the story. This one sadly received it for the writing. It felt like the thought process ran in circles (once even completely repeating a line three different times in a paragraph). The dialogue and narrative both felt really immature, and the whole thing just really needed a high-quality editor. Underneath all of that there seemed to be a great story, but I found myself so distracted, annoyed, and confused by its poor execution that I never got a chance to really enjoy it.

In the end, I hated not being able to give it at least some sort of a positive rating, but the internal editor in my head had gone completely insane before I ever even made it past the first chapter. That said, every writer has to start somewhere. But I highly encourage this one to enlist the help of some quality professionals that can help her grow because, again, there seemed to be a really great story in there.

 

Sympathy for the Devil ~ Cynthia Rayne

5KH

Holy-mother-of-all-that-is-awesome! I literally felt like crying once I finished….because the experience was over. =(

Everything – from the unique brand of writing to the way everything in the story just felt so damned real – made this a short that ended all too damned fast. Beauregard is perfectly sexy in a dark and dangerous way, but you have that hint of something vulnerable beneath it all. And our little heroine is a spit-fire and just…..argh! Honestly? I struggle to find words here. Just read this. Like now. What are you still doing here?! GO!!!

#MoveOverLilMaso #YouHaveTooManyAlready #BeauregardisMINE!

 

Trailer Park Eden ~ CJ Roberts

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Ah, CJ Roberts. You can never go wrong with one of her stories. Trailer Park Eden is no exception, of course. I think, actually, I might have even liked it even better than her Captive series. (Blasphemous, I know…but Trailer Park Eden is just that awesome!) I am hoping, hoping, HOPING there is more. Because – OMG – that ending!!! Leave it to CJ to add that super dark psychological element that has you on the edge of your seat, panting for more.

The ONLY massively minor disappointment was the possible hinting at the hymen myth (which is actually found in the Captive series), but she brushes over it so quickly and it could honestly be read in a different context that it doesn’t even begin to take away from this story.

Of course I’m going to tell you that this story (plus my lovely new hubby Beauregard, my love for Blue and Hannah, and my stalk-worthy author obsession, Sarah Castille) alone make this anthology worth picking up. So if you haven’t grabbed it yet, DO!

 

It Takes Two ~ Nikki Sloane

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Sorry?….What’s that?….Oh, that burning smell? Yeah, that’s just my kindle. ON FIRE!!!

You know what I love MOST about this story (well, besides the utterly fuckable and super sexy male leads, a strong and confident female lead, and off-the-charts-steamy sex)? That it is, literally, porn on page. Like, seriously. That’s the premise of the story.

No ridiculously contrived scenario. No apologies (not that there should be). No beating around the bush (haha). Just in your face, straight up porn. With a promise of sooooooo much more in the Blindfold Club series. Yeah, you better believe I’m one-clicking those bitches. Actually….I’m going right NOW! *runs to Amazon, fire extinguisher in hand.*

Oh, and to Nikki Sloane…I give no apologies for my stalker-ish ways. #SoNotSorry

 

Heart of Eve ~ Pam Goodwin

4KH

Okay, so I know Lil’ Maso wasn’t a fan of this one….but I actually kind of liked it! The writing was good, overall. The author didn’t blow right on past the vow of celibacy and really seemed to have given it some thought. And I really enjoyed both of the characters.

Sure, it was weird with its references to the book of Revelations and a ladybug that somehow became a sign from God, but I think it added a unique element to the story. It was like marrying my two favoritest things – dystopian and erotica – all into one tiny little package. So,for me, it just worked. Plus, come on! Who doesn’t love a priest with dreadlocks?…Wait…seriously? I’m the one one? *shrugs* Oh well! More Roark for me! <3

In the end, the ONLY reason I didn’t give it five heels was because I felt like that one scene where they get trapped could have been better written. I was a little confused as to why he didn’t just jump in the first place, and I couldn’t seem to figure out the placement of the characters and the attacking aphids. But, besides that, it was a good read and I’m definitely going to follow up with the rest of the series.

 

Steal My Breath ~ Nina Levine

5KH

Oh, Nina….you have no idea what you’ve just done, do you? Luke is my newest hubby and I am sooooooo going to be stalking the hell out of you! Just….please don’t mace me when I show up at your house and start staring over your shoulder as you write. Mmmmkayyy?

Seriously though…this book is HAWT! Luke is…he’s….FUCK! He’s perfection! And the tension between him and Callie just bleeds right off the page and into my living room. Add in a super complicated ending that lets you know you are so not getting away with reading only the short and oh-dear-gawd, there’s just no way anyone wouldn’t absolutely love this story! Unless they’re cray-cray. And in that case…I’ll forgive.

The ONLY thing that kept this from being a kinky heel overload was that, IMO, it should have somewhere been addressed that, truth be told, Callie wasn’t getting laid because she wanted Luke. End of. Sure, the other guys were dickholes and losers, but the real issue was that she already knew who she wanted and thought he didn’t want her. That made all her comments a little bit annoying and I think it would have made a better story for her to at least admit that she was trying like hell to get past this guy she desperately wanted.

Anyway, enough negative! Because it was really such a crazy minor issue. In no way did it actually take away from the super hot perfection of Steal My Breath.

 

Rapunzel’s First Knight ~ Shoshanna Evers

2KH

Hmmmm….sooooo…there really wasn’t anything wrong with this one. Some over-explaining, a slightly immature tone…but nothing that really glared at me. Mostly, I just wasn’t interested…which is weird because I usually FLOVE fairy tale remakes. Shame I don’t really know why this one just didn’t do it for me. It just….didn’t.

 

Swept Away ~ Anna Zaires

3KH

Swept away was another one of those highly unique stories. And I actually kind of liked it. I wasn’t over the top enthralled, but it was well-written with great, believable characters and just….different.

There was something holding me back from a 4 or 5 heel rating, but I’m not really sure what. Maybe, at the end of the day, I’m just not as into laboratory created beings as I am vow-breaking priests? So, absolutely nothing personal. I think, maybe, it just wasn’t my cup o’ tea. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be someone else’s! In fact, I’d almost bet my right tit that it really just might be a story that some will absolutely swoon over.

 

Unique ~ Avery Aster

3KH

I really, really didn’t want to write this review. Avery Aster is one of Lil’ Maso’s absolute loves, and I have been made privy to just how awesome of a person they are over the years. So….imagine my absolute disappointment when I learned the writing just isn’t for me. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s funny. Humorous. Sexy. Sweet. It’s just not my….thing. And that just makes me so damned sad. #SorryAvery #SorryLilMaso #StillLoveYouAnyway

 

Owned ~ Jenika Snow

1KH

The sex was…..hot. But the premise, the way that the entire story was built around a myth…it all just ended up being entirely too much for me. It certainly wasn’t the worst out of all the stories. Just something I didn’t find myself enjoying.

That’s it, ya’ll! All 21 stories, read and reviewed. As I said, some really, REALLY great ones. And others that just didn’t quite do it for me. But, all in all, enough to make it worth the read. So don’t forget to grab your copy of For the First Time. And be sure to stop by and tell us what YOU thought about these lovely little shorts!

Til next time, stay saucy.  😉

 

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★ Release Day & Giveaway ☆ For the First Time: Brand New Stories of First Love Anthology

For the First Time

 

Book Title: For the First Time (Brand New Stories of First Love)
Author: Various Authors
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 12, 2015
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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Buy Today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

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★ Cover Reveal ☆ For The First Time: Anthology

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For The First Time: Anthology

Releasing January 12th

You never forget your first time…

 

A brand new anthology of original, never-before-read stories from today’s hottest authors, including:

Alessandre Torre, Kim Karr, Jen Frederick, Alexa Riley, Lynda Chance, Sarah Castille, Nina Lane, CJ Roberts, Anna Zaires, Nikki Sloane, Cynthia Sax, Avery Aster,
Pam Godwin, Skye Warren, Julia Sykes, Cynthia Rayne, Jenika Snow, Debra Presley, Shoshanna Evers, Tamsen Parker, and Nina Levine!

From young heartbreak to a virginity auction, from the chance meeting to the happily ever after, twenty-one exclusive stories explore first love in all its forms. This set includes almost 200,000 words of steamy encounters and sweet romance.  Continue reading

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★ Book Tour + NEW Excerpt & $100 Giveaway ☆ Last Hope by Jen Frederick & Jessica Claire

last hope book tour.jpg
 
In the explosive new Hitman novel from the bestselling authors of
Last Kiss and Last Hit a jungle mercenary
and a female target find love on the run…
 LAST HOPE IS NOW LIVE!
Amazon: US | UK | AU | CA

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★ Blog Tour, Chapter 1 & Giveaway ☆ Unrequited: Woodlands Series #4 by Jen Frederick

Meet Finn & Winter in the newest addition to the Woodlands Series!
NOW AVAILABLE!
Special Price of Only $2.99
Amazon US | UK

Blurb
Winter Donovan loves two things: her sister and her sister’s ex boyfriend. She’s spent her whole life doing the right thing except that one time, that night when Finn O’Malley looked hollowed out by his father’s death. Then she did something very wrong that felt terribly right.
Finn can’t stop thinking about Winter and the night and he’ll do anything to make her a permanent part of his life, even if it means separating Winter from the only family she has.
Their love was supposed to be unrequited but one grief stricken guy and one girl with too big of a heart results in disastrous consequences.



CHAPTER ONE
March
WINTER
I didn’t know which one of us looked more surprised when Finn O’Malley walked into the Riverside Café at about ten minutes before midnight. The café was experiencing a lull in the post-late night, pre-bar closings time period, and there were only two customers: myself and a man in his fifties over by the counter.
And now Finn.
“Winter,” he said, his tone a cross between disappointment and disbelief which I understood immediately. He’d come to this run down café—far from where he lived and worked—to…well, I wasn’t sure what he’d want other than get away from anyone who might know him.
And there I sat. The girl who’d had an enormous, unrequited crush on her older sister’s high school boyfriend. And said older sister might have been the worst girlfriend he’d ever had. If my speeding heart was any indication, my crush was far from dead.
“Finn. Good to see you.” He looked terrible—or as terrible as Finn could ever look. Tall with dark hair set against ivory skin and the lean, muscular build of someone who did manual labor for a living. Finn would never look bad.
But grief had hollowed out his cheeks, and his shocking blue eyes were bloodshot. His inky black hair stood in clumps around his head as if he’d run his fingers through it multiple times. He wore a gray T-shirt that hugged his strong frame but had dirt smudges all over it. His worn jeans displayed dust and grime.
He worked in construction—or more accurately, he flipped houses, the last I’d heard. Not that I kept up on the doings of Finn O’Malley that much.
His eyes shifted around the restaurant, as he probably wondered how he could take a seat away from me and not appear too rude. I solved his dilemma by grabbing my purse and library book and sliding out of the booth.
“I was just going,” I said.
He licked his upper lip and I about died on the spot. But I was an adult now. All of twenty-two years. Crushes might have made my heart squeeze and my knees shake, but they didn’t paralyze me. Giving him a tight smile, I walked toward the door. He didn’t move, and unless I was going to walk around a table or two, I’d have to brush by him.
So I did.
And smelled him.
And suddenly I couldn’t leave.
The sour, sweet stench of alcohol was so strong I wondered if he’d poured a bottle of vodka over his head. It was a familiar fragrance because my sister had been wearing it regularly for the past ten years. Her alcohol addiction, among other things, was a reason Finn and she were exes when many people had thought they’d get married out of high school.
I backed up. “Did you drive here?”
The side of his mouth quirked up—not quite a smile, more of a wry acknowledgment of my thought process. “I’m not drunk,” he said. “I…it’s a long story.”
“I’ve got time.” I started back toward the booth. “Come sit with me. My book was boring anyway.”
Good manners drove him to follow even if he didn’t want to. He dropped into the opposite bench, and I pushed my water glass toward him.
“Thanks.” He drained it in three gulps. I was way too fascinated with the motion of his throat and the way that his Adam’s apple signaled every gulp. He set the glass down carefully as if almost surprised by his own sudden thirstiness.
Due to his long arms, his folded hands reached halfway across the table. I kept my arms locked by my side so I wouldn’t accidentally on purpose touch him.
My role was friend, not girlfriend, no matter how many inappropriate fantasies I’d dreamed up when I was a girl.
The waitress came out and delivered another glass of water and refilled my now empty one.
“I’ll have a burger. Plain. Order of fries,” Finn rattled off without looking at the menu. He pointed at me. “You want anything?”
I shook my head. “I’m good.”
The waitress left, and Finn stretched his long legs out and leaned back into the booth, looking completely wiped. If I moved my legs, even a little, I’d brush against him. I stayed still because I wasn’t sure what I would do if I touched him. Something embarrassing, no doubt.
“What are you doing here?”
Clearing my throat, I managed to form a coherent answer. “I just got off work. Closed tonight.”
Surprised, his eyebrows shot into his forehead. “What are you doing that has you working until midnight?”
“I work at Atra, the ink shop two doors down.”
“Oh,” he started and then stopped. “I thought you were working at a marketing firm.”
A tendril of pleasure sprang to life at the idea of Finn keeping track of me. We may have been friends once, but my sister was the connecting thread. And when she’d snapped their tie, Finn and I had drifted apart like florets from a blown dandelion.
He’d floated one way and I’d floated another. We’d lived in the same city going on three years now—since he got back from attending an out of town university—but the first time I’d seen him since he and Ivy had broken up had been at his father’s funeral a month ago.
“No, I was downsized but I still do freelance design work for them and a couple other companies, but my primary job is commissioned artwork at Atra. I also help around the shop, doing bookings and stuff. Tonight I had a late consultation with a friend of Tucker’s. He owns the shop,” I explained and then shut up, not wanting to ramble.
Finn nodded as if he found this interesting. “Sounds like you are putting your talent to good use. I always thought your work was tremendous.”
“Thanks. So what brings you here?”
He looked around. The man hunched over his coffee at the counter hadn’t moved. “I just got off work too.”
“I thought you were flipping houses?”
“Like you, I had a change in jobs.” His voice was grim. It didn’t take a genius to guess the change wasn’t a good one like mine was. Or maybe he was just angry about life right now, which he had every right to be.
“I know this sounds like a stupid Hallmark card, but it does get better.” I couldn’t hold myself back any longer. I placed my hand over his folded ones. “I promise.”
He tilted his head back, and his eyes fluttered closed, his ridiculously long lashes feathering across the top of his cheeks. Was he shutting out the pain or me? Or everything?
After long moments of silence, so long and so quiet that I could hear the hum of the refrigeration unit that held bottles of soda and beer behind the cash register, he spoke. “When I was thirteen, my dog Hunter died. Dad and I had bought him when I was four. He’d developed some kind of doggy liver disease, and we had to put him down. That was the worst kind of pain, I thought. But that was like a pin prick, while Dad’s death is like a dull knife dragging itself across my body one painful inch at a time.”
I bit down on my lip so I didn’t cry in front of him. I remembered that pain, and hated that someone I cared about had to suffer it too. “I’m not going to say it’s easy to get over a loss like that; only that it does happen—eventually.”
He snorted, a rough and unhappy sound. “I have been drinking. Not going to lie about that.” His eyes opened halfway, which was probably for the best. The piercing blue came off as too beautiful to be real and too mesmerizing to look away. “But not tonight. Tonight I decided to throw my bottles against the wall instead of drinking them, and because I’m a stupid fuck, I failed to realize I was standing in the splash zone.”
The food arrived before I could respond. He pulled a napkin from the tabletop dispenser and shoved half his fries onto it. “Eat or I won’t be able to.”
Obediently I put a fry into my mouth and watched him dig in. Grief or no grief, he was still eating, which was a good sign. And he didn’t seem drunk. No slurred words, no inappropriate comments.
“Sorry I jumped to conclusions,” I said after polishing off another fry.
“Don’t be. With your past, I can see why you’d be concerned,” he said between bites. My past. He was referring to dealing with my sister’s addictions, which had spiraled out of control after our parents died when she was nineteen.
“She’s better now,” I said. “If you were wondering.”
“Really?” Disbelief was clear in every long drawn-out letter.
“Really. She hit a bad place shortly after her release, but she’s been clean for…” I counted in my head, “almost thirty days.”
“That’s good. Good for her and for you.” He popped the rest of the burger into his mouth and washed it down with the entire glass of water.
“Did you chew that or inhale it?” I laughed, remembering the days he’d linger in our kitchen eating anything and everything Mom would cook.
“I haven’t eaten since noon so if I could have just pressed it into my face and absorbed it via osmosis, I would have.” We shared a laugh, just a small one, but I was breathless by the end. His smile was too much for me, and it was the first one I’d seen from him for so long. It lit up his eyes and revealed the deep creases on the corners of his mouth and his even, perfect white teeth.
“No burgers on the west side of the city?” I joked to disguise my growing and uncomfortable desire for him. Now was not the time nor the place. He was not ever to be mine.
His grin grew wider. “Why do you think I’m here? Trying to avoid being seen by my roommates. I don’t know if you met them at the funeral?” I shook my head. I’d only had eyes for Finn. “I live with four of them. Adam Rees is one.” Adam was a friend of Finn’s from high school. He had a famous father. That was about all I remembered, but I nodded anyway, and he continued. “Their idea of helping me cope is to get me involved in increasingly dangerous activities.”
“What have your roommates made you do?”
“What haven’t they made me do is the question. I’ve been to strip clubs, paintballing, ATVing, a firing range, rock climbing, fishing.” Finn tapped a finger on the table to punctuate each activity. “I’ve got two former Marines living with me, and I think they’re planning to push me out of an airplane. So I can’t go home.”
“You can stay with me,” I said with a nonchalant shrug.
His eyes drifted around my face, lingering on my lips and then dropping lower. I could feel my unbound breasts tighten under the cotton of my T-shirt. I hated bras and was small and perky enough I could get away without wearing them. The only problem was I had fat, eraser-sized nipples, and right now they were pointing directly at Finn. He stared at them for what seemed like an eternity.
“Is that right?” His voice was husky.
The air in the room disappeared, and I barely had enough breath to croak out, “No, Ivy’s there. She and I live together now. Have for—” I paused, not wanting to bring up her recent incarceration, “—for a couple of months,” I finished awkwardly.
He made a noise in the back of his throat, one I couldn’t decipher. “So have you been seeing anyone?”
I didn’t know what to make of that. Why was he at all remotely interested in my love life?
“No, not recently. Not since—”—” I broke off again.
“Not since Ivy got out of prison,” he said dryly.
“You heard?”
“I heard.” He was done with the subject of Ivy and that was okay with me. It made me uncomfortable to talk about her while I was perving on her ex-boyfriend.
Anxious to change the subject, I asked, “What about you?”
“I don’t think what I’ve been doing constitutes as seeing anyone. Not since my dad died. Not feeling it.” His blue gaze pinned me against the booth. I heard what he wasn’t saying out loud. He had been sleeping around and from the interested way he was eyeing me, the suggestion was I could be next. “I’ve been trying not to feel for a while but tonight? Maybe tonight should be different.”
It wasn’t a question; it was an invitation. And all the teenage feelings of longing and lust rushed over me until I was dry mouthed and full of want.
He looked out the window, considering something, and then back toward me. “You had a crush on me for a long time. Am I taking advantage of you?”
I didn’t pretend I was confused about what he was asking, even though it was a bit mortifying to be confronted by my unreciprocated feelings. I shook my head. “No. I think it’s the other way around.”
“It’s not. Why don’t we get out of this place?” He stood and threw two twenties on the table and waited for me to lead the way out.
I was acutely aware of his large frame behind me as I walked carefully across the tiled floor to the entrance. The heat of his body nearly burned me as he pressed against my back to reach around me with a large, work-roughened hand to push the glass door open.
He placed a hand on my lower back and guided me to his truck. It was a monster of a thing with big black tires and a menacing silver grill.
“You really expect me to climb into this thing?”
He opened the door and in one swift motion lifted me onto the seat. “I forgot what a bitty thing you are.”
“I’m not small. You’re just very tall. With a very large truck.”
His hands didn’t release my waist; instead, he moved closer. I opened my legs to make space for him.
“Don’t worry, Winter. Everything’s going to fit fine.” With a firm hand on my neck, he drew my face down to his. I heard his lips part before I felt them press against mine.
A thousand thoughts tumbled in my head. Would Ivy be okay with this? Should I really be taking advantage of a grief-stricken man? How were his lips soft and firm at the same time? Could I have an orgasm from just kissing? Was this what love felt like?
His mouth took mine in a firm possession—no hesitation. He wanted this if not me. And I took what he gave me because when did a girl ever get to kiss the boy she’d crushed over for years? Hardly ever.
Only in the movies.
I wrapped my arms around his shoulders and dug my hands into his hair, giving into every desperate desire I’d always tried to stomp down.
He groaned and pulled me tighter to him, the seat somehow perfectly situated at groin level so I felt the strong, heated evidence of his desire through our jeans. He rubbed his tongue along the edges of mine. He outlined my lips and then stroked the flat of his tongue against the roof of my mouth.
Even if I hadn’t had a crush on him, I would have been weak-kneed. Finn O’Malley knew how to kiss. He wasn’t just thrusting his tongue into me, he was exploring me, learning me, tasting me.
A large hand cupped one breast and squeezed it tightly. I cried out, part in pleasure and part in surprise at how the slight pain felt so good.
“Too rough?” he asked, pulling away.
I shook my head. He gave a half smile and yanked down the vee of my T-shirt until my bare breast popped out. The overhead light had gone off in the truck, but there was enough moonlight that anyone coming out of the café could probably see what we were doing.
But any concern I had ended when he placed his mouth over my ripe nipple. With the same lavish care he took kissing me, he explored every inch of my breast. The top received a dozen wet kisses and tiny nips. The areola he licked thoroughly, and the nipple was sucked on so hard and with such long draws that I felt as if a string connected my nipples to my pussy. A string I hadn’t known existed.
While he sucked, he made low growls of delight that fueled my lust. I squeezed my legs around his hips, drawing him closer, drawing him inside where only he could relieve the painful ache between my legs.
“Fuck,” he rasped, breaking our connection and backing away. The cool spring air made my taut nipple tighten even more. “Not here.” He gently straightened my T-shirt and then tucked me inside the truck.
We drove a short distance to a chain link fence that opened upon a press of a remote.
“What is this place?” I tried to catch my breath. Peering out the window into the dimly lit night, there appeared to be nothing but bare land filled with machinery and surrounded by fences. Beyond it was the river.
“My new job. Left to me courtesy of Mr. Sean O’Malley.” There was a faint twinge of bitterness. “Dad wanted to stamp his signature on the city and chose this downtown revitalization project. But then he died and left it to me, so I don’t know whether to love or hate him.”
“It’s okay to feel both. Love and hate,” I clarified unnecessarily.
“I suppose you’re right.” He stopped the truck in front of a trailer.
“You can cry you know. I did a lot of that.”
“I like to have my emotional release come a different way.”
“Like what?”
He shifted in the truck seat to look at me. His hand reached out to cup my face. “You’ve grown into a very beautiful woman. I’d very much like to take you inside the trailer and fuck you against the wall.”
“That’s kind of a coarse invitation.”
His thumb ran over my lower lip, using some of the moisture of my mouth to wet my lip. I shivered, and a grim but knowing smile spread across his face.
“It’s the only kind I’ve got in me. All the tender emotion has been eaten up by my dad’s death. I want to lose myself in you, Winter.”
He got out of the truck and opened my door, giving me an expectant look. Was I in or out?
I knew what he was saying. It wasn’t that he loved me, wanted to date me, or wanted me to be his girlfriend. He’d probably be disappointed if he saw me next to him tomorrow morning. He’d lie awake wondering if he had to chew off his own arm to escape. He was offering a hard fuck in his trailer, not lovemaking in his bed.
I knew all of this and still wanted him.
Maybe the sex would burn away his mystery, and I wouldn’t internally sigh when I heard his name. Maybe it wouldn’t. But it was a risk worth taking, and I planned to get my money’s worth.
“How many condoms do you have?” I answered boldly.
His eyes glittered in the moonlight. “How many do I need?”
“Depends on your stamina and recovery time.”
“Honey, you’re going to have a hard time walking out of the trailer when we’re done.”
My heart ached at his words, but I took his hand and followed him inside.

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Jen Frederick lives with her husband, child, and one rambunctious dog. She’s been reading stories all her life but never imagined writing one of her own. Jen loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at jensfrederick@gmail.com.

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★ Excerpt Reveal ☆ Unrequited: A Woodlands Novel #4 by Jen Frederick


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Excerpt #1
CHAPTER ONE
March
WINTER
I didn’t know which one of us looked more surprised when Finn O’Malley walked into the Riverside Café at about ten minutes before midnight.  The café was experiencing a lull in the post-late night, pre-bar closings time period, and there were only two customers: myself and a man in his fifties over by the counter.
And now Finn.
“Winter,” he said, his tone a cross between disappointment and disbelief which I understood immediately. He’d come to this run down café—far from where he lived and worked—to…well, I wasn’t sure what he’d want other than get away from anyone who might know him.
And there I sat. The girl who’d had an enormous, unrequited crush on her older sister’s high school boyfriend. And said older sister might have been the worst girlfriend he’d ever had. If my speeding heart was any indication, my crush was far from dead.
“Finn. Good to see you.” He looked terrible—or as terrible as Finn could ever look. Tall with dark hair set against ivory skin and the lean, muscular build of someone who did manual labor for a living. Finn would never look bad.
But grief had hollowed out his cheeks, and his shocking blue eyes were bloodshot. His inky black hair stood in clumps around his head as if he’d run his fingers through it multiple times. He wore a gray T-shirt that hugged his strong frame but had dirt smudges all over it. His worn jeans displayed dust and grime.
He worked in construction—or more accurately, he flipped houses, the last I’d heard. Not that I kept up on the doings of Finn O’Malley that much.
His eyes shifted around the restaurant, as he probably wondered how he could take a seat away from me and not appear too rude. I solved his dilemma by grabbing my purse and library book and sliding out of the booth.
“I was just going,” I said.
He licked his upper lip and I about died on the spot. But I was an adult now. All of twenty-two years. Crushes might have made my heart squeeze and my knees shake, but they didn’t paralyze me. Giving him a tight smile, I walked toward the door. He didn’t move, and unless I was going to walk around a table or two, I’d have to brush by him.
So I did.
And smelled him.
And suddenly I couldn’t leave.
The sour, sweet stench of alcohol was so strong I wondered if he’d poured a bottle of vodka over his head. It was a familiar fragrance because my sister had been wearing it regularly for the past ten years. Her alcohol addiction, among other things, was a reason Finn and she were exes when many people had thought they’d get married out of high school.
I backed up. “Did you drive here?”
The side of his mouth quirked up—not quite a smile, more of a wry acknowledgment of my thought process. “I’m not drunk,” he said. “I…it’s a long story.”
“I’ve got time.” I started back toward the booth. “Come sit with me. My book was boring anyway.”
Good manners drove him to follow even if he didn’t want to. He dropped into the opposite bench, and I pushed my water glass toward him.
“Thanks.” He drained it in three gulps. I was way too fascinated with the motion of his throat and the way that his Adam’s apple signaled every gulp. He set the glass down carefully as if almost surprised by his own sudden thirstiness.
Due to his long arms, his folded hands reached halfway across the table. I kept my arms locked by my side so I wouldn’t accidentally on purpose touch him.
My role was friend, not girlfriend, no matter how many inappropriate fantasies I’d dreamed up when I was a girl.
The waitress came out and delivered another glass of water and refilled my now empty one.
“I’ll have a burger. Plain. Order of fries,” Finn rattled off without looking at the menu. He pointed at me. “You want anything?”
I shook my head. “I’m good.”
The waitress left, and Finn stretched his long legs out and leaned back into the booth, looking completely wiped. If I moved my legs, even a little, I’d brush against him. I stayed still because I wasn’t sure what I would do if I touched him. Something embarrassing, no doubt.
“What are you doing here?”
Clearing my throat, I managed to form a coherent answer. “I just got off work. Closed tonight.”
Surprised, his eyebrows shot into his forehead. “What are you doing that has you working until midnight?”
“I work at Atra, the ink shop two doors down.”
“Oh,” he started and then stopped. “I thought you were working at a marketing firm.”
A tendril of pleasure sprang to life at the idea of Finn keeping track of me. We may have been friends once, but my sister was the connecting thread. And when she’d snapped their tie, Finn and I had drifted apart like florets from a blown dandelion.
He’d floated one way and I’d floated another. We’d lived in the same city going on three years now—since he got back from attending an out of town university—but the first time I’d seen him since he and Ivy had broken up had been at his father’s funeral a month ago.
“No, I was downsized but I still do freelance design work for them and a couple other companies, but my primary job is commissioned artwork at Atra. I also help around the shop, doing bookings and stuff. Tonight I had a late consultation with a friend of Tucker’s. He owns the shop,” I explained and then shut up, not wanting to ramble.
Finn nodded as if he found this interesting. “Sounds like you are putting your talent to good use. I always thought your work was tremendous.”
“Thanks. So what brings you here?”
He looked around. The man hunched over his coffee at the counter hadn’t moved. “I just got off work too.”
“I thought you were flipping houses?”
“Like you, I had a change in jobs.” His voice was grim. It didn’t take a genius to guess the change wasn’t a good one like mine was. Or maybe he was just angry about life right now, which he had every right to be.
“I know this sounds like a stupid Hallmark card, but it does get better.” I couldn’t hold myself back any longer. I placed my hand over his folded ones. “I promise.”
He tilted his head back, and his eyes fluttered closed, his ridiculously long lashes feathering across the top of his cheeks. Was he shutting out the pain or me? Or everything?
After long moments of silence, so long and so quiet that I could hear the hum of the refrigeration unit that held bottles of soda and beer behind the cash register, he spoke. “When I was thirteen, my dog Hunter died. Dad and I had bought him when I was four. He’d developed some kind of doggy liver disease, and we had to put him down. That was the worst kind of pain, I thought. But that was like a pin prick, while Dad’s death is like a dull knife dragging itself across my body one painful inch at a time.”
I bit down on my lip so I didn’t cry in front of him. I remembered that pain, and hated that someone I cared about had to suffer it too. “I’m not going to say it’s easy to get over a loss like that; only that it does happen—eventually.”
He snorted, a rough and unhappy sound. “I have been drinking. Not going to lie about that.” His eyes opened halfway, which was probably for the best. The piercing blue came off as too beautiful to be real and too mesmerizing to look away. “But not tonight. Tonight I decided to throw my bottles against the wall instead of drinking them, and because I’m a stupid fuck, I failed to realize I was standing in the splash zone.”
The food arrived before I could respond. He pulled a napkin from the tabletop dispenser and shoved half his fries onto it. “Eat or I won’t be able to.”
Obediently I put a fry into my mouth and watched him dig in. Grief or no grief, he was still eating, which was a good sign. And he didn’t seem drunk. No slurred words, no inappropriate comments.
“Sorry I jumped to conclusions,” I said after polishing off another fry.
“Don’t be. With your past, I can see why you’d be concerned,” he said between bites. My past. He was referring to dealing with my sister’s addictions, which had spiraled out of control after our parents died when she was nineteen.
“She’s better now,” I said. “If you were wondering.”
“Really?” Disbelief was clear in every long drawn-out letter.
“Really. She hit a bad place shortly after her release, but she’s been clean for…” I counted in my head, “almost thirty days.”
“That’s good. Good for her and for you.” He popped the rest of the burger into his mouth and washed it down with the entire glass of water.
“Did you chew that or inhale it?” I laughed, remembering the days he’d linger in our kitchen eating anything and everything Mom would cook.
“I haven’t eaten since noon so if I could have just pressed it into my face and absorbed it via osmosis, I would have.” We shared a laugh, just a small one, but I was breathless by the end. His smile was too much for me, and it was the first one I’d seen from him for so long. It lit up his eyes and revealed the deep creases on the corners of his mouth and his even, perfect white teeth.
“No burgers on the west side of the city?” I joked to disguise my growing and uncomfortable desire for him. Now was not the time nor the place. He was not ever to be mine.
His grin grew wider. “Why do you think I’m here? Trying to avoid being seen by my roommates. I don’t know if you met them at the funeral?” I shook my head. I’d only had eyes for Finn. “I live with four of them. Adam Rees is one.” Adam was a friend of Finn’s from high school. He had a famous father. That was about all I remembered, but I nodded anyway, and he continued. “Their idea of helping me cope is to get me involved in increasingly dangerous activities.”
“What have your roommates made you do?”
“What haven’t they made me do is the question. I’ve been to strip clubs, paintballing, ATVing, a firing range, rock climbing, fishing.” Finn tapped a finger on the table to punctuate each activity. “I’ve got two former Marines living with me, and I think they’re planning to push me out of an airplane. So I can’t go home.”
“You can stay with me,” I said with a nonchalant shrug.
His eyes drifted around my face, lingering on my lips and then dropping lower. I could feel my unbound breasts tighten under the cotton of my T-shirt. I hated bras and was small and perky enough I could get away without wearing them. The only problem was I had fat, eraser-sized nipples, and right now they were pointing directly at Finn. He stared at them for what seemed like an eternity.
“Is that right?” His voice was husky.
The air in the room disappeared, and I barely had enough breath to croak out, “No, Ivy’s there. She and I live together now. Have for—” I paused, not wanting to bring up her recent incarceration, “—for a couple of months,” I finished awkwardly.  
He made a noise in the back of his throat, one I couldn’t decipher. “So have you been seeing anyone?”
I didn’t know what to make of that.  Why was he at all remotely interested in my love life?
“No, not recently. Not since—”—” I broke off again.
“Not since Ivy got out of prison,” he said dryly.
“You heard?”
“I heard.” He was done with the subject of Ivy and that was okay with me. It made me uncomfortable to talk about her while I was perving on her ex-boyfriend.
Anxious to change the subject, I asked, “What about you?”
“I don’t think what I’ve been doing constitutes as seeing anyone. Not since my dad died. Not feeling it.”  His blue gaze pinned me against the booth. I heard what he wasn’t saying out loud. He had been sleeping around and from the interested way he was eyeing me, the suggestion was I could be next. “I’ve been trying not to feel for a while but tonight? Maybe tonight should be different.”
It wasn’t a question; it was an invitation. And all the teenage feelings of longing and lust rushed over me until I was dry mouthed and full of want.
He looked out the window, considering something, and then back toward me. “You had a crush on me for a long time. Am I taking advantage of you?”
I didn’t pretend I was confused about what he was asking, even though it was a bit mortifying to be confronted by my unreciprocated feelings. I shook my head. “No. I think it’s the other way around.”
“It’s not. Why don’t we get out of this place?” He stood and threw two twenties on the table and waited for me to lead the way out.
I was acutely aware of his large frame behind me as I walked carefully across the tiled floor to the entrance. The heat of his body nearly burned me as he pressed against my back to reach around me with a large, work-roughened hand to push the glass door open.
He placed a hand on my lower back and guided me to his truck. It was a monster of a thing with big black tires and a menacing silver grill.
“You really expect me to climb into this thing?”
He opened the door and in one swift motion lifted me onto the seat. “I forgot what a bitty thing you are.”
“I’m not small. You’re just very tall. With a very large truck.”
His hands didn’t release my waist; instead, he moved closer. I opened my legs to make space for him.
“Don’t worry, Winter. Everything’s going to fit fine.” With a firm hand on my neck, he drew my face down to his. I heard his lips part before I felt them press against mine.
A thousand thoughts tumbled in my head. Would Ivy be okay with this? Should I really be taking advantage of a grief-stricken man? How were his lips soft and firm at the same time? Could I have an orgasm from just kissing? Was this what love felt like?
His mouth took mine in a firm possession—no hesitation. He wanted this if not me. And I took what he gave me because when did a girl ever get to kiss the boy she’d crushed over for years? Hardly ever.
Only in the movies.
I wrapped my arms around his shoulders and dug my hands into his hair, giving into every desperate desire I’d always tried to stomp down.
He groaned and pulled me tighter to him, the seat somehow perfectly situated at groin level so I felt the strong, heated evidence of his desire through our jeans. He rubbed his tongue along the edges of mine. He outlined my lips and then stroked the flat of his tongue against the roof of my mouth.
Even if I hadn’t had a crush on him, I would have been weak-kneed. Finn O’Malley knew how to kiss. He wasn’t just thrusting his tongue into me, he was exploring me, learning me, tasting me.
A large hand cupped one breast and squeezed it tightly. I cried out, part in pleasure and part in surprise at how the slight pain felt so good.
“Too rough?” he asked, pulling away.
I shook my head. He gave a half smile and yanked down the vee of my T-shirt until my bare breast popped out. The overhead light had gone off in the truck, but there was enough moonlight that anyone coming out of the café could probably see what we were doing.
But any concern I had ended when he placed his mouth over my ripe nipple. With the same lavish care he took kissing me, he explored every inch of my breast. The top received a dozen wet kisses and tiny nips. The areola he licked thoroughly, and the nipple was sucked on so hard and with such long draws that I felt as if a string connected my nipples to my pussy. A string I hadn’t known existed.
While he sucked, he made low growls of delight that fueled my lust. I squeezed my legs around his hips, drawing him closer, drawing him inside where only he could relieve the painful ache between my legs.
“Fuck,” he rasped, breaking our connection and backing away. The cool spring air made my taut nipple tighten even more. “Not here.” He gently straightened my T-shirt and then tucked me inside the truck.
We drove a short distance to a chain link fence that opened upon a press of a remote.
“What is this place?” I tried to catch my breath. Peering out the window into the dimly lit night, there appeared to be nothing but bare land filled with machinery and surrounded by fences. Beyond it was the river.  
“My new job. Left to me courtesy of Mr. Sean O’Malley.” There was a faint twinge of bitterness. “Dad wanted to stamp his signature on the city and chose this downtown revitalization project. But then he died and left it to me, so I don’t know whether to love or hate him.”
“It’s okay to feel both. Love and hate,” I clarified unnecessarily.
“I suppose you’re right.” He stopped the truck in front of a trailer.
“You can cry you know. I did a lot of that.”
“I like to have my emotional release come a different way.”
“Like what?”
He shifted in the truck seat to look at me. His hand reached out to cup my face. “You’ve grown into a very beautiful woman. I’d very much like to take you inside the trailer and fuck you against the wall.”
“That’s kind of a coarse invitation.”
His thumb ran over my lower lip, using some of the moisture of my mouth to wet my lip. I shivered, and a grim but knowing smile spread across his face.
“It’s the only kind I’ve got in me. All the tender emotion has been eaten up by my dad’s death. I want to lose myself in you, Winter.”
He got out of the truck and opened my door, giving me an expectant look. Was I in or out?
I knew what he was saying. It wasn’t that he loved me, wanted to date me, or wanted me to be his girlfriend. He’d probably be disappointed if he saw me next to him tomorrow morning. He’d lie awake wondering if he had to chew off his own arm to escape. He was offering a hard fuck in his trailer, not lovemaking in his bed.
I knew all of this and still wanted him.
Maybe the sex would burn away his mystery, and I wouldn’t internally sigh when I heard his name. Maybe it wouldn’t. But it was a risk worth taking, and I planned to get my money’s worth.
“How many condoms do you have?” I answered boldly.
His eyes glittered in the moonlight. “How many do I need?”
“Depends on your stamina and recovery time.”
“Honey, you’re going to have a hard time walking out of the trailer when we’re done.”
My heart ached at his words, but I took his hand and followed him inside.
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Finn & Winter’s story will be here on April 13th!  
Pre-order on iBooks HERE!
Special Price of Only $2.99
iBooksAdd it to your Goodreads

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Blurb
Winter Donovan loves two things: her sister and her sister’s ex boyfriend. She’s spent her whole life doing the right thing except that one time, that night when Finn O’Malley looked hollowed out by his father’s death. Then she did something very wrong that felt terribly right.
Finn can’t stop thinking about Winter and the night and he’ll do anything to make her a permanent part of his life, even if it means separating Winter from the only family she has.
Their love was supposed to be unrequited but one grief stricken guy and one girl with too big of a heart results in disastrous consequences.

 

Woodland Series Reading Order
Undeclared (Book One) free 4/10

 

Unspoken (Book Two) $.99 4/10

 

Unraveled (Book Three) $1.99 4/10

 

About the Author:
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Jen Frederick lives with her husband, child, and one rambunctious dog.  She’s been reading stories all her life but never imagined writing one of her own. Jen loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at jensfrederick@gmail.com.
 
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