2017-07-17

Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy Lovers Book Fair and Giveaway July 17-31




Can’t get enough paranormal romance and urban fantasy books? We've got you covered!

We’ve got a Kindle Fire HD 8 loaded with 80 of them ready for one lucky winner to claim! With bestselling titles from J.R. Ward, Bella Forrest, Christine Feehan, Jeaniene Frost, Karpov Kinrade, Terry Spear, and Gena Showalter among dozens more, not to mention 30+ books donated by the sponsoring authors, this prize package has it all. You could also win one of two runner-up $25 Amazon gift cards. 

Enter the Giveaway Here 
http://bit.ly/2tOzrnE 

And while you’re at it, shop our awesome summer book fair with over 30 PNR/UF titles for you to choose from. https://pnrufgiveaway.blogspot.com/p/book-fair.html 



This Giveaway is Sponsored by: 

A.K. Koonce • Angela Sanders • Beth Caudill • Bianca D'Arc • Brian Foster • Calinda B • Casi McLean • Christa Paige • Constance Phillips • D.N. Erikson • Elizabeth Marx • Gayle Parness • Helen Scott • J. Rose Allister • JC Andrijeski • JD Monroe • Jennifer Allis Provost • Jody A Kessler • Joynell Schultz • Karen Michelle Nutt • Lauren Lively • Liz Long • Marilyn Peake • Mark Vanderhoek • Mary Abshire • Meg Xuemei X • N.D. Iverson • N.D. Jones • PG Forte • Shelli Rosewarne • Tena Stetler • Traci Douglass • Vella Day • Viola Estrella • Vivien Jackson • Aileen Harkwood

2017-06-19

A Romance Reader’s Dream Summer Giveaway



How many books do you read over the average summer? Could you read 80? Because that’s how many ebooks one lucky winner will walk away with in the Books at the Beach Giveaway, including the latest titles from Nora Roberts, Catherine Bybee, Debbie Macomber, and Gena Showalter, plus dozens more. You could also win one of two runner-up $25 Amazon gift cards.

Books at the Beach Giveaway & Book Fair June 19-30
(Sponsored by the 54 authors listed below)

Alina K. Field • Allyson Lindt • Amy L Gale • Anna Durand • Astrid Arditi • Barbara Lohe • Beverley Oakley • Bianca D'Arc • C. A. King • C.E. Wilson • Carmen Fox • Casi McLean • Catherine Kean • Chloe Flowers • Christa Paige • Constance Phillips • Cynthia Clement • Danica Favorite • Debbie White • Denise Jaden • Dianne Venetta • Elizabeth Rose • Gayle Parness • Helen Scott • Jacqueline Diamond • Jina Bacarr • Josie Riviera • Judith Keim • Karen • Michelle Nutt • Katherine Lowry Logan • Kris Michaels • Kristina Knight • Kristy Tate • Margaret Locke • Mari Carr • Naomi Bellina • PG Forte • Quinn • Raine English • Regan Walker • Sheila Seabrook • Shelique Lize • Soraya Naomi Stacy Gold • Stella Marie Alden • Stephanie Julian • Stephanie Queen • Sydney Aaliyah Michelle • Sylvia Hubbard • Tamara Ferguson • Tena Stetler • Traci Douglass • Vicki Crum

Enter the Giveaway Here

http://booksatthebeachfair.blogspot.com

And while you’re at it, shop our awesome summer book fair with over 50 fantastic romance titles for you to choose from.

http://booksatthebeachfair.blogspot.com/p/find-your-favorite-summer-read-at-our.html 

2017-06-06

Some Girls Like It Hot promo!


How would you like to win one of 100+ gift cards to start off your summer? Join me for the Some Girls Like It Hot Facebook hop from June 9-12. You can enter to win a gift card from every author on the hop! With gift cards ranging in value from $5 to $25 up for grabs, that’s over $1000 in prizes!

Mark your calendar and make my FB page your first stop on the hop. 


Or go to http://somegirlslikeithot.blogspot.com/p/the-hop_29.html for the complete list of authors and their Facebook links, plus info on a bonus giveaway. We’re awarding an Amazon Echo Dot of Kindle Fire to one lucky winner who enters every author’s giveaway on the hop.

Even more fun and chances to win…have you entered our two grand prize giveaways? That’s right, we’re running two big giveaways at the same time. Enter for your chance to win an Kindle Fire HD 10” tablet ($299), plus additional kindles and Amazon gift cards.


Giveaway #1 
http://somegirlslikeithot.blogspot.com/p/the-hop.html


Giveaway #2 
http://somegirlslikeithot.blogspot.com/p/june-9-12-giveaway.html



2017-04-13

The one about the friends...

Check out  Candace Carrabus' new newsletter, out now. Featuring an excerpt from yours truly.  http://candacecarrabus.com/todays-ride-meet-author-pg-forte/ 

You'll notice I can't help sharing that lovely, lovely cover once again. SO pretty. πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

And Look what's new from Jenny Schwartz: STORM ROAD is live AND only 99c until April 14.

"When a woman with secrets saves a man hunted by a ghoul, the choice is stark: salvation or damnation.
Major Dean Fortescue, JAG lawyer and former marine, enters the Southern Appalachian Mountains to find his aunt, who has gone missing. He discovers her house burned down, a ghoul in residence, and a mysterious woman who claims to control the weather.
Beulah Morgan is a weathermage, home after months away on a scientific research vessel in the Southern Ocean. When her mountain retreat is invaded by death magic, old memories resurface and with them a chilling terror.
Children will die unless Beulah trusts Dean, he trusts her magic, and together they face a ghoul that was bound during the Civil War, but recently freed by a reckless wizard mercenary."
Storm Road is only available through Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y2M2MR9/
Finally, Kelly Jamieson also has a new book out this week. DANCING IN THE RAIN
"Happily ever afters aren’t just for fairy tales. In this heartfelt novel, a retired athlete must become a father to the daughter he never knew—just as he discovers the power of love with a woman who reignites his passions.
 Drew Sellers is drowning in broken dreams and empty beer bottles. Hockey was his world, until a bum knee reduced him from superstar to has-been. Then he learns that, thanks to a one-night-stand back in college, he’s the father of a preteen girl with major issues. Her protective aunt sees right through Drew’s BS, but “Auntie P” is no stereotypical spinster. With her slender curves, toned legs, and luscious lips, she has Drew indulging in fantasies that aren’t exactly family-friendly.

At another point in her life, Peyton Watt would have been all over a cocky alpha male who pushes all her buttons like Drew. Right now, though, she needs to focus on taking care of her niece during her sister’s health crisis, all while holding down a job and keeping her own head above water. Besides, Drew’s clearly no father of the year. He’s unemployed. He drinks too much. And he’s living in the past. But after Peyton gets a glimpse of the genuine man behind his tough-guy faΓ§ade, she’s hooked—and there’s no going back."


PLUS Kelly's doing a takeover in her own reader group tonight :-   (cause that's the way you do it! lol) Come party with her Thursday at 8 EDT to celebrate the release of Dancing in the Rain (and who knows what else) and there are giveaways!


2017-03-07

Cover Reveal and Excerpt from Two Truths and a Lie

The third book in the Games We Play trilogy, Two Truths and a Lie releases next Tuesday. This was such a fun series to write.

This is Brenda's story. Unlike her cousins, Brenda is far from confident of their ability to make a success of their family's hotel, The Wild Geese Inn. 

Here's a sneak peek:

A month earlier…
“Is there some reason you keep staring at me, Mr. Murphy?”

It had been approximately fifteen minutes since Brenda had made Max’s acquaintance—since she’d overheard him checking in, recognized his name as one she’d been waiting for, and hurried over to introduce herself. It had been maybe ten minutes since she’d invited him into her office so that they could discuss their mutual business in private, and so that she could warn him against accidentally mentioning said business to her cousins. 

And for most of that time Max had been staring at her. Even now his gaze was tracking her every move, coming to rest, every now and again, in all the most unexpected places: her neck, her lips, her fingers, her hair, her breasts.

Well, okay, maybe not all those places were unexpected, but enough of them were to make her feel exposed.

She wouldn’t have characterized herself as being unusually vain, and she was certainly no stranger to male appreciation—or scrutiny—but Max’s unwavering attention, coupled with her own intense awareness of it, of him, was quickly becoming a problem. If for no other reason than it prevented her from scrutinizing him.

Her cousin Gwyn would probably have bolted by now. Her cousin Luke might have already thrown a punch. Brenda preferred to clear the air and set things straight. “Is there something wrong with my appearance?”

“No, not at all.” A flush colored Max’s cheeks. “I apologize. It’s just that you remind me of someone I used to know.” He looked her right in the eyes as he said it. And there was a hint of challenge in his gaze, as though he were daring her to make something of it. Suddenly, Brenda felt it too, a vague but unmistakable feeling of familiarity. An overwhelming sense of yes, there you are. At last. If she were superstitious she might term the sensation dΓ©jΓ  vu or concoct some ridiculous fantasy—that they’d been lovers in a past life, for example, or soul mates destined, since before either of them were born, to meet and fall in love. But she wasn’t superstitious, so she called it what it was: meaningless coincidence.

She cleared her throat. “Anyway, getting back to what I was saying, my cousins don’t know that I’ve been in contact with Fairfax, and I’d prefer to keep it that way for now.”

“I understand.” He glanced away, at last, an odd expression on his face. Brenda couldn’t decide if he looked relieved or disappointed. “And, to be honest, until there’s an actual offer on the table, I’d rather they not be involved either. However, I do anticipate being around quite a lot in the next few weeks, asking questions and whatnot. They might find that curious. What do you suggest I say if they wonder why I’m here?”

“I’m glad you asked, because, as it happens, I’ve given the matter a good deal of thought.”
He smiled faintly. “Somehow that doesn’t surprise me in the least.”

Brenda wasn’t exaggerating. Over the past few weeks, she’d thought of little else. Luke might be enamored with the idea of having his own bar, and Gwyn was clearly emotionally attached not just to the business but to the building itself. But Brenda was the realist. The one who’d gone to school for hotel management. The only one, or so it seemed at times, who realized how much trouble they were all in.

She’d taken on a variety of tasks since November in an effort to refamiliarize herself with the hotel. She’d helped out in the kitchen, taken a shift or two in the bar; she’d made beds, and ordered supplies, and checked guests in and out, but anyone could have done as much with equal or—in many cases—superior results. Growing the business, protecting her and her cousins’ inheritance, making sure the three of them didn’t end up losing everything—that was her job, her passion, her only real contribution. That was the one thing she could do better than anyone else.

And she was failing at it.

So, yes, she’d gone looking for solutions—because someone had to suck it up and be the adult. When she learned that the Fairfax hotel chain was potentially interested in acquiring the property, she’d done the sensible thing and followed up with them. And when they’d told her they were sending an inspector—one Max Murphy—down here to check out the property, she for damn sure had given thought to the question of what kind of cover story she could use to explain his being here.

“I thought we’d tell them that you’re an author,” Brenda explained. “We could say you’re here doing research for a book you’re writing.”

“I’m not sure I follow. What kind of book are we talking about? Like a travel guide?”

“No. I was thinking more of a novel that you’re planning to set in a hotel like this one. That way you can ask whatever questions you like and no one will think twice.”

“I don’t know how I feel about that.” Max hesitated. “It seems a bit far-fetched. And I’m not sure how convincing I’d be as an author.”

Brenda shrugged. “Obviously, it would be best not to say anything at all. But I think, if they ask, we should have a story ready.”

“I’ve always felt that, in situations like this, it’s best to stick as close to the truth as possible.”

“I agree. So what would you suggest?”

Max smiled. “We could tell them we’re dating.”

Oh, like that’s not far-fetched? Brenda started to laugh, then quickly turned it into a cough when she realized Max was serious. “Sorry. I don’t think that would be a good idea.”

“You’re not married, are you? Or otherwise involved?”

“No,” Brenda shot back. “Are you?”

“Do you really think I would have suggested we date if I were in a relationship with someone else?”
“Sure. Why not? You might be polyamorous, or in an open relationship, and not see anything wrong with it. Or you could be a liar, or a cheater—”

“In which case I probably wouldn’t admit it, anyway.”

“Exactly.”

“Were you always this cynical?”

“No. I used to be shockingly naive. But then I grew up.”

“I’m sorry,” Max answered. His voice was unexpectedly gentle.

“I don’t know why. It’s hardly your fault. Frankly, I’m not even sure why I asked. It doesn’t matter, does it? Since we’d only be pretending to date.”

“What if we weren’t pretending? What would you say if I were to ask you to have dinner with me—for real?”

“I’d say no.”

“Because I’m not your type?” He said it lightly, with his smile still in place, but there it was again, that hint of something in his eyes that looked absurdly like pain.

Brenda shook the odd notion away. “No. That has nothing to do with it.” Sweet Lord, Max was practically the poster boy for her type. She’d been attracted to large, red-haired, bearded men from a very young age. Since that one time that her Aunt Glynis decided it would be fun to take Brenda, Luke, and Gwyneth into New York City to give them a street-side view of the Saint Patrick’s Day parade. One glimpse of the NYPD Emerald Society Pipe & Drum Corps marching up Fifth Avenue, row upon row of kilt-wearing men, tall, broad, and imposing, was all it had taken. Brenda had been hooked. But physical attraction wasn’t everything. “If you must know, I don’t date, not in Atlas Beach.”

Max quirked an eyebrow. “May I ask why not?”

“There are several reasons actually.” None of which were any of his business. “I don’t have a lot of time right now, for one thing, what with running the hotel, negotiating with Fairfax—”

“Creating inventive cover stories.”

“Yes, thank you. That too. For another, the dating pool here is very small, and I’ve known most of the men in it since preschool. You’d be surprised how off-putting that can be.”


Although, unfortunately, not off-putting enough where some of the men were concerned.

* * * *

To read more about the series, check out my website: http://www.pgforte.com/GamesWePlay.htm

Brenda's relationship with Max is a sexy sham designed to keep her cousins from learning of her plans to sell their family's inn. Falling in love for real? That was not supposed to happen. 

All work and no play has been the story of Brenda Donovan's life for the past few months. Concerned about the future of her family's inn, she's been searching for a buyer for the business -- without her cousins finding out what she's up to. She has no time for relationships. But pretending to date sexy Max Murphy, the hotel scout who's there to assess the property? That's totally doable. Especially when games, role-playing, and light bondage are included in the package. Falling in love was never supposed to be part of their deal, however, and now her heart's in play. 

Max has no problem with hiding his true identity from Brenda's cousins. But are they the only ones he's deceiving? When all is finally revealed, will the cousins lose the Wild Geese Inn? Or will they add another member to their growing family? 



2017-02-28

Release Day! Never Have I Ever

It's release day for Never Have I Ever, the second book in my Games We Play trilogy.


It's also Mardi Gras! So here's a Mardi Gras themed  (well, sort of) excerpt. Laissez le bon temps rouler!

Mardi Gras…

By Tuesday evening, Kristy was back to barely speaking to Luke. And Luke was back to wanting to kick himself up and down the street a couple of times for having let that happen. He’d meant to upset the status quo—sure. But in the opposite direction. He guessed he could blame the boggart for that. And maybe his cousin for putting stupid ideas in his head.

He hadn’t been scheduled to work the day before, but he’d shown up at the bar anyway, intending to give Kristy a break so she could get some dinner. Kristy was busy when he’d arrived, and Luke was surprised to see that the ladder Cam had been using to hang up the decorations, and which Luke had watched him put away the previous day, had reappeared—right in the middle of the fucking galley.

 “What’s this doing here?” he asked, annoyed at Cam for leaving it there and at Kristy for not moving it out of the way. Unless it was there for some other reason. Had something else gone wrong, some new problem that no one had thought to mention to him? In that case, he was still annoyed with Cam and Kristy—and with the boggart, for causing trouble, and with whoever had taken it into their own hands to solve the problem without involving him.

When Kristy didn’t respond to his query, Luke raised his voice to ask again. “Hey, DiLuca! What’s with the ladder?”

Kristy started. She turned in his direction and frowned. “Oh, I don’t know. D’you want help moving it?”

Luke shook his head. “No, that’s okay. I got it.”

It wasn’t until he’d taken hold of the ladder to close it that Luke noticed the plastic bucket that had been perched on the top shelf and which was already tipping and raining down five gallons of water and ice chips on his head.

What the fucking fuck?

It was all Luke could do to keep from cursing out loud, especially when laughter broke out all along the bar from patrons who’d obviously enjoyed the show he’d just put on. He fought through the shock and the anger and was still trying to put a self-deprecating smile on his face when Kristy scurried over, nearly skidding to a stop at the sight of him.

“Luke…what happened? Are you all right?”

Luke nodded. “Yeah, it’s just this bucket…” He snagged it off the floor, ignoring the impulse to kick the offending object across the room with enough force to put it into orbit. Or at least through the front window. More breakage was the last thing they needed right now.

“Oh, so that’s where it went,” Kristy said in surprise.

Luke stared at her. “What?”

“The bucket. I couldn’t remember where I put it.”

“Wait…you did this? You put a bucket of water on top of a ladder?”

“No, of course not. It was filled with ice.”

“Ice?”

“I guess it must’ve melted.”

Luke stared at her. Maybe Gwyn was right. Maybe Kristy was behind at least some of the pranks. “Are you saying you wanted to dump a bucket of ice on my head? Seriously? What are we, twelve?”
If she wanted to play games, he had a good one for her. A little temperature play, a little restraint. He could trap her up against the bar and run a couple of those ice chips over her nipples till she begged for him to warm her back up again with his tongue.

“Luke, of course I didn’t.”

“Clearly, you did.”

She leaned in close. “Have you lost your mind? You’re making a scene.”

“Trust me; this isn’t me making a scene. Me putting you over my knee, on the other hand—that’d be a scene.”

Kristy reared back like he’d struck her. The look in her eyes was more than just surprised—and nowhere close to being interested. She looked stricken, betrayed. Luke could only stare at her in dismay. Obviously he’d said the wrong thing.

“I’m going on my break now,” Kristy announced. She grabbed her things from beneath the bar and fled, leaving Luke, already cold and uncomfortable in his wet clothes, to deal with everything else.

By the time she returned, he was too angry to say anything else to her. He went home to change, and when the time came to head back to the bar to help with the cleanup, he stayed right where he was. 

He reasoned that Monday night was slow, that it wouldn’t hurt her to close by herself for a change, that a little space, at this point, was the best thing for both of them. But the truth was that he was just too frustrated to deal with her sanely.

He told himself that he didn’t want to make things worse, but almost twenty-four hours later, he had to admit that he might have chosen the wrong tactic.

He was still trying to figure out how to get back in her good graces when his cousin Brenda stopped by the bar, accompanied by a red-headed guy who looked vaguely familiar, though he couldn’t place him.

“Hey, Luke,” she said. “How’s it going? It looks like we’ve got a good crowd in here tonight.”

“Yeah, it’s good.” They were busy as fuck, which would have been great, except that it only made Kristy’s rigid, cold, distant politeness all the more annoying. He was too busy, too rushed, and too annoyed to tease her out of her bad mood—in part because he was forced to ask her for everything he couldn’t immediately put his hands on because she refused to anticipate his needs, refused to do anything more than the bare minimum. He hadn’t even realized until now how much she did, what a very good team they made, how effortlessly they worked together, and how they balanced each other out.

If she ever spoke to him again, he’d have to be sure she knew how he felt.

“Okay, well, that’s good,” Brenda said, her voice hesitant.

Luke sighed. “Yeah. It is. Sorry. We’ve just been swamped. Can I get you something?”

“I’ll have a limeade. Thanks.” Brenda turned to her companion. “Max? You want anything?”

“Uh…sure. How about a Guinness?”

“A man after my own heart,” Luke said as he grabbed a pint glass. For some reason, Max’s drink choice was also ringing a bell somewhere in the back of his mind, but he had neither the time nor the inclination to track it down.

“Max is a writer,” Brenda told him, still sounding ill-at-ease—something else he had no time tonight to think too much about. “He’s researching hotels and bars and…and whatever…for a book he’s going to write.”

“Very cool,” Luke replied politely. In reality, he couldn’t care less.

“Yeah, so, if he has any questions about anything, you think maybe you can help him out?”

“Sure thing.” He slid Max’s glass across the bar to him, then went to work on his cousin’s drink. He mixed lime juice and sugar in a glass, then realized there were no lime wedges on his station. He picked up the soda gun and called to Kristy, “Hey, can I get some limes over here?”

“Here you go,” she said as she brought them over.

“Thanks, hon.” He smiled at her, trying to warm her up, and was relieved when a little of the haunted look left her eyes. But even as the first hint of a smile curved her lips, he pressed the trigger and then gasped in shock as seltzer sprayed everywhere, soaking Kristy’s face, her hair, her shirt. “Uhhh…”Shit.

Laughter erupted along the bar. Tears appeared in her beautiful eyes. The need to fix things, to make her smile again, to erase the hurt expression on her face overrode Luke’s common sense. “Wet T-shirt contest anyone?” he joked lamely, wincing as color flared on her face and the tears spilled over. It occurred to him that he’d just made things worse.

Kristy ran from the bar, and Luke would have followed if Brenda hadn’t stepped in his path.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” she whispered fiercely. “I understand you two are supposed to be friends, but why do you always have to be such a dick to that girl?”

“I—” What the fuck? “I am not!”

“Luke, you embarrassed her in front of the whole bar! Did she just quit?”

“Don’t be ridiculous. She probably just went to change into some dry clothes.”

“Well, I hope that’s all it is. I swear, I don’t know why she puts up with you. We’ll be lucky if we don’t get hit with a harassment suit or something.”

“It was an accident,” he insisted. “And stop overreacting. We’re fine. She dumped a bucket of ice water on my head just yesterday. You don’t see me freaking out, do you?”

“She did what?” Brenda’s eyes widened. “Here in the bar? So you thought you’d retaliate? What the fuck, Luke? I don’t know what either of you are thinking. And I don’t understand why you think Gwyn and I should put up with this nonsense either. This is a business. Not a…not a frat house.”

And you’d know about those, wouldn’t you? Luke thought as he glared at his cousin. For once, he managed to rein in his wayward tongue. “It was an accident,” he repeated coldly. “Now, go away. I’m busy.”

Luke walked away from his cousin and concentrated his attention on the far end of the bar for the next few minutes, until Brenda and her friend had left the bar. He loved his cousin, but she took bossiness to a whole new level. And she absolutely was overreacting.

An hour later, however, Kristy still hadn’t returned, and Luke was starting to wonder if Brenda hadn’t been right after all. Could Kristy have quit? She wasn’t answering her phone—that much was certain. Or maybe she just wasn’t taking his calls? When Gwyn appeared a half hour later, looking concerned and asking, “What the hell did you do to Brenda?” Luke was in no mood to make conversation.
“Cover the bar for me,” he said as he all but pushed Gwyn into the galley. “I’ll be right back.”

* * * * *

After having been friend-zoned by Kristy when they were kids, Luke has mostly resigned himself to being "just friends" with her, but working together, night after night, is shredding his self control.
Kristy loves Luke but if anything was clear to her back when they were kids, it was that gawky, awkward, tomboys didn’t stand a chance with the king of the schoolyard. She watched her older brothers set their caps for Luke’s glamorous cousins, and get shot down. So she did what she had to in order to salvage her friendship with Luke. She hid her true feelings and her need for him to take control.

Luke wants Kristy in the worst way--actually, in all the worst ways: tied up, held down, bitten, whipped. But he can either keep her as a friend, or take her to bed and lose her forever. His biggest mistake--so far--was in hiring her to work alongside him in the bar he and his cousins inherited from their grandmother. He knows Kristy needs the money and the job, but Luke’s self-control can’t take the constant contact with the girl he wants to dominate--both in and out of the bedroom. Something has to give--and soon!


2017-02-21

Cover Reveal and Excerpt from Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever, the second book in the Games We Play trilogy, releases next week!  The lovely purple on the cover is a nod to Mardi Gras, which is the holiday around which it's set...and which, not coincidentally, happens to fall on February 28th this year. Release Day.

Don't you love it when things work out like that?

Here's a sneak peek:

The Saturday before Mardi Gras…
“Hey, DiLuca,” Luke called to Kristy as he helped her close the bar—cleaning tables and stacking chairs. “D’you know what a drunk’s idea of a balanced diet is?”
“Wait, I do. I know this one.” Kristy looked thoughtful as she straightened up from the table she’d been wiping down. “Uh…a drink in each hand? Something like that?”
“Yeah.” Luke frowned. “A beer in each hand, actually. Did I tell you that one already?”
Kristy smirked. “Well, you must have, right? I don’t know anyone else with your encyclopedic knowledge of corny jokes.”
“Oh.” That was a relief. But why was that the case? It shouldn’t have mattered all that much if other people were telling her stupid jokes. It shouldn’t have mattered at all, come to think of it. It wasn’t right that he was so invested in keeping her to himself. But he was just the same.
“So, this memory problem you’re having, is it age-related or due to alcohol consumption?”
“Don’t be a brat,” Luke admonished as the urge to punish her—never far below the surface anyway—rose up to tempt him. He loved her all the more for being bratty, but the whole not being able to do anything about it? That royally sucked. “And cut the crap. You’re only a year younger than I am, and—”
“And I can drink you under the table. Yes, I know.”
Luke shook his head. “You’re really asking for it tonight,” he muttered, wishing she were. Oh, if only she were doing it on purpose. If only she really wanted what she was tempting him to give her. “Keep it up and I’ll go home and leave you to finish closing on your own.”
“Is that supposed to frighten me?”
“Ha-ha.” It was an empty threat, and they both knew it.
One of the main reasons he’d hired her to tend bar was so that they could split the shifts between them and give him a couple of nights off each week. But the sad truth was that, these days at least, he didn’t really have much of a life outside of the bar. So more often than not he’d stop in to check things out even on his days off. He’d tell himself he’d only stay a few minutes, that he’d leave after a drink, maybe two. He never did. Some nights he and Kristy would hit a diner when they were done, sometimes they wouldn’t, but at the very least, he’d always help her close.
It was part of their routine. He’d flirt with her and tell her stupid jokes. She’d laugh at him and call him an idiot. Afterward, he’d go home and fantasize about all the ways he’d like to punish her for being such a brat, all the ways he’d like to have her.
It was pathetic—he knew that. But the upside was that he got to spend time with her nearly every day, to indulge his hopeless passion for the girl, to watch her laugh. He got to take care of her, to make sure no one hit on her inappropriately…or at all, for that matter. Because that’s what friends did. Because that’s what kept them friends, kept her from cutting him out of her life or drifting away.
The downside was his sneaking suspicion that he was keeping them both from moving on with their lives.
“How about this one? Why can’t anyone ever find a place to sit at an Irish family reunion?”
Kristy slid him a sly smile. “I don’t know, Luke. Why?”
“Because the rooms’ll be filled with Dores, Walls, and Curtins.”
“Huh?” The smile disappeared, replaced by an expression of puzzlement. “I don’t get it.”
“Dore, Wall, and Curtin are all Irish family names,” Luke explained.
Kristy shook her head as she turned back to her work. “You people are weird.”
You people? Weird? Luke shot her another stern glance. She didn’t even see it. She was bent over another table, arm extended as she stretched to capture a stray coaster that seemed stubbornly determined to remain just slightly out of reach.
Every time she got a finger on it, it slipped from her grasp and scudded farther away. Luke watched as she wriggled and stretched, going up on her toes in her efforts to reach just a little bit more, which only served to put her ass—already showcased by the snug, stretchy pants she always wore—on tempting display. Something he was sure she was completely unaware of.

She’d better be unaware of it, damn it. Because if he ever found out she was doing it on purpose, teasing him to the point where he thought he’d lose his mind…but no. He knew better. She had no idea the kind of effect she had on him. She never had. Or, if she did, she didn’t want it.



NEVER HAVE I EVER
Games We Play, book 2

After having been friend-zoned by Kristy when they were kids, Luke had mostly resigned himself to being "just friends" with her, but working together, night after night, is shredding his self control.

Kristy loves Luke but if anything was clear to her back when they were kids it was that gawky, awkward, tomboys didn't stand a chance with the king of the schoolyard. She watched her older brother set their caps for Luke's glamorous cousins and get shot down. So she did what she had to in order to salvage her friendship with Luke. She hid her true feelings and her need for him to take control.

Luke wants Kristy in the worst way -- actually, in all the worst ways: tied up, held down, beaten, bitten, whipped. But he knows he has no chance of ever having her. They'd been childhood friends and sweethearts, until she friend-zoned him in the fifth grade. He knows he can either keep her as a friend, or take her to bed and lose her forever. His biggest mistake--so far--was in hiring her to work alongside him in the bar he and his cousins inherited from their grandmother. He knows Kristy needs the money and the job, but Luke's self-control can't take the constant contact with the girl he wants to dominate -- both in and out of the bedroom. Something has to give -- and soon!