Chapter 10, here we come!
Let's have a lookie-loo at what's in this magical piece of literary goodness known as the newsletter:
  1. Greetings and salutations
  2. Pact with a Heartbreaker, chapter 11
  3. Book pimpin' with an anaconda book—if you know what I mean and I think you do...
  4. Book fair with 30+ books
  5. What even am I doing with my life? 
Hiya, friend!
Apologies if last week's email happened to end up in your spam folder. My newsletter provider has run into an issue where one (or more...I'm not entirely sure) of their servers was marked as spam which means anything coming from it was as well. Ah, the wonderful adult world of doing business. Hopefully the mess will be rectified soon (and hopefully you're receiving this!), but just in case, please remember that you can catch up with the latest chapter at the link listed in every newsletter.
Annnnnyhoodle...the time for this summer beach read is ticking down fast! According to the schedule, there are only four installments left, but by my calculations, we actually have five chapters remaining. How those will come to you, I'm not sure. You'll either get double chapters one week or we'll go for a bonus week at the end.
As a reminder, from now until early September, I'm releasing a beach read novella via weekly installments right here for free! Chapter eleven is below, so keep scrollin'!
Pact with a Heartbreaker can be read either as your first foray into Havenbrook, my fictional southern small town, or after you've read Second Chance Charmer because I'm crafty like that. 😉

In case you've missed any previous chapters, you can get caught up here. If you're not a fan of reading books in a serialized manner, Pact with a Heartbreaker will be released on its own sometime in the fall.
Quick disclaimer: in order to get these chapters to you every week, they are raw and unedited, so thank you for excusing any mistakes! 

Chapter 11

Hudson lost track of how many times he’d paced the length of the cabin, wearing a faded path in the already worn wood floor. Kenna’s face had been a mask of anger when she’d fled from the boat—and him—as fast as humanly possible. Anger, he could handle. Anger, he expected. But when she’d glanced his way from the driver’s seat of his truck? The devastation written on her flushed, tearstained face had wrecked him. 

He could count on one hand the amount of times he’d ever seen her cry in their decade-plus friendship and still have fingers left over. So for his actions to bring her to tears? He’d really and truly fucked up.

Grabbing his phone, he attempted her number again. “Come on, Kenna. Pick up.” But, just like the other fifteen times he’d tried her, it rang and rang until it clicked over to voicemail. She didn’t even have to talk to him if she didn’t want. He just needed to know she was okay. That she hadn’t ended up in a ditch somewhere. God, if anything happened to her because of him—

An engine rumbled in the distance, and he ate up the space to the front window in two long strides, breathing a sigh of relief when his beat up truck came in to view, bouncing down the gravel path toward the cabin. 

For long moments after the vehicle came to a stop, Kenna sat behind the wheel. The sun cast a glare off the windshield, so he couldn’t see her face entirely, but he felt her eyes on him. He couldn’t tell if she was still crying. He couldn’t even make out the expression on her face. But he stood frozen in place, hoping and praying with everything in him that she was okay. That she’d forgive him for what he felt in his heart he had to do.

He didn’t move, barely even breathed, as she opened the door and jumped down from the cab of the truck. She took slow, measured steps toward the porch and up the front steps, then through the screen door until she stood in front of him. 

He darted his eyes to every square inch of her, making sure she was okay. But he knew deep down the pain she was feeling wasn’t anything he’d be able to see from the outside, despite how much skin showed. 

“Sorry about stealin’ your truck.” Her eyes were red rimmed but clear, no moisture clinging to her lashes. “I just…I needed some time. To get this all settled in my head.”

He took a step toward her, aching to reach out and touch her. To pull her into his arms and just…be. “And did you? Get it settled?”

She lifted a shoulder. “As much as I can.”

He swallowed, needing to know more just as much as he was dreading what she had to say. What if he’d fucked everything up? What if his choice had ruined the best friendship he’d ever had? Probably would ever have? What if he lost her simply because he couldn’t be satisfied with the life he already had? 

Steeling himself, he asked, “And what’s the final verdict?”

She stared up at him for long moments, those once-clear eyes filling with a layer of tears that kicked him right in his chest. “I’m gonna miss you.” Her voice cracked on the last word, and his heart cracked right along with it. “But this is what you were meant to do, and I was selfish for thinking you’d be happy doing anything else.”

He shook his head. “You weren’t—”

She reached up and covered his mouth with her fingers, silencing him. “I was. I was, because I wanted you with me, no matter what. I didn’t think about what you’d want…what you’d need. What you were meant to do.”

He reached for her, one hand going to her waist, the other wrapping around the back of her neck. Tugging her to him. Pulling her closer until they were thigh to thigh, chest to chest. He brushed his thumb up and down across her neck, reveling in the softness of her skin. Relishing in the fact that she was letting him do this while kicking himself for waiting so long to touch her like this…wondering how much time he’d wasted.

“I want to stay with you, Kenna. More than you can possibly know.” He cupped her jaw, his thumb caressing her lower lip. “But if I stayed, I’d know I’m not being the man I need to be—the man I can be—for you. And you deserve someone strong. Someone who isn’t afraid to be that man. Someone who strives to be him.”

She took in his words in silence, her eyes dancing back and forth between his. “Is that you?”

He’d spent so many years wishing it could’ve been. Wanting, with everything in him, for her to be his. Because God knew he was already hers. “I hope so. I want it to be. So fucking much.” He dropped his forehead to hers, closing his eyes and breathing her in. “I’ve wanted you for as long as I can remember, and the only thing I regret is not telling you sooner.”

Kenna wrapped her arms around his waist, her fists clenched against his bare back. “We wasted so much time.”

At her words, his heart ached and soared at once, knowing for sure she felt the same way as he did. He pulled back, cupping her face in his hands and ducking so he was eye level with her. “But we’ve got all the time in the world in front of us.”

“We don’t, though. I’m off to State in two days and you’re—” She broke off, her eyes filled with worry. “Who knows where you’ll be, or when you’ll be able to come home.” 

“That doesn’t mean anything. People do long distance all the time, Kenna. It’ll be hard, but we can make it work.” The more he said, the more confident he felt. They could make this work. They would. “I’ll come home on breaks and call every chance I get. We can send emails and even Skype. Couples do it all the time.” 

“Is that what we are?” Leave it to Kenna not to beat around the bush. 

For years, he’d worried what would become of their friendship if he told her this, if he gave her his truth. But they didn’t have years anymore. It was now or never, and he’d be damned if he went off to basic training without telling her exactly how he felt. “It’s what I want to be.”

Kenna’s eyes brightened, pure happiness radiating from her. God, why had he waited so long to tell her that? “Me too.”

“Yeah?” he asked with a smile, wrapping an arm around her waist and tugging her closer. Lifting her right off the ground until they were nose to nose. 

She wrapped her arms around his neck, her fingers threading throuh his hair. “Yeah.”

There was no stopping his body’s reaction now. He had the woman he loved in his arms, every inch of her pressed against him, and she’d just agreed to be his. “I’m gonna kiss you now.”

“I was sort of hopin’ you would…”

He pressed his lips against her smiling ones, and she melted into him. The kiss turned from chaste to scorching in one-point-seven seconds. With a palm on her ass, he lifted her higher against him, groaning into her mouth when he felt the heat of her pussy through her shorts. She ground down on his hard cock, and if he wasn’t careful, he’d come in his pants like he’d done the first time they’d made out when he was fifteen. 

Turning, he pressed her against the wall, pinning her there with his hips. Her chin was red from his stubble, her lips puffy thanks to his hungry mouth. Her breaths came out in pants, her chest rising and falling in a fast rhythm. He wanted under her bikini top. Wanted to feel her breasts in his hands, her nipples against his tongue. He wanted her moaning because of him.

“Do it,” she whispered, and he didn’t need any further encouragement. 

He reached up and untied the knot at the base of her neck and watched in stunned silence as the bikini top fell away from her chest, baring her breasts to him. They were pale and creamy, a stark contrast to her golden tanned skin, but that just made him harder. No one got to see this part of her. No one but him.

“Kenna.” Jesus, was that his voice? All gravely and hoarse, filled with need. 

She tightened her legs around him, rocking against his dick and pulling his head toward her chest with each thrust. As hot as it’d be to hear her say the words, to tell him exactly what she wanted, he was damn glad she didn’t. He’d have no chance in hell of staving off his orgasm if he heard her utter the words, “Suck on my tits, Hud.”

Christ, even the thought of them had him pulsing in his trunks, his cock seeking the heat between her legs. But still he let her guide him straight to her chest, and he didn’t stop until he had one perfect pink nipple in his mouth. 

Kenna’s moans became a constant string from the first touch of his tongue against her. She clutched him harder, rocked against him faster. Her panting breaths swept across his neck, and their joint groans filled up the space around them, their sounds bouncing off the walls.  

“Hud—” She broke off on a gasp, her short nails digging into his shoulders. “I’m gonna—”

Her whole body went stiff, her legs tightening around him, her feet locked at the base of his spine pulling him to her, and he was all too happy to oblige. He pushed his dick against her and sucked hard at her nipple, flicking it with his tongue as she came apart in his arms. 

With each puff of air that escaped Kenna’s lips, she relaxed infinitesimally in his arms until she was a boneless, sated heap. He pulled back and met her eyes, certain she could see the desire radiating from his. He was hard as a fucking rock, and his dick was pissed that he’d been put through this not once but twice in one day. Hudson needed to come, and it wouldn’t take much more than a soft breeze against his bare cock to get him there. 

He wanted to feel her hands on him. Wanted even more to sink between those lush, pink lips. But more than anything, he wanted to bury himself deep inside her. 

“You’re still hard,” she said.

He breathed out a laugh and squeezed her ass, pressing her against him. “You just came all over my dick, so yeah.”

She stared at him, a small smile playing on her lips as she sank her fingers into his hair. Pulled him close to her and pressed her lips right against his ear. “Take me to the bedroom, Hud.”


Yeah, I just did that to you. Next week, you're getting ALL THE BONING. Don't forget to pop over to my reader group, the Brigade to discuss this chapter! Gossip on all things Havenbrook is welcomed and encouraged.

While I haven't had a chance to read this one yet, you better believe I bought it. Why? Strictly because of this line in the blurb: Too bad the whole world is talking about his sex life after the notorious Bad Bachelors app dubs him “The Anaconda”. YES and PLEASE.

Everybody’s talking about the hot new app reviewing New York’s most eligible bachelors. But why focus on prince charming when you can read the latest dirt on the lowest-ranked “Bad Bachelors”—NYC’s most notorious bad boys.

Wes Evans, son of Broadway royalty, just wants to achieve something without riding on his family’s coattails. Too bad the whole world is talking about his sex life after the notorious Bad Bachelors app dubs him “The Anaconda”. But when he sees a talented ballet dancer, he knows she is exactly what he needs to make his show a success.

Remi Drysdale only had one thought when she fled Australia for New York—never mix business with pleasure again. Ever. She gets the perfect chance to reclaim her career when a handsome stranger asks her to audition for his show. Remi promises herself not to tangle with the guy who holds her career in his hands…no matter how enticing his reviews are on the Bad Bachelors app…

Amazon  |  iBooks  |  Kobo  |  Nook

I'm participating in a book fair with more than thirty other authors. We're bringing you a variety of books—everything from steamy contemporary romance to high fantasy—all at $2.99 or less. Clickity click and find some new reads!

Last week, I mentioned my oldest got his braces removed and suddenly turned into a man-child. That dagger in my mom-heart? Just got shoved in a little farther. And then twisted. Why, you ask? Oh, nbd, just finished registering him for high school is all. 

So yeah. That's pretty much me right now. Except I'm not eating dairy or sugar at the moment which means I can't drown my sobs with ice cream. Or anything delicious, really. I'll just be over here eating my sad zucchini chips and shaking my fist at Father Time.


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