Cover Reveal: A Risky Play

⚾ COVER REVEAL FOR A RISKY PLAY ⚾

I am so excited to be on the street team for the cover reveal for @marissajgramoll’s new book, A Risky Play! A Risky Play releases on March 31, but you can pre-order now for the special limited time pre-order price of $2.99.

A Risky Play is Book Two of the Suncastle College Series of Standalones. (woohoo for standalones!)

Synopisis:

He knows she’s the one. She can’t decide if she’s ready to fall in love.

From the author of A Game Like Ours comes this hot and spicy angst-filled college romance.

A Risky Play Blurb:

Zac Williams’ loves the attention of being a starting first baseman for the Suncastle Knights. Girls wear his number. Charm earns him internet fame.

But Zac wishes he had the perfect, easy life everyone thinks he does. Instead, he’s fighting an internal battle every day. Then Trish shows up. She’s everything he didn’t know he needed and makes the demons in his head quiet for a while.

They promise to keep it casual. No strings attached.

Only, there’s so much between them that it’s impossible to ignore.

Zac can’t keep juggling his baseball career, his internet following, and a girl who takes so much effort to keep from slipping through his fingers.

When he’s finally ready to make a risky play, and go all in, she’s determined to walk away before she’s trapped….

Will Zac convince her they are made for each other? Or will she leave everything behind before he has the chance?

What to expect from A Risky Play:

💜 No Strings Attached
💜 College Baseball Star
💜 Freelance Photographer
💜 Lots of Spice
💜 Mental Health
💜 Broken Hero/heroine
💜 LGBTQ + Rep
💜 Southern Smalltown
💜 Book Two in Suncastle College series of standalones

Cover Designer: Sarah Sentz of Enchanting Romance Designs

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59535332-a-risky-play

Order here: https://books2read.com/u/bPyrdz

Cover Reveal: The One She Needs


I am so excited to be a part of the cover reveal for Marissa J. Gramoll’s new book The One She Needs! I read A Game Like Ours earlier this year and absolutely feel in love with Bobby and Lexie – not to mention Marissa’s writing style.⁠⁠
⁠⁠
The One She Needs debuts on October 30 – so go grab it next week for free by signing up for Marissa J Gramoll’s newsletter! (Link in her Bio). And go read A Game Like Ours NOW!⁠⁠
.


BLURB:⁠⁠
Before they were Suncastle Knights, they were Willardson High Wildcats.⁠⁠
⁠⁠
Bobby wants what he can’t have.⁠⁠
Cody’s got what he doesn’t deserve.⁠⁠
Lexie’s not sure what to do with either one of them.⁠⁠
Is their friendship strong enough to withstand this love triangle?⁠⁠
⁠⁠
Cody Jones is known for standing up his girlfriend. But prom will be different, right? ⁠⁠
⁠⁠
When Bobby saves the day–yet again–Cody does the unthinkable. ⁠⁠
⁠⁠
Will Lexie still love him after that display?⁠⁠
⁠⁠
Find out in this heartwarming, emotionally gripping short story.⁠⁠
⁠⁠
*This is a stand alone with some of the characters featured in A Game Like Ours. It can be read before or after A Game Like Ours.⁠⁠
⁠⁠
Cover Logo designed by Taylor West @25thavenuewest⁠⁠
Cover Photo courtesy of Unsplash, Photographer Nathan Mortn.⁠⁠

COVER REVEAL: Kickstart My Heart

Series: Burgers and Brew Crüe #1

Author: Lacey Black

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover Design: Melissa Gill

Photo: Wander Aguiar

Model: Pat Tanski

Release Date: February 9, 2021

BLURB

Walker

There’s nothing better than a packed house on a Saturday night, and co-owning the hottest restaurant and bar in town with my best friends, isn’t so bad either. We put everything into Burgers and Brew. My job is to keep the alcohol moving and the patrons coming back for more. I won’t let anyone break my focus.

That was until I saw her.

As much as I try, I can’t fight it. Mallory makes me crave a future I never wanted for my own.

Now, I want it all.

Mallory

When I started my new job at a local specialty burger restaurant, I wasn’t expecting to find a tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome distraction in the form of Walker Meyer. He’s one of the owners, which means hands off. Only problem, it’s a lot easier said than done.

Especially when he’s so good with my daughter.

I try to keep him at a distance, but he’s insistent, slowly breaking down every one of my walls. He’s fighting to convince me I can trust him with not only my heart, but my daughter’s too.

I pray he’s right.


GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56532370-kickstart-my-heart 

PRE-ORDER LINKS 

US: https://amzn.to/2MtJElh
UK: https://amzn.to/34YrTAX
CA: https://amzn.to/3oauzTp
AU: https://amzn.to/387Nt7T 

Universal: http://mybook.to/KickstartMyHeart 

Only available at the following retailers for a limited time


B&N: https://bit.ly/3o8WTFU
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2Lc0tjW
Apple Books: http://apple.co/2MtJWsn
Google Play: https://bit.ly/3hA357e 

AUTHOR BIO

Lacey Black is a Midwestern girl with a passion for reading and writing. She carries her e-reader with her everywhere she goes so she never misses an opportunity to read a few pages. Always looking for a happily ever after, Lacey is passionate about contemporary romance novels and enjoys it further when you mix in a little suspense. She resides in a small town in Illinois with her husband, two children, and a chocolate lab. Lacey loves shooting guns and should only consume one mixed drink because she’s a lightweight.


AUTHOR LINKS

Website: http://www.laceyblackbooks.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorlaceyblack 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laceyblackwrites 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthLaceyBlack Newsletter: http://www.laceyblackbooks.com/newsletter

COVER REVEAL: A Very Friendly Valentine’s Day

Title: A Very Friendly Valentine’s Day

Author: Kayley Loring

Genre: Steamy Romantic Comedy

Cover Design: Kari March Designs

Photo: miquelanxo

Model: Sergio Carvajal

Release Date: January 14, 2021

BLURB

EDDIE: Cancel your dinky little roomette on the train. I’m booking us two of the big bedroom suites. 

BIRDIE: I’ll cancel it AFTER you’ve booked the other sleeper rooms. And reimburse you.

EDDIE: Don’t worry about it. Just cancel your tickets. I got this. Round trip. I’m on the Amtrak website right now.

BIRDIE: You don’t have to leave NYC when I do! You’ll hardly be able to spend any time with your Instagram girlfriend that you’ve never met!

EDDIE: It’s fine. She’ll be fine with it. Cancel your tickets.

BIRDIE: You aren’t going to stop texting me until I’ve canceled them, are you?

EDDIE: Damn right I’m not. Just do it. You can thank me later.

***

EDDIE: Um. Did you cancel your tickets?

BIRDIE: Yes, Edward. I canceled them.

EDDIE: Okay, because it turns out they only had one Family Bedroom from LA to Chicago. But the good news is I booked it for us. It’s the biggest room they had. The bad news is I booked it for us. And it’s the only sleeper room they have left now.

EDDIE: In related news, there was also only one room left from Chicago to New York. 

EDDIE: Hands up if you’re excited! *man raising hand emoji*

BIRDIE: I am so mad at you right now.

***

BIRDIE: I’ve compiled a list of ground rules re shared train bedroom. Check your email, please read carefully, and refer to it again on the ninth of February. Thank you.

EDDIE: *nerd face emoji* Received. I have some notes. 

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55953134-a-very-friendly-valentine-s-day 

PRE-ORDER LINKS – 99c for a limited time!

US: https://amzn.to/3rDatDz
UK: https://amzn.to/3aOMs6C
CA: https://amzn.to/34Sg6nt
AU: https://amzn.to/3hvlXUR 

Audio narrated by Connor Crais & Mackenzie Cartwright coming soon!

ALSO AVAILABLE

A Very Bossy Christmas – 99c for TODAY ONLY!

US: https://amzn.to/37owr5E
UK: https://amzn.to/3m9uUV3
CA: https://amzn.to/37tPCeo
AU: https://amzn.to/3kjG60J 

Free in Kindle Unlimited

Also available in audio: https://amzn.to/3hvlXUR 

AUTHOR BIO

Before writing steamy romantic comedy novels, Kayley Loring got a BFA in creative writing from a Canadian university and had a fifteen-year career as a screenwriter in Los Angeles (under a different name). She mostly wrote PG-13 family comedies that studios would pay her lots of money for and then never make into movies. In 2017 she decided to move to the Pacific Northwest and write about all the fun stuff that she wasn’t allowed to write about in those PG-13 scripts. Now she’s breathing cleaner air and writing dirtier words. It’s an adjustment she’s happily getting used to.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website: https://kayleyloring.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorkayleyloring 

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kayleyville 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kayleyloring 

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/diuzU1 

Audio Newsletter: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/e3b7l2 Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kayley-loring

COVER REVEAL! Love in Europe

Love in Europe

Series: Love Abroad #2

Author: Emily Silver

Genre: FF Contemporary Romance

Cover Design: Kari March Designs

Release Date: January 19, 2021

BLURB

What comes next when all your dreams are coming true?

Annabelle has it all. She finally owns her own tourism company and travels the world. She loves her life. But what happens when you have it all, and it’s not enough anymore?

The universe may just have the answer for her…

After a mix-up with another group, she’s stuck with the sexy and brooding Celine for the next few weeks.

After a rough breakup, Celine wants nothing more than to do her job driving tourists around Europe. No matter how hard Celine tries to resist Annabelle, the assertive American, with her quick mouth and sleeve of tattoos, gets under her skin.

Can Annabelle capture Celine’s heart? Or will Celine’s past destroy Annabelle’s dream of love?

Love in Europe is the second in the Love Abroad series and can be read as a standalone book. This FF contemporary romance is filled with laughs, steam and a whole lot of heart!

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55817397-love-in-europe 

PRE-ORDER LINKS 

US: https://amzn.to/3gzstJS
UK: https://amzn.to/2JIBzIw
CA: https://amzn.to/2VXlb9s
AU: https://amzn.to/371XwuQ 

ALSO AVAILABLE IN THE LOVE ABROAD SERIES

#1 Love in the Antarctic

US: https://amzn.to/3oGlRMM
UK: https://amzn.to/2W2nGr6
CA: https://amzn.to/3gwEyiU
AU: https://amzn.to/2Iyywll

Free in Kindle Unlimited

AUTHOR BIO 

Emily Silver is a lover of all romance books and a first time writer. As an avid travel, she’s been to all seven continents and sailed around the world. What better way to start writing than with traveling!?

When she’s not writing, Emily is working to pay for her next big adventure, trying to learn a foreign language and reading all the romance she can get her hands on!

Find her on social media to stay update on all her adventures and upcoming releases!

AUTHOR LINKS 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authoremilysilver 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoremilysilver 

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/855802568571885 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/authoremilysilver 

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/emily-silver 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20589003.Emily_Silver Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/6c446a23c4cf/authoremilysilver

Cover Reveal: Like Cats and Dogs

I’m so excited to take part in the cover reveal for Kat McMurray’s new book, Like Cats and Dogs!⁠⠀

Whitman Street Cat Café owner Lauren has a few things to teach the new vet on the block, and rescuing kittens is only the start.⁠⠀

This cover is adorable, but cat cafe and kittens?! I’m sold!⁠⠀

Like Cats and Dogs is hitting bookstores near you April 2021.⁠

BLURB

Can you fight like cats and dogs, and still be perfect for each other?

Things are getting ruff in this Brooklyn neighborhood when new veterinarian Caleb Fitch moves in next door to the Whitman Street Cat Cafe and gets on the wrong side of cafe owner Lauren Harlow. Lauren has a few things to teach the new vet on the block, and rescuing kittens is only the start…

Lauren can’t ignore the fact that she is instantly attracted to Caleb, but he gets her even more riled up when he argues with her about how best to treat the cats in her care. Determined to smooth things over, Caleb comes to the rescue when a new litter of abandoned kittens is left on Lauren’s doorstep, and they confront the fiery attraction that’s been building between them from the start. But saving the baby kittens is only the first challenge Lauren and Caleb have to face, and when a real estate developer comes sniffing around their block, they’ll have to work together, or risk losing everything…

COVER REVEAL! Love on the Rocks

Title: Love on the Rocks

A Holiday Springs Resort Series Novel

Author: Kim Bailey

Genre: Contemporary Workplace Romance

Cover Design: Bailey Cover Boutique

Release Date: November 6, 2020

BLURB

Melina Morales is a good girl.  

A hardworking, ambitious, follows-all-the-rules girl. Maybe that’s why her coworkers call her the ice queen. She might care if it weren’t for the looming pile of debt and her family depending on her. But with her dream job on the line, she’s determined to succeed, no matter the sacrifice.

There’s just one tiny, six-foot-something problem…

Zane Wilder is a bad boy.

The Holiday Springs bartender is the guy everyone turns to for a good time—especially the women. Except, lately he’s been unsatisfied. Maybe it’s got something to do with the drunken kiss he shared with Melina, but since he’s not interested in commitment, he figures there’ll never be a chance to find out.

When Melina agrees to one date in return for a favor, they both quickly realize there’s something between them. But it’s going to take Zane a lot more than his fun-loving ways and easy charm to convince the good girl to give him a serious shot.

This time, he’ll have to risk his heart.

Escape to the romantic paradise of Holiday Springs and warm up with your next happily ever after.    


GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55054297-love-on-the-rocks

PRE-ORDER LINKS 

US: https://amzn.to/3luPoHI
UK: https://amzn.to/3nzzSMA
CA: https://amzn.to/3dhrMn4
AU: https://amzn.to/3luPy1M 

AUTHOR BIO

Kim Bailey is a born procrastinator and sarcasm junkie who gets her motivation from coffee and good books. She enjoys lively conversations, usually with imaginary people, and can often be found daydreaming at work.


Most of all, she loves writing about love.

Her romance stories range from small-town contemporaries to action-packed suspense but always have a high heat level. She writes strong-willed women, broody alpha males, deep family bonds, and fiercely passionate lovers.

Kim proudly became a USA Today Best-Selling Author with her contribution to Wanted: An Outlaw Anthology. This charity anthology raised over $5000.00 for St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital.


AUTHOR LINKS

Website: https://www.kimbaileywrites.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KimBwrites 

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1445760699055990 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Kimberley_Bee 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kimbwrites 

COVER REVEAL: A Very Bossy Christmas

Title: A Very Bossy Christmas
Author: Kayley Loring
Genre: Steamy Romantic Comedy
Cover Design: Kari March Designs
Release Date: October 26, 2020
BLURB

What’s the actual last thing you’d ever want your executive assistant to see you doing the morning after you had hot, drunk, angry sex with her in a terrible hotel room? Dancing around your terrible hotel room to “Come and Get Your Love” like Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy—naked? Yeah. Me too.

And yet, here we are.

This isn’t even the most unprofessional thing that’s happened between us in the past couple of weeks.

The first was when I agreed to let her have Christmas Day off, but only if she goes with me to three family gatherings as my fake girlfriend.
The second was when she caught me belting out a Christmas song on stage in the awful hotel bar.
The third was the hot, drunk, angry sex that followed, but I do not regret it.

And she hasn’t even found out the real reason I need her by my side this holiday season.

I need to pull it together before I do the dumbest, most unprofessional thing of all—fall head over heels in love with the only assistant who’s lasted more than a month at the job and claims to hate me and my moods more than she hates eggnog.

And I’ve seen how much she hates eggnog.


GOODREADS LINK:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54959891-a-very-bossy-christmas


AUTHOR BIO

Before writing steamy romantic comedy novels, Kayley Loring got a BFA in creative writing from a Canadian university and had a fifteen-year career as a screenwriter in Los Angeles (under a different name). She mostly wrote PG-13 family comedies that studios would pay her lots of money for and then never make into movies. In 2017 she decided to move to the Pacific Northwest and write about all the fun stuff that she wasn’t allowed to write about in those PG-13 scripts. Now she’s breathing cleaner air and writing dirtier words. It’s an adjustment she’s happily getting used to.


AUTHOR LINKS

Website: https://kayleyloring.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorkayleyloring
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kayleyville
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kayleyloring
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/diuzU1
Audio Newsletter: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/e3b7l2
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kayley-loring

COVER REVEAL! Inked by Tracy Lorraine

Title: Inked

A Driven World Novel

& Rebel Ink Series Crossover

Author: Tracy Lorraine

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover Photo: Wander Aguiar

Model: Shane Williams

Release Date: October 15, 2020

BLURB

Some might say I’m running… I say I’m embarking on the life I’ve always dreamed of. It’s all I have left.

LA is everything I hoped it would be—a distraction from the life I’m desperate to escape. Fresh air and a fresh start. A chance to rediscover myself.

But before I can do that, I discover her.

Harlow Winters. She falls into my lap, and everything changes.

The artist in me recognizes her beauty. The broken man relates to the darkness threatening to consume her.

Suddenly, the future isn’t quite as daunting.

I’m trying to escape my past… but she refuses to let hers go.

With the scars of our past inked onto our skin and tattooed on our hearts, can we salvage a future under the weight of our memories, or will they crush us both?

Tracy Lorraine’s Inked is a heart-wrenching, emotionally charged, steamy, contemporary romance written in K. Bromberg’s Driven Worlds project.

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54577466-inked 

PRE-ORDER LINKS 

US: https://amzn.to/3h82xnq
UK: https://amzn.to/2F5Uril
CA: https://amzn.to/3idao4w
AU: https://amzn.to/32dD2gn 

AVAILABLE NOW

Hate You (Rebel Ink #1)

US: https://amzn.to/34VlAwL 

UK: https://amzn.to/2VLUdkr 

CA: https://amzn.to/2Kjw27I 

AU: https://amzn.to/2RTVFQA 

Free in Kindle Unlimited

AUTHOR BIO

Tracy Lorraine is a M/F and M/M contemporary romance author. Tracy recently-ish turned thirty and lives in a cute Cotswold village in England with her husband, daughter and lovable but slightly crazy dog. Having always been a bookaholic with her head stuck in her Kindle Tracy decided to try her hand at a story idea she dreamt up and hasn’t looked back since.

AUTHOR LINKS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tracylorraineauthor 

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1629820390650094 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tracy_lorraine_author 

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/tracy-lorraine 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tracy-Lorraine/e/B01JGQBXKY 

Website: https://tracylorraine.com 

✨ Cover Reveal! ✨ Rated XXX by Mya Oh

Title: Rated-XXX
Author: Mya Oh
Genre: New Adult Romantic Comedy
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Blurb
So, this whole thing started with a dick cake. Literally, a
cake shaped like a dick. Phallic confectionary. I spill a cup of coffee on the
patron. We become friends. We fall in love.

Wait, let’s back-track a bit.

I’m Bailey Finch: twenty-four, living in LA, and working as the lowly Calendar
Editor for a trendy Sex & Relationships magazine – think Cosmo on
methamphetamines. I mostly take coffee orders.

I’m also woefully body-conscious, clinically anxious, and still a virgin. Not
the cute, quirky sort, either. I’m a borderline train-wreck on my best days,
and a dumpster fire on my worst.

But here’s the real kicker: the Dick Cake Guy? He also ends up being the best
career opportunity to possibly fall into my lap. His name is Elijah Mattox:
BDSM Porn Star prodigy, wanna-be mainstream actor, and the subject of my very
first magazine interview.

Or at least, that’s how it started. There was something much bigger yet to come
– no pun intended.

Rated XXX: A virgin. A porn star. A comedy.

Excerpt
CHAPTER 1
The Dick Cake Guy

Cue: Darude – Sandstorm.

Wait. 99 Luftballons. That’s a much better intro song.

No. That’s not how I want to start this shit show. Or is this supposed to be a romantic comedy? You know, happy ending, lots of tissues, laugh-out-loud dialogue. Brilliant and sweet, with well fleshed-out, dynamic characters. Because that’s usually a thing, isn’t it?

And I’m already rambling.

So how on Earth do I start this? I’m twenty-four. Name’s Bailey Finch. Yeah, that’s a good name – it’s not just my actual name, but it also looks damn good in print. A good, solid protagonist name.

And the guy? There’s always a guy. I know you’re waiting for the guy.

Well, what to say: Tall? Check. Muscles? Sorta-check. Tattoos? Check. Wry grin and one of those devious smiles akin to Ian Somerhalder? Check and check. One-thousand checks.

His name is Elijah Mattox. He’s twenty-nine-years old. Favorite things that I’ve scrounged up so far include Asian-fusion cuisine, Single Malt Scotch, and perfecting his purposely-tousled hairstyle. He’s an actor, trying to break into main-stream, silver screen. Accolades and Oscars.

As for now, well – he’s only the most renowned Porn Star in the country. Over three-thousand scenes to-date. Yeah, no kidding.

And here I am, sitting at my desk, pen in-hand, trying to conjure up some questions to ask him that don’t consist of how many tits he’s seen and what his thoughts are on the real-to-saline ratio. How many times could he climax in one session? Was his relationship with sex boring now? What is sex like once you’ve made a career out of using your cock?

Was he worried that working in porn might affect his career as a mainstream actor? This isn’t some one-time Kardashian sex tape. Even though I’m sure he’s got one of those floating around somewhere. The guy has history.

Then again, I’ve never actually seen his stuff. Never been much into porn. Even the soft-core variety. I mean, I’ve done a few Google searches in my time. I technically know what a penis looks like. One time in fourth grade, me and my old best friend, Ginny Weirkowitz, looked up Two Girls One Cup, and refused to eat for the rest of the day. Whatever you do, don’t do it. Don’t Google it. My eyes went to hell.

But IRL, I’ve never seen the real thing. I’m a virgin. And I don’t say that to sound interesting, either: I’ve wanted to get laid more times than I could count. I have a vibrator, thank you very much. Have you ever used a Hitachi Magic Wand? Let me tell you…

I’ve just, you know, never had a real dick. I’ve never made love, had intercourse, fucked. Real hands, rough, desperate, passionate. Body-crushing. Mouth-on-mouth action. My only real kiss was Sophomore year of high school, on a dare, and that same guy ended up pouring an open container of spaghetti into my backpack after I reminded our Geometry teacher that he had forgotten to collect our homework.

I tapped my pen against the edge of my desk, glancing around the office: large windows, exposed brick walls, and blown-up copies of magazine covers from over the years, largely featuring notable men and women of the celebrity variety.

This was Come’s first porn star. Clever magazine name, I know. Come as in: welcome, enter. Come as in…orgasm.

We were known for our sex tips and relationship advice. That said, it’s been agreed upon that fucking in the shower just doesn’t really work. I’ve never fucked a guy before, and even I can tell you that I know for a fact, unless maybe you’ve got one of those shower-bath combos or a seat in your shower, it’s freaking impossible. I’d like to put out a request: if you’re a woman who has had mind-blowing shower-sex while standing up, please write to me.

I grinned unabashedly, outwardly, probably looking ridiculous. I hadn’t accomplished a lick of work in the past two hours. I couldn’t concentrate. I was hungry: one of those gripping, all-consuming, carb-salt-sugar craving hungers. I wanted a pretzel, doughnut, and Diet Coke, stat.

What do you ask a porn, star, though? What are the questions?

I don’t know, Bailey. Maybe treat him like a normal human male. Like a person. Like you.

I flushed at the thought. Like me, a virgin. A big-mouthed mope of a virgin, with brown hair that was frizzy on good days and unhinged on bad days. Shoulder-length. I wore loafers and slacks to work, button-downs with quirky designs. Today was yellow ducks. But Bailey Finch, as a whole, was painfully unquirky. I was a poser. Inauthentic. Maybe a little too self-deprecating. I was most authentic at home, in bed with my laptop, wearing a hooded sweatshirt, leggings, and cabin socks. The fluffier the socks, the better.

I wondered briefly what Elijah would think of me in comparison to the girls he’d been with on-screen. Did that even matter? No, of course not.

Still, I wondered. Maybe I should flat-iron my hair, or wear shoes with wedges. Lip-gloss vs. lip balm.

Procrastination: I typed out on the keyboard. Failure to concentrate. Here are some random facts: Scotland has 421 words for ‘snow’. Elephants are the only mammals that can’t jump. The first oranges weren’t actually orange. The most common name is Mohammed. Cats can hear ultrasound.  Children grow faster in the springtime. Karaoke means ’empty orchestra’ in Japanese.

Delete. Roll eyes. Sigh heavily.

As I sat there, staring at a blank Word document, my boss, Deborah – a tall, all-limbs woman, popped her head into my cubicle.

“How are the interview questions going?”

Her expression was vaguely fatigued despite remaining without a single crease or line; her face was elongated, elegant. She had the most delicate bird-face. Long, a pointed nose, elven cheek-bones. Her eyes, two silver buttons, were wide, perpetually surprised. Her foundation was light enough that I could still see the subtle, natural gloss of oil on her forehead. She was, all said, pretty in a pained sort of way. Her ash-blond hair was always styled as if she were ready to step out onto a runway. She wore Louis Vuitton stilettos and a tailored houndstooth-print suit.

“Excellent,” I lied. “I’m wrapping them up now, actually. I’ll email them to you in a minute.”

I’ll email them to you in a minute. Panic. My heart jumped. Why did I always do this? I was a people-pleaser to my core, and it always, always ended up biting me in the ass. I lived in constant pause-or-panic.

“Awesome,” she said, pleased. Her smile showed a bit of rose-pink lipstick on her front tooth. “Don’t feel the need to get too detailed with them. Let him lead the interview, if you can. He seems talkative enough in past interviews. He did a very informative interview with Cosmopolitan last fall – we want to go deeper than that. Deeper than male skincare, workout regimens and how to maintain an erection, at least.”

“Do you want me to confirm how many inches he is, exactly?” I inquired.

Deborah laughed.

“These are the imperative questions,” she said. “Yeah. If you can get his favorite lay, too, there’s a good one. Best orgasm story.”

“I doubt his best orgasm has been on-film,” I quipped. “I mean, three-thousand scenes. I’d be surprised if he wasn’t constantly sore. I wonder if dick-fatigue is a thing.”

“Then in a relationship! I don’t really care. I just want the details and we can Jane Doe or John Smith the rest.”

“Gotcha,” I nodded. “I’ll keep it professional. I’ll keep it sexy.”

While, of course, still focusing on the fact that he was now looking to step away from the Adult Industry. Maybe he wouldn’t want to talk about anything sexual. He possibly wouldn’t. Maybe he’d find it offensive – like a stain on his shirt that he was hoping nobody would notice, or an unruly cowlick.

Deborah scurried off in the direction of her next to-do, and I shook my head, a common mind-reset practice of mine. Like one of those Etch-A-Sketches.

Elijah Mattox, who are you, sir?

Author Bio
Mya Oh is an author, mother, and amateur
baker. Rated-XXX is her debut novel.
When not writing, she enjoys spending time exploring the
woods of her rural town. She currently resides on the East Coast with her
husband, two sons, and ginger tabby cat.
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