Teaching high school is hard, and when you’re fresh out of college there is a legitimate pecking order when it comes to staff, faculty, tenured faculty, and administration. I just wanted to show up, decorate my classroom, and inspire these teenagers to be the best students they can be.
Why did the assistant principal have to be so handsome?
Now, it’s hard to focus on teaching when every meeting I have with him hints at something more. High school drama. If only the students knew what happened behind the teachers’ lounge door.
Over 20 illicit romances with the sexy heroes and strong heroines you crave!
Lose Yourself in the world of hot hookups, where the stories run from sexy to downright scandalous and the characters will leave you breathless. In these pages, you’ll find tantalizing romance, rekindled flames, and forbidden trysts.
From confident military men and suave billionaires to bad boy players, hot alphas, and more, you’re sure to find the illicit romance of your fantasies burning up these pages! These powerful, exciting men will keep you up all night and daydreaming all day!
Your favorite contemporary romance authors invite you to join them for twenty sizzling stories. Which of these scorching novels and novellas will have you hooked?
Don’t delay your pleasure.
Including Stories from
New York Times bestselling author Calinda B
USA Today bestselling author Sylvie Stewart
USA Today bestselling author Stephanie Morris
Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author Jeana E. Mann
Heather C. Myers
Tara L. Ames
Alyssa Drake & Bella Emy
S.R. Watson & Ryan Stacks
USA Today bestselling author Scarlett Avery
Have you ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn’t? Jed, my boss, is hot. I mean, smoking hot. But it gets worse. He’s also a womanizing jerk and a bit of a tyrant. He’d devour me if I let him. I know I should turn around and walk away, but I can’t. The heart wants what the heart wants, and it will do or endure anything to get it.
There are rules in business. Never hire a beautiful woman and never fall in love with her. Rule number one comes back to bite me in the ass every single time. You’d think a grizzly shifter of my stature could find a suitable mate without picking off his employees one by one.
Will Carrie meet Jed’s expectations to fill the role of a lifetime or will he have to pass on one of his engagements? Fur flies, stocks rise, and passion ignites in this paranormal shapeshifter romance.
Stacey Knowles’ life was just fine: She had a safe job in communications, and a budding relationship with a nice guy named Andrew. But then she got a new boss: Jason Masters.
Jason was everything Andrew wasn’t. Confident. A little dangerous. And drop-dead gorgeous, with a square jaw, piercing eyes and a muscular body. And as much as she tried, Stacey couldn’t help the overwhelming attraction she felt for her new boss.
Giving in to temptation could jeopardize her job, her relationship, her entire life. But as much as she tries to resist, she knows giving in would just feel so damned good …
She never thought her boss was capable of making such indecent proposal.
Twenty-two-year-old Ellen Davis is so efficient in her work that made her neglected her personal life. Since she started working for the sexy and mysterious Patrick Stevenson all she has done is working. She never let her personal life get in the way of her work. Even though she did fantasize about him from time to time. When she overhears a conversation of her boss that might lead her to unemployment, she has no idea that her life is about to change.
Patrick is a man who always get what he wants. He doesn’t take a no for an answer. When he learns that the ambitious Henry Gabe is trying to steal his company away from him, he knows just the person to help him stop Henry’s plans. With a fake marriage proposal to his secretary, Ellen Davis, he makes a move that allows him to keep his billionaire empire. What both didn’t expect when going in their lie was for it to become the truth.
Pamela has been a good wife, devoted and willing to make her marriage work. Then her husband, Glen, is killed in a road accident and her world changes forever. A flirtation with her boss, Jeff, introduces her to passion and a chance meeting with a total stranger awakens her hidden feelings. Can she break off this affair with Jeff and concentrate on her mother who has been diagnosed with stage four cancer?
Coming from burying her mother, Jeff fires her. Sweet revenge?
Her life goes from bad to worse. Her son Shaun is injured at school. As she nurses her son, Pamela goes through her late husband, Glen’s old things and discovers he had a secret life
Was Glen killed?
Her son shows her an advert saying: DOLPHINS FOR SALE. Pamela travels to The Isle of Man intending to buy the dolphins. But fate had a surprise waiting for her. There, she discovers a world of death-defying bikers, octane junkies.
Will Pamela find happiness here or discover this world too hot to handle?
Katie Colt is determined to climb the career ladder and become an editor at Newslite, one of the world’s most powerful news websites. She’s driven and serious, so when her boss sends her on a celebrity gossip assignment to a tropical island resort, it throws her for a loop. To add fuel to the fire, she’s accompanied by Josh Harper, a photographer on staff who has a reputation around the office—and in order to maintain their cover, they have to play the part of a couple in love.
He doesn’t care about the corporate ladder, and she desperately wants to get to the top. They couldn’t be more wrong for each other…until they’re so, so right. Minute by minute, they’ll discover that each is the other’s sexy, X-rated perfect match—but will they make the connection in time?
A mysterious stranger. A full moon. A strange lust.
Lenore Anderson’s plain world changes the night she meets the newcomer, Nick Connor. The new owner of a deserted old house, he exudes charm and questions. Why did he move to their small town? How is he so rich? And why does he look at Lenore with such hungry eyes? Those questions lead her into his strange, dark world and into his strong arms, and he’ll never let her go.
Desired By the Wolf: Part One the first entry in the three-part Desired By the Wolf serial, and is not intended to be read as a standalone story.
man who’s about to ruin the lives of many of her coworkers. Their department store employer is being merged with his family’s company, and layoffs are a part of the growing pains to grow the bottom line. Now she has to struggle with the urge to kill him or make love to him, and his advances aren’t helping.
Can George convince Alex to call off the deal, or will their love be the first thing laid off? How will George keep her coworkers from finding out about their affair? Can somebody please get her annoying manager off her back?
Rebecca wasn’t looking for trouble on her night out with her girlfriends, but trouble found her in the form of a dark and handsome stranger. He swept her up and plopped her down in a world of werewolves, blood feuds, and political intrigue with a healthy dose of scandalous sex. Now she has to learn the ways of her new world before their enemies take them out of it.
There are those who hunt the night, and then there’s Liz Stokes. She’s a normal woman with an abnormal roommate until he up and gets himself murdered. Now she’s inherited his unique ring and an even more unique business partner, and the world of the paranormal is sprung on her like a surprise birthday party nobody wants. Together the pair find out that they don’t like each other. A lot. The catch? They can’t kill each other or the survivor will die, too.
Now Liz has to navigate this new and frightening world while dealing with her equally new and frightening companion. It’s a crazy chase filled with mad scientists, men in black, and cop werewolves who want to take more than a bite out of crime.
The Dead-tective books are paranormal romance thriller episodes that revolve around a pair of unlikely partners in their quest for truth, justice, and a pint of blood.
Junior technician Ensie Thalanquin is the odd girl out in the Aerial squad. Building flying machines should be an exciting life, but years of being alternately teased and ignored by her fellow Petronauts have turned it into a grind.
Cooper Carper is a hard-working machinist whose boss has made him his personal whipping boy.
Love was the last thing they were looking for when they went to work. But sometimes love pops up in the most unlikely places…
Can they keep a relationship afloat despite the differences in their backgrounds, the meddling of their superiors, and the pressure of a dangerous flight test a few short weeks away?
I’m an author, actor and dad living outside Washington, DC with my wife, baby girl, and a brawling pair of cats.
My current projects are the humorous fantasy series “Mechanized Wizardry” and a related series of medium/short length pieces called “Petronaut Tales.” The Petronaut Tales are set in the same fantasy world, but give me license to play with new characters and genres, including romance.
With “Aloft,” I was inspired to write a romance about characters who weren’t especially beautiful, and who spent most of the lives feeling overlooked and out of place. Meeting each other is what lifts them up to do great things, even through adversity and danger.
Why not write about a passion-fest between two supermodels? Because most of the world’s passion-fests are between ordinary folks. I wanted to explore the reactions of two characters who didn’t ever imagine themselves capable of feeling a love that strong, let alone inspiring it in someone else. And I wanted to show how love can make people stronger, which was easier to do with characters starting from a lower-status place.
Sample from Book:
Ensie smoothed out the dog-eared corner of the blueprints for the dozenth time. She shifted her weight on the bench, feeling the warmth of the sun on the back of her neck. She was too poor to own a watch, but she resisted the temptation to duck out into the hallway again and check the sepia-faced clock mounted on the wall. It had been 10:20 on the spot when she’d checked it moments ago. That meant that, by now, twenty-five minutes at most had passed since she’d left Mister Upforth and the rest of his team. And Upforth had said Cooper—or was it Carper?—would meet her in fifteen minutes. But the drafting room might be hard to find, for a civilian who’d never seen the Aerial compound before. And there had been an awful lot of wood left in that cart for just one person to move quickly. Even someone so tall, with those big arms and broad shoulders…
“You need to get a hold of yourself,” she said aloud, pressing her palm against the desk. She closed her eyes.
You’re an Aerial technician. Your ‘naut wants a consultation from a civilian firm. You’ve been trusted with getting information vital to the success of your project. This is Business with a capital B. Not some kind of private—
—and don’t you dare even finish that thought, because seriously: this is Business.
She scratched the space between her too-thick eyebrows as she looked at the door.
And even if it wasn’t Business, the morose thought crept through her defenses, it’s not as if anything’s going to happen. Any friendly vibes you’re getting are because he’s good at his job. Do you really think that there’s anything about you that would inspire unprofessional thoughts in a civilian guy like him? When he’s meeting all the other wisecracking Aerial girls and the Parade squad knockouts on the same day? Count yourself lucky you’re getting to talk to him at all. You’re just—
The door inched open. Ensie leapt to her feet behind the desk. There he was.
“There you are,” she said, rubbing her hands against her hips.
“So sorry,” he mumbled, turning sideways to come through the narrow door. He sounded a little out of breath. “I… I thought I heard you say ‘third building on the right,’ but I must have misheard. That’s actually the, uh, fuel center, I learned, where you guys are doing some crazy things with petrolatum…”
“Oh, gosh, you went to the refinery?”
“Yeah, through a back door. Got a little turned around with the fumes. But then someone—I forgot his name—pointed me here…”
“Spheres, I led you to the refinery without a mask! I am so sorry. I don’t know why I… I meant to say ‘first building on your—’”
“You did. I’m sure you did. I just heard it wrong—”
“No, no, I’m sure I said… I don’t know what I said!”
“Listen, with these ears, all bets are off. It’s a miracle I’m here at all.”
They stood facing each other with their hands flat against their hips. The sunlight illuminated the lower halves of their bodies.
“I’m Ensie,” she said, for no reason.
Why, oh why, oh why do I speak?
He smiled at her. His teeth were a little small and his gums were a little long, so when he smiled he looked like a kid, with a child’s whole-hearted good humor. “That makes, what, the third time we’ve done introductions?”
“I’m sure, probably,” she laughed. She touched her fingertips to the desk and found herself leaning towards him. “My third time, at least. And somehow I’m still not sure what your name is! Carper? Cooper? Caper?”
“Cooper Carper, actually.”
She felt herself smiling like a porpoise. She ordered her lips to stand down. Business. “Nice to meet you, Mister Carper,” she said, very professionally.
“You too, technician.”
She tilted her head at him. ‘Technician?’ Who are you, Sir Tomas? “You can call me Ensie.”
“Well, then,” he said, pressing the door closed behind him with a click, “you can call me Cooper.”
“I’m on a project now for a concept craft called the Flicker,” she said, brushing the blueprints with her hands as she stared fixedly at the parchment. Cooper came over to the side of the desk to look. His hands floated in space for a moment as he considered resting a big palm on top of the desk to lean over the plans, as she was doing, which would have brought their heads very close together. But instead his hands interlocked behind his back in a sort of parade rest and he just bent his head to look down. Ensie tried not to watch him as she folded the dog-eared corner back into place for the thirteenth time.
She laid out the specifications for the grasshopper-like craft, discussing fuel projections, the airflow models they’d run, and the properties of the alloys they’d debated for the hollow, curved wings. Cooper’s head bobbed up and down, and he offered a succession of mmm’s and I see’s at appropriate times. As she heard herself talk, she fidgeted with the bottom edge of the desk and only allowed herself quick glances up at his face. It was hard to tell if he was following the run-down at all, which gave her a heavy feeling in her stomach.
Burn me. Maybe Mister Upforth had a good reason for wanting that woman Skye to be the one to talk to me…
“So,” he said at last, shifting his weight. She looked up at him. “What exactly do you need us for?”
“Just wanted to, uh, forge a partnership with Upforth’s for a consultation on our ranine apparatus. That’s all.”
Cooper nodded. His forehead was wrinkled with vigorous thought. Ensie folded her hands together and tried not to let her disappointment show. He had the look of someone at an absolute loss for the right thing to say. Please, please, don’t be stupid.
“Honestly?” Cooper said.
“Mmm-hmm?” she said, tucking one of her bangs back into her hairnet.
For a long moment, he just looked at the plans. Then he shook his head and gave a heavy sigh. His hands reappeared from behind his back and he leaned down so quickly their foreheads almost brushed.
“Mister Upforth’s going to kill me,” he said, “but I don’t think you need us at all. The ranine designs you already deploy don’t have any trouble getting a Bulwark Petronaut off the ground, do they? And a Bulwark ‘naut in full armor’s gotta be eighty percent of the weight of this Flicker; maybe even the same, if their suits are steel and this alloy of yours is as light as all that. And I can’t imagine your test pilots are bulked-up the way Bulwark grunts are. I mean, who flies your things?”
“Knighted ‘nauts and expert techs, mostly,” Ensie said, her eyes widening. There was a whole new energy to him.
“So, right! When I think of a burly man or woman in armor jumping through the air no problem, and then I envision someone on the svelte side—like you—piloting a Flicker that, all things being equal, is the same weight but with, you know, better airflow?”
“Hang on,” she said.
“Sure. Sorry. I know I don’t have the right terminology—”
“Did you say, uh.”
She pressed her lips together. Business! But there was no hope.
“Did you say I’m ‘on the svelte side?’”
Cooper’s looked down at her. His face went gray with horror.
“I hope that word means what I think it means,” he whispered.
She looked to the far wall. Cute? Petite? Is that what you meant? She longed to ask him that like a Parade squad nymph would say it, drifting towards him with an archly raised eyebrow and a lazy, kissable half-smile. But just playacting through the line in her head set a swarm of nervous giggles buzzing around in her throat, perilously close to her voice box, and it was all she could do to keep a lid on them.
“You’re.” Was that my voice? The word was a mortifying squeak.
Ensie swallowed and tried again. “You’re right that the aerodynamic profile of the Flicker sure beats an armored ‘naut,” she said, folding the corner of the blueprints back for the fourteenth time. “And weights are comparable. But the jumping action we’re thinking of is on a different scale.”
“Ah, okay. Higher elevations.”
“Yes, but more importantly, jumping’s the primary locomotion for the Flicker. A ‘naut can leap around from time to time, sure, but most of what they do is run. A totally different use of the coils and their, uh, built-in suspensions. Their legs.”
“Whereas the Flicker does nothing but jump,” Cooper said, rubbing the back of his neck.
“Jump, and glide, and jump, and glide. You see? That’s why we need to make sure the coil box we build can handle tons of impacts, and launch with tons of force; but not so much force that the pilot loses control. See? It’s tricky.”
“It’s tricky,” he agreed. Cooper raised his hands. “To be honest, though, I’d trust you Aerials more to make it work right than I’d trust us.”
“But, uh.” Was he really going to walk out of her life because he was too honest to land his company a contract? Keep him. Keep him here! a hungry voice blared out somewhere inside her.
“You must have done something this size before,” she said, hurriedly.
“Oh, sure. We’ve worked big carriage suspensions. A motorized dais that raised and lowered, too, and had a bunch of dancers leaping around on it for, uh, a play or something.”
“See? So Upforth’s could lend experience with scale, while we figure out the whole ‘aloft’ part.”
“Ensie. I just want to be sure we wouldn’t waste your time.”
Ensie took a deep breath through her nose. “It would take a lot of time,” she said slowly. She curled her hands into little fists, rubbing her thumbs against her fingers as she looked up at him. No giggling. No giggling!
“We’d have to meet, uh… quite a few times, probably.”
Cooper looked down at her. His hands unlocked from behind his back and floated to his sides. “Quite a few times?” he said, quietly.
“Oh, yeah. A big project like this could take hours and hours of collaboration.”
He nodded. One of his large fingers pointed to the desk. “Here?”
As he tapped the surface of the desk, Ensie thought of purposes for the wide flat surface that had never even crossed her mind before. She’d never wanted to get started on a collaboration so badly.
“Or your workshop,” she said. “You know. Whichever sounds more productive.”
“Either sounds good to me.”
“Great. Can I say—”
“I just want to—”
They both spoke up simultaneously, and leaned a little closer at the same time. It brought them many centimeters closer than either had meant independently. Ensie froze there. He was so close that her hairnet was almost brushing the center of his chest. She turned her face up to him and saw something very interesting in his eyes.
“You first,” she whispered.
Cooper took a long moment before speaking. “Can I just tell you that I’m looking forward to working with you?”
“Likewise…” Ensie shifted her hand so their fingertips on the desk were touching. “Cooper.”
He shifted his hand on top of hers. Warm pressure, skin-to-skin, flooded up her arm and into her chest. The contours of his rough palm were fascinating as she explored them through the fine hairs and delicate nerves of the back of her hand. Her vision went a little blurry as she dedicated all her brainpower to experiencing his touch against her skin.
A massive noise clattered through the hallway just outside. Ensie recoiled before she recognized the sound of the tool cart for what it was. Cooper started too, raising his hand up and away. He flushed the color of an overripe apple and he refused to meet her eyes as the tech outside pushed the noisy cart from one workroom to the next.
“I.” Ensie brushed the nonexistent dust off the blueprints again, trying to get her voice under control again. Cooper slowly put his hands behind his back.
“That, uh.” He cleared his throat. “I’m sorry. That was unprofessional of me, and I’m sorry.”
She looked up at him.
“I shouldn’t have… I mean, I didn’t mean anything by, by touching you.”
“Well, I… it’s not… There’s a time and a place, that’s all. Unprofessional,” he rambled, shaking his head.
Ensie felt the grain of the desk beneath her hand. “I made you think unprofessional thoughts,” she murmured.
Their eyes met.
“It’ll never happen again,” he said, something low coloring his voice.
Ensie raised one eyebrow in an unspoken ‘really?’ she would have been very proud of if she had been able to see herself.
Sunlight flooded the room as their lips pressed together.