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About the author:
Not only is Claire Raye a really sweet pen name, it’s actually a pen name for two sarcastic best friends who met through their mutual love of reading. After bonding over books (and wine and cheese), they decided to take the plunge and see if they could write a book together and ta dah… The Rockport Beach Series was born! In addition to their shared love of food and dropping an occasional (read, a lot of) f bombs, the writing duo that is Claire Raye like to write about strong, sassy females who aren’t afraid to say what’s on their mind and the overprotective men who fall in love with them.
Here is a short sample from the book:
“Chug! Chug! Chug!” I hear before we even step through the door. The smell of stale beer and sweat is wafting from the open windows and I practically gag, rolling my eyes and wondering what the hell I’m even doing here.
Looking over her shoulder at me, Ruby widens her eyes but doesn’t say anything as she reaches to push open the front door of the dilapidated house that’s presenting itself in front of us. It’s disgusting and I have no idea why I would even consider walking in here in the first place.
“I’m pretty sure you’re going to get chlamydia from touching that door so make sure you wash your hands,” I spit out, a shudder of disgust rolling up my spine.
“Come on. You’re being so dramatic. All house parties are like this,” Ruby replies, and now it’s her rolling her eyes. “You’d know this if you ever left the house.”
“I prefer the bar,” I shoot back. “It a controlled environment. This is like date rape central.” I have to shout over the sound of the pumping base and alpha males pounding their chests.
“The bar is expensive and here we can drink for free,” she yells back and unfortunately, I can’t argue with the validity of her response. My student loans are piling up as we speak and what little money I do have is usually spent on food and cheap booze. Gordon’s vodka, anyone?
The music is loud, the base thumping so hard I can feel it in my chest as Ruby and I maneuver through the crowd of people to the back of the house. It’s a warm night and the house is stifling, the smell of sweaty bodies permeating the air. I need to get a drink quick before this all starts to get to me. This party is as clichéd as a college party gets.
We reach the small mudroom at the back of the house, the doorway blocked by some hulking meathead with a few too many conflicting ideology tattoos and the smell of weed coming from his pores.
“Ten bucks a cup,” he grunts, holding out a hand and Ruby pushes up on her toes to get a good look at the keg on the other side of the doorway.
“Okay, no problem,” she says, shoving her hand into her shirt as she rummages through her bra looking for money she’s pretending she stashed there. She’s wearing a tiny white crop top and painted on black skinny jeans, and her dark brown hair shakes as she continues to search for the non-existent money.
“Ruby,” I whine, my voice unnaturally high and shrill. “My boobs are way too small to pull off this bralette.” I grab my B-cup boobs and push my bottom lip out a little. “No one is going to want to sleep with me and I was dead set on losing my virginity tonight.” I stomp my foot a little, my hip jutting out as I conjure up a few tears to pool in my eyes.
Turning to me, Ruby slides a finger under the spaghetti strap of the bralette I’m wearing as a top, moving her finger back and forth against my skin.
“No. Your boobs are perfect and perky and any guy would be lucky…” she trails off turning back to the bouncer meathead. “I’m sorry, I forgot what you said.” Her fake innocence pushing through as she twirls a lock of my hair around her finger; its blonde color almost a perfect match against her flawless pale skin. She steps closer to him, her other hand resting on his bare chest as I slide my hand over her hip. Meathead’s eyes immediately shoot to where I’m touching Ruby and when he looks back up, I wet my lips, my tongue poking out just slightly as I make eye contact with him.
“Um, yeah,” he stutters out, but never finishes his thought. He just reaches behind him, handing Ruby two blue plastic cups and she in turn extends them back to me as she pushes up and pecks the meathead on the cheek.
“God, you’re good,” she groans, slapping me on the ass while I step through the doorway.
“Nah. I’m only as good as my partner in crime.” I shrug my shoulders and give her a wink.
The little mudroom is crowded with people and the worn-out linoleum floor is sticky under my feet, making me cringe a little as I peel my shoes off it. I begin to pump the keg, tipping the cup to the side as I fill Ruby’s first and then mine.
“You need some help there?” a deep voice from behind me asks and again I’m rolling my eyes. I get it this is college and boys hit on girls, but I wish they’d be a little more creative. Not every girl who walks in here is some insipid twit who needs saving. I’ve been filling cups from a keg since before I could ride a bike.
“Why? So you can roofie my beer?” I bite back. Ruby laughs out loud, a hand covering her mouth when she realizes it was louder than necessary and I smirk at her.
“He’s cute though,” Ruby whispers, her mouth so close to my ear it can only be perceived as something sexual. She bumps me with her tiny hip making my ass sway, which I’m sure is giving this guy an eyeful.
Slightly curious, I hand Ruby her beer and turn around to get a good look at him, and I’ll be damned if she isn’t right. His face holds an amused expression with a slight smile that teeters on the edge of exposing his what I imagine are perfectly straight teeth. He’s tall and lean, but still muscular and he looks like he doesn’t fit in with this crowd of football players and overly beefed up guys.
“I like a girl with a snarky attitude,” he says, a flirting quality to his voice and his posture, as he steps closer to me.
“Funny, because I like a guy who actually has a shirt on,” I quip back and when Ruby obviously sees I have things under control here, she gives my hand a squeeze and I repeat the gesture as she slips out the door to find someone to flirt with, too.
“Shirtless dudes are a dime a dozen around here,” he jokes, his eyes wandering to the large expanse that is the main room of the house. He tilts his head and I follow him out of the cramped space, finding a spot off to the side.
The music is still pumping and it makes it hard to hear him, but he clears his throat and I catch the ending of his question.
“My name?” I ask, verifying that’s what he asked, and he leans in, resting his arm on the wall above my head.
Nodding his head, a simple smile on his face as he watches me with his dark eyes and for split second something passes between us, something that feels more natural than just a chance meeting at a keg party.
“Sienna,” I tell him, my mouth now next to his ear, practically touching it and when I pull back and wet my lips, I taste the salt of his skin.
“I’m Justin,” he returns, tucking my hair behind my ear. “So tell me, Sienna, what are you doing here tonight?”
I purse my lips, as I slide my leg between his just a little. “Honestly, Justin, I’m just here to get drunk off free beer.”
“Free beer? I thought there was a cup fee?” he questions, titling his head to the side.
“For you there was a cup fee, but for me and my perky little boobs there was not.”
His head falls back and he lets out a low laugh. I guess the guys don’t realize most of us dress the way we do for our own benefit. It has nothing to do with impressing them and everything to do with using our bodies to get what we want. Ruby and I have been perfecting our act since freshman year. The tops have gotten smaller and the shorts shorter, but my damn boobs have stayed the same size.