Find more from this author on:
About the author:
Mae Harden writes contemporary romance with a penchant for dirty talk and a healthy dose of humor.
She lives in Virginia with her husband and two young children, a chunky cat, and a pair of trouble-making border collie sisters. She loves to bake and makes homemade wine to keep up with household demand. (Thanks, distance learning!)
Mae has a degree in Baking and Pastry from the Culinary Institute of America, but these days she uses her degree to add true-to-life details (and recipes) to her books.
What inspired you to write your book?
I was actually in the middle of writing another book when I fell in love with the side character, Olive. I worked up a whole side story for her and once I started writing it, it took on a mind of its own!
Here is a short sample from the book:
Chapter 1: Olive
As I shepherd my friend's bridesmaids back into our hotel, I can't help but smile. This has been one of the best, most ridiculous, nights of my life. Sure, maybe sweet, innocent, virgin Chelsea should have stopped and thought about it before letting our friend (and resident wild lady) Sally plan her bachelorette activities. We’ve suffered no shortage of girly drinks, carousing, and penis jokes.
When we get to Chelsea's room, Sally slips into the bathroom and reappears with two bottles of champagne. I don’t even know where she had those hidden. Just because she’s creeping up on 65 doesn't mean Sally has settled down one bit. With her curly riot of lavender hair and a leopard print pantsuit, she led us on a bar crawl of downtown Napa. Each stop featured a different sexual cocktail along with a gift for each of us, tailor made to make Chelsea blush as hard as possible.
I met Chelsea in high school during the two torturous weeks I spent on the track team, and she’s been my bestie ever since. When she asked me to be a bridesmaid, I jumped at the chance to be part of her big day. Though, I never could have predicted that a bachelorette party for someone like Chelsea would reach such epically filthy proportions.
We started with Pink Silk Panties in the hotel suite where we opened little gift bags containing pale pink thongs. The color is demure but the barely there polka dot mesh screams “Watch me strip.” I'm pretty sure Chelsea's soon to be husband will pant like a dog if he catches her wearing it. Next was a round of sweet-as-shit Bend Over Shirleys and bottles of strawberry flavored lube. Chelsea blushed as pink as her drink and asked what you use flavored lube for.
Then there were the Leg Spreaders with a pair of fluffy handcuffs, the Screaming Orgasms with high-end vibrators. The Pop My Cherry shots with a full set of white bridal lingerie from Sally's boutique, complete with a little veil on the back of the white cage panties for Chelsea. The rest of us got black lingerie minus the veil. I started pumping the breaks and passing half of each drink back to the bartenders. Sugar and alcohol don’t love me as much as I love them so I switch to seltzer with lime early on.
Poor Chelsea has been a flustered mess all night, Googling how to use each gift before squeaking and throwing her phone back in her purse. I've never had so much fun. Chelsea’s twin cousins from Boston, Kate and Kristen, started out the night as buttoned-up as her, but with each of the dirty drinks, they loosened up a little more. The bartender at our last stop was an excellent sport, but once they started calling for more “shawts” while modeling their lingerie over their clothes I knew it was time to go. They had one too many Slippery Nipples, and it was starting to show.
It's only 12:30 when we get back to the hotel room, but the party isn't even close to over because Sally puts on some classic rock while waving her pink panties in the air. God, I hope I still party like that in my 60s. Kate is dancing on the couch but Kristen looks like she's wilting and I ask Sally if we should put her to bed.
“Don’t you dare! She’ll miss the entertainment!” Sally hoots over the music. Oh no. I’ve been friends with Sally long enough to know this can’t be good.
“What entertainment?” Chelsea asks innocently.
Oh, sweet baby girl… I think to myself. “Sally, tell me you didn’t.” She smirks and straightens the jacket of her pantsuit.
“What kind of bachelorette party doesn’t have a hunky stripper?” She looks like the cat that ate the canary.
"The nice kind," I reply. Poor Chelsea's eyes are round as saucers and she's gone pale. "The kind of bachelorette parties for virgin brides!" I hiss at Sally.
“She won’t be a virgin after Christmas!” Kate crows from her dancing platform on the couch. Chelsea blushes so hard I’m worried she will burn up. Her Christmas Eve blowout of a wedding is fast approaching along with the inevitable end to her virginity.
Kate and Sally clink glasses and chug the remains, letting out another “Woooo!” I can’t help laughing. I’ve never been a woo-girl but when Chelsea puts on a brave face and follows suit, pounding the last inch of her champagne I can’t help but join in. It’s her night.
Sally squints at the clock, “What time is it?” She asks.
“Damn stripper is late!” She scowls as she tries to pop another bottle of champagne, holding it between her thighs in the least ladylike display I have ever seen. There’s a pounding on the door and her head whips up, lips lifting in an evil grin.
“Open up ladies! You’re being too damn loud!” The voice filtering through the door is a deep baritone and one of the sexiest things I’ve ever heard. The festivities have gotten to me because I’ve never gotten so turned on by a man's voice before.
I give Sally the evil eye as I open the door. “I can’t believe you ordered a strip… Oh my fucking god.” The sight in front of me sends a shiver through my body.
This man is not at all what I would have expected from a stripper. I guess I was expecting a cheesy, oiled up, twenty-year-old that man-scapes and thinks he’s Magic Mike incarnate. This man must be in his late 30s with a short, well-kept beard and chocolate brown hair. There’s a sprinkling of silver-gray hairs at his temples. Fuck me. Why is that so hot? He's rugged and muscular in a way that makes me think he works with his hands.
His flannel has several buttons undone at the top, showing off the broad expanse of his chest, dusted with dark brown hair. My eyes drift down to his jeans, slung low on his hips and the muscular V that dips into the waistband. I know I shouldn’t look, but I can’t help myself because either he's stuffed a sock down his pants or that bulge promises a lot. I can't swallow because my tongue seems to have grown too big for my mouth.
Sexy Lumberjack leans an arm against the door frame and looks me up and down, his deep blue eyes sweeping over me, burning me. Jesus, how much did I have to drink? I’m turning to a puddle under his piercing gaze. A very wet, hot puddle. I’d love nothing more than to run my hands over his bare chest. I want it so badly my fingers are twitching, and I curl my hands into fists to stop myself.
“You ordered a stripper?” he asks. He’s still wearing a steely expression, but there’s a hint of a smile underneath it.
“Nuh… nah…” Holy shit, I can’t talk. “You don’t look like a stripper…” I start but then I throw a hand over my mouth. Was that rude? “Sorry, I didn’t mean that. I mean, you look like you could strip. Obviously, you’ve got the body for it… I just thought strippers would have less chest hair…” Oh fuck my life. Why did I just comment on his chest hair?! I sound like a babbling idiot.
Sally saves me, calling out from somewhere behind me.
“That was me, sugar. I booked the stripper.”
Sexy Lumberjack takes his eyes off me for the first time since I opened the door and smirks. “Is it just the five of you? I expected at least a dozen ladies dancing on tables from all the noise you were making.”
Sally pouts. “I ordered a cop, not a cowboy. You don’t even have a hat.”
He chuckles, “I’m not a cowboy, I’m a contractor.”
"Close enough, I guess." Sally shrugs and reaches around me, grabbing hold of a muscular arm. He lets her pull him into the room, watching me as he slides past. His body so close to mine that his bare chest rasps against the front of my dress, making my nipples pebble. It's all I can do to keep my drunk self from licking him. Drunk Me is a horny mess.
Sally jumps on the couch in her heels. “Let’s see it, Mr. Contractor!” I am one hundred percent sure she will be paying damages to the hotel.
Mr. Contractor just looks at us like we’re crazy. This must be his first time because he looks like he has no clue what he’s doing. What the fuck is going on? I mean, I’ve never actually seen a stripper, male or otherwise, but aren’t they supposed to come in with a boom box and props and stuff? Despite being the sexiest man I’ve ever laid eyes on, this guy doesn’t seem prepared. Those jeans don’t even look like rip-aways.
“I just came over because you’re all being so loud…”
“Hurry up and strip so we can put Kristen to bed!” Kate calls out.
He cocks an eyebrow and gives us a stern look. God, that shouldn’t turn me on.