NEW ADULT MONDAYS: Shatter (True Believers #4)

The New Adult genre - their bad boys and big problems and epic loves make them engrossing tales that are so easy to lose yourself in. What's not to love about that? And, now, thanks to the cool chicks at Bewitched Bookworms, we can show these books the love they deserve in a weekly feature - New Adult Mondays.

Shatter (True Believers #4), by Erin McCarthy
Published September 2, 2014
Publisher: Berkley Romance/Intermix
Format: paperback, provided by the publisher
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) Kylie Warner prides herself on being optimistic, but after finding her best friend in bed with her boyfriend and flunking chemistry, her upbeat attitude has taken a dive. Even an impromptu hook-up with her sexy new chemistry tutor only brightens her mood slightly. After all, it’s not like she’ll ever see the tattooed scholar again…

While he’s a whiz at complex equations, Jonathon Kadisch has trouble when it comes to figuring out women. So when Kylie tells him that she’s pregnant after their night of passion, he’s at a complete loss. He’s prepared to be a good father—unlike his own deadbeat dad—but he’s less prepared to fall for the genuine and alluring blonde bearing his child.

With emotions running high, Kylie wonders if Jonathon’s devotion is out of growing love or looming obligation. And when heartbreak threatens to tear them apart, Jonathon will have to fight for the only girl who’s ever made him feel whole…

Kylie's story in Shatter is the last of the four college BFFs' to tell, and it feels like her story has been a long time coming. We had the impression from book one that her relationship with her boyfriend wasn't everything it should be. He seemed like a total douchebag, and after book three in the series, that was confirmed. It's a shame that it had to happy to Kylie - the "happy" one of the group. I really, really wanted her to get her HEA just like the other three girls had. And, she found it in Jonathon. 

Kylie wasn't quite as skilled at the academics, especially when it came to the sciences. Add to that the fact that her chem prof is super slimy, and Kylie realizes she will need extra help to pass the class. Enter tatted tutor Jonathon. One study session together leads to one amazing night together, which leads to a lifelong attachment when Kylie finds out she's pregnant. 

Jonathon was absolutely incredible. It takes a special kind of man to step up and accept responsibility for a child he makes, especially when he barely knows the mother. Although Jonathon and Kylie don't promise each other anything from the beginning beyond being responsible for the life they created together, I liked that Jonathon opened himself up to the possibility, after his initial freak out. 

And, yeah. He might be pretty near perfect, but when Kylie breaks the news to him, he doesn't respond well. I was actually glad about that. It was a very real, organic response, and it made him just this side of perfect. 

For Kylie's part, she accepts responsibility immediately and starts adjusting her plans to accommodate a child. She tells Jonathon about her pregnancy immediately - major props for that. I can't tell you what a huge pet peeve it is of mine when characters in books find out they're pregnant and then delay telling the father, or even contemplate keeping it from him. I loved that she broke the news to Jonathon immediately, and she didn't let him walk all over her and get emotional when he freaked out. 

Poor Kylie. I mean, she's still trying to come to grips with the fact that one of her best friends slept with her boyfriend when this happens. Jonathon ended up being a very good friend to her first and foremost. He protected her, he listened to her, and he became committed to taking care of her. Unfortunately, Kylie gets a little too hung up on whether Jonathon was being that way with her because he truly cared about her or because he felt like he owed it to her to hang out with her and take care of her because of the baby. And, I get why. Especially after she falls in love with him. 

As if this wasn't enough drama for these two, Kylie and Jonathon are both dealing with exes, Kylie still has to fix her grades, she has to deal with Jonathon's horrible father, and then something awful happens to just confuse and complicate matters even more. Shatter was a very emotional book. Although Kylie and Jonathon have a very easy, comfortable relationship, the subject matter was pretty intense, and halfway through the book when you're hit with the "big, bad event," the whole story takes a different turn. It made me so sad and I just wanted everything to work out quickly so that everyone could be happy again. 

One of the best parts of Shatter was the epilogue. Since this is the final True Believers book, the epilogue gives us one final glimpse at all four couples before we have to say goodbye. They all come together for Jessica and Riley's wedding, and that takes place many months after the end of Jonathon's and Kylie's story. I love that final look at all the couples and that Erin McCarthy gave readers a chance to say goodbye to them. 

I nearly binge read the whole series at once. I enjoyed all the books so much, and am sad that it's finally come to an end. I'm looking forward to the next awesome new adult read from Erin McCarthy. 

Audiobook Review: A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #2)

A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #2), by Kresley Cole
Published April 1, 2006
Publisher: Pocket Books
Format: audiobook, purchased
Genre: adult paranormal/fantasy romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) A mythic warrior who'll stop at nothing to possess her...

After enduring years of torture from the vampire horde, Lachlain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, is enraged to find the predestined mate he's waited millennia for is a vampire. Or partly one. This Emmaline is a small, ethereal half Valkyrie/half vampire, who somehow begins to soothe the fury burning within him.

A vampire captured by her wildest fantasy...

Sheltered Emmaline Troy finally sets out to uncover the truth about her deceased parents—until a powerful Lykae claims her as his mate and forces her back to his ancestral Scottish castle. There, her fear of the Lykae—and their notorious dark desires—ebbs as he begins a slow, wicked seduction to sate her own dark cravings.

An all-consuming desire...

Yet when an ancient evil from her past resurfaces, will their desire deepen into a love that can bring a proud warrior to his knees and turn a gentle beauty into the fighter she was born to be?

I know - I'm a little late to this party. There's 14 books in the Immortal After Dark series, plus a spin-off now, and I just now started it. Better late than never, eh? 

Although a book precedes A Hunger Like No Other, it's really more like a prequel novella. Last time I checked, The Warlord Wants Forever (Immortals After Dark #1) was available for free on Kresley Cole's website. But, A Hunger Like No Other was the first full-length story set in this awesome world where we humans exist among all manner of creatures - vampires, werewolves, valkyries... it's a veritable melting pot of weird, and I loved it. 

Emmaline is one in a million - a half valkyrie, half vampire. She's on a mission to find information about her parents when she is kidnapped by sexy Lycae, Lachlain. Lachlain has been imprisoned for over a hundred years, and he finds the strength to escape when he senses Emma - his true mate. He is devastated, though, to find out she's half vampire. Her strength and character break through his prejudices, though, but will it be in time to save her from a bigger threat? 

I loved the dark passion in this book. Lachlain is such a tortured soul. He's spent so long all alone being tortured. He's half nuts when he finally connects with Emma, and then he's half blinded by that and half blinded by rage that she's the mortal enemy of his kind. Add to that the fact that the world is a much different place now than it was when he was imprisoned, and it's no wonder Lachlain is a bit surly. 

Emma, although timid and meek at first glance, is really pretty brave. She stands up to Lachlain time and time again. She knows when to pick her battles, so she handles him pretty well. My problem with Emmaline was that she handled Lachlain a little TOO well. She not only pushes him away, but is pretty mean and hurtful to him for so very long. Admittedly, Lachlain deserved it in the beginning. He didn't exactly make their first meeting sweet and romantic. He chased her and tackled her in the mud, and then kidnapped her and forced her to drive him to his home in Scotland. 

But, eventually, Lachlain wised up and realized how incredible she was and that her being a vampire wasn't the end of the world for him. Problem was, Emma still was having a hard time getting over his initial treatment of her. That irritated me, and it did get a little old after awhile. 

There was a whole lot of other things going on besides the romancing of Emma and Lachlain. It's obvious the various species of supernatural beings don't get along with each other very well. They are all on the cusp of war, and the tensions spill over and create little skirmishes all over the place. We see several of these take place in the book. 

We also see Lachlain's intense desire for revenge against his jailer which ends up having some pretty crazy ties to Emma. So, that story sort of comes full circle, which was interesting. A Hunger Like No Other was told in third person, so we shift frequently between Lachlain's and Emma's POV. Since it is in third person, we also get several other characters' POVs as well, and a nice set up for the next book in the series. 

I listened to the audio version of this book. Male narrators haven't ever been my thing. It's harder for their voices to change enough to distinguish between the characters. Robert Petkoff who narrated A Hunger Like No Other was freaking brilliant. He was, by far, my favorite male narrator - hell, he was one of my favorite narrators ever, period. Lachlain is Scottish, and the Scottish accent that Petkoff delivers was sexy and perfect. I look forward to the next book in this series, partly just so I can hear his voice again. And, partly because I really enjoyed this complex supernatural world that Kresley Cole created and can't wait to go back again soon. 

ROAD TRIP BLOG TOUR: Breaking the Rules (Pushing the Limits #1.5)

Now, I know that, if you've read PUSHING THE LIMITS and BREAKING THE RULES, you've wanted to hit the road with Echo and Noah. Who wouldn't, right? Well, you're in luck! Join me and a few other fabulous bloggers on a special road trip with Echo and Noah tour, organized by Inkslinger PR! Read on for information about Breaking the Rules, and a very special guest post from Katie McGarry about today's location. To make this tour even better, you can enter a giveaway exclusive to my blog to win a signed copy of Pushing the Limits (US/Canada)!

Today's Location: 
Vail, CO

Guest Post by Katie McGarry:
Nestled at the bottom of a mountain, Vail is possibly the most beautiful town I’ve ever visited. The cobblestone streets with tidy buildings transport me into a cute little Swiss mountain village. Each store I pass screams expensive and boasts if you break it, you buy it. Well, the ice cream shop doesn’t boast that, but it would be cool if it did.

I love Colorado. Absolutely love. My love affair with the state started eight years ago when I visited Vail, CO for a week. Even though I’m a writer, I’m not sure that I can describe the majestic beauty and peace found within this mountainous area.

It is because I love this place so much that I decided to have most of BREAKING THE RULES take place in Vail. Echo and Noah’s souls are so full of chaos and I wanted this place to help them find peace.

About the Book

Breaking the Rules (Pushing the Limits #1.5), by Katie McGarry
Published December 8, 2014
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Books-A-Million * iBooks

(From Goodreads) A summer road trip changes everything in this unforgettable new tale from acclaimed author Katie McGarry

For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so... different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who’s never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything — except the one thing Echo’s just not ready for.

But when the source of Echo’s constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants — even as foster kid Noah’s search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love, and themselves.

Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah's more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he'd be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn... seriously epic.

About the Author

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON,  BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

Tour Schedule

December 15-Vilma’s Book Blog

December 16-True Story Book Blog

December 17-KimberlyFaye Reads

December 18-Krista’s Dust Jacket

December 19-Nose Stuck in a Book

December 20-TSK TSK What to Read

December 21-K-Books

December 22-A Bookish Escape

December 23-Stuck in Books

December 24-Jenuine Cupcakes


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COVER REVEAL: Asa (Marked Men #6)

If you're a fan of the new adult genre, then I know you have heard of Jay Crownover and her Marked Men. First was Rule. Then came Jet, Rome, Nash, Rowdy... and now there's Asa. It's my EXTREME pleasure to introduce you to ASA.

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Asa (Marked Men #6), by Jay Crownover
To Be Published April 21, 2015
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Preorder: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

(Synopsis) Starting over in Denver with a whole new circle of friends and family, Asa Cross struggles with being the man he knows everyone wants him to be and the man he knows he really is. A leopard doesn’t it change its spots and Asa has always been a predator. He doesn’t want to hurt those who love and rely on him, especially one luscious arresting cop who suddenly seems to be interested in him for far more than his penchant for breaking the law. But letting go of old habits is hard, and it’s easy to hit bottom when it’s the place you know best.

Royal Hastings is quickly learning what the bottom looks like after a tragic situation at work threatens not only her career but her partner’s life. As a woman who has only ever had a few real friends she’s trying to muddle through her confusion and devastation all alone. Except she can’t stop thinking about the sexy southern bartender she locked up. Crushing on Asa is the last thing she needs but his allure is too strong to resist. His long criminal record can only hurt her already shaky career and chasing after a guy who has no respect for the law or himself can only end in heartbreak.

A longtime criminal and a cop together just seems so wrong . . . but for Asa and Royal, being wrong together is the only right choice to make.

About the Author

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men series. She also introduced the dark and sexy world of The Point that started with BETTER WHEN HE's BAD and is currently working on her newest series The Saint of Denver. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

BLOG TOUR REVIEW: Ripped (Real #5)

If you're a big Remy fan, then you really have to meet Kenna. Check out my review of RIPPED, Katy Evans' latest book in her Real series, and don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour, organized by AToMR Tours!

Ripped (Real #5), by Katy Evans
Published December 9, 2014
Publisher: Gallery Books
Format: e-ARC, provided by AToMR Tours
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) The fifth book in the New York Times new adult series that began with Real. When an angry, heartbroken girl is forced to be near her rocker ex-boyfriend, only time will tell if the fire between them will consume them both.

Pandora, the gothic friend of Brooke (Real, Mine, Remy) and Melanie, thought that getting her heart broken by her bad boy rocker ex could only happen once. But now, he's back in town with the biggest concert of the year. Pandora hates him so much that she gets Melanie to come with her and play a prank on him at his gig. But when they are caught by security, and her ex himself is summoned, he decides not to press charges if she'll follow certain conditions. Pandora likes none of his rules, or that he's in charge of her, especially since they seem designed to make sure she's in close contact with him again. But the closeness reignites the passion they once shared, and soon no matter how much she wants to hate him, it's clear she's still hung up on him. And worse: he knows it too.

So, you know Pandora, right? Brooke's and Melanie's other friend from the other Real books? She's always been cagey about the man that broke her heart, and now, in RIPPED, we get the whole story about the man that brought Pandora down. 

When Pandora finds out that the ex that destroyed her is in town with his world-famous rock band, she decides to prank him. But, when she's caught, she's forced to do her time, which includes touring with the band and spending a ton of time around the man she loathes. But, eventually, she has to tell him the whole story about why she hates him and she also has to come to terms with the fact that she still loves him. 

Pandora has always been the angry goth girl who hates men. And, in Ripped, that really hasn't changed. She's still really mad at pretty much everything. We always knew it was because a man had broken her somewhere along the way, but we didn't have the whole story. 

People choose to fall in love because it makes them feel protected, safe. Not me. I choose hate. It makes me feel good. Protected and sane. Hating him means what he did to me doesn't matter. I can still feel something. I am not yet dead, because I can feel this hate corroding me. He's ruined me for other men. Stopped me from being the woman I could have been. He's broken every dream of a future with him I had. He was my first love and my first everything, including my first heartbreak. 

It seems from the first meeting (or, re-meeting) of Pandora and McKenna that he feels the same for her too. To be fair, she did throw rotten fruit at his head during his performance. But, He really doesn't seem much happier to see her either. In fact, her intense ire seems to feed him and his mega attitude. But, if you read between the lines, it's clear that both of them are still very much affected by one another. 

Passion can manifest in many ways, and it's clear these two have passion in spades. For awhile after Pandora joins his band on tour, the passion between them comes out as extreme irritation, anger and sadness. There's so much regret and misunderstanding between them, it's just heartbreaking. 

And, thank goodness Katy Evans made Ripped a dual POV, because Kenna's POV is the best part of this book. I couldn't wait to get his outlook on Pandora and how she acted. As it turns out, he's just as conflicted as she is. And even more confused. 

Their reconnection happens in stages. Once they get past the extreme hate, they realize that they can have sex without feelings. Except, when has that ever worked in the history of ever? It brings them closer together, but it also complicates things more, because they finally have to face what caused them to break up in the first place. 

I have to say, out of all the Katy Evans books I've read, Ripped was my favorite. Katy Evans brings the feels, and this book was even more feelie for me than any of the other ones. We get cameos from Brooke, Remy and Melanie, which was fun. And, Pandora's and Kenna's relationship was volatile and passionate and sexy and I was in love with these two from the first page. 

About the Author

Katy Evans grew up with books and book-boyfriends until she found a real sexy boyfriend to love. They married and are now hard at work on their own happily ever after. Katy loves her family and friends, and she also loves reading, walking, baking, and being consumed by her characters until she reaches “The End.” Which is, hopefully, only the beginning…


It's my pleasure to help my friend Cora Carmack celebrate the release of her brand new, totally different book, INSPIRE. Read on for an excerpt and don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Inspire (The Muse #1), by Cora Carmack
Published December 15, 2014
Publisher: self-published
Genre: new adult paranormal romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

(From Goodreads) Kalliope lives with one purpose.

To inspire.

As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real.

Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal.

Her presence may inspire genius.

But it breeds madness, too.


I can feel Wilder's breath against my lips. More than that, I can see it. The sun has set and the temperature has dropped, and air fogs between us. There’s something about actually seeing it, like our lips are touching, we are touching, despite the distance between. And as we sway from side to side, my heart gradually begins to pick up speed.

The strains of guitar music flowing out from the restaurant are nearly indecipherable over the heavy heartbeat in my ears. But Wilder must hear it. His hands are strong on my body, guiding my movements, and I’m practically clay in his palms.

We dance, eyes on eyes, lips nearly on lips, and there is lightning beneath my skin each time his body brushes against mine in a new way. His touch is firm, but gentle, never pushing or pressuring, though I can tell from the dark look in his eyes that he’s just as affected as I am. The music shifts, building to a crescendo, and he spins us. My chest pushes tight against his, and I bite back a gasp. I don’t know if it’s the cold or him or some combination of both, but the tips of my breasts are painfully tight. Just the pressure of my bra is enough to rub them raw.

I remember the night at his apartment, the way he’d taken his time learning my body. I think of the heat of his mouth on my skin, and the memory alone is enough to make me shiver and clench.

He’s back to being business, grown-up Wilder tonight in his button down and glasses. Only now that I know him, it doesn’t seem like such a stark difference. He is neither the straight-laced man nor the tattooed bad boy. Or perhaps he’s both. Regardless of what he’s wearing, Wilder is caring and loyal and strong and so sexy that I’m having trouble remembering why I shouldn’t push him into the backseat of his SUV and crawl on top of him.  

About the Author

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.



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COVER REDESIGN & GIVEAWAY: Rook and Ronin Series

You all know by now the mad love I have for J.A. Huss. Know where it all started? It started with her new adult book TRAGIC. I read that book, and I was hooked on this author and on the characters introduced in it. Well, the Rook and Ronin series has gotten a facelift. Check out the new covers, and then enter the giveaway!

(Rook & Ronin #1)
By JA Huss
: 5-15-2013 
To Buy: Amazon

(Synopsis) How far are you willing to go to start over?

Rook Walsh is homeless, jobless, and down to her last ten bucks when opportunity knocks her in the head and delivers a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Internationally renowned photographer, Antoine Chaput, knows the minute he spies Rook in his studio that she's got The Look. The dark and desperate look he must have to land the exclusive TRAGIC media contract.

Rook is paired up with top model Ronin, and he knows exactly what to do to make her blush for Antoine's camera. Her luck changes in an instant and suddenly she's got more attention and exposure than she can handle—both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

Read my review.

MANIC99¢ through DECEMBER 14th
(Rook & Ronin #2)
By JA Huss
: 7-30-2013 
To Buy: Amazon

(Synopsis) TRAGIC is over and Rook is ready for the future—Spencer Shrike and the STURGIS contract!

It's three months of body art modeling! That means three months of Spencer Shrike's paintbrush all over her body, three months in front of Antoine's camera, and three months of twenty-four-hour filming for Spencer's Biker Channel reality show.

Wait a minute… what reality show? Maybe she should've read that STURGIS contract a little closer?

Sure, Rook's bank account is overflowing, but Ronin is angry, Clare is trying to escape rehab, Antoine is a worried mess, and Elise is just trying to hold everyone together. Rook's new family is about to fall apart before she even gets the chance to enjoy it.

Read my review.

(Rook & Ronin #1)
By JA Huss
To Buy: Amazon

(Synopsis) Rook is chasing her dream—film school and a chance at a life beyond the one she ran from six months ago. But before she can become the girl she wants to be, she must deal with the girl she left behind.

Ronin is also chasing his dream—a family of his own and a life away from erotic modeling. And he too, has a past he’s trying to forget. A past that makes Rook question everything about their life together.

Lies, secrets, and shocking truths will rock the foundation Rook and Ronin have built. Can they put the past behind them and move forward together? Or is this just another too good to be true relationship that will crash and burn in the end?

Read my review.

The Rook and Ronin Series has SEVEN books TOTAL:

(4) SLACK: A Day in the Life of Ford Aston
(5) TAUT: The Ford Book
(6) BOMB: A Day in the Life of Spencer Shrike
(7) GUNS: The Spencer Book

Excerpt from TRAGIC


     The girl catches me staring and I hold my breath. But neither of us turns away. We stare, unabashed, until Antoine's direction pulls her back into the shoot and she's lost again—guarded and unhappy, frowning and resigned. She's a blackbird sitting in a tree staring out at the world, daring the wind to come and knock her off the swaying bough.
     She is wrecked, Elise is right. But she's not down yet. The look on her face is defiant.
     When I look over at the clock it's well past five. Antoine has been shooting her for almost two hours. Elise left a while back but whether she's still here in the studio or up in her apartment, I have no idea. I lost track of her because my eyes are only on the girl.
     Antoine does pretty well until the end. It's clear he's finished shooting and the girl is starting to look uncomfortable when he asks her what she was thinking about during the shoot.
     I cringe. No, you don't ask them! You make them want to tell you, you idiot! I want to pull him aside and stop the crash and burn that's coming, but it's too late. She snaps at him and he pulls back when he realizes his mistake.
     He turns the conversation to business and this is where it really gets interesting. She tells him she's not a model and has no portfolio. I'm just about to laugh when she starts yelling about pictures as payment.
     I look back towards Elise's station and realize she forgot to explain the terms to her.
     We are so off our game today. One tragic girl has disrupted all the carefully laid plans and protocols we've had in place for years.
     The tragic girl storms off yelling. Antoine walks over to me and we wait together as she rants to Elise.
     "You better fix this, Antoine," I say calmly, but inside I'm screaming too. "Pay the fucking girl, she needs the money."
     He snorts like a fucking Frenchman. "I do not pay for test shoots."
     "This," I say, turning to face him, "was no test shoot and you know it. You've got hundreds of shots in that camera. Pay her and make sure she comes back or I won't do the contract. I want her. I've put up with hundreds of stupid girls over the years for you and I've never asked you for a favor like this. I want this one, or I won't do it."
     He fishes through his pocket and pulls out the cash that Clare never earned.
     The studio door slams and we are all reminded that two models have walked out on us today.
     "Elise!" Antoine calls, thrusting the bills out at her. "Catch her, pay her, and invite her back on Monday."
     Elise grabs the money and flies out the door.
     "We're in trouble, Ronin. She is trouble." He turns a little to look me in the eye, something he rarely does unless he's serious and wants me to consider his advice. "You should stay away from her, keep it professional. Or it might get messy."
     I shrug. "I'll do what I want. And staying away from her isn't even in the top million things I want to do with that girl."
     "Elise will hurt you if you ruin this one, Ronin. She won't tolerate another Mardee."
     Fuck you, is what I think. But I don't say it, I just sigh and we wait in silence for Elise to come back.

About the Author

J. A. Huss likes to write new adult books that make you think and keep you guessing. Her favorite genre to read is space opera, but since practically no one reads those books, she writes new adult science fiction, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and books about Junco (who refuses to be saddled with a label).

She has an undergraduate degree in horses, (yes, really–Thank you, Colorado State University) and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology from the University of Florida. She used to have a job driving around Colorado doing pretty much nothing but shooting the breeze with farmers, but now she just writes, runs the New Adult Addiction and Clean Teen Reads Book Blogs, and runs an online science classroom for homeschoolers.

Author Links:


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