by Devon Hartford
by Devon Hartford
REMEMBER THAT HOT OLDER GUY YOU DREAMED OF HOOKING UP WITH
IN HIGH SCHOOL, BUT NEVER GOT TO?
IN HIGH SCHOOL, BUT NEVER GOT TO?
NOW YOU CAN.
Skye Albright is starting her senior year. Her biggest focus in life is doing well on the SAT so she can get into a good college.
Her sexy stepbrother Dante Lord is a high school dropout turned world traveler. He hasn’t been on U.S. soil since he was 14.
Skye and Dante have never met face to face. That all changes when Dante finally comes home for a surprise visit.
From the moment Skye and Dante meet, the sparks fly. Their mutual attraction is a scorching hot bomb ready to go off. The last thing on their minds is the trouble their attraction will cause for their family.
It doesn’t help matters that Skye and Dante are sleeping under the same roof.
When word of Skye and Dante’s illicit affair gets out, everything blows up. Skye’s life spins out of control. Their parents freak out. But Skye and Dante can’t stop themselves. Their mutual desire is too strong.
Friendships will be shattered.
Lives will be ruined.
A family will be broken.
Hearts will be torn apart.
THIS IS A STANDALONE BOOK. NO CLIFFHANGER!!
WARNING: Due to strong language and sexual situations, this book is intended for mature readers ages 18+
(in case you missed the sneak peek)
(in case you missed the sneak peek)
The summer before my senior year in high school ends with a glorious bang.
Does the banging involve a ridiculously hot swoon-worthy guy, you ask?
Of course it does.
Sadly, most of my summer leading up to the glorious bang is spent studying for the SAT (a.k.a. the Stress.A.T.), not engaged in glorious banging. What a way to spend your summer, right? Tell me about it.
I’ll get to the juicy stuff in a second. So hold your panties. I promise, they’ll be dropping as quickly as mine did.
See, I only did okay when I took the SAT for the first time at the end of junior year. My dad insisted I take the test early, in case I needed to improve my score by taking it again senior year. I’m one of those students who has to work their butt off to get good grades. I’m also one of those students whose parents expect good grades whether I want to work my butt off or not. My dad is an overbearing ladyball buster. Luckily my stepmom Catarina is more laid back.
I did take Advanced Placement English Language & Composition last year and will take AP English Literature & Comp senior year (English is my best subject), but I’m not even close to being on the math or science fast track. I don’t know how those kids do it. Between my decent grades and not so decent SAT score, my college career at an upper tier university is still in question. My dad is none too happy about that. If I don’t get into a top ranked school, he will take it as a personal offense to our family name: Albright. Funny, huh? You know how parents always talk about “bright” kids? The smart ones? Yeah, I’m not one of those. I’m more of a street smarts girl.
Why don’t they have an SAT subject test for street smarts? I’d ace that.
Anyway, at the beginning of summer, Dad decreed that I would spend it enrolled in an SAT prep course. Yay. Not. He said I could quit the prep course early if I could consistently score 2,000 on the practice tests. 2,000?! Yes, my dad is a tyrant. Never happened. Half way through summer, he hired a math tutor to help out. Was it a sexy stud college guy math tutor? Was he my glorious bang? No. My tutor was this 14 year old home-schooled math genius named Marvin who looks 11. No banging involved. Ew. He was nice enough. Maybe a bit too impatient for my tastes. But there’s something about having some kid who’s way younger than you making you feel sucky at math that is not fun. So much for my summer vacation. The good news is I’m pretty confident when I retake the SAT this October, I’ll do much better, especially in math. Fingers crossed.
Okay, boring stuff out of the way.
Now that summer is almost over, I’m ready for a study break in a big bad way. I have to beg my dad to let me have the last week of summer vacation to myself. I remind him that even he gets three weeks of vacation every year, which is three times more than I’m asking for. Of course, he usually doesn’t take any time off. Yes, my dad is a workaholic. But with the help of Catarina, we convince Dad to let me out of SAT jail for a week.
Catarina is awesome, btw. Unlike my real long-gone mom, but that’s another story I’d rather not talk about. Sigh.
Okay, perk up! Big smiles!!
Aaaaaand… that leads me back to the glorious bang that happens at the tail end of my summer vacation. And it totally involves a smokin’ hot guy, not a nerdy math genius.
Ready for some steam?
Here’s how the banging starts.
First, picture the hottest surfer stud ever: tall, tan, bleach blond hair, broad muscled shoulders, rippling abs, slim hips.
Second, add tattoos.
Third, imagine yourself in his arms.
His hot body presses against mine in the cool water of the huge wave pool at Blazing Waters, the best water slide park in Los Angeles. My head spins from the most luscious, mind-altering kiss I’ve ever had. We’re still kissing and I never want to stop. His hard muscled arms envelope my waist in a hot embrace. I’m surprised the water isn’t boiling and steaming around us from our heat.
Hundreds of people frolic in the aqua blue water surrounding the two of us; laughing, hollering, and having a blast under the bright sun while waiting for the next wave to hit.
I don’t notice the crowd.
I only notice him.
He and I may as well be floating in a tropical blue ocean in the middle of a quiet paradise. There is only me, Mother Nature, and…
The most amazing boy, I mean man, I’ve ever kissed.
I’ve kissed a few guys in my time. Some cute, some not so cute. But compared to Him, every one of those guys was a boy.
The naked muscles of his hard chest press against my breasts. I’m practically naked in my hot pink bikini. When it comes to bathing suits, I prefer minimalism. I may not have a fitness model body, but it’s good enough for a bikini, and I’m proud of it. I work hard to stay in shape.
Speaking of hard, He is hard.
He may be wearing board shorts, but with my legs wrapped around his waist, I feel every inch of his personal surfboard pressing against me. His rigid heat throbs and pulsates against my soft and yielding core. I want this man more than I’ve ever wanted any male of the species ever.
I squeeze my thighs tighter, grinding myself against him.
He responds by thrusting his pelvis against my softness.
It feels so damn good.
Pleasure sizzles up from between my legs.
If it wasn’t for the water being up to our chests, I think we’d get arrested for public lewdness.
Nobody around us seems to notice.
So we continue to kiss.
His tongue is forceful and plows through my mouth with hot need. His rigid abs press against my stomach like he can’t get enough of me. I can’t get enough of Him. His scruffy stubble scrapes against my skin, tingling in a good way. This is how it feels to kiss a man. Sure, I’ve kissed boys. But it was never like this. Never so… addictive. I quiver all over as every inch of me flows into this kiss. He is putting everything he has into me too. Every inch. I can feel it. His naked need feeds mine. I am more turned on than I’ve ever been in my entire life. I’m crazy with lust and I love it.
Because we’re in the pool, I can’t tell how wet I am. But I know I’m soaked.
“Get a room!!” some random girl yells nearby.
“Can you taste her tonsils?!” a random guy cackles.
“What did she eat for breakfast?!” someone else yells.
Obviously, people are noticing our kiss. Like a bunch of starving dogs, they just have to ruin our moment. I can’t help it if we have what they don’t.
“Pervert!” Yet another jealous jerk.
Screw them. This moment is all mine.
His tongue slides slowly out of my mouth.
Hey, wait! I want his tongue to stay!
“Slut,” some girl hisses.
I throw a scowl in her general direction.
People are assholes. I suddenly feel shy. Reluctantly, I end our kiss. But he’s still holding me and I’m holding him.
I never want to let go.
We touch foreheads.
My arms are wrapped around his strong neck. “Ohhh…” I moan, “That was incredible.”
He chuckles confidently with that deep voice of his, “Of course it was.”
“You’re sure cocky,” I giggle.
“You noticed?” He does a slow thrust against my folds that sends another pre-orgasmic wave up my spine.
My eyelids flutter as more pleasure blooms in my belly. Oh, gawd. I can only imagine what it would feel like if he was inside me right now. I release a spasming moan in his ear.
“You like that, don’t you?” He massages my ass with powerful hands and grinds against me.
This is too much. I can’t take any more. I’m going to come. It doesn’t matter if there’s a crowd around us. Although my brain says stop, my mouth can only moan, and my body responds to his languid thrusts. My pelvis tips forward, causing my buzzing clit to brush against his rigid length. Another freezing hot wave of pleasure erupts in my belly. “Oh, god,” I shiver and whisper, “I’m coming.”
“Yeah you are,” he grunts.
My entire core clenches hard and my thighs shake around his waist.
“Come for me, babe. Come right now,” he hisses, maintaining his rhythmic thrusting.
As the orgasm quakes through my body, I bite my lip to stifle my scream. I clamp my eyes shut to block out everything except the hardness of this amazing man and the hammering pleasure that shakes every bone in my body.
I’m breathless as I come down from the sexual high.
“It was good, wasn’t it?” He chuckles softly, his lips feathering my ear.
I’m too overwhelmed to respond. All I can do is pant. My arms are limp and float freely in the waving water of the pool. My head tips back, facing the sky.
He holds on, his powerful arms now wrapped loosely around my waist.
The bright sun glows red through my closed eyes, warming my face. “Oh my god,” I whisper, “That was… that was—”
“The best orgasm you’ve ever had,” he states with finality.
Yes. But I’m not telling him that. Eyes still closed, I repress a grin. “You’re so full of yourself,” I giggle.
“I’m full of something,” he snickers.
Yeah, way too cocky for his own good.
I laugh and push away from him, floating into deeper water. “I hope you like blue balls, cause that’s all you’re getting from me.”
He shakes his head, grinning that killer dimpled grin of his. The grin that slayed me the second I saw it earlier today. He knows he’s hot.
I met this guy only a few hours ago. I shouldn’t be this into him already. But I am.
He strokes toward me through the water like a hungry shark. He smirks, “If we weren’t in a crowded wave pool, I’d be inside you right now and you know it.”
“You wish,” I laugh and splash water in his face. He’s right. He is totally right.
He surges toward me and laces his arms around my waist, pulling me into him.
I let him. Then I slide my arms around his neck. I don’t wrap my legs around him because I’m afraid of what I’ll do when I feel his cock press into me again. Oh, shiver…
Looking for a distraction, I push his longish surfer-blond hair out of his eyes. It’s thick and I love running my fingers through it. I keep using the word love a lot. I can’t help it.
More importantly, now that we’ve kissed and he made me come, I feel like I should at least know his real name. When we exchanged names earlier in the day, I said my name was Angelina and he said his was Brad. We both knew we were giving each other fake names. It was a fun joke. I sigh, “Hey, um, can I ask you a question?”
“Anything, Angelina.” He winks and grins his rakish grin. His emerald eyes flash back the sun rays that reflect off the water.
I wrinkle my nose and giggle girlishly, “Is your name really Brad?”
“What do you think, Angelina?” He winks.
“Duh.” I roll my eyes and caress the bronze skin of his cheek. “So, um, Brad, what’s your real name?”
His full lips spread over his perfect teeth. His smile glows, “Dante. My name’s Dante.”
Sudden anxiety seizes me and pops the balloon of happy contentment that was floating in my chest a second ago. It has to be a coincidence. Lots of guys are named Dante.
“What?” he asks, slightly confused.
“Um, it’s just…” I wrinkle my nose and shake my head for a second, then tilt it to the side. I frown, “What’s your last name?”
“Does it matter?” he chuckles.
“Please,” I beg, “just tell me your last name.”
He frowns, “Are you gonna tell me to put a ring on it next?” He sounds defensive.
I feel a pin prick of disappointment when he says that. We all know that men like Brad, a.k.a. Dante, do not like to be tied down. But I’m not even thinking that far ahead. “No, it’s not that. Believe me. But please, tell me your last name.”
“Lord. My name is Dante Lord.”
My heart stops, stabbed by a million pins all at once. My arms wither and slide off his neck.
He releases me. It’s symbolic, but he doesn’t realize it yet.
I drift away from him in the cold water. Now would be a good time to drown. All I have to do is let myself sink and let fate take me.
“What’s wrong?” he laughs nervously. “Do we know each other or something?”
We don’t know each other. But that’s not the problem here. I’m afraid we have a much bigger issue. Tears well in my eyes. I want to sob, but not here, not surrounded by a crowd of people playing in a gigantic wave pool.
“Have we hooked up before?” he asks guiltily.
“Ugh,” I groan, disgusted. Don’t people usually remember things like that?
His face softens. His voice becomes delicate, “Hey, I have no idea what’s going on here. Are you okay?” He clasps my hand gently under the water. The concern on his face spears my heart.
I’ve never seen a teenage boy look at me like Dante is looking at me right now. Like he actually cares. It seems like every guy I ever hooked up with always had the same look on their faces: Do we get to have sex this time? I got really tired of that look. Dante’s look is entirely different. It’s filled with compassion and caring. It’s the look of love.
But it’s the wrong kind of love.
The love on his face right now is a cruel hoax. A scam. A trick.
Part of me doesn’t want to believe it. That part is holding on to hope like a life preserver. I want to believe that Dante and I have a chance, that there are other Dante Lords in the world besides this one. I have to make sure. In a weak voice I ask, “Is your mom’s name Catarina?”
He frowns, “How do you know my mom’s name?”
“No, no, no…” I mutter. Why me? Why now? Why like this?
“Hey,” Dante says softly, “what’s wrong? You look all messed up. Tell me what’s bothering you. Please.” He sounds so earnest. So loving.
This. Is. Killing me.
I’m about to lose it and start bawling, right in the crowded wave pool at Blazing Waters. I sniffle, “I’m your stepsister, Skye Albright.”
“Nice name. But I’ve never heard it before. I’d remember a name like that.”
Dante has been estranged from his mom Catarina, my stepmom, since he moved to Baja California to live with his dad at age 14. According to Catarina, she and Dante had a huge falling out and haven’t spoken since. That was seven years ago. Dante doesn’t know the first thing about me, not even my name.
Dante frowns. “What? No way.”
“Yes. Your mom married my dad this past June.”
Dante’s eyes volleyball in their sockets. “My mom got married?”
“To my dad.”
“And you’re my stepsister?”
I nod morosely.
His brows knit with dark humor. “No way. You’re totally bullshitting me, right?” Hope shines in his emerald eyes. He doesn’t want to believe it’s true.
That breaks my heart more than anything else. “Is your mom Catarina a real estate agent?”
“What the…” His eyes pop. “No way. No fucking way! How did you know?”
My stomach knots. “Because I’m your stepsister.”
“Really?” His disappointment is obvious.
“Yeah,” I sigh.
His face sags with sadness. “I’m so sorry,” he says softly.
Between his gorgeous good looks, his cocky sense of humor, his arrogant attitude, and his surprise compassionate side, my stepbrother is the grandest prize among men that a woman could ever hope to catch. I’ve never met a boy or a guy or a man like him, and I don’t know if I ever will again. I may still be in high school, but seriously, when you know, you know. Your heart never lies, and the truth is, my stepbrother is the most desirable man on the planet.
And he’s totally off limits.
The artificial wave machine clunks and makes a fake wave that kicks out across the huge pool. The people closest to it cheer and scream with glee while my heart sinks.
When the wave reaches me, it slams into me and tears me away from Dante, knocking me underwater. I don’t bother to fight it. The blue doom washes over me like a cold suffocating blanket. I let it overtake me because I suddenly feel dead inside.
I hope I drown.
After tumbling under the wave for awhile, and despite my morbid desire, my head bobs up above the surface, and the last thing I hear is Dante shouting:
“Skye!” Panic and concern strain his voice.
I may be ready to give up, but with that one word, that one syllable that is my name, I know that Dante Lord is going to fight for me, no matter what happens.
I just hope I can be as strong as him…
A lot of people ask me, "Why is a guy writing romance novels for women?" The answer is simple. Everyone falls in love. Even men. Imagine that. ;-)
But it goes deeper than that. I write romance to explore and understand my own emotions.
No matter what most guys say on the subject, emotions are a part of the human experience for women AND men. Guys who deny their emotions, especially the difficult ones like sadness, grief, loss, and hurt, are missing out on a big part of life. Everyone has emotional scars. It's impossible to make it from cradle to grave without getting banged up along the way. For all that pain, we can also heal ourselves.
My stories feature characters who are on a quest to heal their pain, and in the process, find love. We all know that a loving relationship can be a conduit for both partners to heal together. When that happens, it's truly a beautiful thing.
It's my hope that my readers can gain some perspective regarding their own emotional wounds, and perhaps heal in some small way by going through the emotional journey I went through while writing my stories.