Exclusive excerpt: Small Town Scandal by Daisy Prescott

Out today is Small Town Scandal by Daisy Prescott―the newest addition to the Wingman series. Before you dive in fully into this second chance romance, I’ve got a sneak peek at what awaits below!

Please note this novel can be read as a standalone book.

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About Small Town Scandal

Another wingmen meets his match and this time it’s scandalous.

Carter Kelso is a man with a plan. And goats.

Ashley Kingston is a woman with a reputation.

Can he earn back her love before their past catches up with them and destroys everything?

On the island, my last name is synonymous with scandal. With a notorious father and a famous brother, I’ve been on the sidelines of our small town’s gossip circle for years. Nothing to see here. Just a man and his goats, happily going through life. Not a care in the world. Too bad it’s all lies.

I’m tired of trying not to be in love with Ashley Kingston, our very own island jezebel. Some people think she’s a slut. They think they know her. They’re wrong. Screw them.

Reputations can be deceiving. I should know.

Excerpt

In my rearview mirror, I spot a guy ride up behind me on a unicycle. He appears to be wearing a helmet shaped like a wolf’s head, complete with a snout.

My frown deepens into a scowl.

Falcon.

He pedals past my truck, and cuts in front of me in line. As I glower at him, he stops by the hut’s window, his bare feet working the pedals to keep his balance. Takes me a moment to notice he’s wearing a skirt because I’m concentrating on imagining him face-planting off his clown bike. His rainbow dreads are wrapped up in a loose ponytail, which he tosses over his shoulder as he flirts with the barista.

Something she says must be hysterical because he leans his head back to roar with laughter.

Fall.

Fall.

Fall.

I chant in my head as he leans farther, precariously working the pedals to remain upright.

Then the moment happens.

He tips past the point of balance.

Fall.

I lean forward in delight.

His left leg kicks out to the side, and right before he goes ass over elbows, he catches himself. Hopping off the seat, he easily catches the unicycle in one hand. With a bow, he acts like he meant to do exactly that move.

Hippie asshole.

The barista leans through the window to hand him a plastic cup of pea green matcha. An auburn curl slips from under her cap.

My breath catches in my throat like I’ve swallowed wrong.

No wonder Falcon put on a show.

Ashley Kingston’s laugh is worth making a fool of yourself.

I should know.

I’ve been doing it most of my life.

Annoyed and still thirsty, I tap my horn. Not like someone in Seattle cut me off, but harder than a friendly honk.

Ashley leans farther out the window and Falcon says something to her as he puts his cash in her hand. With a friendly wave, he hops on his wheel and pedals away.

I make sure he’s gone before easing off the brake and pulling up to the window.

Resting my elbow on the door, I give her a friendly smile.

Not surprisingly, she frowns at me, her happiness fading. “Carter.”

“Hi.” Ignoring her frown, I wave.

“Was the honking necessary?” She doesn’t ask what I want as she scoops ice into a large cup.

I stare at her profile while she works. A universe of freckles dot her high cheekbones and nose, which has a slight swoop at the end. Pink colors her cheeks and I’m not sure if it’s makeup or too much sun. Long, dark lashes frame her ever-changing hazel eyes. Even in the baseball cap, her fiery hair hidden, she’s beautiful.

“Falcon looked like he was going to perch on your counter for the day. Didn’t want him to scare off honest customers.”

She pours black coffee into the cup of ice, leaving about two inches at the top for milk. “Ha ha.”

Her laugh lacks any warmth and the fake sound bruises my ego.

“Where’s Jonah?” I ignore the way my palms get clammy with rejection.

“He’s working with Erik, roasting a new blend.” Again, without asking, she adds cream to my coffee and then presses on a lid.

I should probably know this, but I’m not my younger brother’s keeper. Not since he moved out to live with his girlfriend, Cari, who’s way too cool for him.

Ashley hands me the cup and I pull out cash to give her. With a flick of her hand, she tells me, “Falcon bought your drink.”

“What if I don’t want him to buy my coffee?”

“Why wouldn’t you want a free coffee?”

“I don’t want to be indebted to a guy who can’t afford a bicycle with two wheels.”

Her frown deepens. “What do you have against him? He’s legitimately the kindest guy on this island. Did you know he’s on his way to give a free show at the senior center? He creates balloon animals and does magic tricks.”

“He’s a one man sunshine brigade,” I mumble as I take my coffee from the counter and leave the ten-dollar bill. “Pay that forward to the next customer.”

Fucking Falcon. He probably lives in a tiny cabin in the woods without running water and bathes in a spring fed creek, drying off with moss before namastaying his naked salutation to the sun. She can’t be sleeping with a wood sprite with the same name as our high school mascot.

Can she?

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Related Reads:

Exclusive excerpt + giveaway: Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin

Girl Last Seen—the sharply written, twisty debut from Nina Laurin—hits bookstores today, but you can get a taste of what to expect right now! Then, you can dive straight in and get lost in this highly anticipated thriller about a girl who faces her terrifying past.

Pre-order now: Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble ✦

About Girl Last Seen

Two missing girls. Thirteen years apart.

Olivia Shaw has been missing since last Tuesday. She was last seen outside the entrance of her elementary school in Hunts Point wearing a white spring jacket, blue jeans, and pink boots.

I force myself to look at the face in the photo, into her slightly smudged features, and I can’t bring myself to move. Olivia Shaw could be my mirror image, rewound to thirteen years ago.

If you have any knowledge of Olivia Shaw’s whereabouts or any relevant information, please contact…

I’ve spent a long time peering into the faces of girls on missing posters, wondering which one replaced me in that basement. But they were never quite the right age, the right look, the right circumstances. Until Olivia Shaw, missing for one week tomorrow.

Whoever stole me was never found. But since I was taken, there hasn’t been another girl.

And now there is.

Excerpt

In the books and movies, the broken girl always dies at the end. Sometimes she’s allowed one final heroic act, one last snarky line before she goes out. Maybe she sacrifices herself to save the real hero, or maybe her death is just a meaningless accident, an afterthought. But she always dies, because she’s too tarnished to live.

Every time I see her die, I’m jealous. That should have been me, a long time ago.

It would have been better for everybody if I had just died, like they presumed I had—for years before I was found. Especially for me, the nameless, voiceless creature that was born out of Ella Santos’s remains, an abomination. A living dead girl.

They had to give this voiceless creature, this Frankenstein’s monster covered in scars and stitches, a new name at random because the creature couldn’t speak to pick one for herself. The most I ever had the wherewithal to do was drop that last y from Lainey, turning it into Laine, one syllable. Sounds like something you’d find on a highway.

I will probably never know what exactly glitched in my kidnapper’s mind that made him decide to take a risk, to allow me to live. I’ve never given up wondering, though. And I never could quite let go of the suspicion that some nameless force in the universe was saving me for something even worse.

Now, as my sneakers rhythmically hit the pavement, the shock of impact thudding in my bone marrow, I can’t help but wonder if this is it.

I was spared so I could do something, help the next one. And a darker thought: I was spared so that I could watch it all happen again, unable to do anything about it.

I focus on the burning in my lungs, the steady fire kindling in my leg muscles, but it’s not enough to keep my thoughts from drifting to the thing burning in my pocket, folded up next to my phone in half, then fourths, then eighths, until the layers of paper refused to bend. Charlene gave me four posters to put up, but only three are still there, next to the flashy yellow flyers advertising a discount on whole chickens. Charlene is of an exacting nature, just like everything about her suggests, and she will probably notice, but hopefully, she won’t think it’s me. She’ll think one of the shoppers decided to snatch it off the wall and keep it for some unknown reason.

I catch myself with my hand in my pocket like a thief, when it’s too late. The thick folded edge of the poster brushes the back of my hand, and to distract myself, I take out my phone instead and check the screen. Nobody ever calls me, and I’m not on any social media, unlike pretty much everyone my age. No one expressly told me to stay off it—it’s just an ingrained instinct too strong to go against: the instinct to hide.

Excerpted from GIRL LAST SEEN by Nina Laurin. Copyright © 2017 Ioulia Zaitchik
. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

Giveaway

Head over to my Instagram to enter to win a print copy of this highly buzzed about thriller! Follow the directions on the post and don’t forget to share on your social media! CLICK HERE

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Exclusive excerpt: Talk British To Me by Robin Beilman

Talk British To Me—a sexy new standalone by Robin Bielman is out today! I’m thrilled to share with you an excerpt to get you started!

Pre-order now: Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble ✦

About Talk British To Me

As the Dating Guy on L.A.’s top morning show, I give the single guy’s perspective on dating, love, and sex—and I give great advice. Everyone’s hooking up…well, except for me. Sure, I can get any woman I want, but I’ve got a “no relationship” clause in my contract and the only woman I want has “relationship” written all over her. Probably stamped on her ass, too. And wouldn’t I like to confirm that.

Unfortunately, she wants nothing to do with me. At all. Something about the next Ice Age might have even come up in her rebuttal. Adorable. Because she’s determined to ignore what one simple kiss proved: she wants me as badly as I want her.

Everything in me is screaming to go after her, but I’ve got a secret that I’m fairly certain will end up with her roasting my nuts over an open fire. So, job on the line? Check. Nuts on the line? Check. Can’t get her out of my head? Nail…meet coffin. But what a way to go…

Excerpt

“Want to watch a movie?” Teague asks.

I raise my eyebrows.

“Not that kind of movie!”

Wishful thinking.

This is my cue to leave. To tell her I can’t stay. It’s not that late; I can meet up with Elliot and Levi for a beer, do some “work,” but I don’t want to get off this couch. I want to stay in this cozy home with this gentle, authentic, beautiful girl and watch whatever movie she wants.

This is a fucking problem, but one I’m apparently going to ignore because I say, “Sounds good.”

“Okay, why don’t you pick one?” She stands. “I’ll be right back. I’m going to change out of my work clothes.”

Two more reasons why I need to get my ass out the door. She’s nice enough to let me pick the movie and she’s comfortable enough around me to change into her pajamas, I’m guessing. Wait a minute. She doesn’t sleep in pajamas.

I’ll stay for a few. See what she comes out in, then tell her I actually need to get going.

Which makes me a total ass. She’s carrying on with the friend thing and I’m…I’m at a fucking loss. I want in this girl’s pants, but I like her too much to date and ditch her. Which is what I do. What I have to do to keep my job.

I’m discovering the friend thing might be too hard for me with her.

Yep. Definitely too hard. In all the wrong places, I might add. Because she walks back into the room wearing the Dodgers nightshirt I gave her, and the first thought to run through my head is I don’t want anyone else to see her like this. She’s adorable. Sexy. The kind of girl any guy with a pulse would want to take to bed. I want to fuck her in every position I can think of. And let me tell you, it’s a talent how many I can think of.

“Are you okay?” she asks, sitting down and picking up the remote. “I leave you one simple task and you look like your head is about to explode.”

“I have to…”

“You have to?” Her attention is on the television and pulling up the movies available on demand.

Go. I have to go. But the word doesn’t want to come out and mess up what I’ve started. That’s right. I started this. She wanted nothing to do with me, and I pressed for more. Insinuated myself into her life without thinking. Like she was my force field and I’d crash and burn if I didn’t stay in her orbit.

I can do this. I can ignore how hard my cock is right now.

“Nothing,” I say.

She cuts me a sideways glance. “Are you sure?

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Exclusive excerpt: Bad Penny by Staci Hart

When I met Staci Hart at the RT Convention this year, we talked books non-stop. Hers and others… but the more she told me about hers, about this book, the more excited I got! And now, Bad Penny is out in the world (for 99¢!!!) and I’m beyond excited to share with you a taste of what to expect in this must-read, standalone romantic comedy.

Order now on Amazon ✦

Excerpt

Penny

“Did you know that a man’s lips are the same color as the head of his dick?”

I took a long lick of my ice cream to punctuate the question. Ramona choked on hers, and Veronica, our other roommate, laughed openly and a little too loudly for a public place. A few people in the ice cream parlor turned to look.

“I’m serious,” I said. “It’s a real thing. I can vouch for it. I’ve seen a lot of dicks.”

Veronica snorted. “Oh my God. Stop it.”

Ramona couldn’t stop giggling. The three of us sat at a small table on the patio of our favorite ice cream joint, which was conveniently located around the corner from our apartment. It was hot. June in New York is no joke — though nothing compared to August — and that day was particularly humid without a cloud in the sky to give us reprieve from the blazing sun. Hence, the ice cream, shorty shorts, and tanks we all wore.

Curse of getting ready to go anywhere with your roommates. Everyone matched.

It happened more than I’d admit to openly. But we were attached at the hips: we lived together, worked together at Tonic — a tattoo parlor— and boy hunted together. Well, I hunted boys, Ramona played with her engagement ring, and Veronica rejected all potential suitors. The only difference in our appearance was the color of our messy buns: Veronica’s was pitch-black, Ramona’s was platinum-blonde, and mine was a silvery shade of lavender that I’d stuck with for three whole months. It was nearly a record.

“Like take this guy for example,” I started, nodding into the ice cream parlor where a group of guys sat just inside the rolled up garage doors.

We all looked, not even pretending to be inconspicuous. Everyone knows no one can tell if you were looking at them when you have sunglasses on.

Two of their backs were to us, but the third faced our direction, and, boy, was he a looker. He was in a sort of muscle shirt, which sounds horribly douchey, but he pulled it off well enough that I wished he’d pull it off. He was tan and dirty blond with biceps that had curves like a rollercoaster and a tattoo on his shoulder that I couldn’t make out from the distance. Black Wayfarers sat on his nose, and when he laughed at something one of his friends had said, I swear his smile blew a circuit in my brain.

“Wait, which one are we looking at?” Veronica asked.

“Blondie. With the arm porn,” I answered. His lips were wide and full, a dusty shade of pink that sent a little tingle between my legs. “So, check his lips out — they’re like the perfect pink. Like not too pink. You just want a nice, neutral shade, nothing extreme. Don’t want any surprises when he unleashes the beast.”

Ramona snickered. “That is a neat trick, Pen. I swear to God, I can picture it now. I bet it’s pretty,” she said dreamily before licking her ice cream.

My bottom lip slipped between my teeth. “Mmm, I bet it is too. Shaped like a pretty little mushroom with veins in all the right places.”

Veronica groaned with her mouth full of ice cream. “You are so gross.”

I made a face at her. “It’s not my fault you don’t appreciate the finer things in life. Like a gorgeous dick.”

A laugh burst out of her, and I smiled. She could pretend she thought dicks were gross, but I knew it was a boldfaced lie. I’d heard her calling for Jesus behind the wall we shared — though it was rare enough that I found myself constantly on a mission to get her laid.

Blondie glanced over and caught all three of us looking. A slow smile lifted one corner of his lips, and I found myself mirroring him.

The girls and I didn’t look away because we were utterly shameless. And with him looking at me like that, I did what any woman with a pulse would do: I held his gaze and did something blatantly sexual to my ice cream.

His eyes were on my lips. I was pretty sure at least — he had on sunglasses too, so he could have been watching the granny who sat behind me. But I knew I had him when his smile faltered, his brows rising just a hair, and a little shock worked through me, a rush that set my heart ticking a little faster.

Veronica hit me, effectively knocking my elbow out from underneath me and sending the tip of my nose into my cone.

“Hey!” I said with a simultaneous pout and scowl.

She only laughed and picked up a napkin to wipe my nose off for me.

“You are so fucking boy crazy,” she said with a laugh. “Get serious.”

“Never.” I let her wipe off my nose. I’d earned that. “And what’s wrong with being boy crazy?”

“Nothing,” Ramona answered for Veronica and in my defense. “You’re happy chasing all that dick, and it’s super entertaining to watch.”

“Thank you,” I said gratefully and stuck my tongue out at Veronica.

“You’re welcome. If we were on The Golden Girls, you’d be Blanche.”

A laugh shot out of me. “Duh, she’s my spirit guide. A different beau every episode. A drawer full of crotchless panties. A lot of dramatic flailing.” I licked my cone with my eyes on Blondie, who was still watching me too. “And Veronica would be Dorothy. Forever single and an absolute killjoy.”

Veronica rolled her eyes. I heard it from behind her sunglasses.

“Who would I be?” Ramona asked.

“Sophia, except taller. Or Rose but with less anecdotes about cows.”

We broke into more giggling. Maybe the heat was making us punchy.

“Anyway, the dick-lip thing works for women too.”

Veronica chuffed. “Oh? You can tell the color of our dicks?”

“I wonder if it would apply to a clit.” I hummed thoughtfully. “But no, our lips are the same color as our nipples.”

Ramona froze, her red lips dropping open in a little O. “Oh my God, it’s true.”

“I know it is.” Eyes locked on Blondie, I stuck out my tongue to swirl around the top of my cone. I closed my lips over the top of it real slow, making a show of it.

He gripped the edge of the table.

Ramona shook her head. “I’m never leaving the house without lipstick on again.”

Veronica snorted.

“Isn’t it weird?” I asked. “It’s like nature was like, This is your mouth. It’s for eating and putting genitals in. Let me color-code that into your brain, so you don’t forget that lips are for food and fucking.”

Ramona chuckled. “Only you, Penny.”

I put up one hand and shook my head. “Blame nature, not me. Lips are so sexual. Why do you think women wear lipstick? We want men — or women, if you swing that way — to notice our mouths, but we don’t really give their lips the consideration they deserve. Blondie’s lips are soft and smooth, and I bet his dick is too. I bet he kisses like a god and fucks like a porn star.”

Veronica laughed and stood. “All right, that’s enough out of you. Let’s go. If we stay any longer, you’re going to face-rape that poor, unsuspecting man you’ve been taunting with your sexual salted caramel.”

“Sexual a-salt.” As she pulled me out of my chair, I licked my lips, my eyes still on Blondie. “I wonder what he’d look like under a little salted caramel.”

Ramona playfully pushed me in the shoulder, and I followed the girls, twiddling my fingers at Blondie as we walked away from the shop, laughing.

Bodie

Her hips swung as she walked away, and I sat there like an idiot with ice cream dripping down my hand.

“Dude.” My twin brother, Jude, slapped me in the arm, sending my cone teetering.

I scowled at him. “What the fuck, man?”

“You weren’t even listening.”

“You’re right. I was too busy watching one of the hottest girls I’ve ever seen lick her ice cream like it was her job.”

He looked around. “Where?”

“She’s gone.”

“Man, why didn’t you tell me?”

I smirked. “Because I saw her first.”

Phil rolled his eyes from across the table. “You guys argue like sisters.”

“That’s what happens when you share a womb for nine months.” I took a bite of my waffle cone, still thinking about her.

Her hair was a soft shade of purple, tied up in a bun, and her face was framed by a blue bandana, tied on top. She looked like a pinup girl, and when she’d stood and walked away, I’d caught sight of the sweetest heart-shaped ass. I couldn’t help but imagine my hands around it and my face buried in her—

Jude slapped my arm again. “You’re drooling, asshole.”

I punched him in the bicep. “Lay off.”

He rubbed the spot where I’d hit him and frowned.

Phil shook his head and propped his skinny forearms on the table. “I miss the days when you guys were more worried about your Magic: The Gathering deck and binging on Snickers bars than girls.”

Jude smirked. “Ah, the great sexual drought of our teenage years.”

Phil made a face and pushed his glasses up his long nose. “Easy, guys. Some of us never outgrow that curse.”

“Aw, come on, Phil. You’ve got Angie.”

“True, and I love her. And, beyond all reason, she loves me too. Fortunately, Ang doesn’t give a shit that I’ll never be a blond, buff Bobbsey twin.”

I shook my head. “You should have gotten into surfing with us, Philly.”

He gave me a flat look. “First off, there’s no real surfing in Berkeley. Second, sharks.”

Jude laughed. “I get it, man. If Dad hadn’t guilted us into learning before we left for college, we wouldn’t have either. But even if we hadn’t, you don’t live in Santa Monica without becoming a surfer.”

I nodded. “It’s true. I mean, I hated surfing the pier, but the sound of panties hitting the ground when we came in from a session made it all worthwhile.”

Jude sighed. “Ah, the good old days. It was so easy to get chicks. But I swear, when we started surfing, I thought I was gonna die. I could barely even paddle out past the breaks without having a coronary.”

“Too many donuts.” I took another bite of my cone.

“I think I lost thirty pounds in two months. And then came the girls,” Jude said, his eyes all dreamy.

“So many girls,” I added.

Phil made a face. “I hate this story.”

“If you’d gotten into USC, you could have paddled through pussy with us,” Jude said matter-of-factly.

“Please, UCLA would have been better,” I shot.

“Whatever, dicks. Berkeley is better on all counts.”

“Anyway,” Jude started, “New York is a totally different game. In LA, if you have a BMW and surf, you can bag pretty much anybody on the West side. Here, the bar is high. New York chicks don’t give a shit about any of that.”

I frowned. “Sounds like a lot of work.”

“Yeah, but it’s worth it,” Jude said with a smile. “You’ll see tonight. We’ll hit a couple of bars, see what there is to see. I’m so ready to get back into the game after wasting all that time with Julie.”

He sounded flippant, but I knew just how much she’d hurt him. They’d moved out here together years ago, and just before I’d moved from LA a week ago, she’d dumped him.

I clapped him on the shoulder, hoping he could find a distraction at whatever bar we were going to that night. “Tonight, you get in where you fit in.”

He smiled. “Hell yeah. And you’ll see what New York is really like. We need a break. We’ve been locked up in the loft coding ever since you got here.”

I shrugged. “We’ve been talking about this game since we were in middle school, and now that we have the tools and the degrees and we’re in the same place, it’s been good. We’ve been coding it for eight fucking years, and now we can really do it instead of just dicking around with it in our spare time.”

Phil nodded. “Thank God you lost your job.”

“Thank God for my severance and savings,” I added. “And that your parents are Silicon Valley yuppies and pay for the loft.”

He laughed at that. “Otherwise, us quitting to go all in on the game wouldn’t have been an option.”

“No pressure, right?” I joked, skirting the magnitude of the situation by pretending the risk we were taking wasn’t a big deal.

Jude’s face softened until he looked all sappy and sentimental. “Really, man, I’m glad you’re here. I don’t like being split up. It’s been a shitty four years without you.”

“It has,” I agreed. “But we’re back together now. And even though I hate being stuck in the city with the beach an hour away and no surf to be had—”

Jude’s sappy face turned into a frown.

“—I’m glad I’m here. Now, show me this high-class ass before I head back to the land of a thousand bikinis.”

After we finished our ice cream, we headed back to the loft, and I found myself thinking about the pinup girl, wondering if I’d ever see her again. I’d been a fool for not chasing after her, stunned stupid by her blatancy, knocked out by the boldness of her. She’d seemed like a girl who knew what she wanted, and that confidence, that forwardness of her actions, had lit a fire in me that no amount of mint chocolate could cool down.

About Bad Penny

Nothing good comes after the third date.

Date three is the crucial point when things get real, which is exactly why I bounce out the door, twiddling my fingers at whatever poor boy I’ve left behind. Because if I stick around, one of three things will happen: he’ll profess his undying love, he’ll get weird and stalky, or I’ll go crazy. Like, Sid and Nancy crazy. Like, chase-him-through-the-streets-begging-him-to-love-me crazy.

Seriously, it’s better for everyone this way.

So when I meet Bodie, I figure it’ll be the same as it ever was. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t put a single string on me. Doesn’t matter that he’s funny and smart and jacked or that he can play my body like a grand piano. Because even though I’m built for love, love has only carved me up like a Christmas ham.

Resistance is something I can only hang on to for so long, and he has persistence in spades. But my heart isn’t as safe as I want to believe, and neither is his. And the second I ignore my cardinal rule is the second I stand to lose him forever.

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