ARC Review + Paperback Giveaway: Toxic by Kim Karr

Toxic by Kim Karr

Toxic by Kim Karr
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: July 7th 2015
Links: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

New York Times bestselling author Kim Karr turns up the heat in a smoking hot, emotionally compelling romance that takes you into the world of Manhattan’s elite. Meet Jeremy McQueen, a sexy, intense, brooding entrepreneur who goes after what he wants, and Phoebe St. Claire, a socialite-turned-CEO who’s been drifting through life searching for something she thought she’d never find again–the right man to share her future.

Phoebe St. Claire has devoted herself to saving her family’s hotel empire–but her best efforts have not been good enough. With her whole world in turmoil, the tenacious go-getter turns to the once love of her life. Far from innocent, Jeremy McQueen was the guy from the wrong side of the tracks who her parents would never have approved of. Their years apart have only made the sexy bad boy more irresistible than ever–and their reunion is explosive.

When she asks Jeremy to help her salvage her family business, he agrees immediately, with only one condition–he wants her in his bed.

But soon surprising circumstances leave Phoebe reeling. Was this fairy tale romance just too good to be true? Will Jeremy’s secrets pull them apart all over again?

I adore second chance romances, so Toxic was right up my alley. I was expecting Toxic to be an angsty but sweet romance about two people reconnecting, but it was surprisingly so much more than that. Kim Karr tells an excellent story about both the highs and lows of a relationship, and yes, the toxic parts of it, too. Kim Karr really nails the second chance romance aspect of the story as well – I was rooting for Phoebe and Jeremy to get their much deserved HEA.

Through everything, all the heartache, the loneliness, the sadness and sorrow, the one thing I never regretted was meeting him.
Him.
Jeremy McQueen.
He wasn’t just any boy–he was “the boy.” The one I never should have met, and the one I’d never trade meeting for the world.

Five years ago, Phoebe and Jeremy were very much in love, despite being complete opposites. Phoebe was the rich, high society girl while Jeremy was the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Phoebe, however, keeps the fact that she comes from a wealthy family a secret from Jeremy so that he won’t turn away from her. In the flashback scenes, I could easily feel the connection Phoebe and Jeremy had all those years ago. They formed a sweet romance that unfortunately didn’t last after the lies and misunderstandings.

I’d loved him once, even though I never told him I did. And as I looked at him, everything I’d ever felt for him came rushing back.

Now, just as Phoebe is in the midst of saving her family’s hotel empire, Jeremy comes back into her life, but now this bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks is a successful, wealthy businessman. Phoebe never truly got over her lost love, and it seems like neither did Jeremy. The connection they had five years ago is still going strong, if not stronger once they reunite. I loved how passionate Phoebe and Jeremy are together – they want each other like no other and the chemistry between them is explosive. They bring out the best each other, but they also bring out the worst. They both have to deal with their jealousy, self-doubts, and past mistrusts before they can ever truly move on and be in a relationship again.

Normally, I wouldn’t have enjoyed a book like Toxic – there’s a whole mess of misunderstandings and miscommunications, which made for a toxic relationship. But somehow, it worked for Phoebe and Jeremy. The misunderstandings and miscommunications weren’t gratuitous – they were very real issues that both Jeremy and Phoebe have to overcome. These characters have a history of distrust and uncertainty in their relationship, and throughout the course of their reconnected love, they find a way to get past these issues to form a stronger relationship.

“You know things won’t be the same as they were. They can’t be. Too much has happened.”
He sighed what sounded like relief. “I know. They’ll be better this time.”
“What if they’re not?”
“It’s not possible.”
“How do you know that?”
“I just do. I can feel it.”

There are lots of twists and turns in Toxic, which had me on the edge of my seat. I really couldn’t put this book down. The best part about this is the intense chemistry between Phoebe and Jeremy – their past relationship really heightens their connection and made me want them to get their HEA. The love between them comes so clearly off the pages, which did sometimes make me feel frustrated when the misunderstandings and miscommunications started up. These were two people who are clearly meant to be together, but the journey to their HEA is not an easy one. I definitely recommend this book to those who like sexy, angsty romances with a little twist to it.

4 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


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One paperback copy of Toxic by Kim Karr
Open US/CAN only

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Blog Tour + Excerpt: Toxic by Kim Karr

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Will they or won’t they?  #ToxicLove
Meet Phoebe & Jeremy in this second chance romance!

Toxic by Kim Karr

Toxic by Kim Karr
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: July 7th 2015
Add to Goodreads

New York Times bestselling author Kim Karr turns up the heat in a smoking hot, emotionally compelling romance that takes you into the world of Manhattan’s elite. Meet Jeremy McQueen, a sexy, intense, brooding entrepreneur who goes after what he wants, and Phoebe St. Claire, a socialite-turned-CEO who’s been drifting through life searching for something she thought she’d never find again–the right man to share her future.

Phoebe St. Claire has devoted herself to saving her family’s hotel empire–but her best efforts have not been good enough. With her whole world in turmoil, the tenacious go-getter turns to the once love of her life. Far from innocent, Jeremy McQueen was the guy from the wrong side of the tracks who her parents would never have approved of. Their years apart have only made the sexy bad boy more irresistible than ever–and their reunion is explosive.

When she asks Jeremy to help her salvage her family business, he agrees immediately, with only one condition–he wants her in his bed.

But soon surprising circumstances leave Phoebe reeling. Was this fairy tale romance just too good to be true? Will Jeremy’s secrets pull them apart all over again?

THIS IS A STANDALONE SECOND-CHANCE ROMANCE WITH NO CLIFFHANGER ENDING.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Amazon UK • B&N • Kobo • iBooks • Google Play

Now here’s an excerpt from Toxic! ❤

excerpt button

© 2015 by Kim Karr
Published by the Penguin Group

Phoebe St. Claire

Feeling a bit drunk and overwhelmed with so many and so few choices at the same time, I needed some time alone and snuck off toward the beach path.

I ran toward the ocean and twirled in the sand as the wind blew around me. Once I started to feel dizzy from twirling, I still wasn’t ready to head back to the party, so I took the path that would lead me to the large Olympic-sized pool. I tugged my sandals off with thoughts of putting my feet in the water to rinse the mud and sand away. As I approached the pool, I noticed how it glowed like it was lit by small pale fires. Lost in the enchantment of it, the sudden movement beneath the surface startled me.

A fair-haired boy emerged from the water. He pulled himself up and out so quickly that I was momentarily stunned. And then when he drank me in with his eyes, I shuddered.

I couldn’t help it, the way he looked at me just made me shiver. No one had ever looked at me like that before and I found myself gazing back into his intense eyes.

He was utterly beautiful. His bare chest was sculpted but not overly bulky like Danny or Jamie. They worked out every day pumping obnoxious amounts of iron to look the way they did. In contrast, the boy standing before me had a swimmer’s build.

He stood stoic and a cautious look crossed his face. He was long and lean in a pair of bright green neon swim trunks.

Right away I could tell he didn’t care what anyone thought about him.

I loved the idea of that.

So I smiled at him.

He shook his head and his hair fell into his eyes.

I wanted to reach out and push it away. It wasn’t long, but it wasn’t short. It was perfect.

“Hey,” he said, grabbing a towel off the ground.

It didn’t belong to the club. It was small, beige, and a bit worn—not the large hunter-green fluffy ones monogrammed in white I’d always gotten when I used to come here to swim as a kid.

“Hey,” I said back, swinging my sandals nervously.

He grabbed a pair of jeans that lay next to where the towel had been and walked right by me.

I turned to watch him as he strode into one of the cabanas and dropped his trunks. I froze and squeezed my eyes shut, thinking I shouldn’t be watching him but then opened them quickly when I couldn’t resist maybe catching a glimpse.

“Didn’t your parents ever tell you it isn’t polite to stare?” His voice was low and sexy, and it tugged me out of my own head.

I put my hands on my hips. “Didn’t your parents ever teach you not to undress in mixed company?”

He pulled his jeans on and laughed. “My mother might have mentioned that once or twice but I’ve never been good at following the rules.”

And it didn’t escape my notice that he didn’t put any underwear on first.

Hot. Totally and completely hot.

I didn’t see anything I shouldn’t have seen, it was too dark, but something inside me electrified at the thought of seeing him naked and I stepped closer. That’s when I noticed the scuffed-up black work boots on one of the lounges with a T-shirt thrown next to them.

I raised a brow. “Is this your changing room?”

He laughed again but this time added a smile and put his hands up. “Okay you caught me. I better get out of here before anyone else does.”

He was adorable and charming and my heart skipped a beat or two.

Then I stepped even closer and entered the cabana entrance, effectively blocking his way. “Why? You’re not doing anything wrong.”

He shrugged but he didn’t try to move around me. “I usually swim in the ocean but when the water is too rough, like tonight, I come here.”

I bit my lip in contemplation before speaking. “Does it really matter if you get caught?”

He crossed his arms over his bare chest. “Let’s just say it’s not just the swimming. It’s more that I’ve been caught doing a few too many things that I shouldn’t have been doing in the past.”

A bad boy.

The thought made my pulse thunder. “So you’re not a member at this club?”

He cleared his throat and shifted from foot to foot. “No,” he laughed but his laugh was anything but genuine. “Are you?”

I hesitated as I considered my answer. “No, I was just walking the beach and wanted to rinse my feet. I’m Phoebe,” I said extending my hand. Technically, I wasn’t lying. I wasn’t a member, my parents were. I hadn’t even been here in years. And I was out for a walk.

Amusement danced in his blue eyes. “Jeremy,” he said back.

When I chewed on my lower lip, I noticed how his eyes focused on it.

Mine focused on the entirety of his mouth—his strong, firm jaw, his sensuous lips, and his tongue that had snuck out to lick his lips.

That mouth.

It was almost too much.

Almost.

about the author button

Kim KarrI live in Florida with my husband and four kids. I’ve always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, I wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. I went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise my family. I currently work part-time with my husband and full-time embracing one of my biggest passions—writing.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads


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Excerpt Reveal: Toxic by Kim Karr

toxic excerpt reveal

Toxic by Kim Karr

Toxic by Kim Karr
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: July 7th 2015
Add to Goodreads

New York Times bestselling author Kim Karr turns up the heat in a smoking hot, emotionally compelling romance that takes you into the world of Manhattan’s elite. Meet Jeremy McQueen, a sexy, intense, brooding entrepreneur who goes after what he wants, and Phoebe St. Claire, a socialite-turned-CEO who’s been drifting through life searching for something she thought she’d never find again–the right man to share her future.

Phoebe St. Claire has devoted herself to saving her family’s hotel empire–but her best efforts have not been good enough. With her whole world in turmoil, the tenacious go-getter turns to the once love of her life. Far from innocent, Jeremy McQueen was the guy from the wrong side of the tracks who her parents would never have approved of. Their years apart have only made the sexy bad boy more irresistible than ever–and their reunion is explosive.

When she asks Jeremy to help her salvage her family business, he agrees immediately, with only one condition–he wants her in his bed.

But soon surprising circumstances leave Phoebe reeling. Was this fairy tale romance just too good to be true? Will Jeremy’s secrets pull them apart all over again?

THIS IS A STANDALONE SECOND-CHANCE ROMANCE WITH NO CLIFFHANGER ENDING.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Amazon UK • B&N • Kobo • iBooks • Google Play

Now here’s an excerpt from Toxic! ❤

excerpt button

© 2015 by Kim Karr
Published by the Penguin Group
Release date: July 7th, 2015

Phoebe St. Claire

“Where are you?” he asked.

“Home.”

“I know. Where in your apartment are you?”

“On my bed.”

“Where are you?” I asked.

“Give me a minute.”

I heard stomping up some stairs and then a door closed.

“On my bed,” he said in that same husky tone.

I nearly stopped breathing.

“Are you still there?” he asked again.

“Yes,” my voice was raspy.

In a deep husky voice he said, “Tell me what you’re wearing under your clothes.”

Arousal overtook my mind and I answered quickly. “A bra and panties.”

“Take off your clothes and tell me what they look like.”

Flushing from head to toe I managed to say, “Jeremy!”

“Phoebe, I’ve seen you in your underwear. Christ, I’ve seen you naked. Just put your phone on speaker, dim the lights, and describe to me the lucky pieces of fabric covering your tits and pussy.”

Shock and desire swarmed through me in equal measure.

Memories of his dirty mouth came back in a flash.

I’d loved it so many years ago, loved when we were flesh to flesh. And this was different. I’d never had phone sex before. Had no idea how to, but I knew I was about to find out. I wasn’t going to turn him down. I wanted this.

The sexual tension that had blossomed between us was causing me to go insane. I was touching myself when I woke up in the middle of the night, and then in the shower before work, and last night and the night before after I hung up the phone with him. I’d been masturbating to the thought of him nonstop. Phone sex had to be so much better.

“Give me a minute,” I whispered needing to ease into the more intimate exchange that I knew was coming. I stripped out of my skirt and blouse and all but tore my hose pulling them off. The lights were already dimmed, so that wasn’t an issue. I heard his own mattress squeaking and wondered if he had started without me.

My phone beeped again and I looked down. This time it was an incoming call from Jamie. I ignored it. Then, I took a deep breath and a giant leap of faith as I sat on my bed in my underwear.

Just as I was thinking about what I could say, he spoke. “I have to be honest with you,” he said.

My heart sank. I didn’t like any conversation that started with those words.

With a heavy exhale, he said, “I’ve been hard all week just thinking about you and I have to admit, my wrist hasn’t been worked out this much in a long time.”

Picturing his hand, his cock, his hips, and the perfect choreographed movement of all three had me barely cognizant.

“Phoebe?”

“I’m here,” I said in the raspiest tone. “Then I’ll be honest too. It’s possible that I’ve made myself come more times this week than I have in my entire life.”

I wasn’t exactly comfortable initiating a kinky conversation. But I could follow his lead.

“Jesus Phoebe, you can’t talk that way to me when I’m not near you.”

Something primal erupted within me. “And I want to do it again.”

“Fuckkkk.”

I moaned at his use of the word fuck. It sounded entirely too delicious.

Equally as delicious was his sexy laugh that followed. “So what are we going to do about this dilemma?”

I sunk back into my pillows and pictured his face—his lips parted and his eyes heavy-lidded.

I knew what I wanted to do about it.

Did he want to do the same thing?

I hoped so.

about the author button

Kim KarrI live in Florida with my husband and four kids. I’ve always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, I wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. I went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise my family. I currently work part-time with my husband and full-time embracing one of my biggest passions—writing.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads


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Release Day Blitz + Excerpt & Giveaway: The 27 Club by Kim Karr

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Happy Release Day to Kim Karr! The 27 Club is live!

The 27 Club by Kim Karr

Title: The 27 Club
Author: Kim Karr
Release Date: March 3rd 2015
Add to Goodreads

You don’t know when…
You don’t get to choose if…
When it’s time to join…you’ll know.

You might think you want to be a member—but trust me this is one club you don’t want to join. It’s not a place where people go to live out their deepest, darkest sexual desires—there are no handcuffs or blindfolds.

The 27 Club only admits those who die young and tragically. My brother was recently bestowed membership and joined many of our ancestors before him. I know I’m next. This is my destiny, and I was ready to yield.

But then I met Nate. He awakened a sensuality in me that had never been explored, never satisfied. I knew then I could no longer accept my destiny. Nate’s presence controls me. I’m overwhelmed by his touch, his words; my every thought is consumed by desire. I believe he was brought into my life for a reason.

Nate doesn’t believe in destiny.

But I do.

And if there’s a way to cheat it—I must.

Buy Links:
Amazon Ebook • Amazon Paperback • Barnes & Noble • iTunes

Now here’s an excerpt from The 27 Club! ❤

excerpt

My jaw practically hits the table.

The chocolate crêpe!

I can’t believe it.

Harnessing all of my willpower, I fight the sudden inclination I have to leap around the table and jump onto his lap. I always tell people I prefer dessert before a meal, but never has anyone taken me seriously.

Never.

Tension coils deep in my belly. Lust flows through my veins running faster and faster with each passing second. I look over at him and as soon as I see his face, I can feel myself coming unhinged. Urges I can’t deny surface. The need to know the taste of his lips, to feel his hard body,

to be able to lick the chocolate he just ordered off his chest, and to slide my tongue down his stomach so I can taste him.

Looking thoughtful, his return gaze slowly changes to one of concern. “Have you stopped planning for your future because you don’t think you have one?” he asks softly.

Remnants of our conversation must have been lingering in his mind. Slamming my eyes shut, all of the erotic images I had conjured up immediately disappear as I fight to breathe.

Suddenly the air becomes thick in my lungs and I can’t get it out. I take deep calming breaths. As the haze around me dissipates and I fight off the panic attack, I hear a fumbling in front of me. I force myself to lift my lids. Nate is attempting to open my clutch. “What are you doing?”

“Trying to get you your inhaler.” Panic seems to drown out the deep green of his eyes.

I push to my feet and give him a disbelieving look. “I’m not having an asthma attack.”

“You’re not?” He sounds uncertain.

Shaking my head, I set my napkin on the table. “Excuse me, I have to use the ladies room.” I walk inside the restaurant, realizing I have no idea where I’m going. Looking around, I find the bathrooms immediately.

Just as I pull the door open, a hand covers mine. “You’re upset.”

I drop my head. “No, I’m fine.”

Fierceness grips his voice. “You’re lying.”

Summoning all of my willpower, I raise my eyes.

Nate lifts my chin. “You didn’t let me finish. I’m trying to understand you. I want to know why, if you believe in destiny, you’d change your path. Why wouldn’t you do what you had always planned on doing? Why change your course? Personally, I think destiny is bullshit. I also think not pursuing your dream is bullshit too.”

Caged by his body, his scent, his presence, I look up into his burning eyes and I can see compassion there. I believe he wants what’s best for me. If I think I know him through my brother, he thinks he knows me through my brother as well. And Zach wanted me to continue my education. His dream was that someday I’d be Dr. Zoey Flowers. Nate knows this.

“Zoey?” Nate’s voice is questioning. Low. Maybe even slightly fearful.

“Nate”—I press my finger to his lips—“I think I need to tell you something about myself.”

“What?” he asks.

In all our e-mails after my brother’s death, I never mentioned the real reason for my delay in coming to Miami. I keep my eyes open even though I want to close them. “I had a breakdown shortly after Zach died. I took a leave from my job. I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t plan one day, let alone the next. And somewhere during that time, I let any plans I had for the future fall to the wayside. I don’t know what I want anymore.”

Shock appears on his face. “Why didn’t you tell me in any of our e-mails?”

The truth is hard to admit. “I actually looked forward to your weekly e-mails. But I did lie to you. It wasn’t work that kept me from coming to get my brother’s things. It was me and my inability to cope.”

Nate stares down at me.

My entire focus is on him. “Don’t think I’m crazy. I’m not. Really, I’m not.”

His gaze continues to pin me in a way that makes me think he understands me.

It holds me in place. Keeps me calm.

“Zoey, God, I don’t think that at all,” he breathes. “I can understand how that would happen.

With everything coming at you at once, and the shock of Z’s death, coupled with the revelations about your family, it was just too much. I get it.”

I just stare at his lips, longing to kiss him. My body is filled with so many wants and needs, and all these new urges I’ve never felt before.

And all I want is just for him to set me free.

about the author

Kim KarrI live in Florida with my husband and four kids. I’ve always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, I wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. I went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise my family. I currently work part-time with my husband and full-time embracing one of my biggest passions—writing.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads • Pinterest

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Excerpt Reveal: The 27 Club by Kim Karr

the 27 club excerpt reveal

The 27 Club by Kim Karr

Title: The 27 Club
Author: Kim Karr
Release Date: March 3rd 2015
Add to Goodreads

You don’t know when…
You don’t get to choose if…
When it’s time to join…you’ll know.

You might think you want to be a member—but trust me this is one club you don’t want to join. It’s not a place where people go to live out their deepest, darkest sexual desires—there are no handcuffs or blindfolds.

The 27 Club only admits those who die young and tragically. My brother was recently bestowed membership and joined many of our ancestors before him. I know I’m next. This is my destiny, and I was ready to yield.

But then I met Nate. He awakened a sensuality in me that had never been explored, never satisfied. I knew then I could no longer accept my destiny. Nate’s presence controls me. I’m overwhelmed by his touch, his words; my every thought is consumed by desire. I believe he was brought into my life for a reason.

Nate doesn’t believe in destiny.

But I do.

And if there’s a way to cheat it—I must.

Preorder:
Amazo Ebook • Amazon Paperback • Barnes & Noble • iTunes

Now here’s an excerpt from The 27 Club! ❤

excerpt

The wind howls and the palm trees whip against the windows as the storm seems to make its way closer to landfall. Thunder booms and lightning lights up the room, startling me. No, not lightning—a lamp.

“Hello, Zoey.” The voice is deep and husky.

As the sound registers, I scream. I quickly sit up and scan my unfamiliar surroundings. My eyes immediately land on the silhouette of a man standing beside me, and I scream again, this time scrambling off the bed in terror.

In this moment, my heart stops beating, my lungs stop breathing, and my brain stops thinking. I’m petrified.

The man raises his palms up in surrender. “Zoey, I’m Nate, Z’s friend. You don’t have to be scared. I’m not going to hurt you.”

My fear must be evident. I stare at him for a few long moments, both alarmed and trembling. Only once realization sets in, that yes, this is Nate, my brother’s best friend, do I attempt to calm my ragged breaths.

He takes a cautious step back. “Just cover up with something so we can talk.”

Oh my God, my clothes.

Tangled sheets catch on my limbs as I climb back onto the bed and unsuccessfully try to pull the covers over my practically naked body. Before humiliation grabs complete hold of me, I give up and dive for my soaking wet shirt lying on the floor.

Sliding the cold fabric over my head, I pull it down to cover my panties and stand up, quickly crossing my arms over my chest to shield any signs of the chill I’m feeling.

Not great, but better. At least I can look at him with a little dignity.

Finally, I glance up and my gaze catches his. As soon as it does, he drops his eyes.

The photos I’ve seen of him over the years, when my brother would text me a funny shot—a selfie of him and Nate at some top chef restaurant, at the beach, or at a coffee house—didn’t nearly do him justice. Those shots were goofy poses with baseball caps turned backwards and funny faces. Not that I didn’t think he was good looking in them, because I did, but there’s just something different about him.

I blink and focus on the matter at hand. “You scared the shit out of me. What are you doing here?”

Staring at the ground, he leans against the door jam. “You beat me to the punch. I was just about to ask you the same question.”

“Why would you ask me that?”

He raises a brow. “I guess I’m just curious.”

I sigh, feeling confused.

His gaze lifts, and those eyes, those bewitching emerald green eyes, stare back at me. “Not that I mind that you’re here. It’s just—a little warning would have been nice. That’s all.”

His tone is more bemused than apologetic.

I’m not sure what to think.

With a straight and confident stance, I clear my throat. “I e-mailed you earlier today to let you know that I was coming for the weekend. I’m really sorry about the late notice, but I decided at the last minute.”

He reaches into the pocket of his low-slung jeans and pulls out his phone. After a few taps and scrolls he looks up at me. “I guess you did. Here it is. I’m usually on top of my e-mails but today my . . . schedule was full. Had I seen your message, I would have tried to rearrange my plans.”

“That’s fine really. I managed. It’s not a big deal.”

I steal a glance at my reliable Timex—just after midnight. What is he doing in my brother’s house in the middle of the night? Just as I’m about to ask him, my eyes catch sight of the way he predatorily walks around the room and I’m momentarily distracted. He moves like a panther— slowly circling his prey, keeping his distance, not too close, but close enough to pounce if he feels the urge. He settles back against the wall, just a little closer now. “Zoey, did you hear me?”

I swallow. “Sorry, what?”

His tone grows more insistent. “I said I would have at least sent a car for you. You shouldn’t be out in this weather on your own.”

My brow furrows. Why is he still talking about the airport?

When I don’t respond, he crosses his arms over his chest like he owns the place.

It’s then that reality sinks in. And as cliché as this sounds, I am not going to let Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome intimidate me. It’s time to take charge. “There was no need. I managed just fine. But if you didn’t know I was coming, can I ask what you’re doing here?”

Confusion seems to have taken over his thoughts as he steps even closer—moving with a lethal grace that makes my body start to hum. I can’t help but study him as his features come into clear focus. His body is long and lean. His hair is dark, the most unusual shade of brown, maybe like the color of expensive chocolate, but not exactly. His eyes are languid, watchful, and the most beautiful shade I’ve ever seen—darker than emeralds or the deepest of forest greens. His lips look full and soft. He is handsome in a way that is unlike anyone I’ve ever seen.

My mind is going haywire.

A look of realization seems to cross his face as he stares at me.

“Nate, why are you at my brother’s house in the middle of the night?” I ask him again.

With a smirk, he ignores my question. Instead of answering me, he opens the door beside him. It’s a closet, Zach’s closet to be exact, and he steps right in, again like he owns the place.

“What are you doing?” I ask impatiently.

He comes back into the bedroom with a pair of sweatpants and a T-shirt in his hand. “You’re trembling. How about you get changed and we sit down to talk?”

The audacity of this man is beyond comprehension. From his e-mails he seemed nice, but then again, you never can tell what lurks behind the words on a computer screen.

He stares and his small smirk really irritates me. “Take these, they’re mine. I’ll wait downstairs while you get changed.”

If I weren’t standing here, chilled and in my underwear, I might just tell him to go to hell. But instead I reach for the clothes, and as I do, I start to wonder if he’s been squatting in my brother’s house. Once the clothes are in my hands, his mouth spreads into a slow, easy grin.

Annoyance grabs hold of me as I pivot on my bare feet and head toward the bathroom, making sure not to glance over my shoulder. When I hear heavy footsteps, I let my body fall back and shut everything out of my mind for a few short seconds.

What is going on?

When I’ve gathered my composure, I quickly strip out of my wet clothes and redress. Then I make the mistake of looking in the mirror. A wet dog would look better than I do right now. In an effort to improve the image, I grab a towel and wipe the black mascara from under my eyes. Then I use my fingers to comb through my mass of curls and try to calm them, but that’s nearly impossible.

Okay, better—but not great.

Who cares anyway?

It’s not like I’m trying to impress him. In fact, I’ve never tried to impress a man.

Ever.

about the author

Kim KarrI live in Florida with my husband and four kids. I’ve always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, I wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. I went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise my family. I currently work part-time with my husband and full-time embracing one of my biggest passions—writing.

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