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Essence of You Trilogy Box Set now available for only .99 for a limited time!

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Law student, Jasmine Green has serious trust issues with men. The sexy and charming Montana Keyes has his reasons for being a player on and off the court. Until he bumps into Jasmine while at the Essence Festival. Can a passionate weekend fling between two hurt souls lead to lasting love?
Link to Amazon
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Link to Barnes and Noble
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Spring Blossoms Releases August 7!

Chapter 1

“What?” I breathed into the phone.

My youngest sister, Autumn, asked, “Why are you sounding like that? Did I wake you? It’s five in the afternoon.”

I slapped Romel’s hands away from my naked breast and muted my cell. “You see I’m on the phone.”

He kissed my neck. “Why would you answer it in the middle of fucking anyway?”

“I always answer for my sisters.” I pushed him off me and moved next to him. “Hush, so I can see what she wants.” 

I unmuted the phone. “Do I sound better now?”

“You sick or something? You don’t usually sleep in the middle of the day, especially on a Saturday.”

“Auti, I’m fine. What do you want?”

“I can’t just call my sister to check on her?”

“No. Ever since you got with Quincy you only call when you want something.” I could feel Romel next to me stroking himself to stay hard.

“That’s not true.”                    

“When’s the last time you called me?” I quickly checked my phone for receipts. “The last time was to talk about Winter meeting up with Jared two weeks ago.” 

“Now, she trying to get back with Chad but he’s not returning her calls or texts. I don’t blame him if you ditch me on New Year’s for your ex, we are more than done.”

 “Yeah, she’s going to have to do more than call him to get him back, but she didn’t exactly ditch him for that asshole, Jared. Chad forced her hand…but you didn’t call to talk about our sister. What’s up?” I asked impatiently.

“What’s up in your world? Did the merger happen yet?”

“It did and meeting my new boss on Monday.” Romel started kissing my shoulder getting me hot all over again. “We don’t have to make up for lost time, I need to finish some things. So just tell me why you called? And it better not be money.”

“Not calling for money and I would ask Summer if I was. You stay broke.”

“Hanging up,” I said annoyed though she spoke the truth. I hated sticking to any budget, especially because I loved nice, expensive things that my money wouldn’t always allow. I grew up with an orthopedic surgeon for a father and had grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle that I often struggled to maintain as an adult.

“Okay…okay. I need some advice. Quincy has been distant lately.”

“This isn’t a simple conversation.”

I then heard sniffles, and big sister mode was in full effect. I muted the phone again. “Hey, I’ll be in the other room. Just wait a little longer for me.”

Romel grumbled, “Seriously. You can’t just call her back.”

“I’ll make it up to you. We have the rest of the evening. Chill.” 

“You better suck me off good.”

Rolling my eyes, contemplating if I still wanted to give him some, I pulled the sheets to cover my naked body as I moved to my living room and curled in my soft, large armchair. I’d met Romel at a bar and restaurant near my apartment right after Thanksgiving, and I didn’t know he’d graduated high school with my other younger sister, Winter until he asked me to be his date for their tenth-year high school reunion. He seemed to believe that it was his age that kept me from taking him seriously when he failed to understand that I didn’t want a relationship with anyone period. Especially a man who had a wandering eye and dick. “What’s going on?”

“Ugh…Spring! Were you having sex?”

Shit. I didn’t mute the phone. “Baby Bear…mind yours. What’s going on with Quincy?”

“I see you trying to put me in my place.” She chuckled. “Baby Bear” was her family nickname given to her by our father since she was the youngest child of four. “He must not be that good for you to stop to answer my call. I don’t even remember what a phone is when Quincy and I are having sex.”

“Sex is sex. And I need to get back to him so what’s going on with ‘Mr. Drum Major’.”

“Yeah.” The sadness crept back into her voice. “He’s just so busy since the semester started with trying to finish everything in time for graduation. In between his music, running back and forth to Atlanta to see Logan, and classes, we rarely have time for each other. If we didn’t live together, I wouldn’t even see him.”

“Okay, he sounds busy, not distant. You would be too if you didn’t finish your coursework last semester. And he is an involved father which you love.”

“I know that, and I know him. He’s acting differently.”

Hoping Quincy wasn’t fucking over her, I sighed, “Oh, Auti.”

“Stop, Spring. I could tell in your voice you think he’s cheating.”

“You must think so too, or you wouldn’t be crying.”

“Call me crazy, but he wouldn’t cheat on me. We’ve talked about being faithful to one another and we both vowed to break up before either one of us cheats on the other.”

“Then why are you crying?”

“I think he may be over me and because we live together, he’s trying to be cool until graduation.”

“Why do you think that? It’s just been a month since you two left here all in love. He can’t possibly be over you.”

“This morning, we got into a huge argument because he wants us to move to Atlanta to be closer to his daughter and a couple of record producers want him to work with them. I want to be in New York since I got accepted at Columbia. He said I was being selfish again and left pissed to run errands.”

“I thought you and he was going to compromise? With your grades, I’m sure you can get into some school in Atlanta.”

“Yes, but Columbia has always been my dream and he also has an opportunity with Sony in New York. We agreed that we would move to a city that’s best for both of us. New York is the best choice. I haven’t even applied to any schools in Atlanta.”

“Maybe he wants to be near his daughter more.”

She grew quiet. “Yeah…he does. Why did I have to fall for him? Life would be so simple right now.”

“Well, do what you think he’s going to do. Once you graduate, break up with him first.”

Autumn yelled in the phone, “That’s the advice you give me? I love him and don’t ever want to be without him. I should’ve called Winter. I thought maybe you were different and not so selfish. That you would understand after what you did to bring Quincy and I back together but then again you have no idea what it means to need someone so much it hurts.”

I snapped back, “I’m rooting for the two of you and aware of how much you love him. I was playing devil’s advocate so you could hear how crazy you sound, Autumn. It’s only been a fucking month since you got back together. So maybe you should have called Winter.” Livid, I hung up and turned my phone off. Hurt that my baby sister and I didn’t seem to click lately, especially after she fell unexpectedly in love with her roommate. She used to be like me and not want a relationship, though our reasons probably differed. I don’t think she would’ve fallen hard if her boyfriend wasn’t originally her roommate. Like me, she was too stubborn to give any man the time of day. And once they had their troubles and she broke up with him, I hated seeing her so miserable and arranged for him and his precious young daughter to spend the holidays with Autumn and our family. 

Although I could see how happy love made my sisters, relationships were still not for me. Three different men proposed to me and all three times I rejected them. My family would exaggerate and say I’ve been engaged but I never accepted any of them. One even asked my father’s permission, trying to force my hand. He was my last boyfriend and for the last six years, I’d gladly been on my own. The only thing men were good for was sex, occasional stimulating conversation, and expensive meals or gifts. I’m not callous, and I absolutely love men — I’m simply a woman who wants to do what I want anytime I want. Once a man believes you’re his, what you want no longer matters. And I’ve seen too many broken hearts and promises in the name of love, to believe that it’s for me. I am happily single and can do bad by my damn self. Thank you very much.

“Hey.” I felt a nudge and looked up to see Romel’s hard, big black dick resting on my shoulder. I turned my head to run my tongue down his long length, needing a vicious pounding to forget my irritation at my sister. 

“Hope you brought your condoms in here too.”

He begged, “Come on, we don’t need it.”

“Yes, the fuck we do.” Stretching my arms above my head, I propped one leg over the back of my armchair and planted my other foot on the plush carpet. “If you want this sweet pussy, it’s a requirement.”

*****

Autumn had already texted an apology, by the time I finished fucking and sent Romel on his merry way.

I’m sorry. You’re right. Quincy and I will be fine, hate when we argue. Call me later so we can catch up. 6:01 pm 

I sipped Chardonnay while I soaked my sex exhausted body in my garden tub alone thinking over my conversation with Autumn and that she called me selfish because I didn’t care about relationships like she and my other sisters. That hurt because I prided myself in being there as her big sister since I was the second oldest of four girls. All of us were named after the seasons of the year. My mother who’d been very artsy and creative while pregnant with her first child decided that her children would be named according to the season in which he or she was born.  

Autumn, my youngest sister, and a senior in college, used to eschew relationships but is now madly in love with her roommate. Then there’s Winter, my other younger sister who I’ve always been secretly jealous of because she became the apple of Daddy’s eye since the moment she was born. Like me and Autumn, she had sex as a teenager but only with her high school boyfriend. Unlike us, her first sexual partner was her only partner until a month ago when she finally got with her best friend, Chad. Unfortunately, she couldn’t seem to let go of her ex, Jared, so Chad currently isn’t speaking to her. For now. Winter and Chad’s story isn’t done yet because they love each other too much. And then there’s my older sister and best friend, Summer. 

By the time she fell in love and had sex in her second year in college, I’d already had five different partners. Okay. Six. I always forget about Herman during my senior year in high school. I should have never allowed any Herman anywhere near my pussy. I did feel sorry for him because he had a huge crush and he tutored me in Trig— first and last time I ever gave a pity fuck. But I digress.  

Summer hadn’t had a real love since she became a mother right after college. I’ve always felt guilty that I dated often while she didn’t, that maybe if she hadn’t become a mother young, she would have married by now instead of being married to her career. She’d always been a hopeless romantic which is why she waited for love to have sex and has been celibate for years because she believes that sexuality is entwined with commitment. And being a pediatrician and single mom barely left time for dating. I on the other hand only wanted dick without complications. I loved sex too much to wait for the right man —if he even exists. 

Maybe it’s because I’d learned early on to not get so attached to a man. I had sex for the first time the summer before I started high school. His name was Isiah Crawford, he was sexy and nineteen and I pretended to be older than fourteen. I met him when I snuck out to hang at the movie theaters with some of my classmates. A certifiable hottie with his dark chocolate skin, curly twists, and Timberland boots he loved to wear, Isiah had the attention of every girl or woman that crossed his path. I lied about my age because I’d already decided that he should be my first. We met up a couple more times before I let him go down on me and he had me clawing the roof of his car. The very next date we had sex and it didn’t even hurt as everyone said it would. I let him fuck me a few more times before I stopped taking his calls. I’d started really liking him but caught him out with another girl at the same theatre where we met. After crying a couple of days over him, I realized that he never asked me to be his girlfriend and I didn’t love him anyway. Only my ego had been hurt. I was ready to have sex and he fit the bill. No more. No less. 

I thought we were over until he started seeing me out at the movies with other dudes. Isiah got stupid, thinking he owned me because we had sex. He became stalkerish calling me all times of the night, trying to start fights with me and my dates whenever I saw him at the theatre, determined to get me back.  I threatened him with the truth of my age, and he was smart enough to leave me alone and I never saw him again. Looking back, he had to have known I was underage since I looked young and he could never come to my house. He could have gone to jail and been labeled a sex offender for his entire life. All because of sex. A simple act between two people to satisfy a need. No more. No less. And I didn’t need to be committed to a man to enjoy sex or my life. Or so I thought…

Chapter 2

“Looking good Spring,” Jerome called out as I finished my second rep of bicep curls. Summer may be a pediatrician, but I was the healthiest of the family. I had been a dancer and a cross-track runner. Habits I’d picked up then lasted into my adulthood. I knew the right diet for my body and exercised at the state- of- the- art fitness gym next door to my job daily before work. My naturally wavy hair was usually covered by braids, weave, or wigs so I could exercise without fear of sweating out my style during my workouts in and out of the bedroom. Today I sported a long straight black weave that hung below my shoulders.

“Thanks.” I stood and twisted my hair in a bun at the top of my head. 

“Let me know when you need me to spot you again.” He winked suggestively.

“I already told you I am seeing someone. But if we don’t work, I have your number,” I flirted, not meaning a word. Jerome, an attractive linebacker who played for the Texans two seasons before he had a career-ending injury. That was ten years ago and all that he ever talked about was the Texans. I understand a dream interrupted or deferred from personal experience, but life goes on. I may not like complications with the dick, but I definitely didn’t do simple either.

This morning I made it to the gym with barely enough time to do my standard workout, thirty minutes on the treadmill, and twenty-five minutes stretching and weights. And today, this new guy who I’d never seen before hogged my favorite treadmill. He’d been on it for forty-five minutes and my gym had a thirty-minute limit on using the equipment. To hide my annoyance and decreasing time to work out, I plastered a smile and walked in front of the treadmill.

Once I moved in front of him, pleasantly surprised by his handsomeness, my smile became genuine. “You must be new?” Usually, light-skinned brothers weren’t my type. I tended to go for the chocolate wonders like the Trevante Rhodes of the world. Yet, this tall man with his honey brown complexion, dark wavy hair that he wore slightly thicker on top, nice full lips, groomed mustache and goatee, brown eyes framed by lashes I wanted for myself, admittedly piqued my curiosity.  

His broad forehead wrinkled as he pulled his buds out of his ear, still jogging. “Excuse me?”

Unabashedly admiring his built physique, I repeated, “You must be new?”

Barely panting while he moved at a brisk pace, he used the towel wrapped around his neck to wipe the beads of sweat on his forehead and responded drily, “Relatively.”

“Relatively?” Oh, he’s a pretty asshole. Placing my hands on my bare waist, to draw his attention to my body, I informed, “We have a thirty-minute limit on machines.”

Still maintaining his pace, he pointed to an older model treadmill in the corner on the other side of the room. “Only if there no machines available.” He put his buds back in and hit a button and began jogging faster, done with our brief conversation.

I hated that old ass treadmill, and no one ever used it. I glared at the annoying no longer sexy stranger before heading to shower and dress for work. I needed to leave anyway since my new supervisor would be starting today and I needed to be on time.

*****

Karol, my colleague, stood right inside the door of my office. We were both Human Resources Specialists for Lear, a large oil and gas company that had been recently bought out by a larger company from Los Angeles.  She looked corporate ready in her grey pantsuit, red lipstick and blonde hair pinned in a neat chignon. “Spring, the vultures will be out in full force. Our new boss is hot.”

I looked up from my computer. “You’ve met him already?”

“Yeah, he was in the employee lounge with Stan. Girl, I won’t be able to concentrate in our morning meetings.”

“He all that?” I finished checking my emails in preparation for our Monday morning meeting. “I hope he doesn’t come in here trying to change things up.”

“You mean, not allowing you to do whatever the hell you want?”

I corrected, “You mean running the HR department as it should be run.”

Karol smiled. “I wish I could argue with you. Charlie didn’t know anything. Thank God, he recognized it and listened to you.” She smoothed back her hair and moved to sit in front of my desk. “You really okay with them bringing someone in from corporate instead of promoting you?”

I shrugged, tapping my pen against my desk. “I have no choice. I’ve put years in this department and I’m not quite ready to move on. It’s still a man’s world and most of the heads are males. I’m not surprised they would want to bring in their own team once the merger happened. Lucky for us, the only casualty from our department was Charlie.”

“Yeah, I couldn’t enjoy Christmas with this merger looming over our heads.”

“Nothing gets in the way of me enjoying holidays and my time off.”

“You weren’t nervous at all?”

“No.” Of course, I was worried, but I never liked others to see me sweat.  I could be fiercely private with everyone except my sisters.  People will let you down, especially if you show you care about something or someone. You only have yourself and if you’re lucky, your family.

Karol said wistfully, “I wish I could turn off my emotions as you can. I care too damn much over too damn much.”

“It makes your life much easier if you can, trust me.  We still have twenty minutes before the management meeting, and I forgot to get my coffee.” I tugged my black sleeveless sheath dress down over my knees, grabbed my red blazer, and cell. “You want anything?”

“The coffee in the breakroom is good enough for me.”

“When there’s a Starbucks downstairs?”

We walked to my door together and she warned, “Don’t be late Spring. It’s busy down there in the morning.”

“I won’t be and besides Stan is always running fifteen minutes behind and we can’t start without him.”

Stan, our fearless leader and CEO, who’d managed to negotiate the merger and maintain our company name and most of our jobs, was notoriously late for every meeting.  I greeted various staff in the Human Resources department as I headed to the elevator, believing I had plenty of time to get my tall mocha latte with nonfat milk.

On the fourteen floors down, I checked my text messages. Already had two from Romel this morning, trying to get together again after work.  I bet if I wanted a relationship, he would run screaming the other direction. Men liked the chase. I preferred men chasing me too, but I had no intention of getting caught.

I giggled at the dick pic that Mike, a pharmacist I used to fuck sent me reminding me that we hadn’t seen each other in a while. Definitely have to hit him up later. He might be who I do instead of Romel.

As the elevator touched on the ground level, I wondered if I would agree with Karol, who had questionable taste in men, about our new boss. I didn’t believe in playing where I worked, so his appearance didn’t matter. Most of the new people were diverse and friendly enough that the merger hadn’t changed the company drastically which we’d all hoped for. Working in the oil and gas industry although lucrative was also ever-changing. One day you could be making six figures, loving your job and the next fighting for severance pay due to job lay-offs from company acquisitions, mergers, or a steep decline in oil prices.

When I hurried out of the elevator I bumped into a hard body. Without looking up, I grumbled, “Can you watch where you’re going?”

A deep, voice responded, “You were looking down at your cell.”

“Which meant you saw me…” I stopped speaking the moment I looked at the man who had a soothing voice. “You’re the selfish guy from this morning?”

Now, even finer, impeccably dressed in a coal gray suit, and deep red tie, he moved past me with a quizzical expression, holding a cup of Starbucks coffee. “Selfish? This morning?”

I watched him and others get on the elevator. “You hogged the treadmill.”

He slapped his forehead comically. “Oh, I do remember you. The spoiled princess.” The elevators closed to snickers and giggles from the other people.

“I hate him.” Beyond irritated, that I had two run-ins with the same infuriating man on the same morning, I stormed to the Starbucks café. Thankfully, only two people stood in line. I needed coffee this morning to calm my nerves.  

*****

By the time I grabbed my coffee and rushed back to our conference room, I was ten minutes late. I could hear Stan’s booming voice. Great! Of all days, he decides to be on time. I hurried into the meeting, searching for a leather seat in the back of the room to avoid drawing any more attention to myself. As one of the managers, I was supposed to sit at the conference table, but I didn’t want to disrupt the meeting by walking in front of the staff.

Stan, a friendly, tall red-head guy who for some reason still wore a buzz cut from his Marine days, beckoned me to the front. “Spring, we were just wondering where you were. Before you sit, briefly introduce yourself to Miles.”

He gestured to the man I hadn’t noticed until this very moment. 

It was the asshole from this morning and on the elevator, staring back at me with a slight smirk! He couldn’t possibly be my new boss. Please tell me he’s a new hire in another department. 

“It’s okay, Stan, I can catch her up to speed. Ms. Locke, right?” Miles asked as he stood up. 

I nodded, finding myself surprisingly mesmerized by his engaging smile.

“Name’s Miles Davenport and I’ll be heading up your department. The managers introduced themselves and you were the last manager before moving on to the staff. I presume your chair is next to mine.” He pulled back the only vacant chair. “I asked everyone to tell me his or her name, where he or she is from, current position, years worked at Lear, and a fun or interesting fact about yourself.” 

I walked closer to him holding my hand out to him. “My sincere apologies for being late and missing some of the introductions.” He grasped my hand in his warmly. “I especially hate that I didn’t hear your interesting fact.” 

Miles’ smile faltered a bit as he released my hand. “Because I didn’t say it.”

“Oh, then I didn’t miss your introduction?” I’d already pegged him as the type who expected the staff to give and share while he remained private. “Good. I’ll sit and go after you.”

He cleared his throat and his eyes followed me as I sat down. “I already introduced myself.”

“Well, since everyone knows me but you. I’ll address you. My name’s Spring Locke and with Employee Satisfaction and have been with the company for almost ten years. Again, my apologies for my lateness, and welcome to the team.”

“An interesting fact?”

I calmly replied, “I don’t have any.”

Stan contradicted. “That can’t be true. You’re the life of the party in HR.”

I looked at Miles. “There you have it. I’m the life of the party.” A few claps and laughter spread throughout the room at the truth of Stan’s words. I loved bringing fun to the office. We spent more time at work than we ever did with family and friends, so I did my best to make my work environment entertaining.

“Thank you.” He nodded before turning his attention to the twenty or so people in the room. 

An hour later as we were being dismissed from the meeting, Miles said near my ear, “Ms. Locke, can I have a minute of your time?”

I clamped down the desire to shiver at the nearness of his kissable lips so near my skin. “Sure.”

While waiting for the room to finish clearing, I jotted down my agenda for the day. Anything to keep my mind occupied with work. It’d been difficult to concentrate sitting next to Miles. He smelled heavenly and I could feel the timbre of his deep voice every time he spoke. Although I was attracted to him, he seemed too uptight for me. I hope that he isn’t interested in me, that would be awkward since no matter what I don’t play and work in the same place.

Miles had been standing talking to various staff as they exited the room and once the last person closed the door, he chose to sit across instead of back next to me. “I just moved here from Los Angeles and I’ve worked for Schelling for six years, been in HR for fifteen years. And I’m happy about the merger with Lear and believe in working as a team. That was my introduction that you missed.” He leaned forward. “Ms. Locke, it’s a waste of time to repeat information that was given when you more than capable to receive the information the first time around. As the manager who’s next in line to me, I expect punctuality at all times. Five minutes early as far as I’m concerned is on time. We always lead by example. To show up late for an all HR staff meeting is unacceptable. We can’t penalize employees for tardiness if our HR department is late. Consider this a verbal warning.”  

I stared at him incredulously. “A verbal warning? In the nine-plus years I’ve been here, I’ve never been reprimanded verbally or otherwise. I assure you my lateness is not my norm.”

“Why would you decide to make a run for coffee fifteen minutes before the start of a staff meeting in which your new supervisor would be introduced? Do you really think that was the best decision given the circumstances, especially since there’s coffee offered throughout this company?”

“How did you…” I stopped myself at his pointed look at the Starbucks coffee cup next to my leather portfolio. “I thought I had time…the barista took a long time to prepare my coffee. And Stan quite honestly is always late for every meeting. I didn’t think today would be any different.”

“I thought you said that ‘lateness is not your norm’?”

“It’s not. Just explaining my behavior.”

Miles calmly replied, “No excuses, Ms. Locke. We will work closely together at times and I need to be able to rely on you. We can’t expect success without dependability. Punctuality is also necessary for me to trust our working relationship.”

I nodded in agreement before asking, “Do you also value honesty from your team?”

He planted his palms down on top of his folder. “Of course.”

“Reprimanding me within an hour of meeting me is not the best way to start a working relationship.”

“I need to be clear on what’s expected.”

“You could’ve made it clear without telling me I’ve been verbally warned.”

Tilting his head, he reminded, “Ms. Locke, were you or were you not late for a mandatory meeting?”

I gritted my teeth and took a deep breath. “Yes, I was late.”

“Then my verbal warning stands.” We locked eyes. 

I straightened my shoulders. “Yes, sir. Understood. Is this a good time for you to tell me what expectations you have for me? Or do you want to suggest another time?”

Miles settled back in his seat. “No need to call me ‘sir’, though I appreciate the respect. I prefer Miles and that we discuss expectations in my office for two o’clock.”

I picked up my belongings. “Is there anything else?”

He began to write on his notepad. I stared at the top of his wavy hair debating whether to confront him on his rather curt tone with me. I decided against it, thinking he would consider me insubordinate, and rose from the chair.  

Once I made it to the door, I heard him tap his Monte blanc against his notepad. “I once won a hip-hop dance contest.”

I turned my head to look back at him. “Excuse me?”

“An interesting fact about me.”

“Oh.” Somehow, I couldn’t picture him dancing at all, definitely not hip-hop.

“Ms. Locke, I believe in leading by example and earlier you purposefully didn’t share a fun or interesting fact because I didn’t.” He quietly assessed me. 

“Well, I once auditioned for Alvin Ailey,” I softly admitted before leaving the conference room. I couldn’t believe I’d shared that with him. No one and I mean no one ever knew I’d auditioned for Alvin Ailey my sophomore year in college….

Read the rest of Spring Blossoms when it drops this Friday, August 7, 2020! Pre-Order and your copy will be in your kindle Thursday night/wee hours of Friday morning…

And once you finish reading, join me in The Love Noters Lounge (https://www.facebook.com/groups/204678854179191/293909871922755) for:

Spring Blossoms Teaser

Title: Spring Blossoms

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

Trope: Workplace romance/Boss

Series: A Love for All Seasons, Book 3

Standalone: Yes

Blurb:

When the one you love to hate is the one…
Believing that lasting love is damn near impossible, the fiercely independent Spring Locke has always preferred sex without complications over commitment. Considered the wild, irresponsible, and selfish one in her family, in her career she is the complete opposite. As a human resources specialist, Spring is dedicated and destined for promotion until there is a merger and she is forced to adjust to a new supervisor. From their very first meeting, Miles Davenport is infuriating, arrogant, demanding, uptight and so not her type.  Yet Spring finds herself insanely attracted to her single, handsome, and aloof boss.  Confident in her ability to get any man she wants Miles becomes her challenge.  When he finally succumbs to Spring’s irresistibly tempting charms, she is unprepared for the deep, emotional connection that Miles evokes within her and the love he expects from her.  And for once Spring wants to give a man her all.  Except she has unshared truths from her past that threaten the very love that she now desires. 

Excerpt:

“Spring…what are you up to? Please, no drama.”

“Nothing. I got to finish some reports this weekend, and I need to ask Miles a question, so I don’t bug him over the weekend.” 

“Spring, you’re sitting over there, pissed, and we both know why.”

“Pissed?”

She snuck a furtive glance at Romel. “You’re upset about Miles.”

I shrugged. “Not true. Need to ask him something.”

“What are you really planning to do? The question asked and answered. Miles is seeing someone.”

“Like I care.” I slid away from the table and sauntered in between the undulating bodies intent on getting Miles alone. Though he held another woman in his arms, he watched me steadily approach from across the grass.

Ignoring the scowl from Kim as I neared them, I tiptoed to whisper in his ear over the music. “I need you for a minute. It’s important.”

He frowned. “What?”

Without another word, I walked past him, sure he would follow. I led him to the back of one of the food trucks nearest to the office building out of sight of people. Once he stood in front of me expectantly, I exploded, “How dare you show up here with that woman?”

Miles folded his arms and laughed sarcastically. “You pulled me away for this?”

“Yes. You’re playing games with me.”

Miles stepped closer. “I’m the one playing games? You barely tolerate me at work. And just because tonight you decide you want me…I’m supposed to be all up on you?”

“Admit you want me too.”

“Why are we discussing this? We work together. That’s it.”

“Why do you keep staring at me?”

He defended. “Because you’ve been staring at me all night.”

“You knew you were planning to come here tonight and didn’t think to mention it to me all day?”

“I’m so sorry Locke, that my whole day was so busy that I didn’t take the time to tell you I changed my mind.” Miles’ words dripped with sarcasm.

I moved closer to him until I had to tilt my head back to see into his face. “I’m not crazy, Miles. I know when a man wants me. Why would you bring another woman to an event I invited you on my birthday if you’re not playing games?”

Miles shrugged. “This whole jealousy bit is played, especially because you have a man.”

“He’s not my man.”

He almost yelled, “Does he know that? He’s definitely making it crystal that you belong to him.”

“Well, …he’s not my man. I don’t even want a relationship. We’re just kicking it.”

“And Kim and I are just ‘kicking it’. So why are you coming at me, as if I did something wrong? I don’t owe you.”

“Because you told me you didn’t want to come tonight, and then you invited her.” 

“She has a name.”

Maybe because I had too many beers, I responded, “Like I give a good goddamn.”

Miles’ brown eyes flashed. “So, you and I are clear. I wanted to come here tonight…just not with you.”

His words were a scorpion’s sting, and I snapped, “Fuck you.” 

Before I could storm away, he pulled me to him and grabbed my face in his hands. “This is why I didn’t want to come here tonight with you.” Miles then lowered his head to kiss the fuck out of me. His lips consumed mine, and I could barely keep up with his frenzied, angry kiss. He pushed me against the back of the food truck and snatched my dress above my hips to caress my thigh, edging dangerously close to my thong. The fire between us so consuming I clung to his neck, too afraid my legs couldn’t hold me up. 

His other hand squeezed my breast before rubbing back and forth across my erect bud. My soaking pussy throbbed almost painfully, anticipating the invasion of his hard dick that pressed against my stomach. His fingers slipped inside the lace and began stroking my engorged clit. He whispered against my mouth, “Why are you so wet and ready for me?”

I breathed his name, and he…he froze. 

“I’m sorry. Sorry. Please forgive me. I shouldn’t have touched you. Kissed you.” 

I dropped my arms confused as he backed away from me, hands balled into fists, pleading with his eyes before hurrying away.

After pushing my dress back down, I hugged myself, trying to gain the strength to not cry, to not curse him, or run after him and beg him to take me out of this sexual frustration misery. It had become increasingly hard to be in his presence and not want to touch him, be with him desperately. With that mind-blowing passionate kiss we just shared, I feared it would be impossible.

Be one of the first to find out what happens next when Spring Blossoms releases August 7, 2020.

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Spring Blossoms Release Date: August 7, 2020

Excerpt: Spring Blossoms

A door at the end of the hall opened and Miles peeked his head out. “Spring? You okay?”

“Yes. Wait, don’t…” Miles came out of his office and the door slammed behind him. “…close the door.”

He frowned and then his expression turned to anguish as he tried to open it.  “Shit.”

“Did ‘Mr. Perfect’ just curse?”

“Not the time, Spring. We’re locked out of our offices.”

“Well, just use the code to get us out of here.”

He closed his eyes warily. “I don’t remember the code.”

“Wait, so not only do you not know the code, neither one of us has a cell to call out?”

“You’ve been here longer than me. Why don’t you remember the code?” Miles placed his hands in his pockets, clenching his jaw which under normal circumstances I would find sexy as hell. Now, I was livid as I quickly donned my earring.

“I’m not upper management. You’re always supposed to have the code. How could ‘Mr. Perfect’ not know the stupid alarm code? We can’t be stuck here all night. I have plans.”

He responded sarcastically, “Of course you do.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

Miles stomped off in the opposite direction of me. 

Hurrying behind him, his long strides making it hard for me to catch up, I demanded, “What does that mean, Miles?”

He muttered, “Nothing.”

“Be a man and tell me what’s your issue with me. It’s like we’re back to day one. Why can’t we be professional and friendly?”

Miles tried several office doors as he continued to walk to the lobby. All doors were locked, and he sighed with frustration. He turned abruptly around and looked down in my upturned face. “Can you come up with a solution to getting out of here instead of questioning my manhood?”    

I yelled, “You were my solution.”

“Lower your voice.”

I said even louder, “You can’t make me.”

“How old are you? ‘You can’t make me’,” he mimicked me as he strode back down the hall.

 “Stop making fun of me.”

He tossed over his shoulder. “You can’t make me.”

“Miles, I’m so serious.”

“About what? My manhood or making you do something because I definitely can’t ask you to do anything without getting mouth from you. If I have any issue, it’s that even after we talked about it, you continue to question every request I make.”

“Request? More like demand. You don’t know how to talk to people.”

“I shoot straight forward. In business, everything is black or white.”

I stepped faster to keep up with him. “But we’re people Miles. How can you be head of HR and not be able to talk to people? I keep thinking as time goes on, you’ll relax and loosen up like you were starting to do before our ‘indiscretion’.” It had been almost a month since my birthday and that night at the concert.

He glared at me as he opened the staff lounge door for me. “Is there a phone in here?”

Unsure if I wanted to be this near him and risk rejection again, I reluctantly walked past him. “No or I would’ve used it to get out of here. What are you doing here so late anyway? I thought everyone had gone home hours ago.”

Miles headed to the refrigerator. “I’m hungry. You want something?”

“I don’t have any food in there. Do you?”

“There’s a bunch of food in the refrigerator and freezer.”

“We can’t steal other people’s food.”

“Spring, we’re stuck here overnight. I’m not about to starve so people won’t curse me out for eating their hot pocket. I’ll replace whatever we eat.” He rummaged through the refrigerator. “There’s lean cuisine, French bread pepperoni pizza, and my personal choice…an unopened gallon of Blue Bell ice cream.”

“Ice cream for dinner?” I rested my back against the counter next to him. “I don’t eat pork, but I can take off the pepperoni.”

He smirked. “Chicken alfredo lean cuisine it is.”

Shrugging, I watched Miles unwrap my dinner and place in the microwave, admiring his firm ass and biceps visible through his business attire, wondering why I didn’t have an effect on him like I did with other men? Yeah, we’d had that mad crazy make-out “indiscretion” but since then no matter how sexy or stylish I dressed lately he never gave me a second glance.  Some days I wondered if I’d imagined that night, he’d been so formal with me since then.  Quite simply, he seemed to view me as a colleague. No more. No less. 

I repeated, “What are you doing here so late?”

“I could ask you the same thing.”

“Finishing up that survey that you ordered me to complete before tomorrow, though you won’t even be here.”

Miles shook his head slightly. “Ordered? You don’t think you’re exaggerating.”

“Nope. Your tone is way harsh all the time.”

He grabbed two plastic spoons and held one out to me to take before he placed the butter pecan container in between us. “You just mean my tone is too harsh with you.”

“Nope, I mean everybody.”

Miles laughed. “It’s just you.”

I crossed my arms. “You need to work on talking to your staff better.”

“Have you taken a poll?”

I jabbed my spoon at him. “You know I haven’t. But I hear things.”

He challenged. “Like what?”

“I’m not telling you…sh…nothing.” I quickly amended.  He was still my boss.

“Go ahead and curse,” he said quietly before scooping some ice cream and surprising me by holding the spoon close to my mouth. “I stayed late because I knew you were here alone, and I wanted to talk.”

“Talk about what?”

His gaze drifted to my cleavage and back to my eyes. “Since we’re stuck together for the rest of the night. Let’s call a truce.  Between now and six tomorrow morning when the building opens, anything we say or do is off the record.”

“Anything we do?” I asked and slowly licked my lips before I opened my mouth to receive the ice cream. I could tell by the heat rising between us, I would not be rejected this time.

He quickly put the spoon back in the tub and grabbed my chin for a delicious pecan flavored kiss. After a moment of feverish kissing, tongues mating, he pulled back, warm hand now on the back of my neck, his steady gaze so damn sexy.  “I talk to you the way I do because I hate that I find you fucking adorable.”

I pouted. “Adorable? I’ve heard sexy, beautiful, captivating, hot. But you only find me adorable?”

Miles looked up at the ceiling, exasperated. “You’re all those descriptions too.”

“No woman wants a man who she desires to see her as cute or adorable.”

His finger traced the soft hairs on my nape, sending thrills through my body. “Oh, you desire me more than other men?”

“So much more.” I put my spoon in the sink and found the button at the top of his shirt before slipping it out the hole. “I hate that I can’t stop thinking about you, how I can’t wait for our morning meetings just so I can see your face as you piss me off with your lofty goals and unrealistic demands. I especially hate how much I want to finish what we started that night you kissed me because since then I’ve been going crazy trying to figure out how you can remain so calm, so steady in my presence like I don’t matter.” I continued to unbutton his shirt.

Miles stopped my hand right above his abs and moved it inside his shirt against his bare skin, his heart. “Is there anything steady about the way my heart is racing? I think it’s adorable that you try your best to get under my skin, that you bite on your pen when you’re concentrating, that your smile wakes me up better than a cup of coffee first thing in the morning. That I see how frustrated you get when I ignore you or you think that I don’t want you because I have to hide it from you.” He lowered his head until his lips were within an inch of mine. “I have to think of you as adorable, because if I think of you as the sexiest woman I’ve ever seen in my fucking thirty-seven years on this Earth, you would be bent over my desk every single time you walk in my office.”

“Well, damn Miles.” Surprised by his words, the passion in his voice, the trembling in his body, I stood on my tiptoes, wrapped my arms around his neck, pressing my softness against his hardness. “Now, you have to fuck me.”

The corners of his brown eyes crinkled as he lifted me onto the counter behind us and placed my legs around his waist. “We have until six in the morning.”

*****

While you’re waiting for the release of Spring Blossoms, check out the first two books in the A Love for All Seasons now available on Amazon!

https://www.amazon.com/Autumn-Falls-Love-Seasons-Book-ebook/dp/B07YVNV8GM

https://www.amazon.com/Winter-Date-Love-Seasons-Book-ebook/dp/B082NZ2V6B

Cover Reveal: Spring Blossoms

When the one you love to hate is the one…

Believing that lasting love is damn near impossible, the fiercely independent Spring Locke has always preferred sex without complications over commitment. Considered the wild, irresponsible, and selfish one in her family, in her career she is the complete opposite. As a human resources specialist, Spring is dedicated and destined for promotion until there is a merger and she is forced to adjust to a new supervisor. From their very first meeting, Miles Davenport is infuriating, arrogant, demanding, uptight and so not her type.  Yet Spring finds herself insanely attracted to her single, handsome, and aloof boss.  Confident in her ability to get any man she wants Miles becomes her challenge.  When he finally succumbs to Spring’s irresistibly tempting charms, she is unprepared for the deep, emotional connection that Miles evokes within her and the love he expects from her.  And for once Spring wants to give a man her all.  Except she has unshared truths from her past that threaten the very love that she now desires. 

Wednesday Writing Prompt #4

The Last Prompt

I can’t believe that May is almost over and that we are now on our last prompt. This was a good experience and at times challenging when the prompts stumped me. I hope you enjoyed reading our various takes on the prompts as much as we enjoyed writing them! All of my prompts will eventually be stories…

“Can you picture it? You and I together?”

I remained coldly silent in the twenty-minute drive to our hotel in Vegas. I didn’t acknowledge all the wonderful sights of the world-famous strip as we drove past. I’d been so excited about our first major trip together and even more proud that I’d managed to fly without freaking out. And then he had to be stupid and forget his so-called ex’s picture was in his messenger bag. How can he really be over her if he still carries her picture?

Breaking the silence, he uttered, “Look, we came here to have fun and not argue.”

I glared at him before returning to my blind stare out the window. “I have no intention of arguing or doing anything else with you. In fact, I’m trying to decide if it makes sense to even be here. The practical side of me is warring with the pissed side.”

He sighed heavily. “I’m sorry. I already explained at the airport that I didn’t even remember that the picture was there. She put the pic in my bag after we’d just gotten into our millionth fight. I hadn’t used that bag to travel in years.”

“The sofa in the picture looks like the same sofa you have now and she’s wearing one of your shirts.”

“A sofa and a shirt I’ve had for years. If you didn’t tear up the photo, I would tell you to look in the background and see that it’s not my current apartment.” He tugged on his goatee. “It was an old photo and it means nothing.”

I hit the armrest nearest to him. “Are you sure that picture means nothing? Are you hurt you don’t have a picture to remember her by?”

He glanced at me. “Fuck no. I wanted you to tear it up. I left her because I was tired of her shit. She may still want me, but I don’t give a fuck. I’m with you now and I love you, and only you.”

Crossing my arms, I hissed, “You only left because she wouldn’t change. Maybe you’re trying to make her suffer now that she’s ready to get her act together.”

Chris bellowed, “You think I’m trying to make her suffer by being here with you? She doesn’t know shit about my life anymore and she sure doesn’t know anything about you except that you’re my woman now.” He inhaled deeply before speaking in a gentler tone, “Simone, we both have pasts.”

I snapped, “I didn’t lie about mine.”

“You never told me about Akil and you only broke up with him because you thought he wasn’t ready for marriage. You still get calls from him and even Derek still calls you.”

“They both know about you now and neither has called since. Besides, I didn’t expect our relationship to get so serious so fast.”

He pulled up in front of the hotel. “I didn’t either.” Chris suddenly entwined our hands and placed it against his fast beating heart. “Give us a real chance. I love you.”

I tried to pull away, but he held stronger.  I shook my head. “Do you know the pain I still feel when I think about that awful day I stopped by your place and she was there? And then two months later, to find that…that picture you took of her only wearing your shirt looking at the camera like she just fucked you, bothers the hell out of me.”

Chris closed his eyes for a second. “I know, baby and if I could take that hurtful moment away or remembered I had that stupid photo I would, but I can’t. Please tell me you still believe that nothing happened when she stopped by my place unannounced and that nothing ever will.”

“I believe in signs and maybe everything is telling me to leave you alone. You still have unfinished business.”

At the moment the hotel staff walked up to the car and as Chris prepared to open the door, I tugged my hand again. “No. I don’t want to be here with you anymore. We shouldn’t even check in. I know you spent a lot on this trip, I can pay you back for my half.”

He gestured to the valet to give him a minute and then looked back at me. “Don’t do this. We’ve both wanted this trip. I believe in signs too.  You stopping by my place as hurtful as it was for the both of us, put me directly in the middle of my past and present. And it confirmed for me that she pales in comparison to you.  Yes, she hurt me, and I left. But when you left me, I was destroyed.”

“I don…” He cut off my protest with his tongue, kissing me deeply. Damn, his delicious kisses.  His hand drifted to my breast and I grabbed his head to me, the negative energy changing into a sexually charged one.

He pulled back enough to stare at my lips. “Let’s go upstairs. If you still want to leave after I prove to you that you’re the only woman in my heart and mind, we’ll leave.”

Still undecided, he took my silence as consent.

Chris held my hand tight while we checked in the hotel and in the elevator. I hadn’t said another word to him, though he’d attempted light conversation.  He expected that our chemistry and insatiable desire for one another would resolve whatever issue we had. Sex would only quench our bodies’ thirst but the need to trust him could never be satisfied by our amazing physical connection. And that hurt to the core because I did love him madly.

I pressed my head against his strong back and circled my arms around his waist as he tried to get the key to work, thinking that maybe I would stay this weekend and let this be our last one. That I would give him all my love while we were here and end things once we returned home. I reasoned we were here now and that kiss in the car had only enflamed my desire for him.  

Once he opened the door into our suite, I covered my mouth in surprise at the most romantic scene I’d ever seen in my life. The entire room had been lit by candles and red, white, and pink rose petals led to a large white bed covered with only red and pink petals. I walked ahead of him, amazed that he’d been so thoughtful to have arranged all of this for me. “Wow…”

Chris embraced me from the back, and I kissed the space between the side of his face and his neck. “Everything happens for a reason. I didn’t remember that picture was in my bag and you found it looking for something else I’d asked you to get. I wanted to use this weekend to show you how much you mean to me.” He chuckled. “I was going to ask ‘if you can picture it, you and I together forever’, when I first opened this door. I had no idea that we would be talking about another picture.”

I hugged him closer to me. “I can’t believe you did this.”

Chris turned me in his arms and looked down at me with his beautiful eyes. “I want to give you the world. This is just a taste. You’re it for me and I’ll keep doing whatever it takes for you to fully trust me. I’m not mad you found that picture, your hurt just tells me that I still have more work to do. And I’m willing to put in the work for us…for our future. I just need to know if you’re willing, too?”

I smiled brighter than the flickering candles surrounding  us.   

**Simone and Chris first appeared in Chemistry and will again appear in the sequel tentatively titled, Chem Love. **

https://www.amazon.com/Chemistry-Tiye-Love-ebook/dp/B07MZ788VR

  1. Would you give Chris a honest chance or continue to give him the side eye?
  2. What would you do if you found a photo of an ex in your partner’s bag?

Now continue your reading journey and see what each of my writer friends wrote with the same prompt.

Delaney Diamond delaneydiamond.com

J.L. Campbell joylcampbell.com

Nyora René nyorarene.com

S. Taylor staylorromance.com