Deep down, I only ever wanted her. I kept it inside because Rory and I made a pact that our friend, Amber, was off-limits.
I went off to college, and he got the girl.
Amber never knew how I felt.
They were together for years—before he broke her heart.
Through it all and across the miles, she and I casually stayed in touch.
When my job sent me to Boston for a three-month contract position, Amber let me stay in her spare room.
Still reeling from her breakup, she’d sworn off men.
One night, I opened her computer to find the shock of my life. She’d hesitantly contacted a male escort company. Afraid to date and get her heart broken again, she was looking for sex with no strings.
Every emotion imaginable ran through me: protectiveness, jealousy—curiosity.
Amber had chosen Gentleman Number Nine and sent him a message.
She opened up to him, confessing, among other things, her physical attraction to her friend—me. But she considered me off-limits—and she thought I was a manwhore. (Ironic, considering the circumstances.)
Eventually, she set up a date to meet Gentleman Nine at a hotel.
When she showed up several nights later to meet him, she was stunned to see me standing there—with an offer I hoped she wouldn’t refuse.
Meet Penelope Ward
Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She’s a seventeen-time New York Times bestseller. Her novels are published in over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world. Having grown up in Boston with five older brothers, she spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 13-year-old girl with autism and a 12-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.
A sweet, fun, and sexy stand-alone romance from New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig.
One night to remember
Is that too much to desire?
One night for fun, passion, and a chance to remember what it’s like to be a woman.
I’m not looking for love.
There’s a man in my life who loves me with all his heart. He has beautiful blue eyes, is three feet tall, and calls me mommy.
He’s my whole world and I’m his. Fate stole his daddy way too soon.
What would happen if I allowed fate another chance, just for one night?
One night to help a friend
Why did I agree to this?
Blind dates are disasters. If I weren’t helping the friend of a friend, I wouldn’t go.
I’m not looking for romance, love, or even a one-night stand.
After all, the man my friend knew is gone. I’m no longer the hockey star known for his “pep” on the ice and in the sack. I have a new life, and a new career—a new passion. I’m not looking for more.
When the blind date is a bust, could fate change everything?
One night doesn’t end with a kiss—it begins with one.
Be ready to laugh, cry, and fall head over heels as you meet Leatha, the lighter side of Aleatha in this new sweet and sexy stand-alone romance, ONE NIGHT.
When we finally pull apart, before I can speak or even contemplate what happened, Malcolm’s blue eyes shine down on me, taking me in and reading me.
His voice rumbles through the background commotion of the bar. “You taste like sweet wine and smell like perfume and desire.”
Warmth fills my cheeks. “You taste like good beer.”
“Good? You’re a beer connoisseur?”
I shrug. “Mostly, I know cheap beer.”
He lifts my chin, bringing his indigo eyes into focus. The room disappears, making those blue orbs all I can see.
“I’m a connoisseur,” he says as his thumb gently rubs over my bruised lips. “And you, beautiful Mandy, if you were a beer, would never be a cheap one. No, you’re a rich custom craft brew. I see it in your eyes, feel it in your touch, and smell it in the air. Kissing a stranger isn’t something you do, is it?”
I try to move my eyes away, but Malcolm’s grip of my chin is unrelenting. Meeting his gaze, I reply, “No. I won’t even bore you with how long it’s been since I’ve kissed a real man.”
His eyes sparkle. “You kiss fake men?”
“Boys. Well, only one actually.”
“You kiss boys…” And then, as if the reality of his statement hits home, he asks, “You have a son?”
My heart flutters, its speed increasing by the second. “I do, but I don’t want to talk about him. Not because he isn’t important for he is—he’s my world—but because tonight isn’t about him. It’s about me.” I can’t gauge Malcolm’s reaction. I can only guess that he’s assuming that I’m some needy woman trying to get a man to take on the responsibility of a kid who isn’t his.
I reach out and splay my fingers over his chest. His heart is beating to match mine. “I don’t want to talk about him,” I continue, “because he’ll never know about you—I’ll never tell him and never introduce you. Don’t worry. I’m not after a man to rescue me. I’m perfectly content with my life as a mother. I just wanted to remember what it felt like to be a woman…for just one night.”
“I’m not anti-children—”
I shake my head. “Stop. That doesn’t matter.” It’s then that I notice the filled glasses on the table and laugh. “When did the waitress come?”
Malcolm bows his head until our noses touch. He inhales deeply, his eyes closing as his hand falls to my lap. “I’d say just after you.”
More heat floods my cheeks. “I-I didn’t…”
“Then we need to do something about that.” He looks again at the full glasses. “I think the drinks came while my tongue was busy getting to know your sweet mouth.” His hand splays over my thigh.
My breathing hitches. “Malcolm?”
“You said you want one night. One night doesn’t end with a kiss. It begins with one.”
About Aleatha Romig
Aleatha Romig is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana, USA. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Aleatha has raised three children with her high school sweetheart and husband of nearly thirty years. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she’s not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time a with her family and friends. Her other pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams!
Aleatha released her first novel, CONSEQUENCES, in August of 2011. CONSEQUENCES became a bestselling series with five novels and two companions released from 2011 through 2015. The compelling and epic story of Anthony and Claire Rawlings has graced more than half a million e-readers. Aleatha released the first of her series TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE, INSIDIOUS, in the fall of 2014. These stand alone thrillers continue Aleatha’s twisted style with an increase in heat.
In the fall of 2015, Aleatha moved head first into the world of dark romantic suspense with the release of BETRAYAL, the first of her five novel INFIDELITY series that has taken the reading world by storm. She also began her traditional publishing career with Thomas and Mercer. Her books INTO THE LIGHT and AWAY FROM THE DARK were published through this mystery/thriller publisher in 2016.
2017 brings Aleatha’s first “Leatha, the lighter side of Aleatha” with PLUS ONE, a fun, sexy romantic comedy.
Aleatha is a “Published Author’s Network” member of the Romance Writers of America and PEN America. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
So let’s get this straight.
This is a story about romance.
Well, it’s not a story. I mean, it’s not something somebody made up. It’s about me. And yeah, in case you’re wondering, I’m a guy.
Surprised? Sure you are. You figure those words just don’t go together. Romance, with a capital R. Guy, with a capital G. You’re probably sitting there and smirking. What could a dude possibly know about romance? You figure we’re big on sex. But romance?
Romance is not a male thing.
And that’s exactly my problem.
The bottom line is that whatever you think you know about men and romance is pretty much correct. You figure we’re big on the F-word as long as it stands for Fuck and not Forever.
Meet Sandra Marton
Sandra Marton is a USA Today Bestselling Author with approximately 35,000,000 (and counting!) books in print in twenty-plus languages. Sandra’s Harlequin Presents novels all feature the sexy, gorgeous, complex, tough on the outside but tender on the inside Alpha heroes she loves to create. So do all her brand new single title novels: The Prince of Pleasure, Emily: Sex & Sensibility (The Wilde Sisters, book one), Jaimie: Fire & Ice (The Wilde Sisters, book two) and, coming soon, Lissa: Sugar & Spice (The Wilde Sister, book three).
Sandra has won the Holt Medallion. She’s been a finalist for the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA award four times. She’s won eight Romantic Times Magazine Reviewers’ Choice Awards and was honored with their Career Achievement Award for Series Romance.
Sandra always dreamed of becoming a writer. She wrote poems when she was little, moved on to writing short stories by the time she was in university. She was graduated with Honors in English but, she says, life—a lovely one—intervened with her writing dream. She married, had a family, became active politically in the small town outside New York City where she and her husband lived. Then, one day, she paused long enough to realize her dream was getting away from her and decided to do something about it.
Sandra wrote her very first novel, a romance she called Rapture in the Sands. She sent a synopsis and one chapter to several publishers. A senior editor at Harlequin liked what she’d read and asked to see the rest. After revisions, Harlequin Mills and Boon Ltd bought and published the book.
Today, Sandra is a full time author. She lives in northern Connecticut with her husband, who was her childhood sweetheart, in a sun-drenched house surrounded by woods..