One day remaining to catch up with the Wicked Series before Book 3, Christian’s story, hits the virtual bookshelves! Fictionwise.Com is still running their special so grab the first 2 books in this series at a 25% discount!
The contest for your chance to win a FREE copy of Christian’s story, Wicked: Jade Butterfly ends tomorrow so don’t forget to enter! Just tell me what you would do with a million dollars if you won the lottery and post your answers here on the group. I’ll pick a winner at random tomorrow!!
The four men who make up the rock band, Wicked, the hottest act to hit the scene in years, have earned their wicked status without much help. They’re bad, sinfully delicious, and a temptation to every woman they meet.
Gearing up for a worldwide tour, the guys are about to come face to face with the only women strong enough to tame them. But it’ll take more than a few smooth words to win the hearts of these ladies. When you can have any woman you want, how do you convince the one you can’t live without her?
Devin Shaw, front man for the band, Wicked, is forced into seclusion by his manager after his destructive behavior almost destroys the band. Sent to a remote cabin alone isn’t Devin’s idea of fun, but to save his career, he’ll do what it takes.
Holly Baker, escaping the hassles of her big city life, arrives in the mountains of Tennessee and awaits the arrival of her friend, Roxy, to start their two-week vacation. Their plans change drastically when Roxy is called away at the last minute, leaving Holly to fend for herself.
Devin and Holly’s worlds collide when a mix up strands them in the same cabin. Alone with nothing but each other for companionship, how will Holly react when she realizes she’s trapped with none other than the hottest lead singer the country has seen in years? Will Devin be able to work with a constant distraction the pretty brunette offers? Or will the two discover that sometimes temptation is a wicked dessert best served hot!
Roxy Carlisle is on a mission. She’s been in lust with Luke Harris, lead guitarist for the band Wicked, for two years. When her best friend, Holly, hooks up with the bands lead singer, and asks her to tag along to New York with her to meet the band, Roxy couldn’t pack her bags fast enough. The chance to meet Luke in person was a dream come true. Even better if her ultimate fantasy of finding herself in his bed were to happen. One way or another, she was determined to have him. That is, if Holly’s hair-brained idea of playing hard to get doesn’t backfire in her face.
Luke Harris loves women and they love him. All he ever has to do is speak to them and they fall all over themselves to be the lucky lady of the night. That all changes though when a feisty brunette comes barreling into his life and changes all the rules. She’s immune to his usual charm, or so it seems, but something in her eyes tells him otherwise.
Has Luke finally met a woman he can’t seduce? Can Roxy follow her plan and not give in when Luke sets his sights on her? When sex is all you’re after, can you walk away when your heart demands more?
Christian Palmer, bass player for the band Wicked, isn’t your typical rocker. Much to his band mate’s amusement, he’s quiet, shy and looks like your average boy next door–but that’s all about to change. An encounter with a girl he can’t seem to forget calls for drastic measures and with the help of his friends, Christian goes from dud to stud in hopes to wow the girl of his dreams.
Jessi McClure has led a fairytale life. She has a job she loves, friends she can count on and couldn’t want for anything else. Until she meets, and photographs, an unlikely rock star. Running into him again was just dumb luck, but when their paths keep crossing, she can’t help but notice the change this shy, gorgeous guy has taken on and is drawn to him even more.
When fate keeps stepping in and hands you something you didn’t realize you wanted, do you throw the chance away or hold on with both hands? Will Jessi get more than she bargained for when the man she thought she knew turns out to be so much more? And can Christian hold on to the girl of his dreams when a misunderstanding threatens to tear them apart?
Excerpt of Wicked: Jade Butterfly
“What about, ‘I’m going to have sex with you tonight. You might as well be there to enjoy it.’”
Christian Palmer choked on his drink and coughed, trying to clear his throat. He looked up and shook his head. When he’d caught his breath, he said, “No. Pass.”
“If I tossed this quarter, what are the chances of me getting head?”
Mick laughed. “Come on, man. You only get three passes and you’ve already used them all.”
“I don’t care,” Christian said. “There’s no way I’m saying that to a complete stranger.”
“That’s the whole point.”
“Forget it. I’ll take my humiliation in small doses if that’s all right with you.”
“Humiliation is the whole point,” Mick said, grinning. “Now pick one of these.”
“But it’s my birthday. I should be watching you three make fools out of yourselves.”
Devin grinned and reached across the table, grabbing another card. “Not going to happen, my friend. Holly would kill me. Besides, you’re the one sitting alone on your birthday. Now, choose.”
Christian ran a hand through his hair, dislodging the dark strands as another card was read. Like every other night out when they found themselves in a club, the pick-up game was in full force. The cards, with the cheesiest pick-up lines known to man were laid out on the table and his band mates were trying to find one for him. Finding a card wasn’t the problem. Having to walk up to a strange woman and actually say what was written on it was.
Since Luke and Devin now had steady girlfriends, it was up to Mick and himself to provide the entertainment of the game and the guys had decided that tonight, it was all on him.
Luke tapped the table with his knuckle to get his attention. “How about, I lost my keys. Can I check your pants?”
“I’ve already had sex with you five times while you were sleeping. Want to make it six?”
“My favorite number is 69?”
Christian laughed and stared across the hotel bar, trying to ignore them. He knew he was blushing as the cards were being read. He could feel the heat burn his face and neck. Everyone’s laughter only caused it to burn hotter.
Why they tortured him with this game when they knew he hated it was beyond his comprehension. Like asking a girl out wasn’t nerve wracking enough for him. To have to approach a woman with one of those cards was the worst humiliation he could think of. Not that the cards deterred women from following him back to his room. You could say anything to a woman when she realized you were a member of the band Wicked and know without a shadow of a doubt, you’d get laid.
The fact they were forcing the game on him tonight shouldn’t have been such a surprise. It was his birthday, after all, and he was dateless.
“Are you juveniles still torturing Christian?”
Christian turned his head at the sound of Roxy’s voice. Luke’s girlfriend smiled at him and grabbed the cards Luke was holding before sitting down beside him. She read over the cards, grinning before tossing them back to the table. “He’ll never find a woman with these.”
“Finding a woman isn’t the point,” Devin said. “He’s Christian Palmer. All he has to do is speak and women will fall all over themselves to be his date for the evening. The fact he has to say this to them when he approaches them just makes it fun.”
“And cruel,” Holly said when she joined them.
Devin laughed at his girlfriends comment. “It’s not cruel. We’ve all done it.”
“You’ve actually picked up a woman with one of these horrible pick-up lines?”
She rolled her eyes and grabbed a few of the cards. “Wonders never cease.”
“What we say to a woman isn’t important. It’s who we are that matters.” He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close to him. “Tell me you didn’t want me the minute you knew who I was?”
Holly snorted a laugh. “No. You were an asshole. Although this card,” she said, waving it in front of him, “may have saved you from an immediate let down. I would have been laughing too hard to say no.”
Christian listened to them talk and scanned the bar. He really didn’t need their help finding a date. Devin had been right about that. Being a member of the band had its advantages. One of them being the fact that women walked all over each other to get close to them, even him. But, finding someone to fill his bed for a night then disappearing wasn’t what he wanted. He wanted more than a string of one-night stands. He wanted to find her. The one girl made just for him. The one who would be there forever.
“This is the last one, Christian. Take it or we’ll pick the worst out of the lot for you.”
He looked over at Mick and took the card from him. His eyes widened when he read it. “This is worse than any you’ve read.”
“No its not,” Mick grinned. “I can find one ten times more humiliating.”
“Fine.” He bit his tongue before shoving the card in his pocket and stood.
“And he’s going for it!” Luke said, laughing. “Go get ‘em, tiger.”
Christian lifted his hand, raising his middle finger and flipped the guys off before walking away. Ignoring their taunts, he made his way through the throng of people crowding their table. Stopping by the bar, he waited for the bar tender and ordered a drink, gulping it down and waiting for the fire to hit his stomach. No matter how much he drank, it wasn’t enough to dull the gut wrenching fear he had at approaching a complete stranger.
He glanced back over his shoulder. The guys were watching him. Waiting. “Why me?” he asked no one. Turning, he scanned the club again. The light was dim but the bright flashes of blue and red from the overhead lights illuminated the people crowding the bar enough for him to see.
Blondes, brunettes and redheads as far as the eye could see met his pursuing gaze. “Ennie-minnie-mino-mo,” he said to himself.
He smiled when a blonde crossed in front of him and looked his way. He knew by the look on her face she’d be a sure bet. He’d seen the look a thousand times. If he just stood there long enough, someone would come to him and he was half tempted to do just that. But it was the standing there and waiting part that he didn’t like. Besides, the guys preferred he approach someone, not the other way around.
He sighed and leaned back against the bar. His band mates made it look so easy. All Luke ever had to do was look at a girl and she was falling all over herself to be with him. Devin and Mick only had to speak. Women loved them and spent every night in their presence trying to get them in their beds. He’d had his share of prospects too, but not like the others. Women wanted them, the bad boys of rock. They weren’t drawn to the quiet one. The one who had to fight a blush when a woman looked his way.
He’d been the butt of their jokes for years and he’d taken them all in stride. He was the quiet one. He was the guy who stood in the background while life moved around him in a blur of movement. But it wasn’t only sleeping with any one woman that interested him. He wanted… more. He wanted someone who would always be there. Someone who loved him, not the bass player for the band Wicked. He wanted a woman who wanted Christian Palmer—small town boy from Kansas.
Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, he straightened his spine. “Okay,” he said, quietly. “Who is it going to be?”
He searched the club, letting his gaze fall on every woman he saw. The redhead by the dance floor was pretty. Too tall for his tastes, though. The blonde next to her wore too much make-up. Another blonde. Too few clothes on that one. Nothing was left to the imagination and he was almost positive he’d get laid before they made it out the door but she wasn’t very pretty.
He sighed and leaned back, crossing his arms over his chest and stared at the sea of bodies.
It didn’t really matter if he found one attractive or not. It wasn’t like he would be taking her back to the room with him, even if the card proved successful. Which he had no doubt it would be. When the woman he picked realized who he was, he was as good as laid.
A brunette crossed in front of him and the scent of wild orchids filled the air. He turned his head, watching her walk away. The green dress she wore fit snuggly over rounded hips and was backless, giving him a glimpse of tanned skin and a thin waist. Her chestnut brown hair was pinned up. Small curls were left to dangle across her bare shoulders and he followed her without thought. When she stopped at the end of the bar, he hesitated a few moments before closing the distance between them.
When he stopped behind her his eye was drawn to a tattoo on her back. A butterfly with wings of green and black hung low on her right side. He smiled while looking at it.
Reaching into his pocket, he grabbed the card again and cringed when he read it. He should have taken the first one Mick read. It wasn’t nearly as provocative as this one was, especially if he had to say it to her. Of every woman in the club, she was the only one who peeked his interest and he hadn’t even seen her face.
The thought made him cringe suddenly. God, what if she’s ugly? She could be a complete butter-face. He looked her over from head to toe. It would be his luck to find a gorgeous woman who had a face of a bulldog. He’d seen his share, too. Beautiful women who men would kill to touch… only to realize everything was perfect but her face.
He grinned while taking a leisurely look of her backside before shaking his head. There’s no way this woman is ugly. Not with a body like that. She walked with confidence, her head held high and the dress she wore told him she knew how to draw attention. No, a woman like that was probably way out of his league. Rock star or not, he’d never have a snowballs chance in hell of hooking up with her.
But what if you’re wrong? He glanced back over his shoulder at the guys and Mick gave him a “thumbs up.” He grinned before turning back to the girl. What if she didn’t turn him down? What if she was the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen and he let her walk away without even trying? What if he did try and she laughed in his face?
He pushed his last thought away and shoved the card back into his pocket. Clearing his throat, he opened his mouth to speak to her. Nothing came out. It felt as if his tongue grew three sizes in that moment. His pulse raced and a bead of sweat trickled down his spine.
When she started to walk away, he reached out and touched her arm. “Excuse me.”
She turned and the look of surprise on her face when she looked up at him must have matched his own. He knew this girl. His racing heart skipped a beat, much like it did the first time he met her two months ago in New York. The same way it did anytime he thought of her, which was on a daily basis. Anytime he saw the promotional photos for the tour, he thought of her.
She’d caught his attention the moment she walked into her photography studio. She was sassy, gorgeous and looked as if she had the world by the balls and he would have happily let her lead him around by his.
How many days since meeting her had he spent wondering what she was doing? Where she was? If she even remembered him? And now, here she stood like a vision straight out of a fantasy.
Neither of them said a word for long moments. She was the first to recover from the shock. She smiled and glanced around the club before looking back at him. “Hey.”
“Hey,” he said. He felt his face flame and was grateful the room was dark. He cleared his throat and smiled. “I remember you. The photographer from New York, right?”
“Yes. Jessi McClure,” she said, holding her hand out. He took it, grasping her hand in his.
The moment he touched her hand, heat traveled up his arm and exploded throughout his body. His muscles tensed and the perfume she was wearing washed over him in a wild rush. “Christian Palmer,” he said, letting his fingers brush her skin before letting her hand go.
“I remember.” She smiled and glanced around the room again.
He stared down at her, speechless. She was more beautiful than he remembered. She was nearly as tall as he was, the top of her head reaching his shoulders and her slight frame was round in all the right places. The dress she wore was cut low in the front, giving him a glimpse of high, pert breast and he suppressed a moan at the sight of her.
When he met her gaze again, he noticed her slightly wide eyes. She was fidgeting from foot to foot and looked ready to run. That wasn’t a reaction he received from women often. It was always him ready to run. Was she nervous or just wanting to be somewhere else?
He chanced a look over his shoulder. The guys were still watching and he wanted to kick their asses. By the look on their faces, they loved this. His humiliation was the price of their glee.
Looking back over at Jessi, he ran a hand through his hair, wondering what to do now. The card was burning a hole in his pocket and he knew he couldn’t actually read that damn thing to her and not die of embarrassment.
But did he really have a choice? It was either her or someone else and a complete stranger would be worse. He knew that from experience. Maybe he didn’t need to read it. He smiled as an idea came to him.
“I’m in need of a favor,” Christian said. “Care to help me out?”
“If I can.”
Jessi smiled at him again and he forgot to breathe. How could any man look at this woman and not want her? She probably has a boyfriend, he told himself, taking in her features. The plump fullness of her lips, the small uplifted nose and her soft tawny brown eyes reminded him of a Hollywood starlet. She definitely has a boyfriend. No one that gorgeous is single.
She shifted on her feet again and he knew she was getting ready to leave. The small hint of fear some girls got when he was speaking to them was shining brightly in her eyes. He wasn’t sure if it was him or something else causing it but if he was going to do this, it had to be quick.
He swallowed the humiliation his friends had thrown at him and cleared his throat again. “The guys have this game they like to play and I’m the unlucky participant of their fun tonight. I’ll spare you the horrible details so if you have a few minutes, just pretend I said the most outrageous thing you’ve ever heard.”
She raised an eyebrow at him and glanced across the club. He followed her gaze and groaned when the guys waved back at them.
“So, what’s the game?” she asked.
“It’s a pick-up game.”
“A pick-up game?”
“Yes,” he said. “They have a deck of cards with the most humiliating pick-up lines known to man. They get to pick the card and I have to find someone to say it to.”
“And you picked me to hit on?”
He grinned when she flashed him a devastating smile. It lit her entire face and made her eyes sparkle. It also made his already racing pulse nearly choke him as his blood pounded through his veins.
He pulled the card from his pocket and discreetly handed it to her so the guys wouldn’t see. When she looked down at it, reading the line, her soft, feminine giggle nearly brought him to his knees. It danced along his spine and caused visions of her wrapped in silk to caress his thoughts. For the first time ever, he wanted that damn card to actually do what it was supposed to. Entice someone to follow him back to his room.
When she glanced up at him, he sucked in a quiet breath. The clubs colored lights reflected off her hair and cast a halo of blues and greens around her. Her eyes sparkled in the light and a rosy hue tinted her cheeks. Beautiful didn’t even begin to describe her. She was the most glorious thing he’d ever seen.
“So, you’re supposed to read me the card and… what, exactly?”
He blushed. He felt it like a living thing crawl over his features and steal what little air he had in his lungs. “Well,” he said. He swallowed the sudden lump in his throat and glanced over his shoulder. The guys were still watching him. When he faced Jessi, he noticed her staring at the guys as well. “Um, normally… I mean, when I read the card, whoever I’ve read it to, usually laughs… and then invites herself back to my hotel.”
“Really?” Jessi said. She smiled and leaned her hip on the bar. “And how many girls have you seduced with one of these lame cards?”
“Me personally?” He grinned and felt his face burn hotter. “None. I don’t play this game unless I’m forced.”
“And why don’t I believe you?”
“Because Luke’s reputation rubs off on the rest of us?”
She laughed. “You’re probably right.” Glancing back down at the card, she read it again, smiling before handing it back to him. “Well, your still being watched,” she said, glancing over his shoulder to where the guys sat. “I guess you better do your duty and read this to me.”
He stared at her in shock, watching an amused twinkle shine brightly in her eyes before taking the card and reading it again himself. He cringed. She wanted him to read this to her? Out loud? He’d rather be tied to an anthill butt ass naked and covered in honey than read this card to her.
When she took a step closer to him and the scent of wild orchids filled the air, he suppressed a moan and licked his lips.
She smiled up at him, silently encouraging him. “They’re just words, Christian,” she said. “Read me the card. I promise not to bite.”
Wicked: Jade Butterfly will be available on Sunday, June 28th at Alinar Publishing!
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