Thursday, January 31, 2013

HUGE Book Boyfriend Valentine's Day Giveaway!

Need A Valentine?

I've Got You (Chocolate) Covered...

Love. Candy. Kisses. Flowers. Sexy Book Boyfriends.

That's right - in the spirit of Valentine's Day, I've decided to do a HUGE giveaway!! I'm going to play my hand at Cupid and match you with 7 swoon-worthy men! I am giving away eBooks that feature some of my favorite book boyfriends. Love is contagious, and I'm going to make sure one lucky winner gets to spend Valentine's Day with seven sexy, sweet, charming book boyfriends. (Oh, and bonus: one of them just happens to be chocolate covered!) 

So, which books are up for grabs? 

1. Avoiding Commitment by K.A. Linde (Book Boyfriend: Jack Howard)
2. Avoiding Responsibility by K.A. Linde (Book Boyfriend: Ramsey Bridges)
3. Easy by Tammara Webber (Book Boyfriend: Lucas/Landon Maxfield)
4. Seduction and Snacks by Tara Sivec (Book Boyfriend: Carter Ellis)
5. Slammed by Colleen Hoover (Book Boyfriend: Will Cooper)
6. That Boy by Jillian Dodd (Book Boyfriend: Phillip Mackenzie)
7. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay (Book Boyfriend: Josh Bennett)



Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sins & Needles Blog Tour

*I was gifted an ARC in exchange for an honest review*

Synopsis & My Review:

Ellie Watt is used to starting over. The daughter of a grifting team, Ellie spent her childhood being used as a pawn in her parents’ latest scam. Now she’s much older, wiser and ready to give her con artist life a rest. But returning to the dry desert town of Palm Valley, California means one more temptation than she bargained for – Camden McQueen. Once known as the high school weirdo, Camden is bigger and badder than the boy he used to be and a talented tattoo artist with his own thriving business. Ellie’s counting on Camden still being in love with her but what she’s not counting on is how easily unrequited love can turn into obsession over time. When Camden discovers Ellie’s plan to con him, he makes her a deal she doesn’t dare refuse, but her freedom comes with a price and it’s one that takes both Ellie and Camden down a dangerous road.

**The Artists Trilogy is a dark and sexy contemporary ride about three flawed individuals caught in a world where it’s so easy to justify the bad things we do. This is a pure adult read (Not YA or NA). **

"This was a high contrast world and I lived a high contrast life." - Ellie

Sweet Jesus – This book took a toll on me. If my emotions were a person, they would be the person drinking straight from the bottle of Jack; because really, who has time for a chaser or a mixer when you feel like you could cry, scream, and throw things all at the same time?! My emotions don’t.

Sins & Needles is a story about deception, manipulation, justification, and redemption. Ellie Watt grew up being used as a pawn in her parents’ schemes and con jobs, and as if it was in her DNA, she followed in their footsteps and decided to make her living conning men out of money. That is, until she cons the wrong man, and is forced to run back to the only place where she can ditch her alter egos and con lifestyle, and just be Ellie Watt – no schemes, no cons, no games. The only place she can attempt to go legit; Palm Valley. Her plans of making a decent living screech to a halt when she runs into Camden McQueen, her former best friend, and finds out he runs a tattoo business. Correction: a very successful tattoo business. While Ellie sees nothing but dollar signs and sets her plan in motion to con Camden, he devises a plan of his own – one that leaves Ellie with no choice but to agree to his terms, regardless of how dangerous they may be.

You know why I loved this book so much?? Well, one reason I loved this book so much…because it was something foreign to me. This story line was brilliant, and took me to a place I knew nothing about – con artists, fake identities, drug cartels, mafia relations; this story made me experience things I have never come close to being involved with in reality. Sure, it’s nice to be able to relate to the story line and the characters, but every so often you need a book that is purely alien to everything you know; a book that takes you out of your comfort zone. Sins & Needles is that book. The characters were extremely well written, albeit incredibly frustrating at times! Ellie damn near broke my heart when she went through with her plan to con Camden, and Camden kind of scared the hell out of me after he caught her. I mean, this line gave me fucking chills: “I own you, Ellie Watt.”

Sins & Needles by far exceeded my expectations, and I will definitely be waiting on pins and needles until the sequel is released. (See what I did there? Huh? Yeeeeah, you see what I did there). This book will take you on a roller coaster of a journey that will rip you apart, put you back together…and then rip you apart all over again. But it’s worth it; hot damn, it’s soooo worth it!

Purchase from Barnes and Noble (not available yet)

Waiting on Wednesday (12)

*This is a weekly event hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine. "Waiting on Wednesday" spotlights upcoming releases that I'm eagerly anticipating.*

Fever by Maya Banks
(Breathless series #2)

Expected Publication Date: April 2, 2013

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Jace, Ash, and Gabe: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They're accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Jace, it's a woman whose allure takes him completely by surprise...

Jace Crestwell, Ash McIntyre, and Gabe Hamilton have been best friends and successful business partners for years. They're powerful, they're imposing, they're irresistibly sexy, and Jace and Ash share everything - including their women. 

When they meet Bethany, Jace begins to feel things he's never experienced before; jealousy, and a powerful obsession that threatens him, overwhelms him - and excites him beyond control. 

Jace isn't sharing Bethany - with anyone. He's determined to be the only man in her life, and it's jeopardizing a lifelong friendship with Ash. Bethany will be his and his alone. Even if it means turning his back on his best friend. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cloud Walking by A. Meredith Walters

(Find You in the Dark series, book 1.5)
While Clay and Maggie were falling apart…

Daniel and Rachel were falling in love.

Rachel Bradfield has loved Daniel Lowe for most of her life. She has had to sit quietly by while he throws his feelings away on a girl who doesn’t deserve them. Rachel knows she can be everything he needs.

Daniel has always known Rachel was special. She is one of his best friends. But what Daniel doesn’t realize is that the girl he has known forever might just be the one he really wants.

Love pulls two people together, while tearing two others apart. As Daniel and Rachel discover the beauty of first love, their best friend loses her heart to the deepest darkness. Unable to hold Maggie together, Rachel and Daniel find out that love doesn’t have to hurt and that it can change your life.

*The author gifted me an ARC in exchange for an honest review*

“Love has a way of consuming you. Making you lose all focus. But it could also lift you up and make your life that much better. Make you feel like it was the only thing in the world you needed.” – Daniel

Cloud Walking is a novella in the Find You in the Dark series and should be read after Find You in the Dark due to spoilers. 

This review is going to be short and sweet – much like Cloud Walking. I am so glad A. Meredith Walters gave us the opportunity to get inside the minds of Daniel and Rachel, and see firsthand how they turned a life-long friendship into something so much more.

Daniel, Rachel, and Maggie have been best friends since they were all knee high to a grasshopper. While Maggie and her boyfriend, Clay, are touched upon in Cloud Walking, they aren’t the focus; Daniel and Rachel are. Rachel has been in love with Daniel for as long as she can remember, but refuses to voice those feelings. Instead, she sits back and watches him date a girl who doesn’t deserve him, and lets Daniel walk all over her feelings. Daniel has always loved Rachel – in a best friend sort of way. Except lately he’s been seeing her in a different light. He doesn’t see her as just his best friend Rachel anymore; he sees her as a beautiful girl that would do anything for him – and he would do just about anything to kiss her. But does he want to chance it and risk losing her friendship forever?

I have been a huge fan of A. Meredith Walters ever since I read Find You in the Dark. Her writing style flows wonderfully, and she has a way of really making you connect with her characters. When I found out there would be not only a sequel to Find You in the Dark, but a short novella about Daniel and Rachel as well!? I think it’s sufficed to say, I was one happy girl.

I loved seeing the relationship between Daniel and Rachel evolve from friendship to romance on a firsthand basis. Sure, we got a little bit of that in Find You in the Dark, but it was from Maggie’s POV – we were on the outside looking in. In Cloud Walking, we finally got to see what was really going on in both of their heads while they wrestled with their overwhelming feelings for each other. It also really showed me that Daniel felt just as strongly about Rachel, as she did about him; in Find You in the Dark, that wasn’t horribly clear. It seemed a little one sided to me, at least up until the night at the cabin.

I said this was going to be a short review. Well, I guess I’m a liar so I’ll try to wrap this up. As I stated earlier, I would highly recommend reading Find You in the Dark before this novella, because it will give away spoilers. I adored Cloud Walking, and I think it was nice to have a feel-good romance to break up the angst-driven books in this series that showcase Clay and Maggie’s relationship. Plus, best friend romances are my absolute favorite – Christ on a cracker, I just love them! This was a great, quick read that shows us love shouldn’t hurt, it should make you feel wonderful…whole…damn it, it should make you feel like you’re cloud walking! ;)

The New Hunger by Isaac Marion

(Warm Bodies series, book 0.5)
New York is a bayou. New Orleans is a reef. The entire country has been devastated by natural disasters and governmental collapse, and on top of everything else there is the annoying problem of zombies trying to devour you at every turn. But sixteen-year-old Nora and her younger brother, Addis, are about to discover the most frightening thing yet: being abandoned in this horrific world by their own parents.

Left with only a bag of clothes and a first-aid kit, Nora and Addis begin a harrowing journey to connect with anyone who isn’t looking to rob them or eat them. A wounded man wrecks a meal of green beans and French fries at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle. An attempt to get a good night’s sleep in a fortified motel is ruined by an undead face staring at them through the window. And they just can’t seem to shake someone – something – that’s been following them everywhere they go…

Meanwhile, a girl named Julie is traveling toward the city in an SUV with her parents. She is only twelve, but has already seen friends die and her school burn. She has watched her father become nearly as cold and remorseless as the Dead. All she wants is someplace to call home, even if it never really will be.

And somewhere nearby, a tall man awakens in the woods, unsure of exactly where he is, or even who he is. As he struggles to remember details of his life, a single consonant comes to him: R. He is…a name that begins with R…

*I received an ARC from the publisher, Zola Books*

If you loved Warm Bodies, I would definitely recommend The New Hunger. This novella is a prequel to Warm Bodies that takes you on three separate journeys in the early days after the US collapse. You’ll follow alongside a brother and sister struggling to find food, weapons, shelter, and basically anything that will help them stay alive; a twelve-year-old girl traveling across the country with her father and mother as they try to find any city, town, or suburb that hasn’t been wiped out; and lastly, a newly Dead zombie who is trying to figure out just exactly what he is, who he is – and more importantly, what this new “life” means for him.

This novella was only 128 pages, so there isn’t a whole lot I can say without giving away spoilers. You’ll get live  R’s first days as a zombie, see how he stumbles (literally) upon meeting M, and he gets his first glimpse of Julie. As much as I love R and Julie, my favorite story line in this prequel was that of Nora and Addis, a sixteen-year-old girl and a six-year-old boy trying to survive on their own. They’re relationship was heartwarming and comical, yet tragic as you see Nora absorb the motherly role for Addis after their parents leave them to fend for themselves.

Isaac Marion once again shows off his tremendous ability to weave gruesome, heartwarming, and suspense into the perfect zombie apocalypse series. The New Hunger is a quick read, and it fuses the story lines together to set up the relationships in Warm Bodies perfectly. In all honesty, if you haven’t read Warm Bodies, I would suggest reading this novella first; it will give you backgrounds on some major characters, and won’t reveal any spoilers. If you’re looking for a gritty, yet funny zombie series – look no further, because this is it, y’all. 

Burned by Sara Shepard

(Pretty Little Liars series, book 12)
It’s spring break, and the pretty little liars are trading in Rosewood for a cruise vacation. They want nothing more than to sail into the tropical sunset and leave their troubles behind for one blissful week. But where Emily, Aria, Spencer, and Hanna go, A goes, too. From scuba diving to tanning on the upper deck, A is there, soaking up all their new secrets.

Emily is smooching a stowaway. Aria’s treasure-hunting partner is a little too interested in her booty. Spencer’s going overboard trying to land a new boy. And a blast – or rather, a crash – from Hanna’s past could mean rough waters ahead for everyone.

The liars better tighten their life jackets. A perfect storm is brewing, and if they aren't careful, A will bury them at sea…

First of all, I went into this book thinking it was the end of the series; it would be the last book, the story would be over, all the answers would finally be revealed. Nope. I was pissed when I got the end and found out that there is not only one more book being written, but two more books! What?!? I want to be done with this series! It should have stopped after book 8, which is where it was originally supposed to end, but they just keep tacking on book after book after book…WHEN WILL IT END?! Whew – let me take a quick breather…

…Okay, I think I’m good to continue.

The only reason I keep reading these books is because I’m so far in that I have to finish it out. I wish I could just walk away…damn it, I wish I could…but I can’t. This series started out as 4 girls getting blackmailed for relatively harmless acts; there was no doubt that they were innocent victims. Well, those girls are gone and have been replaced with actual criminals; for real. They commit actual crimes, and can’t believe A is still blackmailing them. Really? I mean, really? Y’all are criminals and A has blackmailed you for much less; how the hell are you surprised that they’re still hanging around? *facepalm*

In a nutshell – they go on a cruise for Spring Break, and of course, A happens to be on the cruise with them. Aria befriends a dude named Graham and after finding out who his ex-girlfriend is, the girls start to question his motives. Hanna and Naomi get paired as roommates and while Naomi appears to be repairing their friendship, Hanna finds out Naomi is related to someone Hanna royally fucked, and you guessed it…the girls start to question her motives. Emily gets all lovey-dovey with a fugitive stowaway on the boat who tries to convince her to run away to Thailand with her. Yeah; and that’s not even the worst part. Emily actually considers it! Because it’s always a good idea to flee to a foreign country with only a freaking knapsack and someone you’ve known for 4 days when you’re 18 years old. Christ on a cracker. Lastly, Spencer gets involved with Reefer, only to find out he was previously involved with someone she knows, and let’s all say this together now…they start to question this girl’s motives.

This series started out great, and has just taken a serious nosedive since book 9. The story lines don’t seem to flow, not to mention they are downright ridiculous and not remotely believable. The girls have lost pretty much all credibility in my book because they aren’t innocent victims anymore. And you know what happens when your main characters become the bad guys? I stop rooting for them. I stop caring if they get caught – nope, scratch that – I actually want them to get caught. I want A to turn them in. Sure, in this book they start to go grow consciences but it’s not because they want to give the families of the people they hurt some closure; it’s because they can’t handle A blackmailing them. It’s not because they are trying to do the right thing – they’ve just done so many wrong things that they are living in constant paranoia.

I hate that I have been severely disappointed in the last four books of this series, because the first 8 were pretty damn good. It just seems like they are grasping for straws to keep this series going, and it’s just getting run into the ground. I don’t really care for any of the girls anymore which bums me out. It seems like everyone is related or connected to each other somehow; I mean, I’ve heard of six degrees of separation but this is sooo far beyond that. It’s annoying. And for the love of all that is holy, we still don’t know what Aria did in Iceland. This “cliffhanger-esque” moment has been strung along for the past 4 books. At this point, I almost don’t even care what she did anymore. I’ve been strung along so long that I’ve lost interest. I understand not divulging it right away to keep the reader guessing, but making them read four books where it gets brought up but never explained?! Dumb…just plain dumb. I’m upsetting myself just talking about this, so I’m done. Another Pretty Little Liars novel, another Pretty Little disappointment.  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Vain by Fisher Amelie Blog Tour

To enter the Kindle Fire Giveaway, click here!

Synopsis & My Review:

If you’re looking for a story about a good, humble, girl, who’s been hurt by someone she thought she could trust, only to find out she’s not as vulnerable as she thought she was and discovers an empowering side of herself that falls in love with the guy who helps her find that self, blah, blah, blah…then you’re gonna hate my story.

Because mind is not the story you read every time you bend back the cover of the latest trend novel. It’s not the “I can do anything, now that I’ve found you/I’m misunderstood but one day you’ll find me irresistible of it” tale. Why? Because, if I was being honest with you, I’m a complete witch. There’s nothing redeeming about me. I’m a friend using, drug abusing, sex addict from Los Angeles. I’m every girl’s worst nightmare and every boy’s fantasy.

I’m Sophie Price…and this is the story of how I went from the world’s most envied girl to the girl no one wanted around and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

“They choose to be happy even though the obviously easier choice would be to be frightened or sad and they have real reason to be those things as well. But they have life and faith and hope and love and they choose those things. Their innocence is addicting, their hope is catching and I’m happy to be surrounded by them.” – Sophie

I was absolutely, positively, unequivocally moved beyond words after finishing this novel. I was just sitting on my couch with a tear-soaked face, trying to piece together my thoughts; when I finally pulled myself together, there was one thing constantly running through my mind…“How am I ever going to review this? I can’t even form a complete freaking sentence that describes what this book did me!” I finished Vain a week ago and I’m just now thinking that maybe I can form some sort of review for the book that made me realize just how much I take for granted without even realizing it.

Sophie Price is the worst kind of person; she’s a spoiled, entitled, LA socialite-esque girl who earns a $20,000/month allowance, sleeps with her friends’ boyfriends, abuses drugs, and uses anyone and everyone without ever once feeling guilty…because it benefits her; and all Sophie Price really cares about is herself. Well, her perfect little world takes a serious hit when she gets caught with coke at a party, and as this is not her first offense, the judge isn’t about to just give her a smack on the wrist. He sentences her to six months in Masego, an orphanage in Uganda, Africa. 

While working in Masego, she really starts to transform herself and I quickly changed my opinion of her. I mean, she wasn’t a likable character at all in the beginning of the novel, but when she is forced to give up all the extravagancies she is used to, you see her façade disappear – and the real Sophie is finally revealed. Underneath all the designer clothes, expensive makeup, and elitist attitude, is a lonely, vulnerable yet strong-willed, compassionate girl. And her gradual romance with Dingane was just a smoking hot bonus to the wonderfulness that was this story.

Vain was so much more than I ever expected it to be, and I’m blown away by Fisher’s ability to create such an original, moving story line. Some of the material was a bit hard to read because of the content, but I think what made it even worse, was knowing that this actually happens. It’s fact-based fiction – kids really go through these things, and that just absolutely breaks my heart. Despite the heavy content in some parts, it’s an uplifting story that will open your eyes to a world most of us will never know or experience.  

Fisher Amelie has absolutely blow me away with this novel, and I would encourage everyone to read Vain. It made me want to do more, somehow, and forced me to take stock in just how incredibly lucky and blessed I am. There are so many things we take for granted on a daily basis without even thinking about it, and it’s a nice little reality check when you realize those very things you take for granted are luxuries to certain people in certain countries all over the world. Sometimes we all just need a little reminder as to what really matters – and Fisher Amelie has given us...or at least, me...that reminder in Vain. 


Excerpt from Vain (Chapter One):

Six weeks after graduation and Jerrick had been dead for three of them. You’d have thought it would’ve been enough for us all to take a breather from our habits, but it wasn’t.
            I bent to snort the line of coke in front of me.
            “Brent looks very tempting tonight, doesn’t he?” I asked Savannah, or Sav as I called her for short, when I lifted my head and wiped my nose.
            Savannah turned her glassy eyes away from her Special K laced O.J., her head wavering from side to side. “Yeah,” she lazily slurred out, “he looks hot tonight.” Her glazed eyes perked up a bit but barely. “Why?”
            “I’m thinking about saying hello to him.” I smiled wickedly at my pseudo-best friend and she smiled deviously back.
            “You’re such a bitch,” she teased, prodding my tanned leg with her perfectly manicured nail. “Ali will never forgive you for it.”
            “Yes, she will,” I said, standing and smoothing out my pencil skirt.

I could’ve been considered a dichotomy of dressers. I never showed much in the way of skin because, well, my father would have killed me, but that didn’t stop me from choosing pieces that kept the boys’ tongues wagging. For instance, everything I owned was skin tight because I had the body for it, and because it always got me what I wanted. I loved the way the boys stared. I loved the way they wanted me. It felt powerful.
            “How do you know?” Sav asked, her head heavily lolling back and forth on the back of the leather settee in her father’s office.
No one was allowed in that room, party or no, but we didn’t care. Sav’s parents went to Italy on a whim, leaving her house as the inevitable destination for that weekend’s “Hole,” as we called them. The Hole was code for wherever we decided to “hole up” for the weekend. My group of friends was, at the risk of sounding garish, wealthy. That’s an understatement. We were filthy, as we liked to tease one another, double meaning and all. Someone’s house was always open some random weekend because all our parents traveled frequently, mine especially. In fact, almost every other weekend, the party was at my home. This isn’t why I ruled the roost, so to speak. It wasn’t even because I was the wealthiest. My dad was only number four on that list. No, I ruled because I was the hottest.
You see, I’m one of the beautiful people. That truly sounds so odd to have to explain, but it’s the truth nonetheless. I’m beautiful, and it’s not because I have a healthy dose of self-esteem, though I have plenty of that. It’s obvious in the way I look in the mirror, yes, but even more obvious in the way everyone treats me. I rule this roost because I’m the most wanted by all the guys, and all the girls want to be my friend because of it.
“How do you know?” she asked again, agitated I hadn’t yet answered.
This made my blood boil. “Stuff it, Sav,” I ordered. She’d forgotten who I was and I needed to remind her.
“Sorry,” she said sheepishly, shrinking slightly into herself.
“I know because they always do. Besides, when I’m done with their boys, I give them back. They consider it their dues.”
“Trust me,” she said quietly toward the wall, “they do not consider it their dues.”
“Is this about Brock, Sav?” I huffed. “God, you are such a whiny brat. If he was willing to cheat on you so easily, he wasn’t worth it. Consider it a favor.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right,” she conceded but didn’t sound truly convinced. “You saved me, Soph.”
“You’re welcome, Sav,” I replied sweetly and patted her head. “Now, I’m off to find Brent.”
I stood in front of the mirror above her dad’s desk and inspected myself.
Long, silky, straight brown hair down to my elbows. I had natural blonde highlights throughout its mass. I’d recently cut my bangs so that they fell straight across my forehead. I ruffled them so they lay softly over my brows. I studied them and felt my blood begin to boil. The majority of girls at Jerrick’s funeral suddenly had the same cut and it royally pissed me off. God! Get a clue, nimrods. You’ll never look like me! I puckered my lips and applied a little gloss over them. My lips were full and pink enough that I didn’t need much color. My skin was tanned from lying by the pool too much after graduation, and I’d made a mental note to keep myself indoors for a bit. Don’t need wrinkles, Soph. My light gold eyes were the color of amber and were perfect, but I noticed my lashes needed a touch more mascara. I did this only to darken them up a bit, not because they weren’t long enough. Like I said, I was practically flawless.
“He won’t know what hit him,” I told myself in the mirror. Sav mistook this for speaking to her and I rolled my eyes when she responded.
“You play a sick game, Sophie Price.”
“I know,” I admitted, turning her direction, a fiendish expression on my unblemished face.
I sauntered from the room. As I passed the throngs of people lined against the sides of the hall that lead from the foyer to the massive den, I received the customary catcalls and ignored them with all the flirtatious charm that was my forte. I was the queen of subtlety. I could play a boy like a concert violinist. I was a master of my craft.
“Can I get you boys anything?” I asked as I approached the elite group of hotties that included Ali’s Brent.
“I’m fine, baby,” Graham flirted, as if I’d ever give him the time of day.
“You look it,” I flirted back, just stifling the urge to roll my eyes.
“Since you’re offering so nicely, Soph,” Spencer said, “I believe we could all use a fresh round.”
“But of course,” I said, curtsying lightly and smiling seductively. I purposely turned to make my way toward the bar. I did this for two reasons. One, to make them all look at my ass. Two, to make them believe I’d only just thought of the next move on my playing board. I turned around quickly and caught them all staring, especially Brent. Bingo. “I’ll need some help carrying them all back,” I pouted.
“I’ll go!” They all shouted at once, clamoring in front of the other like cattle.
“How about I choose?” I said. I circled the herd, running my hand along their shoulders as I passed each one. Spencer visibly shivered. Point, Soph. “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,” I said, stopping at Brent. I followed the line of his throat and caught a glimpse of him swallowing, hard. “Would you help me, Brent?” I asked nicely without any flirting.
“Uh, sure,” he said, setting down his own glass.
I linked my arm through his as we walked to the bar. “So how are you and Ali doing?” I asked him.
He gazed at me, not hearing a word I’d said. “What?” he asked.

Three hours later and Brent was mine. We’d ended up sprawled out on the ancient Turkish rug in Sav’s parents’ bedroom, our tongues in each other’s throats. He threw me underneath him and hungrily kissed my neck but stopped suddenly.
“Sophie,” he breathed sexily in my ear.
“Yes, Brent?” I asked, ecstatic I’d gotten what I wanted.
He sat up and gazed down on me like he’d never really seen me before. I smiled lasciviously in return, tonguing my left eyetooth. “Jesus,” he said, a trembling hand combed through his hair, “I am such a fool.”
“What?” I asked, sitting up, stunned.
“I’ve made a horrible mistake,” he told me, still wedged between my legs. No need to tell you how badly that stung. “I’ve had too much to drink,” he said, shaking his head. “I’m sorry, Sophie. You being the most gorgeous girl I’ve ever met’s clouded my judgment, badly. I’ve made a terrible mistake.”
At that most fortunate of moments, we heard Ali calling out Brent’s name in the hall outside the door and he tensed, his eyes going wide. I could only inwardly smile at what was to come. Before he’d had a chance to react to her calling to him, she’d walked into the room.
“Brent?” she asked him. She saw our position and the recognition I’d seen in all the others before her was so obviously written all over Ali. She wasn’t going to fight it. “I’m sorry,” she said politely, like I wasn’t in a compromising position on the floor with her boyfriend. She’s so pathetic, I thought. She closed the door. We heard her pounding the floor to the stairs, running toward Sav no doubt. Sav would have to pretend she had no idea.
He threw himself to his feet, abandoning me haphazardly on the carpet and immediately began chasing her. Well, that’s a first, I thought to myself. Usually they went right back to business, but I suppose we hadn’t gotten far enough. Yeah, that’s why he left you lying here, half-undressed, chasing after his girlfriend, Soph.
I balked at my own idiocy and stood up.
I walked to Sav’s parents’ bathroom and leaned over her mother’s side of the double sinks. I fixed my bristled hair and ran my nail along the line of my bottom lip, fixing any gloss smudges. I tucked my formfitting black-and-white V-striped silk button-up back into my pencil skirt and stared at myself.
A single tear ran down my cheek and I grimaced. Not now, I thought. I was my own worst enemy. That was my secret weakness. Rejection. Rejection of any kind, in fact. I hated it more than anything.
“You’re too beautiful to be rejected,” I told the reflection in front of me, but the tears wouldn’t stop.
I ran the tap and splashed a little water on my face before removing the small bag of coke I’d hidden in my strapless. I fumbled with the little plastic envelope, spilling it onto the marble counter and cursed at the mess I’d made. I scrambled for something to line it with, finally stumbling upon her father’s medicine cabinet. I removed the blade from her father’s old-fashioned razor and made my lines. I remembered her mom kept small stacks of stationery paper in her desk in the bedroom and I went straight for that, rolling the paper into a small tube.
The tears wouldn’t stop and I knew I wouldn’t be able to snort with a snotty nose. I went to her parents’ toilet and tugged at a few squares of toilet paper, blew my nose, then flushed it down. I swiped at the tears on my cheeks and bent over my lines just about the time a policeman came rushing in, catching me right before the act for the second time that night.  

“What are you doing? Put your hands on your head,” I heard a man’s deep voice say.
I languidly stood from my unfinished lines and stared into the mirror. Sharing its reflection with me was a young, rather hot cop. Shit. I dropped the rolled-up stationery that smelled like old lady lavender potpourri and lazily put my hands over my head.
“Turn around,” he said, fingering the cuffs on his belt.
I turned around and faced him, his eyes widened at the full sight of me. He stumbled a little, a hitch in his step, as he progressed my way. He brought my right hand down slowly, then my left and swallowed just as Brent had earlier. Gotcha
            “What’s your name?” I whispered, his face mere inches from mine. Beats Antique’s Dope Crunk rang loudly from downstairs. No wonder I hadn’t heard them come in.
            “That’s none of your concern,” he said, but the hesitation in his voice told me he thought he’d like it to be.
            “I’m Sophie,” I told him as he clicked the first ring around my wrist.
He kept narrowing his eyes at me, but they would drop to my breasts then back up.
            “N-nice to meet you, Sophie.”
            “Nice to meet you, too...,” I drug out, waiting for his name.
            “What are you doing?” he asked me, throwing glances over his shoulder, no doubt worried if more officers would be joining us. 
            “Nothing. Cross my heart,” I appraised, taking my free hand from his and crossing my heart, which just so happened to be at the crest of my cleavage. His gaze flitted down and he started breathing harder.
            “Casey,” he told me. 
            “Casey,” I said breathily, testing out his name. He fought a drowsy smile, apparently liking the way I said it, and I smiled.
            “L-let me have your hand,” he said.

I gave him my unconstrained hand without a fuss. He took it and restrained it with the other.
            “All tied up now, Casey,” I whispered, raising my fisted hands just as he closed his eyes, almost drifting forward a bit.
            “Come with me,” he said, pulling me from the counter. His eyes glanced down at my lines and he shook his head. “What makes you do that shit?”
            “Because it feels good,” I told him, turning his direction and seductively running my tongue along my top teeth.
            “Don’t even,” he said, “or I’ll get you on propositioning an officer as well as possession.”
            “Suit yourself,” I told him, shrugging my shoulders. “It might have been nice,” I leaned forward and sang in his ear. 
            “I’m sure,” he said. I could see the surprise on his face at his unexpected and candid response. I decided to run with it.
            “I bet if you handcuffed me to the closet bar just beyond those doors, I’d be quiet as a mouse until you came back for me,” I said, letting the double meaning sink in.
            “Stop,” he said. The breath he’d been holding whistled from his nose. 
            “How old are you, Casey?” I asked, leaning into him. 
            “Twen-twenty-two,” he stuttered. 
            “Huh, I just happen to be into twenty-two-year-olds. They’re currently my thing,” I lied.

            His eyes came right to mine and held there.
            “Really?” he asked, skeptical, yet inadvertently leaned into me. The grim line that had held his face before turned into a slight grin. Seal the deal, Sophie.
            “Mmmhmm,” I said. I pushed farther into his chest, my breasts mashed against his armor plate.

            I tentatively kissed the pulse at his neck, knowing full well that if he really wanted to, he could definitely get me on propositioning.
            I just couldn’t go to jail. Not again. I’d already been once for possession when Jerrick died, and the judge told me if I showed back up in his courtroom, I’d be toast. This was worth the risk.
            “Jesus,” he murmured. 
            I threaded my fingers through the belt loop at his waist and brought him closer to me. He fiercely took my face in his and kissed me like he was dying. What an amateur, I thought. Thank God I got a dumb one. His hands grappled all over my face as he had no grace whatsoever. If the guy wasn’t so sexy, I don’t think I could have put up the charade as long as I did.
            “Officer Fratelli!” we heard come from downstairs and he broke the kiss. “Fratelli!”
            “I’m-I’m up here,” Casey said, flustered. He adjusted himself and wiped his mouth.
            “Uncuff me,” I said, almost panicked.
            “I can’t,” he said. 
            “Yes, you can, Casey. Do it and I’ll repay you exponentially.”
            He groaned but looked at me apologetically. “When you get out, come find me,” he said quietly as the other officer entered the room. 
            “The rest of the upstairs is secure,” Casey said as if he hadn’t just kissed my face off. “She was the only straggler.”
            “Fine,” the older officer said. I thought he was going to leave but instead came through and examined the bathroom around us. “What the hell is this?” he asked Casey.
            “What?” Casey asked. 
            “This,” the older man said, gesturing to the lines of coke.
            “Uh, yes, she was attempting a line when I found her,” Casey told his superior.

            “I’ll bag this up,” the man said and waved Casey on.
            “I’m sorry,” Casey said when we were out of the room. “I had to tell him. He’d have known I was lying.”
            “It’s okay, Casey,” I said with saccharine ooze. I kissed his mouth, then bit his lip playfully. “It would have been the best ride of your life,” I whispered. His eyes blew wide.
            “Wait, what? We can still see each other,” Casey desperately plied.
            “Sure we can,” I lied again.
            “I wasn’t going to tell him about the drugs,” he said again, his voice quivering. “I had only planned on getting you on the party. That would have only been a ticket, a misdemeanor.”
            “I know, sweets,” I told him, “but you still messed up.”
            Casey led me down the winding staircase and I felt as if time was standing still. All my friends, cuffed themselves, looked up at me as I descended over them. I smiled down at them bewitchingly and they almost cowered in my presence. I’d been the one who brought the coke, and my smile let them know that if they brought me down, I wouldn’t be going down with the ship on my own. If they squealed like the pigs they were, I would make their lives miserable. There’s a fine line between friend and foe in my world.

Casey placed me into the back of a squad car when we reached the winding drive and buckled me in.
“Tell me,” I said softly against his ear near my mouth, “what exactly am I being charged with?”
“Sarge will probably get you on drugs, but if it’s your first offense, you should be able to get off lightly.”
“And what if it isn’t?”
“Isn’t what?” he asked, glancing over his shoulder.
“My first offense.”
“Shit. If it’s not, there’s nothing I can do for you.”
“Oh, well, there’s nothing I can do for you then either,” I said coldly, the heat in my seduction blasted cold with a bucket of ice water at the flip of a switch. Casey’s mouth grew wide and he could see that he’d been had. I turned my face away from his, done with my pawn.
Casey got into the front seat and I could see through the rearview that his face was painted red with humiliation and obvious disappointment in himself that he fell for my game. He stuck the key in the ignition and drove me to the station.
I was booked, processed and searched. I scoffed at the women who had to search me before placing me in my cell. Stripping naked for anyone of the female persuasion wasn’t exactly what I’d had planned for the evening. They looked down on me, knowing my charges, like they were somehow better than me.
“My lingerie probably costs more than your entire wardrobe,” I spit out at the short, stocky one who eyed me with disdain.
She could only shake her head at me.
“Well, it’ll go nicely with your new wardrobe addition,” the dark-haired one said, handing me a bright orange jumpsuit.
This made both the women laugh. I slipped the disgusting jumpsuit on and they filed me away into a cell. 
            I shivered in my cell, coming down from my high. I was used to this part though. I only did coke on the weekends. Unlike most others I knew, I had enough self-control to only do it at the Holes. It was just enough to drown out whatever crappy week I’d had from being ignored by my mother and father. 
            My parents were strangely the only I knew of who married and stayed that way. Of course, my mother was fifteen years younger than my father, so I’m sure that helped and she stayed in incredible shape. If you pitched a pic of her then and now, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, and she’d gifted those incredible genes to yours truly. That was about the only thing my mother ever bothered to give me. My mother and father were so absorbed in themselves I don’t think they remembered me some days. I was born for one reason and one reason only. It was expected of my parents to give the impression of a family. 
            My mom was a “housewife,” and I use that term loosely. My father was the founder and CEO of an electronics conglomerate, namely computers and software. His company was based in Silicon Valley, but when he married my gold-digging mother, she insisted on L.A., so he jetted the company plane there when he needed to. It was safe to say that one, if not two or three, of my father’s products were in every single home in America. I’d had a five-thousand-dollar monthly allowance if I’d kept my grades up during prep school, and that’s about as much acknowledgment I got from my parents.

I’d just graduated, which meant I had four years to earn a degree of some kind then move out. I would retain a monthly allowance of twenty thousand a month, but I had to earn my degree first. That was my father in a nutshell.
            “Keep appearances, Sophie Price, and I’ll reward you handsomely,” my father said to me starting at fifteen.
            And it was a running mantra in my home once a week, usually before a dinner I was forced to attend when he was entertaining some competitor he was looking to buy out or possibly a political official he was trying to grease up. I would dress modestly, never speak unless spoken to. Timidity was the farce. If I looked sweet and acquiescent, my father gave the impression he knew how to run a home as well as a multinational, multibillion-dollar business. If I did this, I would get a nice little thousand-dollar bonus. I was an employee, not a child. 
            “Sophie Price,” someone yelled outside the big steel door that was my cell. I could just make out the face of a young cop in the small window. The door came sliding open with a deafening thud. “You’ve made bail.”
            “Finally,” I huffed out.
            When I was released, I stood at a counter and waited for them to return the belongings I had walked in with. 
            “One pair of shoes, one skirt, one set of hose, one set of...,” the guy began but eyed the garment with confusion. 
            “Garters,” I spit out. “They’re garters. God, just give them to me,” I said, snatching them out of his hands.
            He carelessly pushed the rest of my belongings in a pile over to me and I almost screamed at him that he was handling a ten-thousand-dollar outfit like it was from Wal-Mart.
            “You can change in there,” he said, pointing at an infinitesimal door.
The bathroom was small and I had to balance my belongings on a disgusting sink. 
            “Well, these are going in the incinerator,” I said absently.
            I got dressed sans hose, returned my ridiculous jumpsuit and entered the lobby. Repulsive, dirty men sat waiting for whatever jailed fool they bothered to bail. They eyed me with bawdy stares and I could only glare back, too tired to give them a piece of my mind. 
            Near the glass entry doors, the sun was just cresting the horizon and I made out the silhouette of the only person I would have expected to come to my rescue. 
            Standing more than six feet tall, so thin his bones protruded from his face, but with stylish, somewhat long hair, reminiscent of the nineteen-thirties, clad in a fitted Italian suit, stood Pembrook.

“Hello, Pembrook,” I greeted him with acid. “I see my father was too busy to come himself.”
            “Ah, so lovely to see you too, Sophie.”
            “Stop with the condescension,” I sneered. 
            “Oh, but I’m not. It is the highlight of my week bailing you from this godforsaken pit of bacteria.” He eyed me up and down with regret. “I suppose I needed to get the interior of my car cleaned anyway.”
            “You’re so clever, Pembrook.”
            “I know,” he said simply. “To comment on your earlier observation, your father was too busy to get you. He does want you to know that he is severely disappointed.”
            “Ah, I see. Well, I shall try harder next time not to get caught.”
            Pembrook stopped and gritted his teeth before opening the passenger door for me. “You, young lady, are sorely unaware of the gravity of this charge.”

“You’re a brilliant attorney, Pembrook, with millions at your disposal,” I said, settling into his Mercedes.
He walked around the front of the car and sat in the driver’s seat.
“Sophie,” he said softly, before turning the ignition. “There’s not enough money in the world that can help you if Judge Reinhold is presiding over your case again.”          
“Drive, Pembrook,” I demanded, ignoring his warning. He’ll get me off, I thought.

My house, or I should say, my father’s house, was built a year before I was born, but it had since been newly renovated on the outside as well as the inside so although I may have grown up in the home, it barely resembled anything like it did when I had been small.
It was grotesquely large, sitting on three acres in Beverly Hills, California. It was French Chateau inspired and more than twenty-eight-thousand square feet. I was in the left wing, my parents were in the right. I could go days without seeing them, the only correspondence was out of necessity, usually to inform me that I was required to make a dinner appearance, and that was usually by note delivered by one of the staff. I had a nanny until fourteen, when I fired her for attempting to discipline me. My parents didn’t realize for months and decided I was capable of caring for myself after and never bothered to replace the position.
Freedom is just that. Absolutely no restrictions. I abandoned myself to every whim I felt. Every want I fulfilled and every desire was quenched. I wanted for nothing.

Except attention.

And I got that, I’ll admit, not in the healthiest of ways. I won’t lie to you, it felt a sense. I was rather unrestrained with my time and body. I wasn’t different from most girls I knew. Well, except the fact I was exponentially better looking, but why beat a dead horse? The only difference between them and myself was I kept them wanting more. I used many, many, many boys and tossed them aside, discarding them, ironically, like many of them did to so many other girls before me.
            This is what kept them baited. I gave them but a glimpse of my taste and they tasted absinthe. They were hooked by la fée verte as I was so often called. I was “the green fairy.” I flitted into your life, showed you ecstasy, and left you dependent. I did this for fun, for the hell of it, for attention. I wanted to be wanted, and my word, did they want me. Did they ever.
About the Author:

Fisher Amelie resides in the South with her kick ace husband slash soul mate. She earned her first 'mama' patch in 2009. She also lives with her Weim, 'Jonah', and her Beta, 'Whale'. All these living creatures keep the belly of her life full, sometimes to the point of gluttony, but she doesn't mind all that much because life isn't worth living if it isn't entertaining, right?

Fisher grew up writing. She secretly hid notebooks and notebooks of dribble in a large Tupperware storage container in her closet as a kid. She didn't put two and two together until after college where it suddenly dawned on her, "Hey, I like writing." She's a bit dense. "No, I'm not." "Yes, you are. Put down that Oreo, your butt can't take any more." "You're rude." "Yeah, yeah." Anyway, she likes to write and has finally beaten her self-esteem into submission long enough to allow herself to be scrutinized under the 'other readers' microscope. "No! No! Not a cover slip! Last time it gave me ra...." (mumbling)