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His All Night
By Elle Wright
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- Mass Market $5.99 $7.49 CAD
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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around November 24, 2015. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.
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Jared Williams is the kind of man most women long for: sexy, successful, and ready to settle down. He knows convincing the commitment-phobic Calisa that forever is nothing to fear won’t be easy-especially when his ex turns up with a daughter she never told him about. In a heartbeat, Jared and Calisa’s passion goes from fiery to fragile. He wants to hold on to the love they share but is terrified that their next night together could be their last . . .
Table of Contents
A Preview of Her Kind of Man
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This has got to be the worst date ever. Calisa Harper stabbed at her overdone pasta, twirling it around her spoon. For a minute, she felt guilty even thinking that. Joshua Clayborn was one of the most eligible bachelors in the Detroit area, with his dark skin, firm body, and long money. There were hordes of women waiting in the wings to get to him, but he'd picked her. Still, having dinner with him was akin to watching golf or, better yet, sticking a thousand needles in her eye. One word—no, make that three: boring as hell.
She glanced at her phone, torn between opening up her current game of Candy Crush and browsing through her e-mails. This couldn't be the life.
"Why are you so quiet?" Joshua asked, his dark eyes on her, assessing her.
Eyeing the door, she shrugged. "You seemed like you weren't done talking." She smiled at him. "About your house, your car, your job," she muttered under her breath, not even caring if he heard her.
He reached across the table, picked up her hand in his. Rolling her eyes, she forced herself to at least pay attention to the man. It wasn't every day she was treated to dinner by a hot millionaire. Hot was the only thing good about Mr. Clayborn, though. What was the use of having a good face but all the charm of dry paint? At least with paint, she could choose her own color.
"Calisa, you're so beautiful," he said.
She could agree with that, she thought with smile. Her black, low-cut, form-fitting dress left just enough for the imagination, stopping at the knee. Long layers fell down her back like ocean waves. Topping off her look with a pair of five-inch, red-bottomed pumps, she knew she looked good.
"Thank you, Josh. You look good, too."
"What do you want to do tonight?"
"Red." Her eyes widened, mortified that she'd actually said that out loud. Scrambling to cover up her mistake, she tried to think of anything red. Red rover, red robin, red… "Redeem my points at the casino," she lied, shifting in her seat.
He seemed to accept her answer because he ticked off the casinos in town and mentioned his preference. Nodding, she agreed to go to the MGM Grand. Maybe I can lose him on the floor?
The sound of boisterous laughter sounded in the restaurant, and her attention shifted to the bar. Her body stiffened at the sight of a group of men in business suits and the harem of women surrounding them. One in particular stood out, with his smooth golden skin, short wavy hair, and dimpled smile. He chose that moment to look up, locking eyes with her across the room and tipping his glass in her direction.
Knowing he would be in the city and actually seeing him were two different things, since the Detroit-Windsor area boasted a population of 5.7 million. Jared Williams was hard to miss, though. He had a way that drew her to him. Cool, calm, and collected with an irresistible swagger. No wonder she wanted to do him. It seemed as if that was all she ever wanted to do. Only they had strict rules; rules she tried to never break.
Joshua went on and on about his contacts and his contracts in the city and she… watched as "Red" charmed all the women around him. She gulped down the rest of her wine, bothered that the sight of him getting so much female attention made her stomach burn. It was a feeling she'd been getting used to, especially over the past year.
Jared and Cali had known each other for a long time. After all, he was her best friend's twin brother. Sydney had been more like a sister to her from the moment they laid eyes on each other. Red came with the package, except that the underlying attraction between them prevented her from ever viewing him as a "brother." About five years ago, they'd acted on that desire and entered into a no-strings type of relationship. They had fun, then they had sex, then they went home.
When Cali saw one woman slip her card to Red slyly, she stood up abruptly, bumping into the table. "I'm sorry," she said, interrupting Joshua mid-sentence. She rubbed her sore knee. "I have to use the restroom." She dropped her napkin on the table, grabbed her clutch, and limped off toward the ladies' washroom.
Closing it behind her, she leaned back against the bathroom door. She did a quick glance under the stall doors to see if she was alone. Once she was satisfied that no one could hear her, she groaned out loud and let out a string of curses. Exhaling, she turned to the mirror and pulled out her compact.
She heard the click of the door latch behind her, but continued to touch up her make-up.
"How's your date?"
Whirling around, she nearly toppled over when she lost her footing. Shocked, she rushed to the door and swung it open, peeking outside. She closed the door and turned to face a smirking Red. "What the hell are you doing?" she hissed. "This is the ladies' room."
He shrugged, his hazel eyes raking over her body. "I was just checking on you. You bolted from your table so fast, I thought something was wrong."
"How is it that, of all the places in the city, we end up at the same restaurant?"
"Coincidence," he told her. "Holiday party. The firm likes to go all out."
"Really? Red, it's not even December yet."
"They did it early this year," he explained, brushing a piece of hair behind her ear. "They're calling it a harvest party."
"Why didn't you tell me you were coming here?" She forced a frown onto her face even as her insides were melting at the smell of his cologne.
"Didn't think I had to. But since you're here, you could always join me." He traced the vee on her dress, sending shivers up her spine. "Why don't you get rid of the stiff and come up to my room?"
Tempted as she was, she wasn't going out like that. "No," she breathed, suddenly feeling very… hot. "I have a date."
Slowly, he edged closer to her. She retreated until the hard doorknob dug into her back. Reaching behind her, he flipped the lock on the door, the click echoing in the empty bathroom. Sucking in a deep breath, she waited, anticipating his next move.
His fingers flitted across the hem of her dress and he inched it up a bit. Kneeling down, he slipped his hands under her dress and slowly pulled down her underwear. She held her breath, wondered what he would do next.
"Step out of them," he ordered in a low, deep voice.
Bracing her hands on his shoulders, she stepped out of her lace panties. With a smirk, he stood up, tucked the thin material into the inside pocket of his suit jacket, and pulled out a tiny key card. He placed it in her hand and closed her fingers around it. "Room 1179," he murmured, his lips a mere inch away from hers. Closing her eyes, she took in the smell of cognac on his breath and leaned closer.
His soft laugh brought her mind back to their location and she opened her eyes. She opened her mouth to speak, but he placed a finger over her lips.
"Shh. Try not to think about what I'm going to do to you, while you're on your date." Swinging open the door, he walked out, whistling.
She hated him—in the best way.
* * *
Jared Williams flung his hotel room door open, surprised when Cali burst through it straight into his arms. He kicked the door closed as she kissed him deeply and passionately. As they backed up toward the bed, touching and kissing along the way, she undid his tie and slid it off. She flung it over her head and went to work unbuttoning his shirt. Grunting when the backs of his knees hit the frame of the bed, he felt for the hook to her dress. It had a line of tiny buttons going up the back, and he struggled to undo them with his big fingers. To hell with it. Frustrated, he gripped the end of it and pulled, sending buttons flying into the air.
"Fuck, Red," she grumbled, shoving him back. "You ruined my dress."
"Sorry," he said, but he wasn't. Wrapping an arm around her waist, he yanked her back to him.
Her head fell back as he nipped at her neck, pushing her dress down to the floor. Pausing, he stepped back to appreciate her. She was standing before him in a black push-up bra and a sexy-ass pair of do-me pumps—and nothing else. She was perfect. Her brown skin seemed to glow in the dim light and he hardened at the sight of her.
She tugged on the waistband of his pants and unzipped them, freeing his straining erection. "Step out of them," she said, with a wink and a smile.
Doing as he was told, he kicked the pants behind her and pulled her into another wet kiss. They fell back on the bed, her on top. She straddled his lap and eased herself down onto him. He closed his eyes, gritting his teeth. He wanted to make this last. They stayed like that a moment, staring at each other. Soon, she was moving those hips, grinding into him in a way that often made him forget his name. She was truly the best he'd ever had and he couldn't get enough of her. He wanted to possess her, claim her in a way he never had before, and make sure she knew that she'd never find another man that would mean as much to her as he did. Gripping her hips, he flipped her onto her back and pushed himself into her harder, enjoying her yelp of surprise.
He looked down at her, taking in her long, dark hair fanned out on the pillow, her lips between her teeth and her eyes on his, and slammed into her again. They moved, each of them matching the other, settling into a rhythm that seemed innate—like it was meant to be. She wrapped her arms around him and whispered, "Don't stop."
Hooking his arms under her knees, he thrust into her—deeper, harder each time until he felt her constricting around him. Knowing she was close, he slipped a finger between their bodies and pressed down on her clit. Her body stiffened, and she screamed out his name as her orgasm shook through her. Soon, he was right with her.
Arms and legs tangled together, they lay there panting, trying to catch their breaths. Lifting his head, he ran a finger across her cheek, smiling at the light sheen of sweat across her brow. Her hair, once flowing down her back, was wet with perspiration.
Being with her was the highlight of any day. The need to touch her, feel her against him had him making up excuses to end up where she was. Yet, ending up at the same hotel that night had been a happy coincidence. And he took full advantage of it. He brushed his lips over her shoulder and rolled off of her, onto his back.
She turned to him, propping herself up on her elbow. "You are so naughty," she whispered with a giggle. "You know I couldn't concentrate the rest of the night, right? Imagine Joshua's surprise when I ended our date before he had the chance to bore me with more details of his life."
He chuckled, turning to face her. Seeing her with another man had irritated him more than he ever thought it would. And the knowledge that she'd ended her date to be with him made him want to puff out his chest with pride. He slid a hand over her hip and squeezed her thigh. "Mission accomplished, then."
Red pulled her into the crook of his arms and kissed her brow. Moments like these were hard to come by with Cali. She was determined not to be his girl. But it was all he could think about. He wasn't sure when it had snuck up on him, but he wanted Cali to be more than his no-strings booty call. Hell, she was already one of his closest friends.
"Why don't you stay the night?" he asked softly. He already knew the answer, but he couldn't stop himself from asking.
"I can't." She brushed her lips against his chest. "I have an early meeting."
Although he wasn't surprised, it still stung. There was something irresistible about Calisa Harper and he wanted to take advantage of their time together. He wanted this night to stay. But she always put up the walls, always found a reason to pull back.
Leaning in, she kissed him and then scooted to the edge of the bed. She picked up her dress and held it up to him. "You are so going to reimburse me for this dress." He watched as she pulled it up and stuck her arms into the sleeves.
"I wish I could say I was sorry and mean it," he admitted.
"Ha-ha." She put on his shirt and buttoned it up. "I'm taking this home."
"Guess you can add it to your collection, huh?"
Over the course of their… relationship, Cali had managed to stockpile many of his clothes, always making up an excuse why he couldn't have something back. He supposed it was par for the course.
"You don't have to leave, you know," he told her. It was the same thing, different day. No matter how much fun they had with each other, she'd always leave him wanting more.
"You know the rules. No sleepovers." She walked over to him and kissed him again, holding his chin with her hand. "I'll call you later!" she shouted as she flung open the door and walked out of the room.
Two days later
Cali slammed the bathroom door as she exited, and tightened the belt on her robe. Dread seemed to fill every cavity of her body as she paced the hallway. The solace of her normally quiet home was interrupted by her loud thoughts. She nibbled on her thumbnail, or what was left of it. Glancing at her watch, she hurried to the front room and pulled her iPad out of its case.
"This sucks," she grumbled to herself as she tried to figure out how to work her new tablet. "Ugh." She shook it, flipped it over, and pushed a few buttons. "That damn Red. I told him I didn't want this one. It's too complicated." Tempted to fling the damn thing across the room, she took a deep breath and tried again. When it finally powered on, she sighed with relief.
Calisa scanned the preloaded apps and tapped the Skype button. After she punched in the address, she dabbed her eyes with a Kleenex, angry at the tears threatening to fall. She could not be teary-eyed when she talked to her best friend. It was bad enough that she was crying in the first place, and over a guy, no less. And not just any guy. The one man that could ruin everything she wanted to accomplish, with his hazel eyes and perfect everything. Ugh.
Although Cali and Red had been sharing each other's beds for years, they had yet to set expectations for each other—and that was the way she liked it. She didn't want or need a relationship because she was perfectly content with her life the way it was—no complications, no demands, and no stupid lovesick declarations.
But after she'd left Red the other night, she couldn't get the look in his eyes out of her head. Something had changed in him—and her, if she was being honest. It was in his eyes, in the way he talked to her and the way he treated her. The sex felt more meaningful than it had in the past. It had been more than scratching an itch. That's why she'd left so quickly, even before room service arrived with the dessert she'd ordered. Red had a sweet tooth and she'd arranged for a huge piece of cheesecake, fresh fruit, and a bottle of wine to be delivered. The original plan had been to spend the evening getting it in with Red, enjoying his company. Instead, she'd paid the front desk for the dessert and left the hotel. She couldn't shake the feeling that things were going to change between them if she didn't put the brakes on it. After all, she couldn't afford to risk her heart and her livelihood, even for him.
Then there was the despair she felt even thinking about ending things with him. All in all, she was a walking contradiction.
Sydney finally appeared on the screen and Cali sighed, grateful to see one of her favorite people. "Syd! You're a sight for sore eyes. I miss you."
Syd tugged at her one-size-too-small shirt then burped. "Oops. Sorry. Bad indigestion, Cali. What's going on? Are you crying?" she asked, her hazel eyes fixed on Cali. Even though they were miles apart, Syd always knew when something was wrong. They had a sister soul-tie.
"Allergies," Cali lied. "How are you?"
"This baby is kicking my ass," Syd answered, shifting in her seat. "Literally. My butt actually hurts."
Cali smiled at her very pregnant friend. "You look so pretty, Syd." She was always beautiful, but she seemed to have a glow. Her light brown skin was flawless and her normally wavy hair was straightened and hanging down her back. "You don't have too much longer."
"Please," Syd said, waving her hand. "Two months is too long. And Morgan won't leave me alone. It's like this baby is a magnet. He's all over me."
"That's not a bad problem to have, babe."
"Yeah, I guess not, but my body is on fire. My ankles look like logs and I waddle. Can you believe that? Look at this." Syd tilted the screen and lifted up her leg to give Cali a look.
"Wow, they are huge." Calisa laughed when Syd frowned. "Maybe you should prop your feet up. What are you doing?"
"Packing," Syd said. "I have to make sure I have everything I need."
Wanting to prolong the inevitable, Cali told her friend, "Stand up and show me your belly."
Syd rolled her eyes. "Hell no! You'll see it tomorrow."
As happy as Cali was to connect with her best friend, her thoughts kept drifting back to her problem. She wiped her eyes again when Syd's attention turned to something else. She truly missed her friend. It had been months since Syd had packed her bags and moved to Baltimore with her boyfriend, Morgan. As a result, Cali was forced to try and form new friendships; and she was not that interested in breaking in someone else.
Syd folded up a shirt then focused her attention back on Cali. She narrowed her eyes. "You look pale. Are you sick?"
"Thanks, Syd," Cali said with a pout. "Way to make me feel pretty."
"You know you're a stone cold fox," Syd said. "By the way, I love those highlights."
Normally, she'd agree with that. Modesty wasn't her strong suit. "Thanks. I was a little nervous about going so light, but I like it."
"What's going on?" Syd asked, munching on a bag of garlic bread-flavored chips.
Cali guessed she probably did look a little unhinged. Looking down at her attire, she wondered what Syd would say if she saw her outfit. She was wearing brown pajama bottoms and a black t-shirt with white polka dots. Her hair was pulled back into a messy ponytail.
"Girl, let me see what you have on," her friend said, as if she'd read her mind. "Polka dots? And what's with your hair, girlfriend? Do we have to schedule a spa trip when I get back?"
"I'm taking a sick day." Cali absently tugged on her loose shirt. The migraine that had kept her up half the night was finally gone, but she still felt like crap. Probably because her headache was the least of her troubles. "Don't judge me."
Syd dipped a potato chip into a bowl of…
Tilting her head, she tried to make out to the contents of the bowl Syd was currently dipping her chips into. "Is that ice cream and chips? Yuck. Now, I see why you're waddling,"
"Don't hate," Syd scolded through a mouth full of nastiness. "This is some good stuff. It would taste even better if I had a cheesesteak hoagie with extra, extra cheese. I can't wait to get to Gabriel's when I get there."
Cali frowned. Just the thought of a hoagie was doing all kinds of weird things to her stomach. Which was part of the reason she'd called her friend in the first place. Any other time, she would have perked up at the prospect of eating the famous sandwiches. Gabriel's was a staple in Sydney's hometown of Ypsilanti, and it was one of the few places to eat that was worth the drive from her home in Troy, Michigan, about fifty miles away.
Cali bit down on her lip. "Syd?"
Syd bit into a pickle and moaned. "This is so good."
"Syd?" Cali's voice rose to pull her friend's attention away from the array of odd food pairings.
"What's up?" Syd wiped her hands with a napkin and focused her attention on the screen. "You seem troubled. And you're crying and lying about allergies. I'm a little concerned. You know I'll be there tomorrow, and you still wanted to Skype tonight. I wasn't going to say this, but you're kind of scaring me. Is everything okay?" Syd gasped, alarm growing in her hazel eyes. "Is it Red?"
Yep. "I'm not sure if everything is okay, but I can't talk to you about this when you get here because Red will be with us. And this is a girlfriend conversation."
Red had already made plans for his sister when she arrived the next day. It would be a full day, starting with lunch at Gabriel's, then shopping for the baby. He was excited to spend time with his "little" sister, and that's why Cali knew she'd never be able to get a moment alone with Syd. And she needed one.
Leaning back, Syd smoothed a hand over her growing belly. "Shoot, do I have to brace myself for this? Just spill it."
"Okay." She clutched the tablet and blurted out, "I made love to your brother."
Her friend arched a finely shaped brow at her. "Is that supposed to be a news flash?"
"Without a condom," Cali added, bracing herself for her bestie's reaction.
Syd gaped at her.
After a few nail-biting seconds of silence, Syd cleared her throat. Rolling her eyes, she said, "Do you think you're pregnant, Cali? Because if so, that would be so freakin' awesome!" She screamed in delight. "My baby would have someone to play with."
Cali glared at her friend, horrified that she was actually excited when she was so miserable. "I'm going to need you to dial it down a few notches. In whose world is that awesome?"
Syd covered her smile. "I guess we're not happy about this, huh?"
"Why would I be happy?" Cali shouted incredulously. "In case you've forgotten—although I don't know how you could—I don't have a man. So why would I be happy about a possible pregnancy?" The thought of being pregnant mortified her.
"Is not my man," she repeated. "We're fuck buddies." Okay, so that was the lie of the century. She could classify their relationship as many things, but that wasn't one of them. Sighing, she continued. "Syd, I'm not pregnant. I had my diaphragm in. But we've never had sex without double protection."
She was tempted to take a test, though. Just to be sure. In fact, there was one sitting on her bathroom sink, but she'd decided not to waste it.
"But that's not the point," Cali continued. "Did you hear what I said?"
With a confused look on her face, Syd frowned. Shrugging, she asked, "Can you make it plain? Pregnancy brain. It's a real thing."
Cali bit her lip, hesitant to reveal the rest. But she needed to get it out. "I just told you I made love to your brother and you don't know what the problem is?"
Syd's eyes widened, realization dawning on her. "Made love? Without a condom? You lost control."
"Exactly. That's the problem," Cali said. She'd never actually had sex with anyone without protection, even though she always wore her own. It was actually something she prided herself on. There would be no accidental pregnancies unless Jesus made it so. "The lines are blurred. And your brother is going to ruin my life."
"So you've graduated from booty call to something more with Red. It was bound to happen, and it's not the end of the world."
"It is when I don't want it," Cali argued. "I like things the way they are. Every time I'm with him, he asks me to stay or he wants to stay. Everything in me is screaming to end this thing between us before it destroys our friendship."
"I thought I was the dramatic one," Syd muttered sarcastically. "Cali, you're overreacting. And you're running. If Red makes you happy, why not be with him?"
That was an easy question. The answer was much harder and one that Cali had been struggling with for months. "We want different things in life. Shit, I have goals; career goals."
Cali was an event manager at one of the largest hotel chains in the area. She'd also arranged events for many of the top politicians in the Detroit area and had recently been in talks with their other best friend, Allina, to combine their resources and open a niche store, specializing in wedding planning. Well, that was until Allina had up and left the state to follow a man. Even so, Cali was determined to step out and go into business for herself.
"Relationships complicate things. You should know that more than anybody. I don't want to give up what I want for anyone."
Syd pouted. "Why? I get the feeling that you think I'm selling out by being with Morgan and having this baby."
It wasn't that long ago that Syd had been in the precarious position of possibly being pregnant by her ex-fiancé's brother. Syd had spent years with Caden, until he'd cheated on her months before their wedding, leaving her heartbroken and devastated. Caden's brother Morgan had been there to pick up the pieces, and they eventually fell in love and took a chance on being together. Her poor friend had been through so much. Looking at Syd, though—beautiful and pregnant and happy—Cali knew that it was worth it in the end.
"Syd, no," Cali insisted. "I think you're incredibly brave to go after what you want. It's just not me. I know you'll be a great mother. You love kids. And I think you can have it all. I don't think it's in the cards for me. I have anxiety whenever I spend more than twenty minutes with the little rugrats. I don't want kids. I never did."
It wasn't because she didn't like kids. In fact, it was the opposite. But there was a huge difference between loving a niece and having a child of her own. Diapers and throw up was not what's up. Neither was being in a committed relationship, sharing a life with another person. It was a risk, a chance she didn't want to take. She'd already given her heart to a man who didn't deserve it and she'd vowed to never do it again. Red was supposed to be easy, but now he terrified her on so many levels. She found herself wanting to be with him, despite her fear of being hurt—or hurting him.
"Fine." Her friend gulped down a big glass of water. "So what are you going to do?"
"Things were fine until this hotel romp the other day. I was so intent to be with him, I left a date to meet him in his room. What the hell was that?"
"Okay, calm down." Syd popped a chip in her mouth. "It's going to be okay." She touched the screen. "This is me, holding your hand."
Cali closed her eyes, tears threatening to spill. "Thank you. I had to tell someone. I know what I have to do, but the thought of doing it makes me feel sick to my stomach."
Syd burped, then giggled. "Sorry," she murmured. "When do you plan on talking to Red? If every instinct is telling you that your friendship will be ruined by continuing with your little arrangement, then it should be sooner than later."
- "4 stars! Scorcher! An emotional story that causes one to evaluate just how much one's past experiences should color one's present. The portrayal of the heroine's huge struggle with allowing anyone to get close to her and the hero's patience and support are outstanding."—RT Book Reviews
- What an emotional journey! Elle Wright's debut release, The Forbidden Man, will hit the right chord for romance readers. From the first few pages, drama unfolds and maintains a steady pace that keeps any sagging bits out of sight. The launch of this new series - Edge of Scandal - starts with a strong, compelling introduction of family and friends. Through Wright's craft, we see the characters at their best and at their worst. As a result, tension and conflict intertwine to test the boundaries and stamina of the hero and heroine, providing us with rich content to devour. So now that Wright has us hooked, we eagerly await the next installment, His All Night.—USA Today on The Forbidden Man
- "From the first sexy encounter, it's obvious this couple belonged together. Elle Wright weaves an angst-ridden story with smoking hot love scenes that will make you keep reading until the perfectly sweet conclusion."—Delaney Diamond, USA Today bestselling author
- "Scandal never read so good! Elle Wright wraps passion, desire and taboo into a delicious read."—Cheris Hodges on The Forbidden Man
--- Lutishia Lovely, National bestselling authors on The Forbidden Man
- "This gripping debut is packed with drama and a love triangle that will certainly tug at the old heartstrings. Ms. Wright's entry into the world of romance is a memorable one that I'm sure readers will enjoy from the first page to the last."—J.D. Mason, Bestselling Author of the Beautiful, Dirty, Rich series on The Forbidden Man
- On Sale
- Nov 24, 2015
- Page Count
- 352 pages