With: Nina Crespo
RULES OF AREBOUND (release date August 12th) is the second, standalone title in the Breakup Bash series. Natalie Winters is ready to move past the ending of her failed marriage. She attends a party with her friends, looking for a night of fun. Rome Collier, the sexy bartender at the party, catches her eye. Her attempt to land him without a wingwoman doesn’t quite go as planned.
Enjoy this RULES OF A REBOUND excerpt!
Heat flamed in her cheeks. “Oops. That was an accident.” She’d just meant to take out cash to pay for her drink.
But the amusement in Rome’s golden-brown eyes expressed exactly what he thought.
More heat surged into Natalie’s face. But they really had. Determined to salvage some of her pride in failing the flirting game, she made a grab for the condoms, but he did, too. As he slid them from the counter, his fingers brushed hers. A rush like the kind that came from heady, high-proof alcohol almost threw her off-balance.
“Uh-uh.” He grinned, and a slight dimple sunk in below a semi-circle shaped scar on his right cheek. “I’m not giving these up. They’re the best tip I’ve gotten all night.”
“They’re my property.”
“Looks like they’re mine now.”
His husky possessive tone conjured up images of him pinning her up against the wall as he made good use of one of the “Do Me” condoms, doing her.
“Excuse me,” a woman farther down called out. “Can we get some service? The show’s about to start.”
Rome’s attention remained on Natalie. “Hold on. I’ll be back.”
She held out the money. “But I need to pay.”
“You will.” Rome’s mouth lifted with a faint lopsided smile before he turned away.
His self-assuredness made Natalie’s heart flutter. She was all into compensating for whatever transgressions he accused her of. Was it wrong for her to strip off her clothes, lay on the bar, and give herself to him as payment? Yeah, it was definitely inappropriate, no matter how much the thought of doing it turned her on.
The woman Rome served at the bar smiled coyly up at him and brushed her fingers over his forearm.
As his deep chuckle floated over the woman’s laughter, Natalie suppressed an eye roll. And a tinge of envy. Obviously, she wasn’t the only one willing to be his sexual sacrifice. So what? Like she cared if some bottle-blonde flirted with him. Technically, she’d caught his attention first. Yes, things had gotten a little messy in the process, but she’d still landed him. Experiment over. Time to go. Cori and Alexa were probably wondering where she’d run off to.
As she went to put her money down and leave, Rome opened a mini fridge and grabbed a bottle of champagne. He stripped off the foil covering, deftly loosened the wire cage, then draped a towel over the bottle. As he pointed it away from the crowd, he twisted the bottom of it, and a muffled pop reverberated. Rome glanced over at her and winked.
Seriously. Did he think opening that bottle would impress her? But as much as she tried, she couldn’t stop a laugh or tear her gaze away from him as he served champagne to customers at the bar.
Natalie put her purse on the counter. Staying until he came back to her was purely about principle. No way in hell was she leaving her party favors behind so he could use them on some other woman later on. He had her “Do Me” condoms, and she wanted them back.
Minutes later, Rome returned to her with a cocktail glass filled with ice, amber liquid, and topped with a maraschino cherry. He set it in front of her.
“Sorry. I’m all out of condoms to pay for my drinks.”
He nudged the glass closer. “This one’s on the house. Try it. I think you’ll like it.”
She would, huh? No one read her that easily, but he had made the effort. Natalie took a drink, and the bite of alcohol mingled nicely with a hint of sweet. “Not bad. What’s it called?”
“A Do Me Slowly.”
The low tone of his voice made her tingle. “If this is some kind of ploy to change my mind about getting my condoms back, it won’t work. I have plans for using them.”
Lust sparked in Rome’s eyes, mesmerizing her to the point where she failed to realize his mouth was suddenly just inches away.
“So, you still think they’re yours?” As he leaned in farther, his hair-roughened cheek brushed hers, and her knees grew weak. “That’s definitely something we need to talk about.”
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