Today we are celebrating the release of A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE by Nikky Kaye with a blog tour post. This is a contemporary romance, standalone title. You can read it now as part of Kindle Unlimited! Join Nikky’s reader group for more details about her upcoming releases.
A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE by Nikky Kaye
Available Now | Standalone title
Looking for the ultimate summer treat? Try this recipe for A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE!
1. In one bowl, pour one dark, devilish billionaire and one smirking, ex-SEAL charmer.
2. Stir in one curvy, innocent blonde with student loans and a crazy idea of how to pay them off.
3. Mix all three until combined. Beat at medium speed until frothy.
4. Pour into a prepared marriage of convenience. Set the oven to “secret baby.”
5. When half-baked, remove from heat and poke holes in it.
6. Whip together a sexy single dad and a sassy waitress until smooth and creamy.
7. Add a pinch of little girl cuteness and a dash of creepy stalker.
8. Pour batter over first layer in pan. Don’t worry if the pan seems too small—the contents are supposed to be over the top.
9. Season liberally with spicy situations, salty language, and sweet moments.
10. Finish baking at a high heat until the happy ending buzzes.
Enjoy while hot and fresh but be careful not to burn your fingers and mouth.
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Now this was the craziest thing I’d ever done.
No, the stupidest, I thought to myself as I walked through the lobby of the gleaming skyscraper.
I was here to meet with Dominic Stone—Mister Whole-Lotta-Zeros.
We’d emailed back and forth to discuss the terms of my “deflowering.” He’d encouraged me to do an Internet search on him, which provided me with a visual of my potential, uh, “gardener”—a smoking hot one.
Dark hair, dark eyes, dark look.
There were pictures of him at charity events, in business magazine profiles, and the odd paparazzi shot of him coming out of the gym. Dominic Stone looked good in gym clothes. And suits. And tuxedos.
There weren’t a lot of pictures of him with dates, though. Maybe he was gay? I thought that might have been the case when I saw another ridiculously attractive specimen beside him in a lot of the pictures, but that turned out to be his brother Jacob.
I didn’t get it. Neither of these men needed to buy a virgin online. They were, quite literally, panty-droppers. If their square jaws and bedroom eyes didn’t do it for the ladies, then their suggestive grins certainly would.
It did for me, anyhow.
I’d spent a long time looking at the pictures. Even in thumbnail size, Dominic Stone’s power and magnetism practically radiated off the screen. Would he be the one? The idea made my body heat up and my nipples tighten. My breath shortened and a curling, pulsing sensation built low in my belly.
Okay, I wished he had sent a dick pic.
After a lot of back and forth, I’d agreed to meet him at his office. It was actually his building, I realized as I saw the signs in the lobby.
Dominic and Jacob Stone ran one of the biggest retail conglomerates in the country. It owned a boutique department store, a chain of high-end media stores, a ubiquitous box store, and god only knew what else. The zeros he’d offered in his email were totally legit.
I once promised myself that I’d never work in retail. That could change.
As instructed, I told the man at the security desk that I was there to see Mister Stone.
He didn’t even take his eyes off his magazine. “You can go up to the twelfth floor, ma’am. They’ll help you there.”
“He said he’d come down to meet me.” Ma’am? Really? I was twenty-two, not twice that!
Mister Stone—Dominic—had insisted we meet first in the lobby, as a kind of show of good faith and safety. Meeting in a public place, he’d written, was a good idea for all parties concerned in this potential transaction. With dozens of people floating in and out of the elevators of the thirty-story building, it couldn’t be much more public.
With a sigh, the guard reached for the phone. “Have a seat.” He gestured towards a leather bench.
No, thank you. I needed to move.
My nerves were getting the better of me, my hands shaky and cold despite the summer heat. If I stood, my sleeveless red sheath dress wouldn’t wrinkle.
When I got up that morning, I had to decide what one wore to an interview as a… what? Mistress? No—that sounded too committed. Hymen vendor? Ugh. In the end, I decided to dress as though going to work, which was kind of true.
My heels clicked on the polished stone floor as I walked over to an abstract metal sculpture on display. It stretched nearly twenty feet in the air, shining in the morning sun bending through the floor-to-ceiling windows.
“What do you think?” a man asked from behind me.
“It’s beautiful.” I held up my hands. “I promise, I won’t go any closer.”
“Hmm.” His voice was nearer. “What was the first word that came to mind when you walked in?”
I frowned at the odd question. “It looks delicate.” Like it could fall over any minute, like metal pick-up sticks stacked dangerously high.
“There’s over a thousand wire coat hangers there.”
“Huh.” So there were.
“You are Evie, correct?”
Swallowing hard, I turned to the voice. And looked up.
Dominic Stone stood before me, his tall, dark and handsome figure like a shadow in the sunlit lobby.
He was even hotter in person.
Even if his charcoal suit came from a discount store—which it clearly didn’t—his attitude would be enough to command my attention. All those fanciful words, like charismatic, magnetic, and imposing, were all very appropriate when describing Dominic Stone.
My three-inch heels barely took me to his shoulders, and I wobbled a little as his gaze ran over me. Just when I was about to turn my ankle, his hand shot out. The feel of his muscular forearm under my fingers had the exact opposite effect of steadying me.
“Thanks.” My face burned, but I forced myself to look him in the eye.
They were rich, dark brown, as heady as strong coffee and gave me a similar jolt. When he tilted his head and his lips curved at the edges, I couldn’t tell if I amused him or he was just being polite.
A furrow appeared between his dark eyebrows. “You are Evie, right?”
“Yes!” I squeezed his arm, as though I subconsciously expected him to run away.
Instead of shrugging me off, he used his other hand to tug my fingers down his wrist to end in a warm, tingling handshake. Both his hands were around mine, and he didn’t let go.
I didn’t mind.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” he said smoothly. “Shall we?”
Shall we what? I blinked at him.
“Go up to my office?” He nodded toward the elevator bank. “Unless you’d feel better staying here? Or we could go get a coffee or something.”
I stared at him, the absurdity of this situation dawning on me. And then my big smart mouth got ahead of my brain.
“Coffee? Does my virginity come with an espresso and a muffin?”
His laugh sounded like a sharp bark, echoing off the stone floor. My face probably matched the crimson of my dress as I looked down. With his hands still wrapped around mine, he pulled me closer. I shivered as his warm breath caressed my bare shoulders.
“No, Evie, I’ll pay extra for the coffee. But I like it sweet and milky, not dark and bitter.”
About the Author
Nikky Kaye likes to read and write feverish, fearless books for your funny boner, such as A Model Fiancé and the Billionaire Book Club series. A former college professor, she has worked with movie stars and the United Nations—but prefers happy endings. She has young twin boys, loves living where there are four distinct seasons but loathes getting out of bed, has a terrible addiction to diet cola, and hates talking about herself in the third person.