Today we are thrilled to spotlight READY TO LOVE, Franca Storm’s new adult college rocker romance, with an EXCLUSIVE excerpt and giveaway!
(Note: this is a standalone novel)
She is the one woman who is always off limits…
College rocker and infamous playboy, John Kingston, has screwed his way through most of the women on campus. But there’s one woman he will never touch: his best friend and band mate, Nicki. For four years, he’s been her protector and her confidant.
When arrogant frat guy, Axel, attempts to make a claim on her, John suffers a painful wakeup call, quickly realizing that his feelings for Nicki are not purely platonic. Recognizing that Axel’s intentions are anything but innocent, John’s possessiveness spirals out of control, sparking a dangerous feud.
Nicola Lewis can’t bear to be touched. Haunted by an awful past that she has been unable to escape, she has kept her distance from the opposite sex. And she’s been just fine living her life that way: safe and uncomplicated with no chance of getting hurt again.
Until an unexpected kiss changes everything…
But John and Nicki must decide whether the burgeoning desire between them is worth the risk. Is this a case of love conquers all, or a huge mistake that could destroy everything?
She leans into me and I know exactly what she wants. But I don’t give it to her.
She seems confused by my lack of reaction—or my lack of action. She doesn’t know what to do. Since we started this thing between us, I’ve always made the first move. I finally loosen my hold on her and she frees her arms, but doesn’t move away.
I’m surprised as hell when she presses her hands to my chest. It fires me up instantly, despite the cold water surrounding us. I force myself not to move. She needs to take the lead.
Her lips crash against mine. She’s so aggressive about it that I have to respond. I deepen the kiss. And then she shocks me by pretty much thrusting her tongue down my damn throat. She doesn’t want slow and sweet this time. No, this time it’s different. It’s ferocious and primal. Her hands fist in my hair, tugging and trying to pull me closer. She’s wild. She’s challenging me.
I can’t think straight with her suddenly all over me and before I can stop myself, my hands are slipping under her bikini top and playing with her tits. She gasps, but doesn’t stop kissing me for a second.
And then I feel it; she trembles against me.
A warning sparks in my brain.
That’s when I get it. I get what this is about and I don’t like it. I don’t want it this way.
I pull back.
“Stop,” I choke out, pushing her back gently.
“You don’t need to prove anything to me.”
She wraps her arms around herself, now embarrassed. She won’t look at me. “I’m not—”
“Yes you are, baby.”
I reach for her, but she floats backwards.
“Nicki, it’s okay.”
“Stop it,” she snaps.
I’m not sure what she means, but one thing I’m sure about is she’s pissed. “I didn’t mean to upset you.”
“You didn’t,” she mutters, looking anywhere but at me.
“Look, I just…I don’t want it like this. I don’t want you forcing yourself to do things just to prove something to yourself.” As I say the words, it pisses me off. “Am I just an experiment to you, Nicki? A trial run?”
She flinches. And then her eyes narrow. “Fuck you, John,” she says before turning her back on me and wading angrily through the water towards the embankment.
I rush after her, hauling myself onto the grass just as she stomps towards where we’d been sitting. She grabs her dress off the ground, shivering as she stands there soaking wet and freezing in the cool Fall air.
I pull a towel from my backpack and walk over to her. I snatch her dress out of her grip and hand her the towel. “Here. Dry first or you’ll get sick.”
She mutters something and starts to pat herself dry. You’re welcome, woman. I grab myself a towel and pat myself down before slipping my shirt back on.
“Asshole,” she mutters as she pushes past me to get to her dress. That’s it!
I spin around and grab her arms, holding her steady and forcing her to look at me.
“Let me tell you something about men, Nicki. We’re ruled by our dicks. I don’t care how good a guy acts. At the end of the day, we’re all the same. Some of us have better self-control than others, but we’ve still got that primal instinct. And when a guy wants someone as badly as I want you, it’s even harder. That first night when I ate you out, you have no idea what it took for me to hold back; not to take it further. And it freaked me out. But since then, I know where the line is for me. So, when I tell you we need to stop, fucking respect that. I’m trying my damnedest to protect you. So, if that makes me an asshole, so be it.”
“Stop it, John!” she cries, struggling to break away.
“Stop what?” I ask, tightening my hold on her. No way is she getting out of this one. I wanna know exactly what the hell is going on with her. “You keep saying that. Stop what?”
“Treating me like I’m damaged!” she thunders. “Like I’m a fragile, broken little girl because of…because of what happened in the past.”
“That’s what you think this is about?”
“I know it is.”
“You’re wrong. This is about you not being ready.”
“I am ready.”
“You say that, but I don’t feel it from you.”
“Just fuck me!”
The rage in her voice and the fiery look in her eyes catches me off guard. It hits me then and I let go of her. “Tell me something, Nicki; does it matter who it is?”
“Do you care who pops your fucking cherry? Do you care that it’s me standing here?”
She looks away. “Yes.”
“Very fucking convincing,” I growl. “You already let that piece of shit, Axel, finger fuck you.”
“What? How do you know about that?”
Getting in her face, I glare down at her. “That’s how desperate you were to get your first time over with. Well, let’s get one thing straight here. I’m not gonna be another Axel. If that’s what I wanted, I would’ve fucked you that first night. I don’t date and yet here we are. I’m making an effort here, because I wanna be with you!”
“Are you waiting for your medal?”
Wow. Ice. “You just want my cock? Huh? Tell me!”
She gives me a dirty look and turns away.
But I’m not close to being done. I grab her hand, but she rips it from my grasp.
“Look at me,” I command.
She shakes her head as she struggles to pull her dress on.
“How about I fuck you right now on the grass? You want that? I won’t even look at you while I’m pounding you. Pure mindless sex? How would you like that, baby? Is that what you want from me?”
“I want to go home,” she murmurs, fixing her dress and keeping her eyes down.
I blow out a frustrated breath. “Get in the truck. I’ll be there in a minute.” I need to calm down before I can drive. I hear her stomp away.
I can’t even bring myself to look at her as she walks away. She’s never made me this angry before. Hell, it’s not just anger; it’s hurt. A woman actually managed to hurt me. She wants nothing more than a throwaway fuck. She played me, manipulated me into a relationship so I’d fuck her.
And now I can’t stop thinking whether she would’ve given it up to Axel if he hadn’t been so rough with her. The idea of it makes me sick to my stomach. That woman is mine. How dare she consider spreading her legs for another man? Wait…who am I kidding? She’s not mine at all. Her silence just now made that clear.