Forbidden Heat Firework Girls Book One

Excerpt of Forbidden Heat

How does a straight-laced biology major and a by-the-books philosophy professor make a love connection? Read chapter three of my steamy new adult romance, Forbidden Heat, to find out.

Title: Forbidden Heat

The first standalone in the Firework Girls Series

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Chapter Three

I’d almost rather miss the first class than show up late, but with both Ms. Mason expecting me to go and Dean Jennings most likely overhearing her telling me as much, I decide to hustle across the green anyway.

It’s been a few years since I’ve been in Old Main, one of the oldest buildings on campus, and where several of the humanities classes are held.

I glance at the schedule. “Introduction to Philosophy. Professor Brooks. OM – Room 205.”

I’m not familiar with this professor and hope he’s not too fussy about punctuality. I check the time on my phone. Class started a minute ago. By the time I’ve crossed the green, climbed the stairs, and located the proper room, the class started some seven minutes before I walk in the door.

Approximately 25 heads swing up as I make my entrance. Everyone is either already taking a quiz or, more likely, filling out some pointless beginning-of-the-year questionnaire for the professor.

Said professor is standing behind the podium at the front of the class. Or… he would have been standing had he not been bending over to remove something from the podium’s lower shelf.

Nice ass.

Two words, I guarantee you, I have never used when describing any of my professors’ rears. I consider the likelihood of thinking “nice ass” when Old Professor Baggy Pants bends over and nearly burst out laughing right then.

The man by the podium straightens and my breath catches in my throat. No wonder I was checking out his ass. He’s fucking gorgeous and isn’t old enough to be the professor.

At least, I don’t think he is. Is he a student?

We stare at one another for a moment and I at least have the wherewithal to realize my mouth is hanging open. I close it.

He blinks at me, apparently taken aback by the sudden intrusion into the class. “May I help you?”

A student assistant probably. That has to be it. Hartman College is known for small classes taught by actual professors, not underlings like a lot of the bigger universities. But there are a few of the larger undergrad science classes that are exceptions. Freshman year, my biology class had a hundred and fifty students. The professor gave the lectures, but if you had questions afterward, that’s what his student assistant was for.

My brain is trying to work out the possibility of an Intro to Philosophy class with only twenty-five students requiring a student assistant, but I’m really rather distracted by Student Assistant What’s-His-Face.

His gorgeous, gorgeous face.

And I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone rock a blazer the way this guy’s doing. Aside from his age, he looks the part of a professor. The only thing his blazer is missing are the elbow patches.

“Miss?” he says again.

“Oh, uh, sorry I’m late. I just got put in this class.”

“Ah,” he says. He looks at me a second longer and I wish I could stand here and stare at him all day. With some popcorn. Sitting in a comfy chair. While he strips off his shirt and—

Apparently recovering from the surprise of my untimely interruption, he grabs the top sheets from a couple stacks of paper on the podium and holds them out to me. I start to move toward him and manage to trip on nothing, but catch myself and cross the room with burning cheeks.

He gives me an amused smile.

Wow, that smile.

I snatch the pieces of paper and retreat to a seat near the back. I’m usually a front-of-the-room girl, but I’ll make an exception in this case. I’ve drawn quite enough attention to myself.

I take a deep breath and try to get myself under control.

“Introduction to Philosophy” the heading on the top paper reads.

Right. This is why I’m here. Get it together, Isabella.

I glance back at the man at the front of the room. Our eyes meet immediately and I look back down, bending over my papers for good measure. My heart is racing and I can’t tell if it’s because he caught me looking at him or if it’s because of the way he looks.

Because he looks So. Freaking. Gorgeous.

I decide not to look at Distracting Sexy Student Assistant so I can concentrate on what’s in front of me. A syllabus and a questionnaire. I can only assume everyone’s busy working on the latter.

I’d dropped my bag on the floor next to me. I now bend over so I can spend, apparently, several minutes fumbling around for my pen. My bag is working against me, I swear it. I have to keep pulling my long hair out of my face with one hand so I can see what the hell I’m doing.

At last I manage to free a pen from the bowels of my traitorous bag and sit up only to find myself face-to-face with Mr. Distracting Sexy Student Assistant. I startle and put my hand on my chest.

“Sorry,” he says quietly, trying not to disturb the class. As if every girl in the room isn’t watching him. I know they have to be.

He’s kneeling by my desk, an open folder on his leg and a pen in the other hand.

He’s even sexier up close. There’s just a hint of stubble coming out on his strong jaw bones. His eyes, which I thought were blue at first glance, are actually an intriguing mix of blue and green. His dark hair looks soft and touchable and my holy god, is that his smell?

Would it be inappropriate for me to lean over and sniff him? Would he report me to the professor?

He gives me another smile and, I’m embarrassed to admit this, I think I’m melting into a puddle right here at the back of the class.

“What’s your name?” he asks.

Anything you want, baby, what’s yours?

I think I’m channeling Sam’s spirit or something.

“Isabella,” I say. “Nikas.” It’s actually Isabella Procopio Caivano Nikas Maddox, but I don’t have enough functioning brain cells to go into all that. I don’t use the Maddox name on campus anyway.

Before I have a chance to spell the last name for him, he says, “Greek, right?” I blink at him. “N-i-k-a-s?”

I nod. “Are you Greek?” I ask stupidly.

He smiles and my heart does a little flutter. “No.”

I watch him write my name on the class roster in neat print. “Thank you, Miss Nikas.” He heads back to the front of the class without looking at me again.

Miss Nikas? What the hell?

Maybe I’ll try to sort out why he just called me by my last name after I’m done checking out his ass. It looks perfectly squeezable in his soft, black slacks.

He sets the folder on the teacher’s desk in the corner with a smack, then turns to face the class. Our eyes meet again. I look back at the papers in front of me.

What am I supposed to be doing again? I look around and notice everyone’s pretty much done and waiting for the next step. The class is on the young side, mostly freshmen from the looks of it. I’m probably the only senior in the room.

“Alright, let’s get started,” he says. “Welcome to Introduction to Philosophy. I’m Professor Shane Brooks.”

Professor? Did he say professor?

Oh, help me. I fumble for my schedule. There it is at the top of the page: Professor Brooks.

“I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from right here at Hartman,” he continues, “a Master’s in Philosophy from Tufts University in Massachusetts, and somehow managed to survive the snow. This is my first year teaching at Hartman and I’ll be working on my PhD here as well.”

My god, but he’s pretty.

“I’ll go over your syllabus in a moment, but first we’re going to take a few minutes to introduce ourselves. This class will be heavy with discussion, so I’d like us to start to get to know one another.”

Don’t think about how you’d like to get to know him, I chant to myself. Don’t think about how you’d like to get to know him.

“To begin, tell us your name, your year, your major if you know it, and why you decided to take this class.”

He circles the front table and most of him disappears behind the podium. Okay, that’s better. I can breathe a lot easier now that I don’t have to take in the full package.

Pull yourself together, Isabella!

I look back at the papers in front of me, pretending to read them, though I have no idea what they say. My hands are clasped tightly in front of me.

I’m supposed to look at this professor all year and actually concentrate? Maybe I should’ve taken that education class. I wonder if it’s too late to change.

I glance back up at him. Then again, a little eye candy could fall into the Major Bonus category. Once I get over the initial shock of his looks, I should be able handle his class okay.

Right?

I realize everyone’s looking at me. Professor Brooks’ arms are crossed and he’s watching me with a bemused expression.

Shit. It’s my turn. “I’m Isabella. I’m a senior with a double major in Biology and Chemistry.”

Professor Brooks nods. Damn. He’s so hot I’m actually starting to get wet. I hope I’m not blushing. Get it together, girl!

“And?” he says. He’s giving me that bemused smile again. Who knew a professor in a blazer giving me a bemused smile could be so hot?

I blink. “And? Oh. Right. I’m short some humanities credits for graduation, so here I am.”

“An endearing reason,” he says with a smile, before looking to the next student and indicating it’s her turn.

I’m glad he’s not looking at me anymore because I can’t seem to peel my eyes off him.

Now I know for sure. Taking this class was a horrible, horrible idea.

***

“Forbidden Heat was an amazing story of forbidden love, the chemistry between Isabella and Shane was off the charts and the side characters had me cracking a laugh.” – Stormy Day Reading Books

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Who is Mason Reeves?

Corrine Rivers and her cousins desperately need to find out. Evidence suggests he’s the illegitimate child of her beloved Uncle Grant. The truth is just as hard to bear.

What’s also hard is Mason himself. All over. From his broad, muscular chest and massive biceps to his “screw you” attitude. Because Mason Reeves wants nothing to do with his inheritance or the wealthy Rivers clan, and isn’t afraid to say so.

As Mason’s tragic connections to Corrine’s family emerge, the facts are reason enough for her to stay away. But she can’t seem to resist him, and what’s worse, he feels the same way about her. To everyone’s surprise, Corrine and Mason get in deep, in more ways than one. But it turns out the biggest obstacle to their happiness isn’t Mason’s past.

It’s hers.

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Beautiful Fall (Beautiful Rivers Book 2)

When Elizabeth Rivers purchases a row of historical beach cottages to renovate for the family’s luxury resort, she’s worried her new project won’t live up to the high standards of the Rivers family name. Little does she know, that’s not the thing she needs to worry about. Not at all.

Because along with the cottages comes a little problem called Brett Carmichael. Brett freaking Carmichael, historical contractor and son of Lizzy’s nemesis, a woman who mere weeks ago brutally smeared her name through the papers over a property dispute. The last thing Lizzy wants is to deal with that woman’s spawn.

But one reckless moment ignites the downright dangerous chemistry between them, and Lizzy soon learns that Brett Carmichael is a force to be reckoned with. She seems helpless to stop him from claiming her, body and heart, but she’s not so sure she’s able to do the same to him. It turns out, there’s plenty more in his family history to worry about. The reality is, his heart may not really be hers for the taking.

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Beautiful Mine (Beautiful Rivers Book 1)

”J.L. White has done it again.” – Five Star Review

When fellow Californians Whitney Spencer and Connor Rivers meet in the most unlikely of places—on the Camino pilgrimage in Spain—they fall head first into a brief, impassioned love affair. But Whitney’s on her way back to her career in San Francisco, and Connor is a world traveler whose restless spirit has yet to be captured by anyone.

Tragedy strikes and Connor is called home to help his siblings run the family business, the Rivers Paradise Resort. Yet the adventurer inside him hasn’t gone away; in fact, his wanderlust is on the verge of destroying his family’s fragile stability.

After Whitney’s career brings her to Connor’s resort, the sparks between them flare. Will her reappearance be enough to tame him? Can their love be enough, or are they destined for another gut-wrenching goodbye?

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Excerpt:

There are people everywhere. In the hall. In the courtyard. On the street. In the hotel lobby. We’re walking close, my hand in his. The memory of our kiss is lingering on my lips like a physical presence. I just want to be alone with him. I want him to kiss me again, longer this time. Deeper.

As we wait for the elevator in the hotel lobby, two other people are waiting as well. Connor and I look at one another. No longer a wondering look, this is a look of desire.

The doors open and we all file in. Connor hits the number 7 as we enter, then pulls us into the back corner. We let go of hands and slide arms around waists instead. One of the men hits the number 3 and the other says, “Quattro, por favor.”

It takes forever. Connor looks at me, his thumb subtly rubbing along my side, making my nerves dance. I’m taking in those blue eyes—god, they’re so intense—and running my hand slowly up his back… then slowly down to his waist.

Second floor.

He leans in close to my ear, to whisper something I thought. Instead he plants a soft, hot kiss just under my earlobe. I want to close my eyes and lean my head back, but the people. I hold my breath, scoot closer, tighten my hold on his body.

Third floor.

The car stops. The bell dings. Connor and I look at the doors expectantly. It is an eternity before they finally bloody open and the first man steps out.

We’re faced forward now, as the car finally starts to move again. We’re both keeping a sharp eye on the digital number above the door, watching as the three changes to a four, eager for the last occupant to leave the car so we can finally, finally be alone.

Fourth floor. Connor’s hand spreads on the side of my waist, pressing firmly, holding me to him. The bell dings and I’m hardly breathing. The doors slide open and there is a quiet moment of panic as we see there’s a woman and her child on the other side, waiting to get on.

The man leaves, the two start to get in before realizing this car is going up when she wants to go down, and they mercifully step back to wait for another car.

As the doors begin to close, seconds away from giving us our privacy, our hold on one another tightens. As soon as the gap in the doors disappears, he angles me back against the wall, his body in front of me, pressing against me. He cups my jaw with one hand, my lips part slightly, and he pauses.

Only for a moment.

Just long enough to hold my eyes and make me see him before his lips are on me and my arms are around him and his body is against me hard.

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Nuclear Heat Firework Girls_ Book Four

Nuclear Heat (Firework Girls Book 4)

“Nuclear Heat is the fourth and last of the Firework Girls series by J.L. White, and a steamy and heartfelt grand finale for the series.” – SPR

They call us the Firework Girls.

I’m Sam. Let’s get one thing straight. Marriage is fine for some people, but it’s got nothing to do with me. If you knew the truth about my past, believe me, you’d understand.

But hey, I’m not complaining. I’ve got a good job. Great friends. And when I need a little something in the man department, well… I’ve never had any trouble getting that when I want it either.

Then Jack has to come along and screw it all up.

I never saw it coming. I mean, we’ve been friends for six years. <i>Years.</i> But in one moment… one gooseflesh-inducing, world tilting, alarming moment… it all starts to change.

Let me tell you something, the last thing in the world I wanted to do was freaking fall in love. But that Jack snuck right under my radar.

I’m not too happy about it either.

Not one damn bit.

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Excerpt:

By the time I buckle her in and start heading for her house, some of the fight seems to have gone out of her. She’s leaning back, wedged between the seat and the door, her knees together and her feet angled out in opposite directions. We drive in silence for a while, which suits me fine because I’m catching my breath from the whole thing. What in the hell’s going on with her? I can’t believe I just had to haul Sam out of a bar like that.

Thank god Nick called me. The thought of her going home with those snakes makes my blood boil. She never would’ve been even talking to guys like that if she weren’t so smashed.

I look at her, leaning back in the seat and frowning out the window. Why is she so smashed? My heart softens as I wonder if something horrible’s happened to push her to drink like this.

“Any reason why you’re drunk off your rear on a Monday night?” Or any night?

She lifts one foot and puts her boot on the dash, stretching out her leg. My eyes linger on her, my heart starting to pump. “This is all your fault,” she says.

“How is it my fault?”

She brings up the other leg and rests it on the dash as well. My body responds to the sight of her lounging all over the seat and I face forward, squeezing the wheel. “I’m mad at you, Jack.”

Well, that’s helpful. I already know she’s mad at me. Again. Hell if I know why.

“I’m going to throw up,” she says.

I look over sharply, wondering if I have time to pull over. She’s leaning back, legs still stretched out, staring out the windshield with a somber expression. Of course it can be hard to tell, but she doesn’t look about to throw up, so I take my chances and keep driving.

There’s a minute of silence, then, “Where’s Emily?”

I squeeze the wheel. “Home.”

“Do you love her, Jack?”

“Uh,” I say, caught off guard by her question. I’m saved having to answer though, because she goes on.

“I bet you do. What’s not to love? She’s beautiful and smart and funny and tall. How tall is she?”

“Five ten.”

“What?! Holy hell. See? You only have three inches on her. I once had sex with a guy who was six five. Remember him. What was his name?”

“Hell if I know.”

“It was odd, too, because his thing was kinda tiny. We made it work though.”

“God, Sam.”

“Hey, how many girls have you made fall in love with you?”

I look at her sharply again. Say what? “I don’t make girls fall in love with me.” If I could, I wouldn’t be in this mess.

“Let’s see there was Trisha,” she says, counting off on her fingers, “and, uh, that blonde one. What the hell was her name?” She puts up another finger. “And Sharice.” Three fingers. “Remember that girl? She had the great big hair.” She holds her hands out from her head to indicate.

When she brings her hand back in front of her, she’s not holding up any fingers anymore. She frowns. “Wait, how many was that?”

“Do you have a point over there?”

“Yeah. You totally shouldn’t make girls fall in love with you. It’s kinda crappy. I mean, what if someone doesn’t want to be in love with you?”

“Well, no one has to fall in love with me. Geez, Sam.”

“Ha!” she says loudly, pointing at me. I stare at her. What the hell? She falls back against the seat and takes to looking out the windshield. “Shows what you know.”

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Eternal Heat Firework Girls Book Three

Eternal Heat (Firework Girls Book 3)

“Hot. Hot. Hot.” – Five-star Amazon review.

They call us the Firework Girls.

I’m Ashley. I may be calm on the outside, but on the inside I’m losing it. See that guy playing the piano on stage up there? Auditioning for the competition <i>I’m</i> supposed to win? Playing in an auditorium at <i>my</i> school like he belongs here?

Yeah. He’s the reason I’m freaking. The heck. Out.

I knew him back in high school. Scratch that. I was desperately in love with him back in high school. He said he loved me too, but how could he have? That guy broke my heart into tiny little bits.

Hell, I broke everywhere.

Now he’s back, a fellow grad student at Hartman College, turning my world upside down. Because nobody plays the piano like Erik Williams. Not even me. When it comes to my musical career here at Hartman, I’m screwed. But that’s not the worst part. Not at all.

The worst part is Erik trying to work his way back into my heart again. But I won’t let him. I can’t. Not after what he did… all those years ago.

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Excerpt:

I lightly smack his shoulder and lean my head back against the seat, smiling at him.

He glances at me and gives me a wicked grin. God, he’s so good-looking. I smile more broadly and look down at our intertwined hands. I take my other hand and run my fingertips along his fingers. He squeezes me in response.

When he pulls into Sonic, he chooses a stall farthest from the building. My heart beats thickly, hoping he parked here for the same reason I would have if I were the one driving. We talk about music and order our treats—a sundae for him and a small chocolate shake for me—and continue to chat and laugh until the car hop brings us our order. A few bites in, he drops his spoon in his little plastic bowl, leans over, cups his hand around the back of my neck, and pulls me in for the kind of kiss my dad would flip over if he saw it.

He caught me off guard, but I recover from the surprise quickly, kissing him back. Our tongues are cool and sweet from the ice cream, but warm up quickly. Even though we’re both holding our ice cream, we continue to kiss. Erik tastes like heaven. Kissing him is like playing music: the world disappears and it’s only him and me, the soft sounds of our breathing enveloping us.

Slowly, I set down my cup, still kissing him, and he follows my lead. Ice cream abandoned, he rubs his hand down my back and over my hip, leaving a trail of electricity in his wake. Right there in the far reaches of the Sonic parking lot. I never would have imagined such a thing a month ago. But Erik is changing my life. He’s changing me. And I only want more.

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