Category Archives: Firework Girls

Excerpt of Midnight Heat

After being nearly left at the altar, Chloe rebounds in one perfect, mind-numbing night of passion. But Grayson is way too much, way too soon. Panicked, Chloe takes off without a word, then regrets it for months.

Then Grayson storms back into her life, but this time he’s not alone. Chloe soon learns there’s only one word for watching your soul mate hook up with one of your best friends: Hell.

Scroll down to read an exclusive excerpt of chapter 8 of my steamy new adult romance, Midnight Heat.

Title: Midnight Heat

The second standalone in the Firework Girls Series

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Chapter Eight

The waiter has cleared away our platters, but we’re in no hurry to leave. The girls and I are chatting happily when I get a text from my brother.

Bobby: Almost there.

Me: Okay. We’re in the Sandbar finishing up appetizers and cocktails. You’re welcome to join us if you like.

I don’t get an answer back and take to checking the open patio doors that lead toward the lobby.

A minute later someone I know does walk through the doors. But it isn’t Bobby.

Walking smoothly onto the patio, his eyes sweep the area like he’s looking for someone. His eyes land for a moment on Sam. There’s a brief flicker of recognition, but then he sees me and instantly stops short.


I don’t think my heart is beating anymore. I know I’m not breathing. I’m confronted with such a confusing array of emotions I feel physically slapped.

I can’t move at all. He looks as shocked as I feel. There’s a sudden sharpness in his eyes. Anger. And it’s directed right at me. Oh god.

There’s this moment when I’m torn between wanting to run away in horror after what I did to him, and wanting to launch myself into his arms and beg him to forgive me.

This is what happens in the next moment.

Sam glances toward the door and says, “Oh, there he is!”

It happens in slow motion and is as confusing and disorienting as a dream. Sam hops out of her chair. His eyes go to her and his expression changes. He looks like he’s still trying to recover from his shock, but he does a fair job of it. Better than me. I’m watching it all unfold with my mouth hanging open. He’s smiling. At Sam. I don’t understand why until she goes up to him and puts her arms around him and kisses him right on the lips.

That’s when my heart stops again and I look away. I can’t breathe. My heart hurts. It really hurts and I don’t think it’s beating.

Oh god, can a person die from shock?

She leads him back to our table and I hitch my mouth into a smile, trying to look normal. Do I look normal?

“Girls, this is Grayson,” Sam says. “Grayson these are my girlfriends, Ashley, Chloe—” his eyes flit to mine and I try to look normal, am I still smiling?—“and the lovely bride, Isabella.”

Then I remember. He’s met them before. Everyone but Sam. He and Mr. Greek God came right up to our table there in the Perched Owl.

The girls apparently don’t remember because they say some variation of the whole “nice to meet you” routine.

“Where’s your stuff?” Sam asks him.

His eyes flick away from mine and he looks at her. My Grayson is looking at My Sam and her arm is still around his waist. I can’t feel my body.

“I left my suitcase in the car,” he says. “I figured I’d find out where our room is first.”

Our room??

Oh my holy fucking god, if you have any mercy, strike me down right now.

“I’ll take you,” she says, leading him away. She glances back over her shoulders and gives us a wink.

I watch them go. He doesn’t turn back. They just disappear, on their way to get his suitcase and take it to their room where Sam’s going to do god knows what to him.

I take a sip of my water with trembling hands. I really can’t breathe.

“He’s cute,” Isabella says.

“He looks kind of familiar,” Ashley says.

I look at her in alarm.

She catches my expression and gives me a look of concern.

Oh, did I forget to keep the fake smile plastered on my face?

I pull my lips into a smile but it feels funny. Am I smiling?

“You okay?”

I stand and give a fake laugh. I even bat my hand at her like an idiot and say, “Of course, of course. Yes, I’m fine I just have to… go to my room for… something.”

I’m walking away from the table on unsteady legs.

“Uh… okay,” Ashley says. “See you at dinner.”

I raise one arm in acknowledgement but keep walking.

I exit the patio and make it to the sprawling lobby. It’s when I’m stuck waiting for the elevator that I realize I might see him.


I glance around but they’re nowhere in sight. At his car maybe? Has she been to his house? Has she been all over his house the way I was?

I punch the button again. I don’t want them to come in and see me standing here but I don’t know where else to go. I just have to get to my room.

The elevator dings and I squeeze through as soon as the gap is big enough to admit me. I’m punching the round “7” button before the doors even finish opening.

I punch it again. “7.” Then the “Close door” button. Why do those never, ever work? What’s even the point of them? I glance at the lobby again, which I have a clear view of because the doors are still all the way open. I still don’t see them. As I’m pummeling the “7” button, the doors finally close and I’m on my way.

As I clear the lobby level, the glass back of the compartment opens up to provide a view of the grounds and, as the car goes higher, the coast. I was enjoying this view earlier, when I’d checked in and brought my suitcase up to the room, but I keep my back to it now. I’m gripping the brass hand rail and bending part way over.

I can hardly think. All I can see in my mind is Grayson and Sam kissing each other hello then walking off together. My Grayson and my Sam.

The car dumps me out on the seventh floor and I rush down the hallway to my room. I fumble with the key card—red light, red light, green—and swing the door open. When I shut it behind me, I collapse against it and slide all the way down to the floor.

Grayson is here. He’s here at Isabella’s wedding with Sam and I think I’m going to just have to stay here in my room forever or else catch a plane to Bermuda or something. What in the hell just happened?

I sit there stunned, my heart pounding soundly in my ears, when there’s a sharp rap at the door.

I jump and let out an audible gasp.

I freeze, my heart falling down on the job again as it stops beating.

What if it’s Grayson? What if it’s Sam?

I sit there frozen another few seconds. There’s another knock, this time followed by Ashley’s voice, “Chloe? You okay?”

I scramble to my feet and open the door enough to peek out and verify it’s really her and that she’s alone.

“What’s going on?” she asks.

I open the door all the way and gesture her in. She comes in, giving me a questioning look, and I close the door behind her. Still hanging on to the door knob, I close my eyes and take a deep breath, trying to steel myself.

“Chloe—” she begins.

“It’s him.” I grasp my hands together and hold them to my chest. “He’s the guy.”

“Who? What guy?”

“Grayson.” I don’t know that I’ve ever said his name aloud. Not since I was with him. “Sam’s guy.”

“Yeah, who is that guy?” Ashley asks. “He looks so familiar. Did he go to Hartman with us?”

I shake my head impatiently. “We met him and another guy at the Perched Owl, remember? On the night of my—”

“—Not Wedding!” she says, her eyes lighting up as the mystery is solved. “That’s right!” Her expression falls again, trying to figure out what that has to do with my distraught state.

“He’s the guy.

A look of dawning falls over Ashley’s face, followed by a look of horror. “Oh my god.”

I put my hands over my face. “What am I going to do?”

“He’s the guy?”

I nod, my hands still over my face.

“The guy you slept with?”

I groan. “What am I going to do?”

“Okay,” Ashley says firmly. I slowly lower my hands to look at her. “Okay,” she says again, “let’s just… think for a minute.”

She leads me over to the bed and we sit down.

We both take a deep breath.

“So…” Ashley begins, then stops. “Um…” she says, then nothing.

I nod. What in the hell can either one of us say?


Like an addictive TV show where you feel like you’re friends with the characters and are glued to every development, Midnight Heat is just that enveloping.” – Self Publishing Review

Finish reading Midnight Heat, second standalone in the Firework Girls Series today:

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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.


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

Finish reading Forbidden Heat, first standalone in the Firework Girls Series today:

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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.

Nuclear Heat Teaser 1


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 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.

Eternal Heat Teaser 1


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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Midnight Heat (Firework Girls Book 2)

“An exciting, suspenseful love story that tests the strength of friendship and love.” – Behind Closed Doors

They call us the Firework Girls.

I’m Chloe.  It’s bad enough to be practically left at the altar, even worse to rebound with the right guy at the wrong time.  And timing is the <i>only</i> thing that’s wrong with Grayson, the heart-stopping, blue-eyed master of my body and soul for one perfect night.

But it was too much too soon, so I ran… left without a word. Stupid, I know. And yes, I’ve been regretting it. Every day. For months.

Then he storms back into my life, but this time, he’s not alone. Let me just say, there’s only one word for seeing my soul mate hook up with one of my best friends:


Midnight Heat Teaser 1

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Forbidden Heat (Firework Girls Book 1)

“Shane Brooks earned the right to the title *swoon-worthy*!” – Stormy Day Reading Books

They call us the Firework Girls.

I’m Isabella.  My comfort zone consists of a bank of test tubes and a Bunsen burner.  But having to take a philosophy class to graduate from college—well, that’s causing a different kind of burn altogether. I mean, the hottest professor at Hartman is looking right at me.

Can you blame me for looking back?

Sexy or not, Shane Brooks follows the rules. All of them. As my professor, he won’t put one toe over the line. Me? Good girl or not, I’m tired of resisting the way I feel about him.

If I want to do more than drool over this guy from the back of class, it’ll be up to me to make something happen.

Forbidden Heat Teaser 1


While listening to Jack’s story, I take another sip. Over the rim of my raised glass, just down the hall, I see Shane Brooks watching me.

And he’s alone.

He doesn’t seem to know I’ve spotted him, for his eyes are traveling down the length of my body, wrapped in form-fitting velvet, and back up again. He looks hungry, and slightly stunned.

I slowly lower my glass, granting him full view of my cleavage, which he lingers on for a moment before finally, slowly, meeting my eyes.

This time neither one of us look away.

One heartbeat. Two.

I lose count as the moment lingers on.

“Ah!” Jack says suddenly, snapping me out of my trance. “Here comes our brigade.”

I glance toward the Ladies room exit to see Chloe and Sam emerge.

Jack offers me his arm and I take it automatically, my eyes darting back to Professor Brooks, who’s still watching me.

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