by Shannyn Schroeder
Genre(s): New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Kensington Books (eKensington)
Date Published: October 27, 2014
Spring break is supposed to be a week of fun in the sun for three childhood friends about to graduate from college. But one of them is ready to get her game on somewhere else…
Charlie Castle is an expert archer and a fierce warrior—in her favorite video game, anyway. But college life was a program she couldn't quite master. To land a cybertech job without a degree, she's entering a "hackfest" over spring break—where she also hopes to meet the sweet gamer who's been flirting with her online. Instead, she runs into the hot guy who walked away years ago, and can't fight the desire that comes rushing back.
Jonah Best has never gotten over Charlie, whose kisses were always as deliciously creative as her coding. But now that they're face to face again, he doesn't know how to admit that her online admirer is really him—or how to convince her that he's offering her a job for her incredible skills, not her sex appeal. Can Jonah cut through their communication glitches and persuade Charlie that the next level up for them should be forever?
The elevator dinged on the fourth floor, and Jonah ushered her out and down the hall. Their steps shushed against the carpet, and Charlie wanted to talk, say something, but she didn’t know what. At her room, she slid the key card in, and as she pushed the door open, she tugged Jonah inside.“What are you doing, Charlie?”She wrapped her arms around his neck and breathed in his scent. “I don’t want to be alone.”Charlie held her breath, waiting for him to push her away, but he didn’t. His arms came around her and stroked her back. Memories flooded her brain. Jonah holding her, touching her, kissing hersenseless. She’d give almost anything to have that again, even if it was only for a night. To feel grounded again.She turned her head slightly and brushed her lips against his warm neck, and his hands paused on her back. She pressed on, though, kissing his jaw and loving the rough feel of the stubble.“Charlie.”“Just kiss me, Jonah.”She didn’t look into his eyes, afraid to know what she’d find, but she knew he wanted to kiss her. If for no other reason, out of sheer curiosity. She kept her eyes closed as she tilted her head.His lips met hers with tenderness at first. Then they became more insistent, and she softened against him, inviting his tongue into her mouth. His hand reached up and cradled the back of her head, and she wanted more. This heady feeling wouldn’t last the night, but Jonah could give her more.She tugged at his T-shirt, searching for his warm skin. When her fingers met his flesh, he jerked back. “Charlie.”But she didn’t stop.He grabbed her hands. “Charlie.” Then he waited for her to meet his eyes. “We’re not doing this.”She swallowed hard. His steel gray eyes sparked with lust. She didn’t misread the signs. He wanted her. “Why not? Got a girlfriend?”“No girlfriend. You’re well passed halfway to drunk. I don’t want you to do something you’re going to regret in the morning.” He grabbed her shoulders and turned her toward the bed. “Get some sleep and we’ll talk tomorrow.”“What if I don’t want to talk tomorrow?”He sighed. “Then I guess we won’t.”She crawled on top of the covers. “Will you stay and talk for a while if I promise not to molest you?”He glanced to the other side of the room. “Sure.” He scooted the armchair a little closer to the bed.“There’s room here.” She patted the bed beside her.He simply shook his head.“Who is it that you don’t trust—me or you? I already gave my word.”He laughed and stretched his legs out in front of him. The light from the hall cast him in shadows. Between his dark hair and black T-shirt and jeans, he blended into the dark.She tucked her hands under her head as she lay on her side to watch him talk. “Tell me about the people you work with.”Jonah accommodated her again and spoke in quiet tones until she became sleepy and struggled to keep her eyes open. He stood, leaned over, and kissed her head.“Hey, Best?”“Yeah?”“I’d never regret you.”Another heavy sigh came from him, but she didn’t know how to interpret it. Then she heard the door close with a quiet thunk.
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SHANNYN SCHROEDERShannyn is a former English teacher, who now works as a part-time editor while raising her three kids.Even though she wrote from high school through college (mostly poetry), she’d never considered a career as an author. Writing fell by the wayside as she focused her energy on creating lesson plans and new and fabulous ways to torment her teen students. One group in particular dubbed her “The Torture Master,” a title she carried into motherhood.After the birth of baby number two, Shannyn resigned from teaching and fell in love with reading romance novels. She read so many books so quickly that her husband teased, “If you’re going to read so many damn books, why don’t you just write one?”So she did.
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