NOW AVAILABLE: Inspired By You

It’s RELEASE DAY! Whitley and Maxton have been released out into the wild for your pleasure! I know it took me longer than normal to come out with this latest Love in the City novel, and I just want to thank you so much for being patient with me! I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you’ll leave me some feedback in the form of a review no matter how you feel about the story! Inspired By You’s soundtrack and awareness page are now up on my website! I’ve also unlocked the Pinterest board for Inspired By You! Please be sure to check out my Nuss’ Navy group for exclusive giveaways, as well as my Facebook page for another release day giveaway! Thank you again for your love and support of the Love in the City series! It means so much to me! Happy reading!

Fame made him selfish.

Hollywood heartthrob, Maxton Waters, has just been named the World’s Sexiest Man Alive. Women fantasize about him. Men want to be him. The paparazzi continuously follow him. His ego is definitely larger than his heart.

Poverty made her grateful.

Whitley Gonzalez has made a life for herself after growing up in and out of homeless shelters. Now a hardworking nurse, she spends her spare time raising her son alone and giving back to the community that helped raise her.

But when Max is sentenced to hours of community services and placed under the single mom’s thumb, working together proves harder than they ever expected, inspiring an unlikely love in the city.

*Can be read as a standalone*

Candy at Prisoners of Print – “Love. Adore. Smitten for. Crazy about. Infatuated with.”

Author Kelly Siskind – “The chemistry between Whitley and Max was stellar. Fun banter.”

Britt Red Hatter Book Blog – “If you’re looking for something that gives you pure heartfelt sweetness with the perfect amount of heat, look no further!”


HOSTED BY:

Advertisements

EXCERPT: Inspired By You

We’re FOUR days away from the release of Inspired By You (Love in the City, #6)! I hope you’re as excited as I am! In celebration of the upcoming release, I’ve decided to share an excerpt of the story just for you! This snippet is from Whitley and her son, Zane! I had so much fun including a younger character in the story. Zane adds an innocence to the fun, lightheartedness you’ve come to expect from the Love in the City characters! Enjoy!

***

Inspired By You by Steph Nuss Copyright 2018

He entered his room with his back to me, rubbing his tired eyes. “I hope he calls you.”

What. Did. He. Just. Say?

It was late, so for a moment I thought I misheard him. Leaning against his doorjamb, I eyed him suspiciously. “What did you just say?”

He jumped up on his bed and pulled the covers down. “I said, ‘I hope Max calls you.’”

What’s he up to? I crossed my arms over my chest. “I doubt that will happen, bud. He doesn’t have my number.”

“Yes, he does,” he retorted truthfully, resting back against his pillows. “I gave it to him when he asked me for it.”

Gah! I’m going to kill Max Waters!

“He asked you for my phone number?” I asked, completely shocked that Max would go to such lengths to get my phone number.

“Yeah,” Zane said with a shrug. “He said he would ask you out on a date.”

So, this is what it feels like to be pimped out by your child?

Utterly embarrassing!

Part of me wished the wood flooring would open up and swallow me whole, but that’d leave Zane parentless and I couldn’t do that to him. He had no idea what he’d done tonight would embarrass me. He didn’t fully understand the concept of embarrassment yet, but I was definitely saving this moment in my brain to remember when he started dating. I’d get out every cute, naked baby picture of him I owned.

***

PREORDER Inspired By You to find out if Max ever calls Whitley:
Amazon
iBooks
Kobo
Nook
Goodreads

PREORDER: Inspired By You

Hey, everyone! We are less than two weeks away from the release of Inspired By You, and I wanted to make sure you all had a chance to preorder before it releases on May 10th, 2018! Inspired By You’s preorders are available everywhere, but you will only find the sample to read early on iBooks!

Grab your preorder today by clicking on your preferred eBook retailer here: Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, and Nook!

I’m so excited to share this next Love in the City installment with you! The whole gang is involved, as they have been throughout the series. You’ll read about how they are as parents, how their relationships are continuing to grow, and of course, the hilarity and problems that ensue along the way!

As such, I hope you preorder the book today so you don’t miss Max and Whitley’s story! It’s a single parent/opposites attract romance you do not want to miss!

In the meantime, check out some teasers from Inspired By You below, and feel free to help spread the word by sharing the preorder links and the graphic(s) posted here! Also, I’ve posted an exclusive Inspired By You excerpt in my Nuss’ Navy group on Facebook, so if you’re not a member, please be sure to join and check it out! I’ll also be doing some exclusive giveaways just for my Nuss’ Navy members when Inspired By You releases; another added bonus to joining my group!

More teasers to come, I promise!

I want to give a huge THANK YOU to all the book bloggers who have signed up to help promote Inspired By You on release day and the days to follow. Those who signed up for ARCs will be getting them soon! We have over 100 blogs participating, and I am so thrilled to have all your support! So, thank you so very much for your participation!

To my hometown readers in Russell, I’ve donated signed paperbacks of the first five (5) Love in the City books as well as some adult coloring books as door prizes for the Russell Chamber’s Ladies Night – Vendor Fair that’s happening this coming Friday, May 4th! I hope to see you there!

May you all have a great week and don’t forget to preorder Inspired By You!

XO,

Steph

SALE: Challenged By You

Hey, everyone! I hope you’re enjoying the start of your long, holiday weekend! I’m spending it by celebrating the birthday of my fifth book, Challenged By You! Drake and Paige’s story released one year ago! So to celebrate, I’ve discounted the book to 99 cents on Amazon, iBooks, and Kobo! Check out the links below for your preferred eBook retailer, and please, please, PLEASE consider sharing the sale to any and all of your book friends who may be interested! I’d love you forever if you helped spread the word about this awesome deal with as many people as you can!

CHALLENGED BY YOU (LITC, #5)
Amazon
iBooks
Kobo

I know, I know, you’re probably asking yourself, “What the hell has Steph been up to? It’s been a year since she’s released a book!”

Have no fear . . . I’m currently working on the sixth Love in the City, Inspired By You, which is Max and Whitley’s story. (Cash WILL get a story . . . the best is always save for last!) I’ve also been plotting stories for my next series, as well as working on audiobooks of the first five Love in the City books. So, I promise I AM working on book stuff!

I’m also getting ready for my next book signing in Oklahoma City on November 11th! The line up is so amazing, and I’ve never been to OKC before, so I’m doubly excited to attend! So, if you’re in the area, please consider getting tickets because I’d love to meet you! For more information about the event, please join the Route 66 Author Event – Attendees Group on Facebook by clicking here!

Happy Labor Day Weekend . . . aka: Here’s to another day you get to read instead of going to work!

Challenged By You is LIVE!

Hey everyone,

Happy release day! Paige’s day has finally come, and her story is now available on all platforms, even debuting at #90 on iBooks’ Romance Top Paid 100! So, if you haven’t yet, please check out the links below to get your copy of Challenged By You today! The reviews have been fantastic so far, and I cannot wait to read more of what you all think of Paige and Drake’s story. I put honest to God tears into writing their story, but I can say that it is truly my best work to date; I’m very proud of it. Check out what others are saying about it below, and don’t forget to head on over to my Facebook page to enter the giveaway!

BUY LINKS:
Amazon
iBooks
Kobo
Nook

BLOGGER FEEDBACK:

“Challenged by You is one of those stories that will remain with you for a long time. It is going to burrow into your heart, break it just a little, and make it swell with love. Steph Nuss tackles a difficult topic in this book and she does it beautifully.” – Malissa at Reads All the Books

“It’s an emotional roller coaster, both heartbreaking and heartwarming. I experienced a gamut of emotions throughout this book including laughter and tears. I read this book in one sitting, and literally could not put it down even when I had tears streaming down my face.” Kathryn at Ebook Indulgence

“If you are looking for a book that will cause you to cry and I mean UGLY cry this is your book.You can enjoy this book with a cup of coffee in a nice custom wood furniture room. My heart was an emotional mess while reading this book. Was it worth it? 100% yes and I don’t generally enjoy books that gut me.” – Venus at Bedknobs and Book Babes

I’d like to extend a HUGE thanks to Southern Belle Promotions for hosting my release day blitz and all the book bloggers who participated in helping make today such a special occasion by spreading the word about Challenged By You! The blog tour will start September 4th! I’m so grateful for the SBP girls for putting everything together and making sure the book bloggers have everything they need, but if I missed personally thanking one of you, please know your post didn’t go unnoticed and that I greatly appreciate it!

I’d also like to thank my sailors in my Nuss’ Navy group on Facebook! I spent the whole day working at my other job, and you all strived to share my release in places I wouldn’t have even thought about sharing it, so thank you for being the best group of readers a girl can rely on when she’s working to make that money! It means so much to me! If you’re not part of the group and would like to be click here!

Lastly, to you, the readers, thank you so much for taking a chance on Paige’s story. For wanting her story be told so much that you sent me encouraging messages over the past year asking about her. I know it’s a tough one to read, as you can tell from the snippets of the reviews above and from what I’ve already mentioned about it. If you’ve gone through something similar to Paige or know someone who has or simply fear the same fears, just know that I wrote this story for you, so you could have a character you could relate to, to laugh and cry with even when times get tough.

Happy Reading!

Xo,

Steph

P.S. – The rest of the series is still on sale, so please be sure to grab them while they’re so cheap! It won’t last too much longer!

LITC_Now Available

PREORDER + Love in the City SALE!

Hey, all! I just wanted to stop by and share the preorder links for Challenged By You! It’s currently available for preorder on Amazon, iBooks, and Kobo (links posted below)! It will be available on Barnes and Noble on release day, September 1st! Find out what others are saying about it below. . .

“Steph Nuss has really sharpened the knife on this one. But it’s so worth all the tissues.” – Adrienne Frances, author of The Mathews Family series

“Steph Nuss delivers her most heartbreaking book so far in this series. I was left emotionally satisfied with love and compassion for Paige & Drake.” – Lauren, CherryRed’s Reads

“I got all the feels while reading this book. And I do mean ALL. THE. FEELS. This was hands down my favorite of the series so far.” – Crystal, Goodreads

PREORDER TODAY!
To celebrate the upcoming release of book five in the Love in the City series, I’ve put the previous three books in the series on sale for 99 cents for a limited time! So, if you haven’t had a chance to read these, now is the perfect time to grab them! If you’ve already read them all and are anxiously awaiting Challenged By You, don’t forget to preorder and maybe consider gifting the other books to a friend, family member, fellow bookworm, and/or co-worker who hasn’t met the Love in the City gang yet! With school just around the corner, I know many readers are eager for their kids to go back to school so they can get back to their quiet reading time! Don’t forget to check out the giveaway I have posted on my Facebook page for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card by sharing the sale!
LITC_PreOrder
Wanted By You – FREE
Fantasized By You – 99 cents

Pleasured By You – 99 cents
Amazon
B&N
iBooks
Kobo
Cherished By You – 99 cents
Amazon
B&N
iBooks
Kobo
Challenged By You – PREORDER
Amazon
iBooks
Kobo

I’m so excited for you all to read Paige’s story. Thank you again for being so patient with me. I’m so grateful for your endless support. Her story took time, and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did while writing it. It is emotional, but I think I’ve hinted enough in the previous four books for all my Love in the City fans to know that Paige’s story would be a heartbreaking one. So, I will warn you: have a hanky around, because a tissue may not suffice. (I actually had a handkerchief beside me the entire time I worked on it). But I promise, your heart will be full once you read, “The End.”

Happy Reading,

Steph

New Year, More Books!

The new year is in full swing, and with the first month in 2016 nearly over, I wanted to share some sales, new releases, and upcoming releases with my readers! It’s so important in the writing community to spread the word about what you read. Not only does it help the authors, but it also helps your fellow readers find new, exciting books to add to their to-be-read list. Some of the books/authors below I’ve read, some I have not. It’s still a great thing to give back and support others in this industry. So, if you know of any other deals or new releases or upcoming releases, please do not hesitate to share them in the comments below!

KOBO DEAL

Redeem 50% off of any title published by Kobo using the promo code JAN1650 an unlimited number of times. Promo code is valid for 50% off select eBook purchases from this list!

SALES

Losing Charley (Full Circle Seties #1) by Casey Peeler – FREE
AmazoniBooksB&NKoboGoogle Play

The Enforcer (NHL Scorpions, #1) by Nikki Worrell – FREE
AmazoniBooksB&NKobo

Promises, Promises (Alluring Promises, #1) by Josie Bordeaux – FREE
AmazoniBooksB&NKobo

Finding Obscurity (The Secrets Series, #1) by Emma Shade – FREE
AmazoniBooksB&NKobo

Songbird Caged (Songbird Triology, #2) by Lisa Edward – $0.99
Amazon – iBooksB&N

NEW RELEASES

PUCKED Over (Pucked Series, #3) by Helena Hunting – $3.99
AmazoniBooksB&NKobo

Beautiful Burn by Jamie McGuire – $5.99
AmazoniBooksB&NKobo

SNACK by Emma Burton – $2.99
AmazoniBooksB&NKobo

Boiling Point (Crossing the Line, #3) by Tessa Bailey – $3.99
AmazoniBooksB&NKobo

Saving Cassie (Fairfield Corners, #1) by L.A. Remenicky – $0.99
Join Facebook Party
AmazoniBooksB&NKobo

Mountain Charm by Sydney Logan – $0.99
Amazon (Kindle Unlimited)

UPCOMING RELEASES

Wicked Sexy Liar by Christina Lauren – $7.99
2/2/2016
AmazoniBooksB&NKobo

Sexy Bastards Anthology by Various Authors – $0.99
2/8/2016
AmazoniBooksB&NKobo

Searching for Mine by Jennifer Probst – $2.99
2/9/2016
Amazon

Sensual Diversions by Various Authors – $0.99
2/14/2016
Amazon

Disarmed by M.S L.R. – $2.99
2/18/2016
Thunderclap Campaign
AmazoniBooksKobo

Fame by Lauren K. McKellar – $0.99
2/22/2016
iBooks

Beautiful Boss by Christina Lauren – $1.99
2/29/2016
AmazoniBooksB&NKobo

Draw Me Close by Nicole Michaels – $7.99
3/1/2016
AmazoniBooksB&NKobo

EVENTS

I am so thrilled to announce that I’ll be attending Kinky in Kansas City on March 4th, 2017! I know it’s still a year away, but this signing is so close to home for me, I had to let everyone know about it! So, if you’re in or around the Kansas City area, please check out the reader group we have on Facebook and consider joining! Lots of great individuals involved in this event; I can’t wait! 2017 KIKC Author Event Group

KIKAE

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and that the new year has been good to you so far! Like I said, if you have any additional books to add to my lists above, please include them in the comments below so others can check them out, too! I know there have been several great releases with the new year that I’ve missed! Happy Reading!

Xo,

Steph

P.S. – I’ll be giving away signed copies of the Love in the City series on Goodreads soon! Be sure to watch your emails for the post so you can enter for your chance to win!

Cherished By You Blog Tour + New Excerpt

 Today kicks off the start of Cherished By You’s blog tour, and I’m so excited to read all the bloggers’ reviews of Cherished By You! As many of you know, one the greatest ways to support an author is by leaving a review for their books wherever you purchased it. I try to make it a point to read every review, whether it’s on a sales platform (Amazon, iBooks, etc.) or Goodreads, because I love growing from the feedback from readers. I feel, as a writer, that’s what we should take away most from reviews, how our audience feels about our work, how we can improve said work and what we should keep doing to entertain our fans. I know not everyone is going to enjoy every book I write. You’re going to have a couple you love more than others, or a storyline that captivated you more so than another’s in the series. And that’s okay. But I want to know how you feel regardless. It will make me a better writer, and that’s what I strive for each time I start writing a new book. So, thank you to those of you who have already left reviews! To those of you who haven’t yet, I encourage you to please consider leaving a review once you’ve finished reading Cherished By You; I’d greatly appreciate it! And a special thanks to all the blogs who participate this week in Cherished By You’s Blog Tour (October 11th-17th)! Thank you for taking the time to create your blog posts, write your reviews, and share my new release with your followers! And thank you to Southern Belle Promotions for hosting my release day blitz and blog tour for Cherished By You! Enjoy the new excerpt below from Chapter Three, and don’t forget to check out Cherished By You’s soundtrack, its awareness page and the clothes/scenes boards!
“I can’t believe you agreed to live with a woman,” Cash said, sitting down on the couch in my living room with a beer in his hand.
It was Saturday afternoon, and most of the gang was over at my place, waiting for Tessa and her brother to arrive so we could help move all of her stuff in. Maverick and Harper were at home with their baby girl, Seghen, and Paige had a work function with a client.
I really couldn’t believe it either. I’d never had a roommate before who wasn’t some sort of family member, but I knew I didn’t want Tessa living in some dilapidated hole in Grand Concourse again. Just hearing her talk about growing up there pissed me off.
“Living with a woman isn’t so bad,” Carter stated proudly, with his arm slung over Elly’s shoulder. “They make the place smell good. They’re nice to look at.”
“They cook,” Fletcher added, rubbing Bayler’s thigh. They weren’t living together yet, but they stayed together enough that he enjoyed the benefits of Bayler’s excellent cooking skills.
“Not all of them cook,” Carter retorted, nodding his head toward his wife.
“Hey!” Elly exclaimed, smacking him in the stomach. “I’m cooking your baby right now.”
The room filled with laughter as I paced over to the window and looked down at the sidewalk. I was nervous because I wasn’t sure whether or not Tessa would like living with me. I’d had the place cleaned twice this week in anticipation of her arrival.
“But Tessa loves cooking,” Elly continued, smiling up at me. “You can finally stop eating out every night.”
I scoffed, glancing over my shoulder at her. “I don’t eat out every night.”
Bayler laughed. “All you have in your fridge are takeout boxes and condiments.”
“And beer!” Carter said, clinking his bottle with Fletcher’s.
“Ladies,” Fletcher stated, shaking his head at the women. “Jameson has the necessities. Lay off him.”
“Tessa is going to freak when she sees the fridge,” Elly said, laughing along with Bayler.
I turned to face the gang as anxiety tumbled in my stomach. “What do you mean? Why would she freak out?”
“Because Tessa enjoys cooking,” Bayler explained.
“Yeah,” Elly said, nodding. “She’s used to having a stocked kitchen, especially since she’s cooked for her and her brother most of her life.”
Now I felt bad about not going grocery shopping. The truth was, I did order takeout often, only because it was easier than attempting to cook a meal. I’d grown up with either a maid cooking for me or my grandma, but no matter how many times Janice Jameson tried to teach me how to cook, the meal never turned out the way she made it.  
“You guys can go grocery shopping later,” Cash said, running through the television channels. “That way she can pick out whatever the hell she wants.”
“Maybe she’ll even teach you how to cook,” Elly teased, nudging my arm.
“Yeah,” Bayler continued, pointing her beer bottle at me. “Every guy should know how to cook. Women love a home-cooked meal they don’t have to make themselves.”
“I’m not trying to find a woman,” I stated, furrowing my brows.
The gang laughed at my candid response, despite the fact that it was true. I’d practically given up on finding a good woman during my college years. The girls I seemed to attract back then only wanted my help passing a class. The only date I’d been on since was a few years ago when my grandma set me up with her neighbor, Elly. The chemistry wasn’t there, so we became friends instead, which was perfectly fine with me. She was still in love with Carter, and I’d been a loner most of my life. When Carter moved back to New York, he and Elly started dating, and I gained another friend. Our group of friends continued to grow after that with the addition of Carter’s sisters, Harper and Bayler, falling for two of our own, Maverick and Fletcher.
“I call bullshit, Justin,” Bayler exclaimed, rolling her eyes. She leaned into Fletcher’s side and rested her feet up on the coffee table.
The laughter quickly died down at her blunt retort.
“Excuse me?” I asked, deflecting my surprise.
“All men are predisposed to think with their penises,” she explained, entertaining everyone with her words. “I don’t care how much of a genius you are; you’re still a man, which means that brain of yours down south is focused on sex just like every other man’s.”
Laughter grew louder around me as I stared her down, the smile spreading wide across my face. We got a kick out of giving each other a hard time, and I enjoyed dishing it out just as much as everyone else. Leaning down next to her ear, I said, “No, Bayler, what I meant was, I don’t have to try to find a woman.”
She nearly spit out her beer as she smacked me on the arm and laughed. “See! Just like every other guy! I knew you had a dick in there somewhere, Jameson.”
“Is this the part where I tell you I know how to use it, too?” I asked sarcastically, laughing along with her.
A knock on the door sounded before she could reply, so I walked over to answer it. Opening the door, I found Tessa and a younger guy standing behind her, with three suitcases resting at their sides and a duffle bag slung across his body. She wore an old pair of ripped jeans and a hoodie. Her long brown hair was knotted on top of her head, but it was her light blue-gray eyes smiling back at me that caught my attention the most.
“Hey,” I said, grabbing one of the rollers. “Come on in.”
“Thanks,” she said, crossing the threshold into my apartment.
The Love in the City series is about a group of friends looking for love in New York City. Each book is about a different couple, so they can be read as standalones. The stories are told from both the female and male point of views, and they all end in happily ever afters, no cliffhangers here! Finally, all the book covers are different colors to represent a certain awareness or cause that is referenced in each book. Grab the first book in the series, Wanted By You, for FREE today!

 

Cherished By You (LITC, #4) is LIVE + Excerpt!

 Title: Cherished by You (Love in the City #4)
Author: Steph Nuss
Release Date: Oct 7, 2015
Find on Goodreads

“Move in with me,” he said. 

Being cherished is how Tessa Wilder always imagined falling in love. But for years, she’s always gone for the wrong guys. Now that she’s fallen for one of the good ones, she fears rejection.

“I can’t,” she replied.

Justin Jameson quit looking for a woman after being used so many times for his brains. A bit of an introvert and completely oblivious to women’s advances, he can’t even see that his friend cherishes everything about him.

When Tessa needs a place to stay, Justin’s the first to offer her a room. Hearts are opened; feelings are ventured. They’ll finally know what it’s like to be cherished in the city until one moment threatens the relationship they’ve built.

“I can’t lose you.”

I spent the morning at work searching online for apartments, which caused a ball of anxiety to tighten in my stomach as reality smacked me in the face. I knew living in the city was expensive, but I didn’t think it was that expensive. I’d found studio apartments, where the bathroom and kitchen were practically in the same room, and I still couldn’t afford them. I was one second away from a cry fest when Justin Jameson and Carter Jennings walked into Elly’s psych clinic for lunch. Just the sight of Justin in his professor ensemble brightened my day. He paired brown loafers with khaki pants that hung from his lean hips. The navy blue sweater vest over his light-blue plaid button-down highlighted his wiry frame and made his hazel-blue eyes pop against his tan skin. His long, sandy blond hair was pulled back into a low ponytail, his normal work style. To some, his appearance probably wasn’t sexy in the slightest, but it was one of my favorites.    
Ever since Carter had moved back to the city last year, he and Justin spent most of their lunch breaks at Elly’s clinic. It wasn’t too far away from NYU, where they both taught. Now that Carter and Elly were married and expecting their first child together, not a day went by that he missed having lunch with her.
“Hey, Tessa,” Carter said, placing their bags on the table in the lobby.
“Hey, guys,” I said, smiling politely. I was in no mood to have lunch with anyone, even my friends, so I decided to forgo the sandwich I’d packed and continue apartment hunting. “Elly’s last patient just left, so she should be out in a minute.”
“Okay,” Carter said, taking a seat. He started unpacking the lunch he’d brought, a smile proudly stamped across his face. Justin sat across from him, doctoring his sandwich with dressing.
Elly soon appeared in the lobby, rocking an adorable black dress that slightly hid her baby bump. “Hey, guys!”
“Hey, babe,” Carter said, as Justin offered her a silent nod.
She immediately greeted Carter with a kiss and plopped down in the seat next to him. “What’d you bring us today?” she asked, rubbing her belly.
“A turkey sub without mayo this time,” he replied.
“Oh good, because Baby Jennings is not a fan of mayonnaise,” she said with a cringe as she unwrapped the paper. “Did you get the vinegar and oil and oregano?”
Carter laughed. “Of course.”
“I love you,” she said, offering him another kiss. She turned her attention toward me and smiled. “Tessa, are you going to eat with us?”
I sighed and shook my head. “Nah, I’m not really hungry.”
“How are you not hungry?” Elly asked, before taking a bite of her sub.
Well, I wasn’t eating for two, and the reality check of apartment hunting had completely stolen my appetite.
“What are you looking up on there?” Carter asked, nodding toward my computer.
Leaning back in my chair, I gazed over at my friends and confessed. “Trey wants to move out and get a place with a friend, but I told him they could have my place and I would find something. So, I’m apartment hunting now.”
“Are you having any luck?” Elly asked.
“Not really,” I said gravely. “Even the crappier places I’ve found are on the higher end of my budget. I had no idea how expensive apartments were now. Living under rent control will do that to a person.”
“You know, I could give you a raise,” Elly said, smiling genuinely. “But you’ll probably just say you don’t need one, so why don’t you move in with us for the time being?”
“No, I don’t deserve a raise, and I couldn’t do that to you guys. You just got married a few months ago, and you have a baby on the way. Thanks for the offer, but I just can’t.”
“Okay,” Elly said, rolling her eyes. “But the offer still stands. You’re always welcome.”
“I know,” I said, turning my attention back to my computer screen. I decided to widen my search to other boroughs, so I began looking there while they ate in comfortable silence.
“What about Paige?” Elly asked. “She has a spare bedroom at her place.”
“You lived with Paige back in college,” I stated. “You really think she wants a roommate now? She couldn’t wait to find her own place once you guys graduated.”
“True,” she said.
“Speaking of Paige,” Carter said. “Where is she? She usually has lunch with us.”
Paige had texted me earlier, saying she had a lunch meeting for work. Elly and I shared a glance, and then she turned to Carter and sighed. “She had a work lunch she had to attend today, and she’ll probably have them until the baby arrives. She’s avoiding me now that she knows I’m pregnant.”
“Are you serious?” Carter asked, brows furrowed.
“Carter,” Elly warned, shaking her head.
“Whatever,” he stated, taking a bite of his sub. “She needs to get over whatever issues she has with babies. Everyone loves babies.”
“Some people prefer a child-free lifestyle,” she continued. “We’ve talked about this.”
“I know, but she’s one of our friends,” he argued. “All I’m saying is that she shouldn’t feel the need to avoid us for nine months.”
Elly smiled at him and then playfully took a bite of her sandwich and asked with a mouthful, “Can we please drop this so I can go back to enjoying my lunch?”
“Yes,” he laughed, placing a chaste kiss on her cheek. “Fuel up, babe.”
I laughed as I scrolled through the apartment listings. I’d been spoiled for too long, and now I was paying for it. I worked full-time as Elly’s receptionist, and I still couldn’t afford any of these places. I couldn’t imagine what dump Trey and Josh would’ve ended up finding on their measly part-time paychecks.
“Move in with me.”
Turning my head back toward the table, I looked up in shock and found Justin staring back at me. “W-what?”
“I said, you can move in with me.”
I couldn’t possibly live with Justin Jameson, especially not after the sex dream I had starring him the night before. I had the world’s biggest crush on him, and it’d somehow moved into wet dream territory. How the hell was I supposed to live with him?
“I can’t,” I said shyly, shaking my head. “I-um-I don’t know if I can aff—”
“I have an extra bedroom,” he explained. “I’ve never had a roommate before, but I think we could make it work. Plus, I think I speak for everyone when I say I can’t let one of my friends live in a box just because it’s in her budget.”
Great. Now, I’m his charity case.
“Thanks, but I don’t think I can afford even half your rent.”
Justin lived in a nice condo near Washington Square. The building had a doorman and included amenities like a spa and housecleaners. It also had a five-star restaurant and a lounge in the lobby. I probably couldn’t even afford a third of the rent at a place like his.
“You wouldn’t have to worry about rent,” he stated, his smile widening. “I bought the condo years ago, so it’s mine now.”
Of course, he had it paid off already. Justin came from ridiculously smart, rich parents who authored science textbooks now. Apparently, they’d been genius scientists back when he was younger, but they’d since retired to write. He never talked about them and we’d never met them. All I knew was that they passed all of their intelligence on to him, which led to Justin entering college at the age of fourteen. Now, after acquiring several doctorate degrees in various fields, he was 30-years-old and already tenured at NYU.
I didn’t even graduate high school.
“I can’t just live with you for free,” I said, feeling my cheeks heat with embarrassment.
“Why not?” he asked earnestly.
Carter and Elly quietly watched us as if they were watching a tennis match, back and forth, with considerable interest.
“I-I don’t know,” I stuttered, nervously playing with the buttons on my keyboard. “I would feel like I owe you, and I don’t want to be some charity case.”
Justin sat back in his seat and gave me a smirk. “You’re no one’s charity case. You’re my friend.”
My heart sank at the mention of our friendship. Sadly, friends were all we’d ever be.
Get over it already, Tess.
“If it makes you feel better, we can split the utilities or groceries or whatever,” he said, before popping a chip in his mouth.
I watched as he chewed, smiling back at me, and the knot of anxiety that had settled in my stomach quickly crawled up into my throat. His sweetness was one of the things I loved most about him. He would do anything to help anyone. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body. But God, it would be impossible to live with him, feeling the way I did about him.
Justin was a man of habit: he wasn’t too keen on change. So, the fact that he even offered me his guest bedroom was a huge step for him, especially since he’d never had a roommate. We were opposites in almost every way. He came from money and intelligence; I came from parents who abused drugs and alcohol. He had several academic degrees; I only had my GED. Where he was the silent observer of our group of friends, I was our social butterfly, always chatting away and eager to go out and have fun.
For years now, I’d believed he deserved a woman more like himself, but my beliefs couldn’t deter my feelings for him. He had no idea how I felt about him, and I chalked it up to his obliviousness to women and the effect he had on us.
“I think this is perfect!” Elly cheered. She gazed over at me excitedly, and I sent daggers her way. She knew how I felt. She knew he favored consistency. Yet, she was encouraging this living arrangement.
“What do you say, Tessa?” Carter asked with a smile.
The three of them stared at me, silently begging for my answer. Justin looked slightly amused, as if he couldn’t figure out why I even had to think about it. Carter appeared as eager as his wife, which made me question what he knew about my feelings toward Justin. Elly’s gaze never waived, pleading with me to agree.
So, I did.
“Okay,” I replied, nodding stiffly.
“Yay!” Elly squealed, clapping her hands. “When can she move in, Justin?”
He laughed, smiling back at me. “As soon as you want. The room is already furnished, but you’re welcome to change anything and make it your own.”
You’re welcome to change anything. Who was this guy and where did Dr. I-Hate-Change go?
“Thanks,” I offered. “I really appreciate it.”
“Maybe we can help you move in this weekend?” Elly suggested.
“No,” Carter rebuked, shaking his head at her. “You will not be helping with anything. You can just sit back and relax with our baby.”
“I’m pregnant, Carter; I’m not debilitated!”
“I know,” he said, sliding his hand over her bump. “I just don’t want anything to happen to either one of you. You can just order us around while we move Tessa in. How does that sound?”
“Perfect!”
“Great,” Justin muttered, unenthusiastically. “Just what we want—a woman ordering us around.”
“Don’t act like you don’t like it, Jameson,” Carter teased, wrapping his arm around Elly’s shoulders and pulling her closer. He placed a kiss on her temple and then stood from his seat. “We should be getting back to work.”
Elly pulled him back down for a longer kiss and then swatted him on the butt. “Okay, I’ll see you later. Love you.”
“Love you,” he said, smiling down at her.
Justin cleaned up the table, discarded their trash, and then came over to my desk and leaned up against it. “So, are we moving you in this weekend then?”
I sighed. “Yeah, I think the sooner, the better. You know teenagers. They want their independence. The sooner I’m out, the quicker Josh can move in.”
“I understand,” he laughed.
Gazing into his beautiful, bright blue eyes, I smiled. “Thanks again for offering me your spare room. I probably would’ve ended up in a box in the Bronx again.”
“You deserve much more than that,” he replied. Then he pushed away from my desk and walked toward the door with Carter. “See you later, roomie!”
Laughing, I waved at them as they exited Elly’s clinic. “Bye, guys!”
Once they were gone, Elly rushed over to my desk and perched on the edge, wearing a huge grin and laughing. “This is probably the best thing that could’ve ever happened to you!”
“No, it’s not,” I muttered, rolling my eyes. “How am I supposed to live with him, Elly? I’ve been in love with him for years, and he doesn’t even know it! He completely ignores any of my advances or flirting.”
“Justin’s introverted,” she explained. “I think once you move in with him, you’ll see a totally different side of each other, and I mean that in a good way. He’s really quiet when we’re all together, but one-on-one, I think he’ll open up to you. He may act like he’s oblivious, but no guy can live with a woman he’s not related to and not think about having sex with her.”
“Oh my God, I never even thought about all the crap he’s going to learn about me. Like my period schedule. Am I supposed to keep my tampons in his bathroom or hide them in my bedroom? See, nothing in his place will be mine! Everything is his because it’s his place that he bought! Do you understand what I’m saying?”
“Yes,” she sighed, rolling her eyes. “And I think you’re freaking out over nothing! Justin is an adult. He knows you have a period. Leave your tampons wherever you want. It’s not like he’s going to have the nerve to tell you to put them somewhere else.”
When I just stared at her, she continued. “I about choked on my food when he said you could move in. This is progress for him, Tessa! He’s never had a roommate before, so he wouldn’t have offered if he didn’t want you there.”
“You know, I’m really starting to hate this positive, no worries side of you,” I mumbled, shaking my head.
“Hakuna matata!” she cheered with a little shake of her hips, causing us both to break out in laughter.
The Love in the City series is about a group of friends looking for love in New York City. Each book is about a different couple, so they can be read as standalones. The stories are told from both the female and male point of views, and they all end in happily ever afters, no cliffhangers here! Finally, all the book covers are different colors to represent a certain awareness or cause that is referenced in each book. Grab the first book in the series, Wanted By You, for FREE today!

 

Preorder Justin Jameson Today!

CBY_Banner

We have less than a week until you get to read Justin and Tessa’s story in Cherished By You, and I wanted to share the preorder links; they’re live on Amazon and iBooks now! Preorder so you will have the next installment in the Love in the City series on your ereader as soon as it goes live on Wednesday, October 7th!

AMAZON PPREORDER

iBOOKS PREORDER

I’m so excited for you to read their story. The feedback from early readers has been amazing, so I’m eager to hear what the rest of you think! Some reactions so far have been:

“You can feel the sexual tension of these two exuding from the pages. Holy hell girl, great job!!!” 

“I am hating that I have to stop to go to a birthday party. Maybe I can find a quiet corner to read lol”

“I’m in love with it.” 

“I knew I would love Justin & Tessa’s story!”

This is the story you’ve all been waiting for, and I thank you so much for waiting like the loyal, amazing fans you are! True love takes time, and Tessa has waited long enough and Justin has no idea what he’s getting himself into when he asks her to move in with him! I can’t wait for you to read their story as well as hang out with the rest of the gang as always!

CBY_Teaser2Acceptance