AGAIN: Chapter Two

Hi! Hope you enjoyed chapter one of Again. Now here's chapter two.

This excerpt contains adult material. It is intended for readers 18 years of age or older.Again-200x300


Connor took deep breaths as he walked away from Amanda.

“Well, I’m glad she didn’t want to talk,” he muttered to himself. “Suits me just fine.”

He raked his hair again, his agitation not lessening. What was it about that woman that stirred him up? He hated his reaction to her. He didn’t like it one bit.

He scowled at the path ahead as vivid memories of that weekend popped into his head yet again. Since having the shock of his life at seeing Amanda at Zach’s engagement party last night, his mind had suddenly become so good at reliving details…


“Who’s that?” Connor asked his colleague Lucas as he stared at the woman by the door. She was clearly ready to party in a very short, tight-fitting dress that highlighted her impressive cleavage.

“Hey, maybe the guys ordered a stripper for you,” Lucas said excitedly.

“They couldn’t have. I’m sure the hotel won’t allow that.”

“We’re in a private room. I’m sure they won’t care what happens in here, as long as we don’t become a bother to the other guests,” Lucas said. “Oh look! There’s more than one!”

Connor watched with interest as seven attractive women entered the room. His curiosity was answered when one of his buddies told him that the girls had asked to be invited in. They weren’t strippers—just gatecrashers.

“Well, Connor,” Lucas said to him with smug grin, “since this is your farewell party, I’ll let you pick first.”

Connor laughed. “What makes you think any one of those pretty ladies would pick you over me?” he joked.

Lucas faced him fully. “I accept the challenge.”

“What challenge?” he asked, even though he knew full well what Lucas had in mind.

Lucas rubbed his chin as he scrutinised the girls. “Those women seem to be up for anything. How about we ask them to play with us? Then we ask them to decide who gave the better fuck—you or me.”

“Nah,” Connor said, shaking his head.

“Why not? Afraid of a little competition?” Lucas asked, smirking. “You know I won’t give up until I get that title, don’t you?”

“Lucas, you want it, it’s yours. Take it. Please. I don’t want it.”

“No, no, no, Connor. I won’t take it if I haven’t earned it. It’s a matter of pride.”

“Or of ego,” he retorted.

“Come on, man. This should be fun. If the girls find you’re better, you deservedly keep your title. If they have more powerful orgasms with me, I take it off you. Let’s settle this once and for all.”

Connor raised an eyebrow as an idea flashed in his mind. Settling it once and for all sounded good to him. If he allowed himself to lose to Lucas, he’d finally get rid of that title he’d never wanted.

He liked Lucas even though the guy was one of the most juvenile people he'd ever met. What Lucas lacked in emotional maturity, he made up for with skills as a mechanic.

A friendly but strong rivalry had developed between them ever since Lucas had joined the team six months ago. They were both excellent at their jobs and were head to head on who was better. Since Connor had now left the team, Lucas had become the clear successor for chief mechanic.

But there was one thing that Lucas was keen to win off Connor most of all: the title that was bestowed on him in jest by a couple of his co-workers five years ago—Mr. Fuck King. Unfortunately, it had stuck and he couldn’t seem to get rid of it.

“Let me get this clear,” Connor said. “The girls will judge who’s better in bed.”

“Yes,” Lucas confirmed.

“What if the one you sleep with decides she likes you so much that she doesn’t want to sleep with me at all?”

Lucas laughed. “Then I guess I win in that case.”

Connor pretended to think about it. “Okay. You’re on.”

“All right!” Lucas cheered.

They were interrupted by a brunette with short hair and huge boobs. “Hello, boys. What does a girl have to do to get a drink around here?” she asked, batting her long, fake eyelashes.

“Come with me,” Lucas said with a grin, escorting the woman away and winking at Connor.

Connor shook his head. He’d be very glad when Lucas was finally crowned the new Mr. Fuck King.

It was a ridiculous, stupid title, and Connor hated it. It made him sound like a lothario, which he most definitely was not. It just so happened that he was consistently the most popular with the women. Compared with the other guys, he’d had better success in getting himself a date wherever they were in the world. That was all.

It wasn’t that he preferred to indulge in no-strings-attached sex. With his work in Formula One involving constant travelling, he’d found it extremely difficult to develop a committed relationship. Being away all the time, plus having a title like Mr. Fuck King, had made it next to impossible to convince the women he'd been interested in that he was serious about them. Even when his friends had zipped their mouths, his title had already spread in the Formula One circuit, and the girls had invariably heard about it through the grapevine.

Casual-only encounters weren’t his first choice, but for the last seven years, they were what he had to settle for. Well, maybe now that he’d decided to stay put in Australia and set up a car servicing business, it would be easier to date more seriously.

He surveyed the room in amusement. It didn’t take long for some of the men—the usual suspects—to flirt with the sexy gatecrashers. Some couples—and a trio—were heating up the room with their antics. Hell, judging by their behaviour, those women must have plans on getting laid before the night ended. Well, they were in the right room. His buddies looked like they couldn’t wait to help the girls with that particular goal.

His gaze landed on one of the gatecrashers—an auburn-haired beauty who stood in one corner, observing the goings-on. She smiled politely at some of the guys who walked past her, while taking little sips of her wine.

He cocked his head, his curiosity piqued. This one didn’t seem to fit in the picture painted by her group of friends. For starters, she was wearing dark skinny jeans, a dressy top and high heels—a classy, casual ensemble, but a far cry from the eye-poppingly revealing outfits her girlfriends wore.

She didn’t seem too shy—if her eye contact with the people she greeted were anything to go by—but he had a feeling she felt a bit out of place. Intrigued, he went to the bar, got another glass, and approached her.

“Hi,” he said.

She turned around, her brown eyes widening and mouth parting.

His effect on her was obvious. He was glad, because she elicited the same response from him. She was even more attractive up close.

“I’m Connor,” he said, extending his hand.

“Hi, Connor. Pleased to meet you. I’m Amanda.”

He was surprised at her firm handshake and confident tone. No, she definitely didn’t seem shy. Just… well… out of place.

“Thanks for coming and making my party more interesting,” he said.

“Oh, this is your party?” she asked, her face the picture of cute surprise.

“Yeah. Most of us here work for that Formula One team,” he explained, gesturing to his team’s logo. “Well, I used to, because yesterday was my last day on the job. This is my farewell party.”

“Oh, right. What work did you do?”


“Wow. I watched the race yesterday. It was great.”

His brows rose. “Did you? Where were you sitting?”

He led Amanda to the nearby couch as she told him how much she’d enjoyed yesterday’s race. Turned out her brother was a fan and a car buff. Before long, they were exchanging stories that revolved around racing, cars, and travel. He was having fun, and he couldn’t take his eyes off her face.

She took another sip of her wine and he noticed that she’d finished it. He looked for the server who was walking around a while ago filling up people’s glasses, but she was nowhere to be found.

“Can I get you another drink?” he asked, reluctant to leave her side but knowing he had to be a good host. She was now one of his guests, after all.

“Um. Sure.”

He walked to the bar and shook his head at the sight of Lucas sitting on a chair. The woman who’d approached them earlier was on his lap, her short dress hitched up so high that anyone could almost see her panties. And it looked like she was moving her ass, no doubt against Lucas’ erection.

It was kind of hot to watch, but he had absolutely no interest in that woman. He prayed that Lucas had forgotten about the challenge he’d issued earlier. Lucas could be such an annoying bastard that it wouldn’t surprise him if he went on and on about it for days to come.

Sighing, he ordered two more glasses of wine.

He was hurrying back to Amanda when someone grabbed his arm.

“Hi! You’re Connor right? I heard this is your party,” said the blonde.


“Thanks for having us,” she said.

“Thanks for crashing,” he replied with a polite smile.

Miss Blonde giggled. “You’re funny.” She ran her hand on his arm before letting it stray to his chest. “Shouldn’t the party boy have more fun than his guests?” Miss Blonde asked, tugging at his shirt button.

“I’m having fun,” he said, glancing at Amanda. Good. She was still where he’d left her. “Excuse me, I have to go,” he said to the woman. “You know who could do with some more fun?” He pointed to one of his workmates. “He’s shy, but I’m sure he’d appreciate some attention.”

Miss Blonde eyed the guy he’d pointed out. “Ooh, I love the shy types. It so much fun getting them all worked up,” she said, before walking off.

Connor rolled his eyes, relieved. Another playgirl. He was tired of playing. He’d been sick of it for a while now.

“Here you are, beautiful,” he said to Amanda when he got back to her.

Amanda seemed surprised before her face lit up with a pretty smile.

He settled himself beside her, making sure he was closer this time. Hell, he might not be interested in any of the other women getting it on with his friends, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t affected by the heavy sexual tension in the room. He was getting horny, and there was one woman he particularly wanted to be with tonight.

“So where were we?” he asked, casually draping an arm on the back of the couch.

“We were right here,” she said with an adorable, teasing smile.

They resumed their conversation, and he wasn’t surprised that it had turned flirty. Clearly he had chemistry with Amanda.

Itching to touch her, he reached for a strand of her hair. He was sorely tempted to lean over and kiss her, but he held himself back. Not yet. He didn’t want to do something she wasn’t asking for.

A loud yelling made the both of them look up. “Goodnight, everyone! Have a fucking fantastic night!”

Connor snickered. One of his buddies was just about to have that kind of night with not one, but two women. Well, he didn’t need two. He only wanted one—the one sitting beside him.

“Connor, I think I’ll head off now,” Amanda said, getting ready to leave.

“Oh, are you sure?” he asked, trying not show his disappointment. That was it? She was leaving and that was that?

“I’m staying in this hotel,” Amanda said.

He stopped breathing. Did that mean what he hoped it meant?

“Do you need someone to walk you?” he asked in a teasing tone, not wanting to appear desperate. “Make sure you get there safely?”

“Maybe it’s best,” Amanda replied, smiling.

He grinned, excited as hell.


“Stop it, idiot,” Connor muttered, jabbing his forehead with a finger to press the stop button of his memory player. He looked around, made sure that no one from the group further up in the vineyard was looking at him, then discreetly adjusted his jeans. Memories of that hot one-night stand with Amanda never failed to make him hard. Achingly hard. Damn it.

He hadn’t been able to get enough of her that night. He’d run out of condoms and had to buy fresh supplies the next day. He’d even asked her out to dinner.

He’d been truly excited about being on a real date with her. There was something about Amanda that had pulled him—and he hadn’t wanted their time to end after one truly incredible night.

He shook his head vigorously. No need to rehash the events of the next night. Amanda didn’t want to talk about it again. Fine, fine, fine.


He waved back to Greg—the third Carmichael brother—who was with six other people, including Ashton Payne, Amanda’s sibling. They were crowded around a grape vine and seemed enthralled by a demonstration being made by one of the vineyard staff.

“Hi, guys,” Connor said as he joined them. “Getting some lessons on grape-growing, are you?”

“Yep,” Greg answered. “These guys are thirsty for information.”

“Sorry to interrupt, but I just want to let you all know that my mum’s organising dinner at six this evening. If you guys are not in a hurry to go back to Sydney, you’re all invited.”

“Cool,” Greg said. “Connor’s mum is an excellent cook. We should all go,” he added to the others.

Everyone voiced their enthusiasm at the plan.

“I have to check with Amanda first, though,” Ash said. “But I’m pretty sure she won’t mind staying for dinner.”

“She’s already knows,” Connor said. “She’s happy to stay.”

“Oh good,” Ash responded. “Hey, maybe I can check out your new car while we’re there, Connor.”

“Absolutely,” he answered with a grin.

He and Ash had bonded last night over wine and car talk. Unbelievably, both of them had bought the same car recently—a top-of-the-line, four-seater Mercedes Benz convertible. It was a pity the same bonding hadn’t happened with Ash’s sister—

He pulled himself out of that thought before he could finish it. He was seriously starting to get the shits with himself. What the hell was wrong with him?

He confirmed everyone’s attendance, then headed back to the hotel, followed by Greg.

“Does Ash know about your thing with Amanda last month?” Greg asked.

“I don’t think so,” he answered. “I’m sure Ash wouldn’t be as friendly towards me if he knew.”

“So you and Amanda will just continue to ignore each other?”

“Well, we’ve agreed not to talk about last month again. We virtually shook hands on being friendly—at least outwardly when we’re around other people.”

“And you’re okay with that?” Greg asked.

“It’s no skin off my teeth. I don’t care.”

“Really?” Greg asked, sounding unconvinced.

“Yes.” He tried to sound certain, and he thought he’d succeeded.

“You know what?” Greg said after a long pause.


“Amanda doesn’t strike me as the kind of girl you told me about. Those girls who crashed your party, you said they were Amanda’s cousin and her cousin’s friends, right?”


“Well, you’ve met Amanda’s real best friends. Are they anything like those wild girls?”

Connor sighed. “No. Not at all.”

“So maybe the Amanda you met in Melbourne isn’t the real Amanda?” Greg said.

Connor frowned. He’d be the first to acknowledge that appearances could be deceiving. He’d been on the receiving end of it for years—like when people, including some of his friends, assumed he was a certified playboy.

Surely he hadn’t misread the situation with Amanda and Lucas. Or had he?

Well, there was no way he’d talk to Lucas about it. He couldn’t trust the man to keep it under wraps or to not make a big deal of it.

So only Amanda could clear things up. But she didn’t want to talk about it. Could he make her?

### end of chapter two ###

In my next post, I'll give you the purchase links to the stores including Amazon, All Romance Ebooks and Smashwords.

Here again are the links to the sites where pre-order is now available:

Apple iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play

Just a reminder that Again will be on a special new release price of $2.99 from three days from release date, then it will go up to its regular price of $3.99.

Oh, and by the way, Forever (Time for Love Book 1) is currently on sale for 99cents for a limited time!

Miranda xxx


AGAIN: Chapter One

Again-200x300August 8 is almost upon us, when Again (Time for Love Book 3) is released! That's only a handful of days to go before you're able to read about Connor and Amanda's love story 🙂 .

As promised, here's chapter one to get you started. Enjoy!

This excerpt contains adult material. It is intended for readers 18 years of age or older.


Of all people!

Amanda Payne kept her features expressionless as she steeled herself for bumping into Connor Reid. She’d successfully distanced herself from him last night and all through the earlier part of today, but it seemed her luck had run out. There he was, making his way to the elegant front entrance of Magda’s Place, just as she was about to exit the boutique hotel.

She quickened her steps, keeping her eyes trained to the ground. If she pretended she hadn’t noticed him approaching, maybe—

“Hi, Amanda!”

Darn. So much for hoping he’d ignore her.

“Hi, Connor,” she said, injecting as much friendliness in her tone as she could muster. But she sounded fake even to her own ears. She couldn’t help it. Even though Connor Reid was as incredibly hunky as she remembered him to be, her sense of pride still stirred the pot of humiliation that had brewed during their encounter in Melbourne last month.

“What time are you guys heading back to Sydney?” Connor asked conversationally.

“Soon,” she answered, not wanting to encourage further chit-chat.

Much as she preferred to simply wave goodbye and walk away, she didn’t want to be rude. This man was a very good friend of the Carmichaels. And she was a very grateful, non-paying guest at the Carmichael-owned luxury country hotel in the Hunter Valley—now one of her favourite places in Australia.

Last night, they’d celebrated the engagement of her best friend Rebecca Andrews and the birthday of her other best friend Sarah Daley at the hotel’s restaurant. While some guests had already gone home a few hours ago, Amanda and several others were still there enjoying the hotel’s facilities.

Amanda suppressed a sigh. With two of her friends romantically involved with Carmichaels—Rebecca being engaged to Zach and Sarah going out with Jeff, she was bound to cross paths with Connor a lot in the future.

An unwelcome flash of excitement went through her but she quickly squashed it, annoyed at that part of her that was still attracted to the man.

“Where are you off to now?” Connor asked.

“I’m looking for Ash to see if he’s ready to go home.”

“Oh, I saw him heading that way with a few people,” Connor said, gesturing to his left where the vineyards were. “I think your brother’s still having a good time and not quite ready to leave.”

“Thanks. I think I’ll join them.” She gave him a small smile and started to walk away.

“Amanda,” Connor called, halting her.


“Can we talk?”

“About what?” she asked nonchalantly, heart beating faster.

“Come on. You already know. We have to clear the air. We’ve been avoiding each other since last night—”

Connor paused just as Amanda noticed Connor’s parents exiting the hotel. It was a good thing he’d stopped. The last thing Amanda wanted was for someone to overhear their conversation, least of all his folks.

“Hello,” Connor’s mother called out with a wide smile for them both. Jean Reid was a lovely woman, and her nurturing vibe alone could put anyone at ease. Amanda smiled back at her with equal warmth.

“Connor, I was telling Mama Mags that we should have an early dinner at our place for everyone who’s not in a hurry to drive back to Sydney. It’ll be informal so nobody has to dress up to the nines,” Jean said to her son.

Amanda couldn’t help but smile at the nickname Jean had for Magda Carmichael—Zach and Jeff’s fun-loving grandmother. Connor himself called the elderly woman ‘Granny Mags’, although as far as Amanda knew, the Reids and the Carmichaels were not blood related. They were, however, long-time friends and neighbours, with the Reids owning the property next door to the Carmichaels’ Hunter Valley vineyards.

“Sure. Sounds good, Mum,” Connor replied.

“What do you think, Amanda?”

“Oh, yes, sounds great, Jean,” Amanda said, surprised that her opinion on the matter was asked. The idea did excite her. She had wondered which property was the Reids’ and whether they grew anything on their land.

The fact that she had had an impromptu one-night stand with Connor didn’t mean she knew anything about him or his family. When they parted ways in Melbourne last month, she had been certain she’d never lay eyes on him ever again. To say that she was shocked to see him at her best friends’ party last night was an understatement.

“Okay, good,” Jean said with a pleased grin. “Would you two mind spreading the word to your friends and doing a head count of those who could come? No need to ask the oldies. I’ve already informed them. Then could you call me with the numbers, Connor? We’ll head off now and get everything ready. Give me until around six to prepare and you can all turn up.”

“Make sure you let us know in about ten minutes how many people are coming, Connor,” his dad, Charlie, said as he escorted his wife to their car, which had been brought around by a valet. “You know how your mother gets when she thinks no one’s turning up for her party.”

“Oh, I know they’ll turn up,” Jean said to her husband.

“Well, you don’t know that,” Charlie said teasingly. “Maybe they all want to just head back to Sydney so they could have an early night—”

Amanda couldn’t hear the rest of conversation when the couple got inside the vehicle, but the smile remained on her face. It was nice to see two people who’d been married for many years still enjoy teasing each other.

Her gaze went back to the man in front of her and her breathing shallowed. Damned Connor Reid. His light brown eyes were staring at her with an intensity that made her squirm—deliciously, if she cared to admit it. Well, there was no denying that Connor was a very attractive man. She wouldn’t have gone temporarily crazy during that surreal night if he weren’t so utterly good-looking… and charming…

Connor’s eyes narrowed, his lips tugging up in one corner, before he reverted to an impassive face. “I’ll head to the vineyards and tell the guys who are there about Mum’s invitation. Could you let your friends know?” he asked before turning to leave.

Amanda’s mouth dropped open as she watched Connor walk away. What the hell was that smirk about? Did he think she was affected by his stare? Hrmph! He had some nerve!

“Connor!” she called out.

Connor stopped and turned. “Yes?”

“I thought you wanted to clear the air.”

“Yeah, but I don’t think this is the right time now?” Connor asked.

“Well, I don’t think there’s a need for a long conversation.” She gulped, nerves attacking suddenly. “Our, err, experience last month didn’t end well. But since it’s not gonna happen again, ever, I think the best thing is for us to put it behind us and be friendly with each other.”

Connor stared at her for long seconds. It was unnerving, but she tried to hold his gaze.

“Does that mean we won’t be talking about it at all in the future?” he finally asked.

“Could you see a point?”

Connor threw his hands in the air, seemingly frustrated. “How does that fix anything? Why don’t you want to talk about this?”

She shook her head, folding her arms across her chest. “What is there to fix, Connor? We had sex, I misunderstood your intentions, you misunderstood mine… What is there to fix, apart from accepting that we misunderstood each other?”

Connor raked his hair. “Fine. If that’s what you want, so be it.” Then he turned and walked away.

Amanda stared at Connor’s retreating back. Great. Mission accomplished. He’d agreed with her to not talk about what had happened between them, albeit grudgingly. Hopefully, she could now stop thinking about it.

Yeah, right, a sarcastic voice inside her head said.

“Oh, shut up,” she muttered under her breath.

She went back inside the hotel, her mind whirling. She loathed to admit it, but that fateful weekend with Connor still affected her big time. How could such an incredible night turn into a humiliating nightmare the very next day? Incredibly, her memory was still crystal clear on most of the details and she couldn’t help it when they replayed in her head…


Amanda watched—embarrassed, mortified and fascinated all at once—as her cousin Lori flirted with a couple of guys. Lori had shamelessly knocked on the door of a private function room in one of Melbourne’s hotels, and was rewarded with two handsome men opening it for her.

Lori was a natural flirt, and no guy could deny her when she turned on her charm full blast. Tonight was no exception. They were now being herded into the room to join in the celebrations for someone they didn’t even know. Lori had been successful in getting their all-girl group into some party that was full of hot, hunky men.

Amanda looked around in trepidation as she followed the other girls inside. Yes, Lori sure knew how to pick a party to crash. The room was swimming in testosterone with only a handful of females among the thirty or so males that were there. Formula One banners and posters decorated the room, and Amanda guessed this was a party connected to the Melbourne Grand Prix that was held the day before.

She’d been lucky enough to attend the exciting race. Ash had taken her with him and had even paid for her airfare. She was surprised that her brother’s girlfriend had chosen not to go with them, but Amanda wasn’t complaining. She had a ball, and it had been great to have some quality time with her only sibling. And since she was only in Melbourne on rare occasions, she’d accepted Lori’s offer to go with her and her friends on a night out in town. Her cousin had been insistent, saying she should experience what it was like to really have fun before deciding on a permanent relationship.

She shook her head at herself. Whatever had possessed her to tell Lori about her New Year's resolution with her best friends to make time for love this year?

Envy needled Amanda as she watched the other women effortlessly chat with good-looking strangers. Geez, those girls really knew how to angle their bodies for sexy poses. They certainly looked invitingly sultry. No wonder it had been quite easy to get in. Seven attractive females dressed in sexy clothes and high heels were clearly welcomed, judging by the instant interest thrown at them by the men in the room.

‘Sexy’ wasn’t something Amanda associated with herself, though. Not that she believed she was bad-looking—it wasn’t the physical appearance. She just didn’t think she had that undefinable magnetism women like Lori seemed to have. If she knew how to get it for herself, she would. Unfortunately, it seemed that one either had it or didn’t. She didn’t.

Her best friends, of course, insisted she was attractive. They said it was only her own lack of self-belief that was letting her down. Even her own brother gave her a tip—that confidence made women look hot to a lot of men.

Well, she was a highly confident gal, but only when it came to her career. She didn’t get to be a senior financial advisor for a well-respected financial planning company if she didn’t have the necessary brains and smarts.

But when it came to men and relationships? Pfft.

Past experiences had erased whatever natural confidence she’d possessed in that area. The actions of her ex-boyfriends—the last one in particular—had convinced her that she was quite easily pushed aside in favour of women who had ‘it’.

Tonight, that was being reinforced for her. Lori and her friends were fitting in at this party like they were the VIPs the men had been waiting for. And here she was, mumbling polite hellos to hot males whose eyes quickly left her to rove the more skimpily dressed women.

Damn. She should have brought a sexier dress with her on this weekend trip. But she hadn’t anticipated joining her cousin and her friends in their girls’ night out. Lori had practically dragged her out of her hotel room, and she was forced to put on the only suitable outfit she could find.

Maybe she should leave. She was sure no one would notice if she disappeared.

“Hi,” a deep voice said behind her.

Amanda swivelled and her gaze collided with that of a smiling tall and utterly handsome stranger.

“I’m Connor,” Mr. Tall-and-Utterly-Handsome said, holding out a hand to her.

“Hi, Connor. Pleased to meet you. I’m Amanda,” she responded, giving him a confident, no-nonsense handshake. Thankfully, her Miss Professional persona had decided to come to her rescue. Miss Professional was used to meeting all types of people, and could handle herself with poise and grace. She’d let Miss Professional run this show.

“Thanks for coming and making my party more interesting,” Connor said.

“Oh, this is your party?”

“Yeah. Most of us here work for that Formula One team,” Connor explained, pointing to the logo of the team that came second in the race yesterday. “Well, I used to, because yesterday was my last day on the job. This is my farewell party.”

“Oh, right. What work did you do?”


“Wow. I watched the race yesterday. It was great.”

“Did you? Where were you sitting?”

Amanda chatted with Connor about the race, grateful for her brother who’d filled her with plenty of trivia about the event. Many minutes later, she was lounging on a couch, relaxed, and laughing out loud at one of Connor’s funny stories.

“Can I get you another drink?” Connor asked.

“Um. Sure,” she said, staring at her empty glass.

“I’ll be back,” he said, getting up.

Geez, she’d lost track of how much alcohol she’d had. Earlier, someone had been walking around, filling up people’s glasses, and she’d just let hers be constantly topped up.

She leaned back on the seat and casually looked around. What she saw made her eyes widen in shock. One of Lori’s friends was sitting on a guy’s lap, and two were dirty dancing with a man. Then she saw Lori, kissing someone so passionately it was almost indecent.

She rolled her eyes. She’d heard about her cousin’s sexcapades—Lori herself had told her about some of them. But she’d always thought Lori had exaggerated. Tonight, she was seeing Lori’s behaviour with her own eyes.

Lori was a great girl who never meant any harm. She was just a playgirl through and through. And it seemed her friends were the same.

A giggling sound to her left caught Amanda’s attention. One of Lori’s newest friends was flirting outrageously with Connor—laughing and touching his arm. She was even playing with the button of Connor’s shirt. Goodness gracious, how forward could some women be? Was this what she had to compete with all the time?

She slumped back on the couch, starting to feel dejected. In the short time she’d known Lori’s friends, she’d found them to be nice, friendly girls. Good on them for knowing how to get the men they wanted.

But she was jealous. She sucked at seduction, and she simply couldn’t compete if that was the name of the game.

“Here you are, beautiful.”

Amanda glanced up in surprise to find that Connor had come back. Giddy relief washed over her, and she accepted her new glass of wine gratefully.

“So where were we?” Connor asked, casually draping an arm on the back of the couch.

“We were right here,” she joked.

Their conversation turned flirtatious. Connor sat a tad closer than before, their knees touching. And gosh, she wanted to lean over and kiss him. When Connor twirled a strand of her hair around his fingers while talking about his favourite café in Paris, she had to force herself to breathe.

Her ease at keeping up with him surprised her, though. It had been a while since she’d flirted with someone, and she had to admit it was doing something to her. She was getting hot. Real hot. Was it the alcohol?

No. She knew it was Connor. She’d never wanted to pash someone so badly in her life.

They were distracted by loud goodbyes coming from one of Connor’s buddies and two of Lori’s friends. The three—who were dirty dancing earlier on—were leaving the room. Together.

Connor snickered as he waved goodbye to the trio.

Amanda blushed. It was obvious what those three planned to do. She glanced at her cousin and found her still kissing the same man. Only this time, it had become a full-on make-out session. Holy crap. They were smoking.

Suddenly, she needed to escape. The atmosphere around them was becoming way too scorching. She was getting so moist it was embarrassing. Truth was, she had no idea how to handle it.

“Connor, I think I’ll head off now,” she said softly, placing her glass on the coffee table.

“Oh, are you sure?” Connor asked, looking and sounding disappointed.

She smiled. It was flattering that this hunk of a man was enjoying her company. “I’m staying in this hotel,” she found herself saying.

Great. Now that she was about to go, her nerves had decided to re-appear. When she was nervy, she was prone to unfiltered blabbing.

“Do you need someone to walk you?” Connor asked teasingly. “Make sure you get there safely?”

“Maybe it’s best,” she said in the same teasing tone, not wanting to appear flustered.

Amanda thought about saying goodbye to Lori, but she didn’t think her cousin would appreciate her interrupting whatever she was doing with that man. So she grabbed her purse and walked out with Connor.


Amanda fumbled for her room key in her purse. She half-hoped that she’d find it missing, just so she didn’t have to say goodbye to Connor yet. Unfortunately, her handbag was small, and the key was easy to find.

She looked up at him with a smile, preparing to thank him for a great night, when her breath caught in her throat. Whoa, if she wasn’t mistaken, that look in Connor’s eyes was… want. He wanted her? She got her confirmation when Connor’s mouth descended on hers, instantly passionate.

All thoughts flew from Amanda’s mind as her body rapidly took over. All she could do was feel—feel the fierce need that erupted inside her like a raging fire on dry tinder. In no time, she was helplessly clinging to Connor, returning his kiss as fervently as he was giving it.

“Key, Amanda,” Connor mumbled against her lips as he groped for the room key in her hand. He opened the door, taking her with him. The next few seconds were a whirl, because the next thing she knew, she was on the bed and Connor was on top of her.

“Amanda,” he breathed, kissing her neck and kneading a breast.

Oh, God, what was she doing? Was a stranger really in her room? And was he really running his thumb on her nipples?

Someone moaned. She did. Lustily.

Heavens above.

Connor’s hand was now inching its way up her thigh.

Amanda, do you really want this? a cautious voice in her head asked.


That answer opened the floodgates. Suddenly, she needed to be naked. She needed Connor to be naked. She reached for his shirt buttons, impatiently undoing them with shaking fingers.

A part of her wanted to slow down. To give herself time to think about this. But she was beyond thought. Perhaps the alcohol and the pervasive sexual tension in the party were to blame. Because for the first time, she found herself wanting—no, dying—to have sex with someone she hardly knew.

Her body throbbed with intense desire like it never had before. It was heady, all-consuming, irresistible. And right that moment, only Connor could assuage it.

They undressed each other, hands and mouths everywhere they exposed new skin. When Connor pulled down her undies, she was panting hard, ready to come. Oh Lord, she’d never been this aroused in all her life.

“So wet,” she heard Connor whisper before she felt his tongue on her soaked opening. Her hips bucked on the bed as she cried out his name, a loud moan escaping unbidden when he greedily licked her swollen nub. “Oh God, Connor, please take me now,” she gasped.

Connor groaned, leaving her to grab his jeans and pulling something from the pocket. In a quick moment, he was back, condom in place.

He positioned himself between her legs, kissing her hungrily.

She gasped as she welcomed him, hard and thick inside her. Connor drove in, slowly at first, watching her with his mouth agape and his eyes hooded in lust. She was sure her expression mirrored his.

When he was all in he paused, not moving, just looking into her eyes with… wonder and awe? Or was she just projecting what she was feeling?

“Connor,” she whispered with need, wrapping her legs around him to encourage him to move. It was incredible to be filled and stretched deliciously by him. But it wasn’t enough.

“So good,” he said through gritted teeth before he started to thrust.

Amanda surrendered herself to the sensations of Connor moving in and out of her, lost in the sheer pleasure of it all. All too soon her climax loomed. She wanted to prolong the moment, but it was too late. She came, and came, gasping and trembling underneath Connor who was driving into her with abandon.

“Amanda!” Connor cried as he followed her in ecstasy, grunting his release.


“Enough, Amanda,” she murmured, forcing herself to shut off the replay in her head and return to the here and now. If she didn’t, she’d be further lost in the memory of how Connor had gone to his room to get some more condoms, and how they’d used them all. She’d been so deliciously sore the next day.

Yes, the next day…

That was what she should be remembering—the hurtful low after the incredible high.

A frustrated scream wanted to come out of her, but she forced it back. She still burned from embarrassment and humiliation from the whole damned thing.

### end of chapter one ###

Hope you enjoyed that 😀 .

I'll post chapter two tomorrow.


Again is now available on pre-order from the following stores at a special new release price of $2.99:

Apple iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play

It will be available to purchase on Amazon, All Romance Ebooks and Smashwords from August 8.

The special new release price of $2.99 will be in place for three days from release date, then it will go up to its regular price of $3.99.

Miranda xxx