TTT: Top Ten Favourite 2016 Releases So Far This Year

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books on Top Ten Favourite 2016 Releases So Far This Year

toptentuesday2

Top Ten Favourite 2016 Releases So Far This Year.jpg
Built by Jay Crownover 

“I choose you, Sayer. Lover, lawyer, and all the shit you are in between that, I choose it. I choose us. When you’re ready to accept that, you come find me.”

I had been waiting for Zeb and Sayer’s story since we were introduced to them in Rowdy and it did not disappoint. Ahh, Zeb! ❤ Who knew I had a thing for construction workers…or shall I say a specific construction worker. 😉 I had a lot of expectations and they were well met.

Happily Ever Ninja by Penny Reid
“If they don’t learn about launching rockets at home, then they’ll just learn about it on the streets.” I glowered at him. “That sounds like something Hitler would say.”

I have been obsessed with Greg and Fiona’s story ever since I read Ninja at First Sight. Greg wooed me with his debates, one-liners, banter with Fiona, and the way he appreciated her just the way she is. I knew then that these two would be something special. Happily Ever Ninja did not disappoint, it definitely wasn’t something I’m used to reading but I devoured it nonetheless. Penny Reid takes an unusual turn and makes ordinary married life into something extraordinary yet relatable. (Well not so much for me, but I could get the gist that married couples go through what they did in their everyday lives.) Despite being married for 14 years their love for one another had not diminished one bit, they were smitten with one another as they were when they first met.

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapta

“What if everyone hates me and no one talks to me? What if someone throws something at me?” Aiden snorted, setting the shirt he’d been holding aside and picking up the next one on the pile. “What are they going to throw? Bookmarks?”

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me is one of them books I didn’t know I needed. A friend recommended a few months back and because our tastes coincide I decided to give it a chance. And, boy am I glad I did. I loved every single second of it, I devoured it in a single sitting. I could not get enough of it. I re-read it a few days back because that’s how much I love it.

Cuff Me by Lauren Layne

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. She was supposed to have come back from Florida feeling like he had that day he impatiently counted the hours until he saw her at the welcome-home party. She was supposed to feel what he was feeling. If he only knew what that was.

I had been waiting for Vin and Jill’s book since Frisk Me. I love the ‘will they, won’t they’ trope and Lauren Layne executed it incredibly. I am a sucker for subtle romance and this is an epitome of subtly. It was the little things they did for each other and how in tune they are with each other that had me swooning. This was much more than a friends to lovers romance. They were each other’s everything long before they took chance at a romantic relationship.

The Player and the Pixie by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid

“It’s sandalwood,” he replied. “Here, give it to me.”

I handed it across the table and he swiped his fingers in, extracting a small blob. Before I could react he took my hand and smoothed the cream into my wrist. His hands were very….large. My fingers felt completely encapsulated, minuscule by comparison. A tingling, nervous feeling buzzed in my belly as his fingertips massaged my sensitive skin. When he was done he lifted my wrist to his nose and inhaled deeply.

“Smells good on you,” he said. I was momentarily lost for words.

Cosway and Reid are a riot. Alone they produce art, but together they produce a masterpiece (or should I say masterpieces). Their writings complement each other so well, I thought the first book was great but this…this is on a whole ‘nother level. Sean and Lucy were a delight to read. And now I miss them, looks like I need another reading session with them. 😉

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Flying by the Seat of My Knickers by Eliza Watson

“What better place to reinvent myself than a place where nobody knew me. I could be whoever I wanted to be.”

This is one of the cutest books I’ve ever read. It’s a power pack filled with laughter, joy, and growth. Caity is an amazing and relatable protagonist – she had her ups and downs and watching her grow was remarkable. I also loved the romance – it gave off slow burn vibes. 😀 I’m eagerly waiting for the next book, like this, I’m positive it’ll be a riot. I cannot stop smiling thinking about this.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

I was a desert girl. I thought I knew heat. I was wrong.

Rebel of the Sands is an interesting and creative book – the mythology and desert combination worked out really well. The story is really well fleshed out – with so many plots and characters everything came together quite nicely. And, Amani is a remarkable protagonist – the blue eye bandit won me over from the start.

Good Girl by Lauren Layne

“You’re playing with fire, little girl,” he says quietly. “I’m not one of your toys, and I’m not interested in what you’re offering.”
“I’m not offering anything.” I retort, even though his words sting. “I like my men more…refined.”
His grin calls my bluff. “You sure about that?”

Good Girl is an all-rounder – I laughed, I cried a little, and I blushed (a lot)! Lauren Layne is one of those authors who cannot do wrong in my books, she understands what I need and she delivers it. This is a little different from her usual but it still won me over. There is nothing LL will write and that I won’t adore. Jenny is an amazing protagonist, I loved her to bits. My heart really went out to her when the paparazzi went cuckoo and when Noah was being an ass.

Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani

Run far, run fast, keep the wind in your hair.

MoA is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I cannot even begin to describe my love for it. This high fantasy is nothing like I’ve read before. Hitomi is a really likeable protagonist – she’s strong, witty, loyal, intelligent, and flawed. Intisar Khanani’s writing is remarkable; she kept me on the edge of my seat, fully immersed in the story, without a care of what was going around me. She has the perfect mixture of plot, world building, and character development. We were introduced to many new characters and they weren’t without reason, everything tied up. I am in awe with her writing.

Grin and Beard It by Penny Reid

“You’ll be tactile, and I’ll be clingy, and we’ll be very happy just as long as we sleep in a twin bed and call each other seventeen hundred times a day.”

Grin and Beard It is an awfully adorkable yet meaningful story. Jethro and Sienna have their own thing going – one has turned his life around for the better and the other is happily living her without the need of a man. They cross paths and the rest is history. Jethro and Sienna are magical together; their chemistry was blazing and they had an easy-going, genuine relationship. They had real obstacles and they were dealt in a mature and beautiful way.

 

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Blog Tour: Review + Excerpt | The Player and the Pixie by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid

ThePlayerPixie_Tour

The Player and the Pixie

by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid

Publication Date: April 12, 2016

Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Humor

PATP

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

How can someone so smokin’ hot be so bad in bed? I mean, Sean Cassidy is absolute rubbish. RUBBISH. He is the epitome of walking, talking false advertising and I want a refund! Plus he’s an arsehole. So… what is wrong with me that I can’t stop thinking about him?

The Pixie and the Player is a full-length, romantic comedy novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the second book in the Rugby Series.

THE PIXIE

Lucy Fitzpatrick doesn’t like rugby. As the little sister of Ireland’s most infamous rugby player, Lucy can’t seem to escape the championship-sized shadow cast by her big brother, or her mother’s frequent attempts to micromanage her future. Her rainbow hair is as free-spirited as her quest for inner peace, yet overbearing expectations keep bringing her down. And when she’s down, her compulsive little problem lands her in seriously big trouble.

THE PLAYER

Sean Cassidy is a cold-hearted brute… or so he’s been told. Frequently. By everyone. His blonde locks, baby blues, and rock hard bod make ladies the world over drool with desire. As the rugby world’s second most infamous player, he should be basking in his success. But Sean has never been content settling for second place, and his frequent confrontations with Lucy’s big brother leave him cold. And when he’s cold, his compulsive little problem lands him in the lap of Lucy Fitzpatrick.

THE PLAN

Sean has a problem only Lucy can solve. Lucy has a problem only Sean can fix. The solution seems obvious: you scratch my back, and I’ll bail you out of jail. But when their business arrangement unexpectedly leaves Sean scorching hot and Lucy on the precipice of inner peace, can they convince the world—and Lucy’s big brother in particular—that this is the real deal? Either way, both the Player and the Pixie are about to teach each other some pretty monumental lessons about family, life, but most importantly, love.

My Rating: 5 stars

Review

The Player and the Pixie follows Lucy Fitzpatrick and Sean Cassidy. Sean has an antagonistic relationship with Lucy’s brother, Ronan, which is why they do not find themselves in each other’s company. However, one conversation changes that. The growing tension between them is too hard for them to resist and they find themselves in a relationship neither had anticipated.

Lucy moves to New York to start afresh, away from her mom’s scrutiny. Things seem to be looking up for Lucy until she visits home and has to live with her mom again, causing her anxiety and forcing her unhealthy coping mechanism to revive. Sean Cassidy is the outcast of the Rugby team; he is a talented player, but his undesirable personality causes him to become the black sheep. He lives a lonely life – his icy family and unsatisfying one night stands. Until one day he bumps into a girl with rainbow hair.

“It’s sandalwood,” he replied. “Here, give it to me.”

I handed it across the table and he swiped his fingers in, extracting a small blob. Before I could react he took my hand and smoothed the cream into my wrist. His hands were very….large. My fingers felt completely encapsulated, minuscule by comparison. A tingling, nervous feeling buzzed in my belly as his fingertips massaged my sensitive skin. When he was done he lifted my wrist to his nose and inhaled deeply.

“Smells good on you,” he said. I was momentarily lost for words.

The sexual tension between Lucy and Sean grows each time their thrown together, while Lucy does not want to acknowledge it Sean is ready to extinguish the fire. There is only so much Lucy can take – with Sean being everywhere and the looks he gives her. Ultimately Lucy does what she’s been dying to do.

While Sean’s kisses drive her crazy, his love making could not have turned her off faster. He is terrible at sex and he knows it, however, no one stuck with him long enough to teach him and he’s never really bothered much before. But, that was before he met Lucy.

“The moment you walk into a room you brighten it, Lucy Fitzpatrick, and I for one feel like the luckiest bastard in the world for having known you.”

What starts as a few erotic lessons turns into something more than either expected. Lucy feels really conflicted about her growing relationship (or lack thereof) with Sean Cassidy because of his animosity with her bother, but Sean is not ready to let go. For the first time he’s with someone who really knows him and makes him feel. He’s not ready to lose that.

“I think I’ve missed you all my life”

Sean and Lucy’s relationship is one of the best developed relationships I have ever read. While their relationship is fun and sexy it also very deep and emotional. The way their walls came down is written very naturally. I loved reading about them grow both individually and together. They brought out the best in each other.

Cosway and Reid are a riot. Alone they produce art, but together they produce a masterpiece (or should I say masterpieces). Their writings complement each other so well, I can’t tell who’s written what (and that is the best part). I’ve already started re-reading this. And that teaser for the next book has me salivating (see what I did there ;)).

Excerpts

Excerpt #1

*Sean*

I didn’t know what I was doing.

Requests, things I wanted, words I would never speak or allow myself to think were now uncontainable.

It’s the sex, I reiterated. Again. I’d used this explanation, now on repeat, as a simple justification for the complex cacophony of my mind.

“Be with you?” Her long, dark lashes fluttered, beating like distressed butterfly wings against warming pink cheeks.

I licked my lips, tasting her there. “Yes.”

She stared at me, confused. I was also confused. And oddly frightened.

Because it wasn’t the sex.

Several seconds ticked on as we studied each other in breathless silence. She found her voice before I did. “What does that—”

“Lucy?” Annie’s voice was paired with a soft knock on the bathroom door. “Are you okay?”

I opened my mouth to whisper a clarification to the question Lucy hadn’t quite posed, because I was compelled to tell her it wasn’t the sex. We didn’t have to have sex. We could just . . . talk. Or play cards. Or touch. Or look at each other from across the room.

We could merely be together.

But she covered my mouth with her hand. Her features arrested with unmistakable panic.

“Yes. I’m fine! I just . . . started my period is all. Made a mess in my jeans, like a crime scene.” Lucy hollered in response then grimaced. She immediately mouthed I’m sorry to me. Her cheeks flushed red.

I lifted an eyebrow. She rolled her eyes, ducking her head with obvious embarrassment. I pressed my lips together so I wouldn’t laugh.

Issuing me a quelling look, Lucy released me and skittered out of the stall, whispering, “Stay here and count to three hundred.”

“Oh! Do you need anything?” Annie’s voice was less muffled and I surmised she’d opened the bathroom door.

“Ah, no. Have it all sorted now. Thank God Tom has these nice absorbent napkins instead of those troublesome hand driers. Although I feel like I’m wearing a nappy. They’re bad for the environment, so I should talk to him about replacing the napkins. Maybe make a few available for emergencies . . .”

Lucy’s anxiety-riddled chatter faded as the bathroom door clicked shut.

I released an audible exhale. My heart was beating as though it might leap from my chest. I needed to catch my breath. Neither had anything to do with being caught.

What the fuck were you doing?

It was the sex. She’s phenomenal in bed. You’ve never had that before. It was just sex.

I nodded, reiterating the logic of my justification for the uncharacteristic behavior. If I repeated it enough, perhaps I would believe it.

I didn’t count to three hundred as instructed. I counted to one hundred and twenty-three, then realized what I was doing.

“You’re mad, Sean,” I muttered, shaking myself and promptly leaving the ladies’ room. I checked the cufflinks on my dress shirt—a nervous habit—and strolled back to the table, eyeing the assortment of eejits gathered.

Excerpt #2

*Lucy*

Later that evening, I got ready for the party. My dress was cream lace, sort of floaty, and I wore my hair down with a single daisy clip at the side. I was sitting in a VIP room at the back of the venue with my brother, his fiancée Annie, and a couple of Ronan’s teammates. We were enjoying a few bottles of champagne and discussing the success the Irish squad had enjoyed during the year. Mam was elsewhere, socializing with the other team mothers, and I was glad. I just wanted to enjoy my night without her saying something about how unattractive or embarrassing I was.

We were all having a great time until the door swung open and Mr. Tall, Blond and Up Himself walked in. That would be Sean Cassidy to those not in the know, Sleazy Sean, as nicknamed by the rugby club. I tried to always see the good in people, but he and my brother didn’t have the best relationship. Not only had Sean slept with Brona, Ronan’s ex-girlfriend, but he was also universally acknowledged to be an arsehole.

It went against everything I believed in to say, because I liked to think everyone was redeemable in some way, but Sean just wasn’t a nice person. He actually seemed to be proud about the fact, like he wanted people to dislike him.

The conversation died down, everybody casting surreptitious glances at Sean who swaggered his way up to the private bar and loudly ordered a bottle of bubbly. That’s actually what he called it, but speaking of bubbly . . .

Almost of their own accord, my eyes wandered over his broad shoulders, muscular back, and down to what must have been the most perfect bubble butt I’d ever seen. You know how sometimes male athletes develop those really defined, rounded but masculine derrieres? Well, Sean Cassidy was most definitely rocking one of those, and I couldn’t resist the urge to ogle it. It was pure muscle and simply bite-worthy.

I snickered to myself when I realized I’d almost commented on it out loud. Okay, I’d officially had too many glasses of “bubbly” as Sean so douchebaggedly called it. He must have heard my snicker because his attention landed on me. He stared at me for a second, arched a condescending brow, then dismissed me all in an instant, returning his attention to the bar.

Huh.

After about thirty seconds everyone went back to their conversations, trying their best to ignore Sean. Ronan had told me once that Sean was the kind of person who thrived on attention, so ignoring his presence was probably the best course of action to take.

It was my own fault I couldn’t stop staring. We’d never spoken before. In fact, I’d only ever seen him from afar at parties like this one, or on television when there was a match on. But right now he was close, close enough for me to realize just how devastatingly and legitimately handsome he was: light blue eyes, a strong jaw, nice lips, attractive nose.

Sigh.

Why were the beautiful ones always such pricks, huh?

He leaned back against the bar, having uncorked the champagne bottle and poured some into a glass. He wore a shit-eating grin as he stared right at Ronan, holding the glass to his lips, his pinky popped. I knew he was getting to Ronan when my brother muttered to Annie under his breath, “Is he fucking shitting me?”

L.H. Cosway

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favorite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books. She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Penny Reid

SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing). By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

 

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Book Blitz + Giveaway | The Player and the Pixie by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid

ThePlayerPixie_Blitz

The Player and the Pixie

by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid

Publication Date: April 12, 2016

Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Humor

PATP

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

How can someone so smokin’ hot be so bad in bed? I mean, Sean Cassidy is absolute rubbish. RUBBISH. He is the epitome of walking, talking false advertising and I want a refund! Plus he’s an arsehole. So… what is wrong with me that I can’t stop thinking about him?

The Pixie and the Player is a full-length, romantic comedy novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the second book in the Rugby Series.

THE PIXIE

Lucy Fitzpatrick doesn’t like rugby. As the little sister of Ireland’s most infamous rugby player, Lucy can’t seem to escape the championship-sized shadow cast by her big brother, or her mother’s frequent attempts to micromanage her future. Her rainbow hair is as free-spirited as her quest for inner peace, yet overbearing expectations keep bringing her down. And when she’s down, her compulsive little problem lands her in seriously big trouble.

THE PLAYER

Sean Cassidy is a cold-hearted brute… or so he’s been told. Frequently. By everyone. His blonde locks, baby blues, and rock hard bod make ladies the world over drool with desire. As the rugby world’s second most infamous player, he should be basking in his success. But Sean has never been content settling for second place, and his frequent confrontations with Lucy’s big brother leave him cold. And when he’s cold, his compulsive little problem lands him in the lap of Lucy Fitzpatrick.

THE PLAN

Sean has a problem only Lucy can solve. Lucy has a problem only Sean can fix. The solution seems obvious: you scratch my back, and I’ll bail you out of jail. But when their business arrangement unexpectedly leaves Sean scorching hot and Lucy on the precipice of inner peace, can they convince the world—and Lucy’s big brother in particular—that this is the real deal? Either way, both the Player and the Pixie are about to teach each other some pretty monumental lessons about family, life, but most importantly, love.

L.H. Cosway

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favorite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books. She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Penny Reid

SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing). By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

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IndieSageBlogger

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR. 

toptentuesday2

I recently discovered this meme and decided to give it a chance. Here are the top ten books I’m looking forward to reading this spring:

  1. Cuff Me by Lauren Layne: I have been waiting for this from the moment Vincent and Jill were introduced. Just a few more days…
  2. The Player and the Pixie by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid: Cosway and Reid are an explosive combination. I adored their first collaboration, I cannot wait for this one.
  3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: With A Court of Mist and Fury coming out it’s about time I read this.
  4. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi: The cover is gorgeous and the synopsis has me anticipating is zest.
  5. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater: With the last book coming out I can finally read the series without the torture wait.
  6. The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout: Armentrout is one of my favourites and anything by her is highly anticipated.
  7. Forget You, Ethan by Whitney Gracia Williams: After the high Sincerely, Carter catered me I have been anxiously waiting for this.
  8. Never Ever by Sara Saedi: A re-telling of Peter Pan, who wouldn’t be excited.
  9. Good Girl by Lauren Layne: Gorgeous cover + swoonworthy synopsis + Lauren Layne = MUST HAVE.
  10. Emerge by Tobie Easton: A re-telling of The Little Mermaid sign me up.

 

 

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: The Player and the Pixie by Penny Reid and L.H. Cosway

The Player and the Pixie by Penny Reid and L.H. Cosway

Publication Date: Apirl 12th, 2016

Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Humor

The Player and the Pixie by Penny Reid

THE PIXIE
Lucy Fitzpatrick doesn’t like rugby.
As the little sister of Ireland’s most infamous rugby player, Lucy can’t seem to escape the championship-sized shadow cast by her big brother, or her mother’s frequent attempts to micromanage her future. Her rainbow hair is as free-spirited as her quest for inner peace, yet overbearing expectations keep bringing her down. And when she’s down, her compulsive little problem lands her in seriously big trouble.

THE PLAYER
Sean Cassidy is a cold-hearted brute… or so he’s been told. Frequently. By everyone. His blonde locks, baby blues, and rock hard bod make ladies the world over drool with desire. As the
rugby world’s second most infamous player, he should be basking in his success. But Sean has never been content settling for second place, and his frequent confrontations with Lucy’s big brother leave him cold. And when he’s cold, his compulsive little problem lands him in the lap of Lucy Fitzpatrick.

THE PLAN
Sean has a problem only Lucy can solve. Lucy has a problem only Sean can fix. The solution seems obvious: you scratch my back, and I’ll bail you out of jail. But when their business arrangement
unexpectedly leaves Sean scorching hot and Lucy on the precipice of inner peace, can they convince the world—and Lucy’s big brother in particular—that this is the real deal?
Either way, both the Player and the Pixie are about to teach each other some pretty monumental lessons about family, life, but most importantly, love.

Here’s a tiny sneak peak

I didn’t know what I was doing.

Requests, things I wanted, words I would never speak or allow myself to think were now uncontainable.

It’s the sex, I reiterated. Again. I’d used this explanation, now on repeat, as a simple justification for the complex cacophony of my mind.

“Be with you?” Her long, dark lashes fluttered, beating like distressed butterfly wings against warming pink cheeks.

I licked my lips, tasting her there. “Yes.”

She stared at me, confused. I was also confused.

Because it wasn’t the sex.

Several seconds ticked on as we studied each other in breathless silence. She found her voice before I did. “What does that-”

“Lucy?” Annie’s voice was paired with a soft knock on the bathroom door. “Are you okay?”

I opened my mouth to whisper a clarification to the question Lucy hadn’t quite posed, because I was compelled to tell her it wasn’t the sex. We didn’t have to have sex. We could just… talk. Or play cards. Or touch. Or look at each other from across the room.

We could merely be together.

But she covered my mouth with her hand. Her features arrested with unmistakable panic.

“Yes. I’m fine! I just… started my period is all. Made a mess in my jeans, like a crime scene.” Lucy hollered in response then grimaced. She immediately mouthed I’m sorry to me. Her cheeks flushed red.

I lifted an eyebrow. She rolled her eyes, ducking her head with obvious embarrassment. I pressed my lips together so I wouldn’t laugh.

Issuing me a quelling look, Lucy released me and skittered out of the stall, whispering, “Stay here and count to three hundred.”

“Oh! Do you need anything?” Annie’s voice was less muffled and I surmised she’d opened the bathroom door.

“Ah, no. Have it all sorted now. Thank God Tom has these nice absorbent napkins instead of those troublesome hand driers. Although I feel like I’m wearing a diaper! They’re bad for the environment, so I should talk to him about replacing the napkins. Maybe make a few available for emergencies…”

Lucy’s anxiety riddled chatter faded as the bathroom door clicked shut.

I released an audible exhale. My heart was beating as though it might leap from my chest. I found I needed to catch my breath. Neither had anything to do with being caught.

I didn’t count to three hundred as instructed. I counted to one hundred and twenty-three, then realized what I was doing.

“You’re mad, Sean,” I muttered, shaking myself and promptly leaving the women’s room. I checked the cufflinks on my dress shirt—a nervous habit—and strolled back to the table.

What the fuck are you doing?

It’s the sex. She’s phenomenal in bed. You’ve never had that before. It’s just sex.

I nodded, reiterating the logic of my justification for the uncharacteristic behavior. If I repeated it enough, perhaps I would believe it.

About the authors

L.H. Cosway

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favorite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest

Penny Reid

SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

Website | FacebookTwitter | Newsletter

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