Chiah Wilder writes about rough, sexy men who know how to treat their women.
Always a lover of books, she began writing at a young age and continued through college with collections of short stories. Figuring she had to grow up and get a “real” job, her writing was placed on the back burner.
Her love of reading has always been center front in her life. Chiah’s love of bad boys both in and out of fiction has inspired her books. She loves an alpha male whose softer side is brought out by a passionate, spirited woman. In fiction there are no rules or boundaries, and fantasies can go as far as the characters want to take them. Steamy, romances with tough, sexy bad boys are her guilty pleasure along with brownies, cheddar cheese, and movie marathons.
Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.
Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.
Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.
Olive and Ami are the most nonidentical, identical twins in the history of ever! While they may look startlingly alike, that is where the similarities end. Ami is calm, cool, collected, poised, elegant, confident, organized, and utterly prepared while Olive is most decidedly, none of those things. While Olive has generally accepted her role as the other twin, there are times when the differences between she and Ami are achingly obvious. Ami’s wedding would be one of those times.
As the wedding day wears on, Olive manages to put out all fires, except three: 1) the best man is an ass and she can’t completely avoid him as maid of honor; 2) the groom is a complete idiot, but the heart wants what the heart wants and; 3) the bad shellfish that causes everyone except Olive and the best man (UGH!) to become gravely ill. Thinking she’ll spend the next week or so caring for her twin and their extended family, Olive shocked to find her twin has other plans. With an all-inclusive and totally non-refundable honeymoon in Hawaii waiting to be claimed, Ami convinces Olive that not only will she go on Ami’s honeymoon, but she’ll do so with the (UGH!) best man, Ethan.
One lousy plane ride later . . . .
Hawaii sure has a way of softening a person’s heart and as soon as Olive gets a good look at her surroundings, she begins to soften towards Ethan. Softening means talking and talking could just lead to liking if Olive isn’t careful. What’s more, if she and Ethan begin to like each other, they may really like each other and that always leads to sexy times and possible complications. But, sexy times with Ethan could be delightful so Olive begins talking and liking 😊
Ten days in paradise do wonders for Ethan and Olive and what they each discover is a grave miscommunication early in their relationship, an ongoing miscommunication between Olive’s sister and her new husband, and a rock and a hard place. Both Olive and Ethan must decide what to do about Ami and her husband and what each feel’s is right may cause a crashing and burning of their burgeoning relationship. To bad what happens and is discovered in paradise can’t simply stay in paradise.
The Bottom Line: This is a great little rom-com that is fairly predictable, but entertaining enough that you won’t care. Olive is feisty and fiery and her bantering and bickering with Ethan is often quite funny. As Olive and Ethan begin to work out their issues (in bed!) the story takes a sweeter turn that is tinged with foreboding. Olive and Ethan have not had an easy relationship from the very beginning so when their respective worlds blow up thanks to other people’s issues, it is quite a sad turn of events. However, as this is a stand-alone read, there is an HEA and getting to that happy ending is well worth all the drama and nonsense.
“What are your plans this weekend?” she asked, feeling like she needed to keep the conversation flowing. When they grew quiet, her imagination took the reins and drove her train of thought straight into the gutter in Sexyville, USA. And that gutter was filthy!
He lifted one shoulder, passing her the dish towel so she could dry her hands after she removed the drain plug. “Poker night Saturday, then I think I might take Gabe to The Museum of Flight on Sunday. He loves it there.”
Right, his “dads’ club” and their weekly poker night.
What were they all like? Did they sit around bashing their ex-wives? Bashing women? Or was it more of a support group for the struggles of independent child rearing? Or were they typical men and didn’t talk about their feelings at all and just drank beer, ate junk food, grunted and gambled?
Probably the latter.
“Sounds like a good time. Do you really gamble away your money, or is it all for fun?”
He hung up the dish towel, his gaze sliding toward her. “Real money.”
She pursed her lips. “Wow. Maybe when I have two pennies to rub together again, someday I can take a trip to Vegas and sit at a poker table. Take in the action. The excitement. Are you any good?”
His smile was coy. “I win more than I lose.”
She needed to get going. She needed to get home, get away from the delicious-smelling single dad standing in front of her wearing a black T-shirt far too tight to leave anything to the imagination, and gray sweatpants she wanted to rip off him with her teeth.
“Well, I … uh … I guess I should get going. Those fish aren’t going to feed themselves.” She slid her hand along the cool quartz countertop, letting it ground her and bring down her body temperature. She was in a full-on inferno. The way Mark was looking at her … it was giving her false hope. It was giving her the wrong idea.
The wrong idea to be bad. To do bad, bad things.
Bad, bad fun things.
But, no she couldn’t go there.
Not with her boss.
Not with the single dad.
His gaze never left hers as his head bobbed in a nearly indiscernible nod. “I guess so.”
Was that disappointment on his face? Were his eyes asking her to stay? Were they asking her to strip naked and bend over the counter?
Oh God … Uncle John eating chicken wings without a shirt on, his enormous, hairy, barrel chest covered in barbecue sauce, sitting in a kiddie pool with water wings and a floaty ring.
Phew. Crisis averted.
Keeping her hand on the counter for balance, because her faculties seemed to have suddenly escaped her, she went to move past him, only her fingers knocked something off the counter onto the tile floor.
“Shit,” Tori murmured. She glanced down, only to find Mark’s phone, of all possible things, on the floor. “Oh no!”
“It’s okay.” He bent down to get it.
She bent down too.
Just as her hand wrapped around the phone, his hand wrapped around her wrist. Electricity ripped through her the moment his fingers grazed her skin. A pulse so intense, so hot, so charged she felt like she’d stuck a fork into an electrical socket. She leapt back, dropping the phone and pulling her hand free from his grasp.
“Sorry.” He stood up.
Tori swallowed the lump in her throat, pushing down the emotions, the arousal, the pure animalistic lust she felt for the man standing in front of her. “I—I’m sorry. I hope I didn’t crack the screen.”
He turned the phone over in his big, sexy palm, a roguish grin pulling at the corners of his delicious-looking lips. “Not a scratch.”
She licked her lips. “That’s good.”
His eyes locked on hers. “Yeah.”
Tori’s mouth parted, little puffs of air coming out as if she’d just run a mile. Her heart beat rapidly in her chest, and her palms grew clammy.
Mark’s gaze burned into her. “Tori … ”
And then he was on her.
When a single mom ends up playing an unwilling fake girlfriend to a charming playboy baseball player, love suddenly turns everything upside down in this fun, heartwarming multicultural romance.
Angel Gomez has never lived by the book. A Bronx-based unwed mother by the time she was sixteen, Angel’s personal mission has always been to show the world that a Puerto Rican girl is not to be messed with—especially by a man. The only thing that matters to Angel, now, is providing for her son and earning enough tips at the club to complete her nursing degree along the way. Love is nowhere on her agenda.
Caleb “The Duke” Lewis is a star pitcher for the Bronx Bolts whose romantic escapades make delicious fodder for gossip columns. But lately he’s been trying to keep a lower profile—so much so that when he meets Angel, first while she’s in her nurse uniform and the next time behind the bar, she has no idea who Duke is, fails to fall for his obvious charm, and ends up throwing a drink in his face! She is the perfect woman for Duke…to fool the tabloids into thinking he’s finally settling down. But what begins as a charade soon has Duke and Angel hurtling into a full-blown romance that rocks each of their worlds and begs the question: Is this the real deal—or are some love stories just too good to be true?
Angel Gomez hissed under her breath.
Claro. Of course. If she was going to get a paper cut, it would be from the page illustrating the male reproductive system. The twenty-three-year-old sucked at the thin line of blood on the web of her hand, squinting hard at the flayed cojones in her anatomy textbook.
As a nursing student, Angel knew the male anatomy— from the bulb to the external urinary meatus—but her ability to reel off the Latin names of penis parts seemed to scare the living, breathing version away.
Not that I want a man, she reminded herself, her inner voice stern. Focus, girl.
Dark spirals of hair popped free from her ponytail as she bent closer to her textbook. Concentration was elusive. She closed the window next to her with a shriek of metal on metal, shutting out the gray February breeze and the number 4 train running on the elevated tracks down Jerome Avenue. She tilted her head, listened.
What is that? Breathing. It was gaspy, heavy breathing, coming from the depths of the worn corduroy couch behind her. Angel twisted in her chair.
“Jose,” she said, too loudly, knocking pages of lecture notes off her makeshift desk on the radiator.
“Mama, I’m fine,” the seven-year-old boy muttered. He turned up the live radio stream coming from the decrepit laptop and avoided her eyes.
“Go get your inhaler. Now.”
“Just a minute. The Duke is about to pitch.”
Faintly, she could hear Suzyn Waldman, longtime announcer for the Bronx Bolts, adding color to a local charity game. “He’s winding up and . . . another beauty, right over the plate . . . Ohh no, the batter’s hit a hard foul right into the dugout.” The announcer clucked, but then, “What’s this? The Duke seems to want off the mound.”
“No!” Jose yelled at the computer, as if it could hear his complaint.
“His ankle may still be giving him problems.”
“Jose! What’d I tell you?”
Jose’s face shone with perspiration as he stomped past her, wheezing down the hall to his room. That beautiful pouty face, she thought. His bronze complexion, a shade darker than hers, was the perfect blend of her and his father. Jose’s dad was long gone, however—the high school quarterback had disappeared when he found out his fifteen-year-old girlfriend was pregnant, but not before slapping her around, yelling, “That ain’t my kid.” Angel had shoved him into the hallway, slammed the door in his face. She didn’t want him. She didn’t need him.
Two years after Jose was born, her mother died. Angel was seventeen. She almost buckled from the pressure of the responsibility to care for another, tiny human. She had no safety net. His dark eyes, staring up at her with such adoration . . . She’d shoved steel into her spine, stood up straight, and vowed her boy would be safe, happy, and healthy on her watch.
And she was doing it.
In a few more weeks, she’d be done with nursing school and would take her final boards. She survived by putting her head down and pushing through, focused on getting them out of this decrepit apartment building filled with dust and screeching train brakes. She kept the rest of the world’s bullshit at arm’s length.
BUY IT HERE
EVELYN LOZADA, is a high-profile American-Latina reality television personality, entrepreneur, author and philanthropist. She is best known for her role on VH1’s hit series Basketball Wives (2010-present), OWN’s hit series Livin’ Lozada (2015), author of the first installment of the book series: The Wives Association: Inner Circle (2012) and creator of Healthy Boricua (A Puerto Rican Lifestyle Guide to Healthy Living). Evelyn has become a national trendsetter, a “go to” fitness export, jewelry designer, fashion and beauty maven, social media royalty and a stimulating voice and proactive supporter of causes that effect women and girls through the Evelyn Lozada Foundation. Evelyn is a Bronx native, mother of two (Shaniece Hairston and Carl Leo Crawford) that currently resides in Los Angeles.
Holly Lörincz is a successful collaborative writer and owner of Lorincz Literary Services. She is an award-winning novelist (Smart Mouth, The Everything Girl) and co-author (best-selling Crown Heights, and How to Survive a Day in Prison) living in Oregon.