Lily McKee is pretty sure sleeping with the grim, gorgeous stranger who frequents the diner where she works counts as an act of desperation. But it's been that kind of year: Her dreams of owning her own restaurant have been swamped by the reality of living in her sister's basement and serving mediocre food. A hot encounter with Kincaid is a much-needed break from her day-to-day drudgery.
Breaking his long drought is the best thing that's happened to Kincaid Graves in years—and not just because he's been behind bars. His encounter with Lily helps him forget the complicated collision of love and violence that derailed his life. Kincaid wants more: more of the intense connection they share, more long nights lying awake together, more time.
But the clock is ticking. Lily has a chance to reclaim the life she thought was hers for the taking. Kincaid must find a way to recover his inheritance. And once Lily finds out that the man whose roughness and dominance she craves has a history of violence, the love growing between them may be out of time, too.
Originally released in 2015.
Praise for Turn Up the Heat
“With Turn Up the Heat Serena Bell rides that bittersweet edge where everything is darker, hotter, and sexy as hell. A delicious read.” —Shari Slade, USA Today bestselling author
“Serena Bell nails it. Turn Up the Heat is sexy, emotional, and engaging. I couldn't get enough!”—Stacey Kennedy, USA Today bestselling author of the Club Sin series
“Serena Bell definitely 'turns up the heat' in this steamy read!”—Tina Wainscott, USA Today bestselling author of Falling Fast
“Darkly sexy and deeply emotional.”—Elisabeth Barrett, author of Once and Again
“Serena Bell writes books with hot sex and lots of emotion, and those are the types of books I love to read!”—Wendy S. Marcus, author of Loving You Is Easy
USA Today bestselling author Serena Bell writes contemporary romance with heat, heart, and humor. A former journalist, Serena has always believed that everyone has an amazing story to tell if you listen carefully, and you can often find her scribbling in her tiny garret office, mainlining chocolate and bringing to life the tales in her head.
Serena’s books have earned many honors, including a RITA finalist spot, an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, Apple Books Best Book of the Month, and Amazon Best Book of the Year for Romance.
When not writing, Serena loves to spend time with her college-sweetheart husband and two hilarious kiddos—all of whom are incredibly tolerant not just of Serena’s imaginary friends but also of how often she changes her hobbies and how passionately she embraces the new ones. These days, it’s stand-up paddle boarding, board-gaming, meditation, and long walks with good friends.
After years in prison, North Callaghan is finally free. But the demons haunting him still make him feel like a caged beast. He loses himself in work and hard living, coming up for air only to bed any willing woman to cross his path. So when his new neighbor snares his interest, he decides to add another notch to his bedpost. The only problem? Faith Walters is a white picket fence kind of girl.
Prepare to be devoured.Faith’s new neighbor is the rudest man alive. He’d rather grunt at her than speak and he takes her “welcome-to-the-neighborhood” scones without a thank you. She knows she should run for the hills from the ex-con. If only he weren’t so smoldering sexy…if only the sounds of him with other women didn’t drift through their shared wall and fill her with longing…and if only he didn’t look at her like they were a collision waiting to happen.
Brad Steel is in love. Daphne Wade is more than just his wife-to-be and the mother of his unborn child. She’s his destiny. Fate brought them together, and he vows to protect her. His determination doesn’t waver when he learns a secret about his bride—a secret she herself doesn’t know.
For the first time in a while, everything seems to be in sync for Daphne. She has loving parents, good friends, a man who adores her, a beautiful child growing inside her, and freedom from her anxiety and depression.
But is it an illusion?
When Brad is thrown into his family business sooner than he anticipates, he must divide his time among growing his legacy, keeping secrets, and solving unforeseen crimes. He’ll do anything to ensure Daphne’s safety and sanity.
Anything…no matter the cost.
The answer has to be no, of course. No way Griff Ambrose is going to help Becca Drake lose her virginity. Not only is she his friend’s little sister, but Griff doesn’t do commitment—not since the day he came home from war to find his house empty and his wife gone.
But he can’t get Becca’s request—or pretty much anything else about her—out of his head. What can it hurt, anyway? If it’s awkward afterwards, they can just avoid each other. Right?
Becca Drake has turned her life around, and she’s proud of how much butt she’s kicking. The shy girl with the self-esteem problem has been shown the door, and New Becca’s in the driver’s seat. There’s just one more demon she has to exorcise. Virginity is messing up her sex life. Guys who might be okay with giving her a test drive act like they’re being auditioned for marriage when they find out she’s never had intercourse.
Griff is the perfect candidate to do the deed: He’s her friend, he’s sexy as heck, and neither of them wants anything serious.
Then Becca’s job goes belly up and she takes a temporary position at the veterans’ retreat where Griff works. Now she and Griff can’t stay out of each other’s way—and their entanglement keeps getting messier—and sexier. Worst of all, it’s getting harder and harder for Becca and Griff to lie to themselves about what they really want...
“I loved this book. A friends-to-friends-with-benefits-to-lovers romance that is fun, sweet and heartfelt with fantastic characters and a sexy and emotional love story, I was completely hooked!” —Escapist Book Blog
“Wow. This was such a great book! I loved that both Griff & Becca had to work on themselves before they could find their HEA. I also loved that they both saw the best in each other, and had more faith in the other person than themselves. I didn’t want to put the book down!!” —Messy Bun Book Blog
“A wonderfully emotional and captivating romance, Holding Out by Serena Bell is truly a lovely read. It’s well-written, absolutely charming, incredibly touching, and so beautiful in many ways.” —Sincerely Karen Jo
“This was a great story. I loved the banter. These characters so obviously should be together. The pace was good, the heat was such a good build, and goes great with the series.” —Kitty’s Book Spot
“5 Steamy Stars! <3 If you are looking for a great book full of romance and good background stories then I would highly recommend reading this book and any other by the author!” —Jackie’s Book World
I absolutely loved Holding Out! Griff and Becca's story was just wonderful. It was sexy, funny, and fun—with a refreshing lack of BS (beyond the traditional "we're just going to do a one and done and move on like nothing happened" that a premise like this demands—but let me tell you, when the delusional "one and done" is as good as this one is, I am here for it). —Becky on Books and Quilts
The Mount Trilogy continues with Defiant Queen...
I’m his entertainment. His toy. Payment on a debt.
I tell myself I hate him, but every time he walks into the room, my body betrays me. How can I want him and fear him in the same moment?
They told me he’d mess with my head. Make it go to war with my body.
But I didn’t realize it would be complete anarchy.
I should’ve known better. When Mount’s involved, there are no rules.
I will not surrender. I will not show weakness. I’ll stand my ground and make it out of this bargain with my heart and soul intact.
But he has other plans . . .
Defiant Queen is the second book of the Mount Trilogy and should be read after Ruthless King. Mount and Keira's story concludes in Sinful Empire.
"So hot and explosive, I recommend having the fire department on standby." -New York Times bestselling author Laurelin Paige
"Meghan takes us a sexy and gritty non-stop journey that kept my heart in my throat and my body primed! Lachlan Mount is the king and he is mine!"— T Gephart, USA Today bestselling author.
‘This is one book hangover I never want to wake from.’ ~Harper Sloan, New York Times bestselling author
"This is my new favorite series EVER!" – Candi Kane, Dirty Laundry Review
"This right here...THIS is the type of romance that I LIVE FOR! Brutally beautiful and one of the SEXIEST reads of the year! Meghan March is CONQUERING this genre!" ~Shayna Renee, Shayna Renee's Spicy Reads
New Orleans, French Quarter, anti-hero, anti-hero romance, alpha hero, alpha bad boy, dominant alpha male, dominant alpha male hero, protection, famous, male, bodyguard, criminal, criminal underground, dirty billionaire, millionaire, rich, hidden, forbidden romance, hidden identity, brothers best friend, bayou, swamp, military romance.