Jasinda Wilder

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jasinda Wilder is a Michigan native with a penchant for titillating tales about sexy men and strong women. When she's not writing, she's probably shopping, baking, or reading. Some of her favorite authors include Nora Roberts, JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Liliana Hart and Bella Andre. She loves to travel and some of her favorite vacations spots are Las Vegas, New York City and Toledo, Ohio. You can often find Jasinda drinking sweet red wine with frozen berries and eating a cupcake.
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IMOGEN: Jesse says you better know what you’re doing with Franco.  

ME: Dude, I’m scared.

IMOGEN: !! What? Tell me!

ME: He makes me FEEL THINGS. It’s icky and I don’t like it. 

IMOGEN: You’ve known him what, a few hours? 

ME: I’m telling you, he scares the sh*t out of me. But he’s so good I can’t stop myself.

IMOGEN: Audra, seriously. Chill. It’s been a couple hours. It’s just insta-lust.


I send Imogen another selfie, this one of my face—I'm biting my lower lip, eyes wide, glancing to the side at Franco laying next to me—his mouthwatering and lust-inducing body is on full display from the waist up. I send a caption a second later:


ME: YOU DONT UNDERSTAND!!! HE’S GOT A MAGICAL D*CK AND I’M FEELING THINGS!!! 

ME: Uh-oh. He’s waking up. Time for round…3? 4? I’ve lost count. Tell me I’m a cold-hearted man-eating b*tch with no soul. Tell ME!

IMOGEN: You’re a cold-hearted man-eating bi*ch with no soul? Only, you’re not. So…you’re on own with this one. Except if you need me of course. I’ve got All Thai’d Up on speed dial, three bottles of Josh in the rack.   

ME: if this goes south—or anywhere except nowhere, you’d better make it four. Or six. Because we’re either going to be incredible together, or we’ll destroy each other. There will be no in between. 


I set the phone aside as Franco’s stunning blue eyes open and fix hungrily on me. He reaches for me, and all thoughts are banished except one:


God, I hope I know what I'm doing… 


I laugh internally at that, because does anyone know what they’re doing?


I know I sure as hell don’t.

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Lucian Badd saved my life. He jumped into the freezing water of the Ketchikan harbor after I fell in. He took me to his room, stripped my wet clothes off, and wrapped me in a warm blanket. 


That should have been it. I should have hit the road as soon as I could, because I’m a vagabond, a drifter. A homeless orphan with no family and no future except what I create for myself. Which is why getting tangled up with a guy—no matter how tall, dark, quiet, and sexy he may be—is a really terrible idea.


Yet…I kissed him anyway. And that one kiss? It set my world on fire, turned everything upside down. 


I know I shouldn’t get involved with him. I tell myself I won’t. Yet, I still get pulled in by him and his seven brothers and their wives and girlfriends—by the concept of family, something I haven’t had in a very, very long time. Something I never thought I’d have again. 


Every moment I spend with Lucian turns my present into perfect, and puts my future at risk. 



*   *   * 


As the second youngest Badd brother, I’ve lived my entire life in the long, broad shadows cast by my older brothers—the burly, bad boy bartender, the Navy SEAL, the trick pilot, the athlete, and the rock star twins. Even my younger brother, Xavier, finds a way to outshine everyone in the room with his unassuming charisma and dizzying intellect. More and more lately, I’ve been asking myself where I fit in.


And then Joss Mackenzie fell into the Inside Passage in the middle of a freak snowstorm, and in so doing, fell into my life. I saved her from the icy water, but can I can I save myself from falling for a girl I know is only going to end up doing the one thing she does best—leave? 


It’s evident from the first kiss what the answer is—there’s no saving myself, not from the magnetic appeal of her wild, untamable spirit, or the exotic allure of her caramel skin and long dreadlocks and golden-brown eyes and perfect body. I’m helpless against this attraction.


But as I seek to find myself and my place among my larger-than-life brothers, will I lose my heart to the exotic beauty with walls a mile high and a tragic past? 

I’m Harlow Grace, the newest, hottest face of Hollywood sex appeal, the woman every man wants and every woman wants to be... and I’m running away. I need an escape. I need to get away from the pressure, find somewhere I won’t be hounded at every step—an impossible thing to ask when I’m on billboards everywhere, from LA to Laos, Japan to Jakarta, Sydney to Siberia. So, I buy a yacht and hide out in the most obscure, remote, and unexpected place I can think of: Ketchikan, Alaska. 


Instead of a peaceful vacation, however, what I find in Ketchikan is trouble. The kind of trouble that’s six-plus feet of nerdy hotness I can't resist. I mean, who could? He's a genius with no idea how attractive he is, an enigma of contradictions: awkward yet confident, fascinating and flirtatious, yet aloof and evasive of physical touch. 


He's utterly and deliciously sexy in every way—and oh, so innocent.


*   *   *


I can recite all of The Iliad and The Odyssey in the original Greek. I can do advanced mathematics in my head and memorize entire books with ease. By the time I graduated high school I had been scouted by several international soccer teams and recruited by think tanks, the NSA, and the CIA.


All of which is totally useless when a woman like Harlow Grace is standing in front of me, trying to talk to me, flirting with me, touching me. She’s Helen of Troy—a woman with a face that could launch a thousand ships, a woman wars are fought over. 


It turns out she’s not just beautiful—she’s famous. A Hollywood sex symbol. A superstar known all over the world… 


And yet somehow she’s interested in me?

So how did I get myself into this situation, you ask? Simple: desperation. When you're faced with being homeless and hungry or taking off your clothes for money, the choice is easier than you'd imagine. That doesn't make it easy, though. Oh no. I hate it, in fact. There's nothing I'd like more than to quit and never go into another bar again, never hear the techno beat pulsing in my ears again, never feel the lecherous gazes of horny men again. Then, one day, I meet a man. He's in my club, front and center. He watches me do my routine, and his gaze is full of hunger. Not the kind of desire I'm used to though. It's something different. Something hotter, deeper, and more possessive. I know who he is; of course I do. Everyone knows who Dawson Kellor is. He's People Magazine's Sexiest Man alive. He's the hottest actor in Hollywood. He's the man hand-picked for the role of Rhett Butler in the long-awaited remake of Gone With the Wind. He's the kind of man who can have any woman in the entire world with a mere crook of his finger. So what's he doing looking at me like he has to have me? And how do I resist him when he looks at me with those intoxicating, changeable, quicksilver eyes? I'm a virgin, and he's an American icon of male sexuality. I'm a stripper, and he's a man used to getting anything and everything he wants. And he wants me. I know I should say no, I know he's the worst kind of player...but what my mind knows, my body and my heart may not. And then things get complicated.
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