For a chance to win a print ARC* of ALL I WANT FOR HALLOWEEN, comment below: What's the best costume you ever wore for Halloween?
Yes, I said it. It's never too early for Halloween. At least, not for me. It's my favorite holiday, followed closely by Christmas and my birthday (because yeah, that's a holiday too.)
I'm a huge fan of candy, scares, and fun. And Halloween has it all. This is the one holiday I'm okay with the big stores putting out decorations months early. Just last night I was talking to a friend about the Halloween party she went to last year, and it sounded amazing.
Normally I get my thrills giving out candy since my kids are old enough to trick or treat themselves. And yes, I'm always in costume. And not the slinky, sexy lady costumes. Oh no. I'm the demon under the mask, the hairy werewolf with huge teeth, or the zombie nun who'll make you eat those prayer beads.
When the opportunity to write a contemporary romance set around Halloween was proposed, I jumped all over it. So take a look at Sadie and Gear, two funny, stubborn, and rough-around-the-edges type characters who meet at a Halloween party, then fall scarily in love...
Sadie continued to watch the crowd, but as more drunken sailors, cops, robbers, and monsters continued to approach, asking about touching her sword, and other body parts, she gradually left the open area. She found a shadowed area off to the side that afforded privacy as well as a tall table gone unnoticed by the masses. Perfect for her to set her plate and drink on while she ate and watched the party.
As far as costume parties went, Joaquin had scored. The dance floor remained packed, and the DJ was top-notch. Dance and dub-step vibes competed for most heavily populated track. The plethora of mini-bars meant no one had to wait long for a drink, and the amazing catering company—ahem—made sure to keep the tables fully stocked on goodies.
While continuing to snack on high-calorie goodness, Sadie felt no guilt whatsoever. Tonight was her night to enjoy fat foods and with any luck, a talented boytoy for some mindless pleasure. She’d seen a bunch of contenders. Men with muscular builds engaging in guy behavior. Smack-talking with friends, checking out scantily clad women, and acting not all that bright.
Sadie didn’t want a date with Einstein. She wanted some quick nookie to end her dry spell. With any luck she’d enjoy herself before kissing her nameless hookup goodbye. Maybe Elliot had been right to insist she attend.
“Hey, Xena. Be my Valentine.” A drunk guy smelling of B.O., Axe body spray and cheap beer leered close.
Crap. She’d been found out. “Hey, um, what are you supposed to be?”
“Hercules.” He flexed, and she had to admit his arms impressed her. Too bad she’d have to hold her nose while praying she couldn’t taste his breath during a kiss. Gross.
“Nice to meet you, Hercules.” She took the hand he held out and tried to contain a grimace while he gave the back of it a sloppy kiss.
“Hey pretty thing, you want to go screw in the corner?” He nodded over her shoulder to the discreet alcove behind a wall of potted bamboo behind her.
Though Sadie loved frank talk, the whole “let’s screw in the corner” was a bit much even for her. Could she be that desperate? He smelled like Elliot’s dirty socks. As much as she wanted to be that kind of girl, the one who felt no guilt for a shameless hookup, she just couldn’t. Not with Hercules.
“Sorry. I’m waiting for a friend. And he already called dibs on the corner.”
“Well, shit. Can’t blame a guy for tryin’.” He stumbled back, gave her a salute that nearly had him tripping over his own feet, then turned and hit on the next woman he ran into.
Sadie sighed and returned to people watching, sipping from her cosmopolitan now and again. To her amusement, she spotted one hell of a hot devil getting accosted by a drunk and giggly genie very close to falling out of her bikini top. The devil wore a half mask hiding his face, a dark red cape over broad shoulders, and black from head to toe. He held a plate of food in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other as he tried to gently nudge the woman back, but her hands were everywhere.
Oh boy. Talk about grabby. He swore when lady fingers grabbed at what appeared to be a generous package.
Sadie felt for the guy, even as she had to laugh at his desperation. He had his hands full, for sure. It was like looking at a picture of herself as she’d stood on the dance floor. Minus the crotch grabbing of course. She’d have skewered any jackass who tried. Devil glanced around, and she felt the heat of his gaze when it landed on her. Despite the half mask which covered the upper half of his face, his stare penetrated.
His lips curled into a dark smile before he turned to the genie and said something. She pouted, took a good look at Sadie, then flounced back into the crowd. The devil took his time walking toward Sadie, now striding as if he owned the place.
She nodded at the vanished genie. “Problem?”
“Yeah. I’m not a fan of being molested while trying to save my food and beer. I mean, at least let me eat before you knock me down and mount me.” His voice sounded like gravel licked with fire.
She laughed. “You have a way with words.”
He stared at her, then slowly grinned. And man, the sight of that square jaw and those full lips grabbed hold and wouldn’t let go. “So I’ve been told.” He paused. “You mind if I share your table? I’m dying to sink into these crab thingies.”
This close, she could see that his eyes had been darkened by black makeup but were actually hazel in color. Wow. Talk about a handsome…devil.
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