Armed with her besties, an embarrassing number of shots, and her list of 10 Wild Things To Do Before Adulthood, recent grad Cameron Lawson is partying it up before she starts her dream job at New York's biggest ad agency. Her last task? Hook up with a random guy. And while it's so not her style, the super-sexy guy sitting next to her is definitely game. No names. No details.
At least, that was the plan.
On her first day of work, Cameron discovers her hook-up is none other than Aidan Truitt-her new boss's boss. Talk about failing the "no fraternizing with coworkers" policy on an epic level. Especially when Aidan makes it clear their one night was only the beginning. Falling for him could cost her everything, but sometimes the only way to get what you want is by breaking a few rules...
Each book in the No Kissing Allowed series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Book #1 No Kissing Allowed
Book #2 No Falling Allowed
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
No Kissing Allowed
By Melissa West, Kate Brauning
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Melissa West
All rights reserved.
So far tonight, I'd bought a random guy a drink, danced on a bar, and serenaded a girl during a karaoke song. And the night was still young.
"You're up again, Cammie," Lauren said, sliding a shot glass my way.
I tipped the shot back and then glanced down at the list, ignoring Grace's tapping on the bar. It was a scare tactic to make me question whether I wanted to take on the last task in our 10 Wild Acts Before Adulthood. But if anyone was going to win this game, it was me. I was fiercely competitive in everything I did. From sports to running times, to bets on who would graduate first, I was always in first place. Well, okay, maybe the graduating thing was because my last name came before theirs, and so technically, I had to walk first, but still, I was first. It counted.
And this was no different. I might not be the prettiest (Grace) or the funniest (Lauren), but I knew how to win, and I planned to win tonight.
It was the Saturday before our first real jobs — Grace as an assistant curator at the Met, Lauren a junior buyer for Bergdorf's, and me an account manager with Sanderson-Lowe, the top advertising agency in the world. And though I had always walked a straight line, never veering left for fear of failing, tonight I wanted to push myself. Have one crazy night before I threw myself headfirst into my career.
The only part of the night that gave me pause was when the girl took the lyrics of "I Kissed a Girl" too seriously and decided to throw herself at me as I came off the stage. After a moment of her kissing me with my eyes wide open, Lauren and Grace laughing hysterically beside me, I had to explain that while I thought lesbianism rocked, I didn't bat for the girls' team.
But now, I was staring at the final task on the list, my mind — and clearly my vision — blurry from one too many shots. "What does that say?"
Grace laughed as she swept her long black hair into a high ponytail, causing several of the guys around the bar to peer over. She was the sort of pretty that caused people to walk into things, which she used to her advantage as often as possible. I glanced up at her, waiting for her smirk to turn into actual words.
"Um ... I'm waiting here."
Lauren grinned from beside me. "We made a last-minute addition to the list."
"Yeah," I said. "I figured that out when the 10 Wild Acts suddenly had an 11."
Lauren's grin widened, her bright red lips now stretching across her face. She refused to wear any other color of lipstick or gloss. Always red. And with her bleached blond hair and double-mascaraed lashes, she had a very Marilyn Monroe/Gwen Stefani thing going on.
I blinked hard, fighting to clear my foggy head. Obviously, they were going to make this as hard on me as possible. I eyed the list again, taking my time to read each excruciating word.
Hook up with a random guy.
A shiver crept down my back. I was twenty-three and I had never had a one-night stand — even a minor one. No awkward make-out sessions, no getting too drunk and losing control. My responsible side wouldn't allow me to take such a risk. And now ...
Lauren bounced on her heels, and Grace had begun to do a little dance on her stool, causing more looks from the guys around us. I shook my shoulders out, trying to make it no big deal, when something occurred to me.
"You can't make additions to the list." We agreed on our ten things the weekend before, handshakes and all. They couldn't change it now.
"Of course we can," Grace said in a singsong voice, Lauren nodding along in agreement, and I knew I was outnumbered here. The real point to this whole thing became increasingly clear — they wanted me to step outside my shell. Take chances. Live. All words and phrases that would never describe me.
"Now, go find your guy. We'll even go easy on you and count kissing as hooking up."
"What? No. This is stupid, this —"
"All right then, she forfeits," Lauren said, winking at Grace. "It's just you and me now. Or you could just give me the hundred dollars, Grace. You don't need the money, anyway."
"No!" I said a little too loudly. Yeah, the shots were definitely taking effect. Dammit all to hell! Why couldn't I have shy friends, who thought dyeing my hair a different color was living? Oh, no. Instead, my best friends were both hardwired to never get embarrassed, to never worry about the consequences of their actions.
Clearly, I needed new friends.
Closing my eyes, I told myself to stop being so ridiculous. If it was just a kiss, then I could do this. No big deal. I'd kissed plenty of guys. All right, plenty might be a stretch. Maybe five? But five counted as something. I wasn't a virgin, kissing or otherwise. Yet somehow, I'd never kissed a random guy. Never even had the urge.
I drew a breath. All I had to do was go up to a guy, start talking, and ask him to kiss me. Girls did that crap all the time, right? I could do this. Or I could just say no and lose. I mean, what was so wrong with losing? Nothing. I could lose. Cameron, the loser.
A sick feeling moved over me at the thought, followed immediately by sharp anger. Who was I kidding? I had never willingly lost at anything in my life. I wasn't a loser, which meant I had only one choice here.
Squeezing my eyes shut, I tapped my shot glass. "I need another. Scratch that. I need five more. Make them all doubles or triples or whatever. Just strong." I peeked back up at Lauren and Grace. "What sort of kiss are we talking about here? Because I've already been kissed tonight, so technically I —"
Lauren shook her head and pointed at the list. "Nice try, but yeah, no. That chick kissing you doesn't count."
I started to argue just as a soft chuckle hit my ears, and instead of pleading my case, I whipped my head to the left to find a guy seated on the stool beside me, a white baseball cap with a giant, orange T pulled low over his eyes. University of Tennessee, hmm. I rarely saw guys in the city supporting teams from the south. It was usually the Yankees or Mets or Giants or whatever. He wore a button-down shirt rolled to his elbows, giving off a definite frat-boy vibe that me and my buzz had no patience for.
"This is a private conversation."
The guy grinned. "Well, then you might want to tell your voice that. Pretty sure the whole bar heard you."
My eyes widened before narrowing in on him. "Let me guess — fall retreat in New York City? Oh, how big and bad you all must feel."
This time he spun around to face me, leaning in so his scent hit me full force. And dear. Heaven. Above. I drew a breath, fighting the urge to sigh. Mild cologne, with a hint of soap. Entirely man. Entirely sexy.
Chocolate-brown eyes, framed in full, dark lashes, stared at me from below the bill of his hat, hints of dirty-blond hair peeking out at random — at his temples, tickling his neck. Suddenly, I wanted to take back all my words and begin again with, "Hi, I'm Cameron," though I feared it would come out, "Holy hell, you're hot." I drew a breath to calm myself down, and he edged still closer.
"Look, I get it. You're the good girl to their bad. Every group's got one, and now they're trying to force you over to the dark side. One night, right?" His gaze raked over me, no hint of subtlety, and though a part of me wanted to tell him to take those roaming eyes elsewhere, another part was curious. "And I bet you're tempted," he said, reading my thoughts. "I bet you told yourself you needed this, and you'd be right. You do."
"What do you know about me? With your UT hat and starched shirt. I mean, who the hell dresses like that?"
He laughed, the sound so damn sexy my insides screamed for me to shut up and go along with whatever he had to say. "Not a Tennessee fan, huh?" He cocked his head. "Let me guess — Georgia girl goes to NYU to prove she's bigger than her small town?"
I swallowed hard, my insides boiling at his suggestion — and at how very close he was. Switch out Alabama for Georgia and he'd have pegged me perfectly. Somehow, being read so easily made me want to get away from him. Fast. "Think whatever you like. I should get back to my friends." But when I turned, both Lauren and Grace were out in the bar, talking it up with different guys, well on their way to winning the final task.
"Looks like the bad girls are going to win this round."
My stomach tightened as I peered back over at him. How could someone so hot be so infuriating? "Listen, I don't really need or want your opinion."
"Perhaps. But I'm guessing you could use my lips right about now." He nodded toward the back of the bar, where Lauren sat beside a tall guy with dark hair, her hand on his chest, readying for the kiss. She leaned toward him, just as UT Guy flipped around his baseball cap. "Ready whenever you are, good girl."
I spun back to tell him he could take his lips elsewhere, but then my eyes found his, all wicked fire and sex, his legs slightly open, room for me to step between them. He took my hand and tugged me closer. "Don't think. Just do." And then his mouth found mine, first soft and warm, testing the feel of my lips, the way we moved together. But then the alcohol in my veins seemed to spike, attraction taking over, and I parted my lips, inviting him in, our tongues tangling as he secured me to him. Warmth spread all through me, pooling lower and lower until I felt sure I would lose myself right there in his arms. I'd never been kissed like this, like nothing else mattered, like time stood still. I didn't want it to end.
Finally, I pulled away, unsure of what expression I'd find on his face, and was pleased to see the same heat in his eyes that I felt in my chest. My thoughts jumbled together, rational thinking giving way to temptation. Four years with the same guy, just to watch him leave. Then date after date, all trying to find a spark. Something, anything, only to end up alone. My entire life, I thought I would leave college and move in with my boyfriend, then later get married. But no, I was alone. Well, I didn't want to be alone.
Maybe for one night, I didn't have to be.
Biting my lip, I leaned into him, allowing my attraction to him to replace reason, and pressed my lips to his, testing the kiss again, unsure of where this was going. And for once, I didn't care.CHAPTER 2
My phone rang from my nightstand, interrupting what had to be the best dream of my life. I scrambled to shut off the loud-pitch sound that drove the knife working through my brain still deeper. Ugh ... how much did I drink?
"Hello?" I asked foggily.
"Cammie? Are you sick? Why does it sound like you just woke up?"
I closed my eyes, drawing a long, patience-filled breath, and then opened my mouth to say hello to my mom, when instead a deep voice from beside me said, "Good morning."
"Ah!" I scrambled out of bed, wearing nothing but a white tank top and barely-there panties, and spun around, my eyes locked on the person in my bed. Memories popped into my head from the night before. Lauren and Grace. The game. The karaoke. The girl kissing me. The UT guy.
Holy shit, the UT guy.
My cheeks warmed at the memory of his lips on mine, on my cheek, my neck, my hand reaching out in invitation as I asked him to come home with me.
Holy shit, I asked him to come home with me.
And unless that dream had manifested into reality or my brain finally had enough and decided to go crazy, here he was. In my bed. Which meant we must have ...
"Mom, I've gotta call you back." I hung up the phone, and it immediately rang back. Then when she realized I wasn't answering, the phone pinged with text after text, each one in all caps, screaming for me to call her back RIGHT THIS SECOND. "Dammit." I quickly typed out that there was a spider in my room, my eyes still on the man in my bed.
"Me." He grinned up at me, bare chest exposed, my white duvet the only thing covering his lower half. Without his UT hat on, he appeared older than me by a few years — maybe late twenties — and oddly familiar. I tried to remember where I might have met him, but in a city of millions, it could have been anywhere or anytime. Or maybe I'd only seen him on the subway or something. I didn't know.
"What are you doing here?"
His mouth quirked as he raised his eyebrows as if to say shouldn't that be obvious?
"I don't do this."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
He stretched his arms out behind him, showing off his defined biceps, then pushed out of the bed, causing my heart to jump into my throat, until I realized he wasn't completely naked. A pair of black boxer briefs covered his ass like they were made just for him. I scowled as I took in his perfectly mussed hair and perfect broad shoulders and unnaturally cut abs. Real people didn't look like this guy. Real people were scarred and freckled and flawed. And those flaws were part of what made them beautiful. I preferred guys with just the right mix of flaws. Guys with wrinkled clothes, who wore glasses and —
My random thoughts stopped short as UT Guy slipped on his jeans, then reached for his jacket and pulled out a pair of black frames. "I had to toss my contacts last night, so it's this or I'll need you to walk me home." He flashed me a grin, then fixed his glasses in place, and my cell phone fell from my grasp, bouncing once before landing facedown, clearly ashamed of my ogling.
"Glasses?" I wasn't sure what surprised me more — the glasses or how comfortable he seemed with them on.
He pulled on his shirt and peered over at me. "Yet another reason for that glare of yours? You know, you weren't nearly so mean last night."
Last night. My gaze dropped, embarrassment working through me despite my effort to keep it in check. No, I guess he wouldn't think I was mean last night. I had all but thrown myself at him after that first kiss, desperate for another, and then after an hour of talking and flirting and kissing, I didn't want the night to end, so I'd invited him home with me. Something I had never once done before.
"I'm not a serial killer or something, if that's what has you worried."
He grinned. "I thought so." He took a step toward me and I matched it back, causing him to stop. "Why don't we grab coffee? I can give you a rundown of my résumé. Prove I'm worthy of your time."
I crossed my arms and stared at him. I'd seen plenty of guys come and go in Lauren's room, and none of them talked about résumés and proving their worth. The glasses might have given me pause, but I was seeing clearly now, and it was time for this embarrassment to end before I fell for his charm and wound up getting burned. "Actually, I have a lot to do today, so if you could just ..." I motioned to the door. How exactly did one end a one-night stand? I mean, shouldn't he leave without all this conversation?
He opened his mouth to say more, then cocked his head, taking me in, and closed it back. "It was nice meeting you, Cameron. I wouldn't be sorry if I ran into you again sometime."
Neither would I, I thought, but then immediately pushed that to the back of my mind. I needed this lapse in judgment out of my apartment, so I could focus on readying myself for Monday morning.
"Thanks for ..." I waved my hand at the bed, my face burning so bright it could light all of New York. "That."
He bit his lip, fighting another smile. "Maybe you could give me your number, see if you'd like me better if we started at hello." He studied me, and though a part of me was tempted, this wasn't the kind of relationship I wanted. I liked a guy to earn the naked part. This guy had already passed go, won the game, so what would be the point of starting over? At my hesitation, he nodded. "All right, then, I'll just head on. Hope to see you around, Cameron." My body buzzed at the way he said my name, at the reminder of him whispering it against my neck last night. Dear God, it was going to take me days to recover from this. Weeks.
As soon as the door closed behind him, I slumped down on my bed and lay back, brief memories of deep laughter and coy smiles and warm kisses against my cheek. The night might have been reckless, but a part of it was also nice. If only we'd met on different terms, in a different place, a different time, I might have gone to coffee with him. But now I'd end up sitting across from him, picturing him while I wondered if he was picturing me, which would lead to more embarrassment. And I'd had my fix, thanks.
Excerpted from No Kissing Allowed by Melissa West, Kate Brauning. Copyright © 2015 Melissa West. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Loved this book! I couldn't put it down. I just wish there was more to the story.
So good. Kept me interested and wanting to read "just one more page."
loved this book!! was recommended by a friend...would love to read more about Cameron and Adien
Great read! I read the book in a day I couldnt put it down even to take my dogs out haha! Anyway a really good love story, within first chapters i knew it wouldnt end between them I jus had to know what their ending would be I went to bed!
so i actually stumbled on this series after i requested the galleys of the second book, no falling allowed, on netgalley. but even though the titles are meant to be standalone i just felt like it would be better to read the first book in the series in this instance. i've said before that it's not always necessary to read things in publication order. and that's true here, it's not necessary, but having read both books now, i can say that it was the right choice to read them in order. but i'm getting ahead of myself. right now i'm talking about no kissing allowed. here we are introduced to cameron, grace and lauren, three young women who have just graduated college and are embarking on their new careers. but before joining the land of responsibility that is adulthood, the women decide to live it up one last time. and of course for cameron, our main character in this novel, that means fulfilling a moment right out of grey's anatomy. because she totally pulls a meredith and hooks up with a random guy and tosses him out of her apartment in the morning. and then on her first day of work discovers that the stranger whose path she'd hoped not to cross again is in fact her boss's boss. awkward right? and even worse, the ad agency they work at has a strict no-fraternization policy. but try as they might aidan and cameron can't keep away from each other. but cammie doesn't do one-night-stands and aidan doesn't do relationships. what's nice about the story is that the deepening relationship with aidan and cameron is given time to develop. even as their lives become more entangled and they struggle with whether or not their different viewpoints on relationships can be reconciled, the issues that they face don't ring false. the attraction between the leads is sustained from the moment they meet until they resolve their issues. and it all works for me. i really enjoyed no kissing allowed. and was psyched that i didn't have to wait too long to read grace's story in the follow-up, which published today.
Cameron just believed in true love! Aidan was just scared. He just needed to find his way, like lots of men! I couldn't put it down
Great story with great characters. Loved seeing Aiden evolve and would love to hear more of their story.
Great story love every minute of it.
I loved it. It was everything I expected and more.. would love to hear more about Cameron and Aiden.
In an attempt to bring myself out of a deep book hangover, I bought 'No Kissing Allowed' on my nook for a mere 0.99 cents. (WHAT A STEAL!) Best money I ever spent! This was a quick read as Aidan and Cameron's one night stand turned hot office romance had me hook, line, and sinker! I couldn't put this gem down. The only negative.... I'm now left with yet another amazing book hangover. ;) I look forward to reading more great work from Melissa West.
I started reading this book and I couldn't put it down. Aiden and Cameron's story was just bittersweet. The fact that they met as a one night stand and than to find out he was her boss's boss was just epic. To realize that they have finally found the one person they could not live without was just sweet. A must read.
A great, quick read. Love the strangers-to-awkward secret bit. And the female lead is strong willed and goes after what she wants. So refreshing. Highly reccomend!
I couldn't put this book down until I finished reading the whole thing. It had me laughing, and biting my nails, and angry. It's always great to run into a book that takes your emotions along for the ride :) Will be looking into more by this author!
I loved this book. GREAT quick read. I don't know why, but I was pulled in right away. I started this at 10:30 p.m. one night and stayed up til 1:40 reading and finished it the next evening. I can't wait to read more from this author.
To say i have throughly enjoyed this book is an understatement! I loved every moment that Cameron and Aidan shared together and felt deeply for each of them and their relationship throughout the book!! Both Cameron and Aidan had refreshing and very loveable personalities, She wasn’t too clingy or dependent and he wasn’t too cocky or arrogant. This was a beautiful book that wasn’t too overly dramatic to the point where it gets unrealistic, the couples issues were very understandable and although it was written in the perspective of Cameron , i never once doubted Aidans commitment towards her. However, I hate the fact that I’m left in the dark about the relationship between Aidan and his father, i loved Cameron so much that i was hoping she ended up being the one to provide the big fat band aid to Aidans family wounds. The climax was also a bit short, i wasn’t given enough time to mourn for the broken couple before it was patched and then thrown into another issue. I wished the antagonist did something more so that i could hate her (Sorry, HAHA). Overall, although i wanted changes to some of the parts, i believe these parts were what made the book unique and not bloody cliche like i probably am. This has probably been one of the best books i’ve read in a while!! It was very down to earth and entertaining. Oh, and did i forget to mention the fact that Cameron is SUPER cool, witty and glamorous and Aidan gives out this aura of confidence that is UBER-attractive and sexy. Melissa West not only showed me the love between the couple but also how important the love and support of your family and friends are within a relationship!! It is something that many romance writers have been unintentionally neglecting these days. I am not only a ‘Aid-meron’ fan but also officially a Melissa West fan!!!! And am excited to explore her other creations!!! AND I HOPE AIDAN AND CAMERON MAKE LOTSA BABIES!!
It started off a little slow, but picked up and finished with a great ending.
Not hot enough
3.5 Light and Sexy Stars No Kissing Allowed was a very nice read. It’s the story of Cameron and Aidan (aka UT Guy) who meet and hook up one night after Cam accepted a challenge from her friends. The awkward morning after, her not having experience with this kind of thing before, includes Cameron being rude to the hot guy who’s name she never learned and basically kicking him out before he can get her number (which he did ask for, mind you). Well, coincidence of coincidences, Cameron is starting her new job and you won’t guess who her boss’ boss is… yes! You got it: it’s Aidan, (insert mortificated Cameron). Well, it seems Aidan is so hot, that every girl in the history of the office wanted to get in his pants so there’s a very strict no fraternization rule. And at first they try to fight their attraction… obviously they can’t, or there wouldn’t be a story to tell. So now they start a secret affair, because no one at the office can know about it. Unfortunately this is not the only obstacle for these two, as Aidan is strictly anti-commitment and Cameron has only had serious relationships in the past. Will they make it in the end or will Aidan’s daddy issues and Cameron’s unwillingness to compromise get the better of them? I had a good time reading this story and I greatly enjoyed it. I’m worried that authors nowadays feel the need to add a slightly kinky sex scene somewhere in the book, as if having “just” sex is not enough… yes, I would love to get my hands tied with Aidan’s tie while he has his wicked way with me… it’s not like the scene didn’t fit with the rest of the book. I’m just finding this kind of trend with these lighter or not explicit romances curious. I’m very happy I picked up this book by Melissa West and I hope to be adding more of her work to my TBR list. *I received a complimentary copy from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review*
This is my first Melissa West book and it won't be the last. I really enjoyed reading this book and had it done in no time. The connection they have in this book is so good and is what we all want but of course its not something that is easily attained or kept. We have are commitment issues, family issues, nosy coworkers and no fraternization issues in this book that will test them and their relationship or non-relationship. This won't be too long since I'm not going to go into detail because I don't want spoil the story. Cameron is at the bar completing her to do list and her friends have a last minute add on in the form of a one night stand. Being such a competitive person she sets out to do it but only does relationships and is having a hard time with only one night. Then UT guy appears and after some banter and plenty of drinks, they kiss and she decides to hell with it and has her one night stand with him. Come morning she basically kicks him out after refusing to give him her number and goes about her day, with some regrets about not giving him her number. Come Monday she starts her first day at her job and low and behold in walks UT guy into the conference room. Needless to say there is a no fraternization rule there so they cannot be together not to mention he says he doesn't date and does not plan to ever be in a relationship. Will Cammie change his mind about relationships? Will they be able to find to be together and not be caught? Find out in this book. It was a very good book that I think you will like very much. I got frustrated with UT guy at the same time as I felt for him and fell for him. I received and ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I really liked this book but felt it was too short:( only 190pages. Would have loved to read twice as much. Will read more by this author in the future
Loved this book! The characters felt real and being a Southern girl myself so I appreciated all the Southern references. It was also very tastefully written but at the same time still sexy. I would love for Aidan and Cameron's story to continue and see if Aidan ever reconciles with his father. I truly hope that Melissa West decides to write another installment on this precious couple, perhaps with a little more drama and a few unexpected twists!