Graduate high school early? Check.
Voice of reason? Um…
Caroline Littrell might be the baby of Beta Kappa Nu, but she’s also the brains. When her sisters concoct the ridiculous idea to auction off their virginity for charity, she’s adamantly against it…a promise is a promise, but quiet, Ÿbersmart Caroline has a backup plan.
All she has to do is track down Mathewson Jameson—campus legend, local rock god, total jerk—and convince him to play a charity concert for them instead.
The problem? Mathewson isn’t quite the jerk Caroline imagined. In fact, he’s quite the opposite: patient, giving, gentle. And the only one she wants to be with, first time or forever…
This book is approximately 16,000 words
For those times when size does matter. The Dirty Bits from Carina Press: quick and dirty, just the way we like it.
One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!
Read an Excerpt
I can't concentrate.
The professor drones on and on about God knows what, but every time I try to listen to what she's rambling about, last night's chapter meeting replays over and over again in my mind. We need money. Bad. Not just the sorority, but one of my sorority sisters too. The dog shelter that the girls and I volunteered with burned to the ground, and the animals, they need us. On top of that, her brother was severely burned in the fire. He needs help to cover his medical bills, so we offered our assistance. It's not the idea of helping them that has my mind muddled, but more the how.
The girls want to auction off our virginity. The same precious virginity we made a pact to maintain is now on the chopping block, and I feel sick about it.
And not only because I lied.
I'm no virgin. My virginity was lost years ago, to a prick who didn't deserve it. He took everything — including my heart — and then left me.
I shake off the ghosts from my past and get back to the worry at hand. I don't know what to do. I proposed we raise money in other ways, which the girls agreed to consider, but they refused to postpone the auction while they wait for "phantom funds" to come in.
My idea was to hold a concert headlined by campus legends Punch-Drunk Kids. All proceeds would go to the fund. They all loved the idea but feared the band couldn't fit us in on such short notice. I was told to proceed and update them on my progress at next week's meeting. I sent the band an email, but haven't received a reply. It probably doesn't help that I know nothing about the band. I don't partake in typical campus events and I'm afraid my email made that obvious. If I had only looked at our campus website, I'd have known that the date I proposed is out since they are already booked. I make a mental note to follow up after I check the band's website — assuming they even have one.
Bottom line, we need the money and I need this concert to come through, because the alternative is not an option for me. I lied when I said I was untouched. What if the highest bidder is pissed I'm not a virgin, and informs the girls I didn't tell them the truth? Will they kick me out of Beta Kappa Nu for lying? Will they ever trust me again? How can I stay in the sorority if they can't trust me? I'll have no choice but to deactivate. If that happens what will my mother say? She'll kill me. It's her legacy I'd destroy. She's the only reason I joined this freaking sorority.
I've spent the last two years reinventing myself. Even though I partied hard my freshman and sophomore year of high school, I never let my grades drop, which worked in my favor, but once I became a junior I really excelled. I did everything I needed to do to be the best in my class, including swearing off men. I followed my mother's plans for me — followed in her footsteps — and became the treasurer for Beta Kappa Nu, despite my own wishes. She was a Beta Kappa Nu, and so was my grandmother. It was my destiny, she claimed. If she knew that Brad Hayes took my coveted virginity, she might disown me.
Then there's the whole issue of not being in control. What if the guy who bids on me isn't attractive? What if he has some sort of disease? Ugh. This whole thing is a freaking mess.
I've only slept with one person and the entire act was tainted by the events that occurred after. The thought of rehashing my past due to an auction I want no part in has my anxiety at an all-time high. I just want to forget. Like I have tried desperately to do for two freaking years.
Not that the whole situation doesn't have my brain stuck on sex. I'm practically a born-again. If your pussy hasn't been touched in two years, that should automatically make you a virgin again. Right? My head falls back against my chair as my pussy throbs in need. Unfamiliar thoughts flood my mind as I try to think of anything other than a thick, hard cock giving me everything it's supposed to be.
My gaze pulls forward to the boy sitting in front of me. Mathewson. Would I be lucky enough to get someone who looks like him? Unruly dirty blond hair and eyes so blue they remind me of a stormy day at sea.
Fucking him would be no skin off my back. In fact, it would be a dream. He could possibly turn the word sex around for me. I would enjoy it. Thoroughly. What would his lips taste like? My lids flutter closed of their own accord, and I imagine it in vivid detail.
* * *
He steps into me, reaching out his arms to cage me into the wall. The thick-corded muscles in his shoulder flex at the movement. He's so close. Too close. My chest rises and falls with the tension circling around me. Will he kiss me?
God, I hope he does.
He answers my secret prayer by leaning down. His mouth hovers over mine. Our breathing is ragged. The breath I'm holding as I wait for him to kiss me expels from my lungs. He's so close I can taste him. He's so close he must feel my heart beat against his own.
Closing the distance, he seals his mouth to mine, his tongue tracing the seam until I acquiesce and open to him. His kiss is hungry, primal, and desperate. He nips. He sucks.
When he pulls away, I feel desolate, lost without his lips on mine. Before I can protest the loss, he trails a path along my jaw, down my neck. He dips in the hollow of my chest slowly, so slowly I'm panting. He's sucking the thin material covering my nipples and I'm begging for more. I squirm against him, rocking myself along the rigid shaft beneath his pants. The friction is a delicious torture. I'm burning up.
A raging inferno.
Then I feel it. His hand slips under my skirt, past my panties and hovers at my entrance. Slowly, he presses inside me and starts to work his magic. The movement starts off slow, a delicious torture. Soon the thrust of his digit grows faster, harder. He's fingering me at a punishing speed, leaving me quivering, breathless, and needy. As his pace quickens, a shiver that seems to last forever runs up my body, causing goose bumps to form against my skin.
He drives once, twice, and on the third plunge of his finger he hits a spot that makes my breath hitch, that makes me desperate to come undone with the sensation of him stroking my G-spot over and over again. I teeter on the edge until it finally happens, and the inside walls of my pussy contract, gripping and pulsating with his ministrations.
I'm there. I'm ready to come. I'm riding the fine edge of oblivion, but I need something more. He ends my torture as he pulls out and pinches my clit, sending me over the edge.
A soft moan escapes my mouth, and then there's a cough.
My eyes open and Mathewson is staring right at me, dangling a paper in front of my face. Every single muscle in my body tightens to the point of pain. This is mortifying.
"Your paper." He smirks, clearly finding me amusing.
My cheeks warm and I'm sure I'm turning beet red. I was full-fledge daydreaming about this guy, probably moaning in my seat and he witnessed the whole thing. Lord, could anything be more embarrassing? He coughs, and I realize yes. He's still looking at me, and I still haven't spoken.
"Umm. Okay. I was just ..." I mumble out, trying to save face, but instead it just makes me look like a bigger idiot. He leans forward, still holding my paper. His hand extends to pass it to me and our fingers brush.
It sounds cliché, but I swear electric current shoots down my body. Every inch of my skin tingles with his proximity. Looking up from where our hands touched, I meet his stare. I wait on bated breath for him to respond. He doesn't. The corner of his mouth rises into a panty-melting grin. He knows where my mind was.
I was just caught by my college crush having a dirty fantasy about him. God, can my life get any worse? Oh, that's right ... I have to have sex with some troll. Great. Fucking great.
It can.CHAPTER 2
Smooth, creamy, toned legs disappear under a barely-there skirt. It's just long enough to cover the goods, but short enough to have my dick straining against my ripped-at-the-knee jeans. My eyes trail a seductive line up the curve of her hips, straight to her modest breasts. Strawberry blond curls fall over her shoulders, and I have the sudden urge to reach out and touch a strand.
As my eyes continue upward, I stop on deliciously plump red lips. Her tongue darts out, running a line across the bottom lip in a seductive tease that has precome building at my tip. A moan escapes as I try desperately to look away. I need to save myself the embarrassment of losing my shit right here. This girl isn't even trying to drive me crazy, yet she has my balls tight and knees wobbling. Fuck.
"Dude, what the fuck? You're zoning out again. We've got shit to do, man," Kip, our drummer, calls from the corner with a chuckle.
I know he's right. Right now isn't the time to be spacing, but shit if I can help it. I've been out of sorts this entire semester, and she's to blame. Caroline from Econ 101 has me tied up in knots just thinking back on the way she looked today, head thrown back and a look of ecstasy plastered all over her face. When she moaned, I damn near combusted on the spot. It took all my willpower not to drag her off caveman-style to the nearest closet and fuck her like she was begging to be fucked.
There's just something about her. She's smart, sophisticated ... sexy as hell. She's not like all the other college girls who throw themselves at me and my band members on a weekly basis. She's practically ignored me all semester. But those few interactions we've had left me wanting more. She's everything I want for my future.
What the fuck am I saying? The last thing I have time for is a girlfriend. I don't even partake in one-night stands — not that I don't have a line of girls willing. I have big plans, and they're never gonna happen if I don't work my ass off.
My dad is hell-bent on me coming to work for his wealth management company, and that's the last thing I want. Punch-Drunk Kids — my music — it's everything. But unless we get our big break, it's a pipe dream. My dad will never support that, and I don't have the money to move to New York or Nashville or wherever I need to go. I have two more semesters and gigs lined up almost every weekend. The master plan is to be picked up by one of the multitude of agents who will be at any of these events.
I shake the thought of strawberry blond curls and curves for days from my mind. Those things are distractions, and distractions are not what I need.
"All right, man, let's play it from the top," I yell out to my bass player, Rocky.
We have a massive show next weekend, and we've been told our dream agent is stopping by to watch. We have to be on our game, which means we need to practice constantly. Kip hits his drumsticks three times against his set, and the rest of the guys begin to play. I sway, leaning into the melody and allowing it to overtake me. Before long, the lyrics I wrote and have rehearsed for months pour out of me, smooth yet raspy — my signature sound that drives the girls crazy.
We practice for what feels like hours before we call it a night.
"See ya tomorrow, man; get some rest," Rocky calls from the door. He's our latest addition, but he's still been with us for more than two years.
The original four, me, Kip, Ian and Tyce, all went to high school together and have been a four-man band since junior high. We had a falling-out with our lead bass, and Rocky joined our crew. Ian knew him from class freshman year, and he meshed perfectly with our vibe.
I wave my hand and watch the others pile out, calling their goodbyes as they go. It's my job to check the emails nightly, as our fan mail piles up. We're still small enough that we have to respond to everyone ourselves; it goes a long way with our followers. I'm thankful to see only three waiting for me tonight.
The first is a request for band swag, to which I quickly send a response, committing to sending some guitar picks and signed posters to the girl by the weekend. The second is a thank-you for performing for a charity event last month. There's no need for a reply, according to the sender, but I send one anyway. I want them to know we appreciate the gig and are happy to donate our time when it's for a good cause. And that leads me to my third email.
A request for another charity gig, except this one is ridiculous, callous and never happening. Originally when I read the email, I was considering doing it, but then I saw which sorority she was in, and I changed my mind. I'd heard the rumors that some sorority on campus is trying to raise funds because of a fire that recently happened — which is commendable, but they're just fucking gross. They're auctioning off their virginity to raise the money. I doubt they're even virgins. The girls I've met on Sorority Row are far from pure.
This chick's fatal error is that she forgot to erase her sorority's signature off the bottom of the email before hitting send. She addresses the letter to whom it may concern. Who the hell sends an email to a band like that? Then she requests a date that we've had booked for months. It's the neighboring town's big music festival where all the agents will be in attendance. We'd never miss it. We haven't in the past five years. Regardless, we're booked all year. The nail in the coffin is the auction. I wouldn't put our name with that sorority if they were paying me, much less volunteer our time. The cause is good. Execution, fucking bad.
I'm sorry to disappoint, but Punch-Drunk Kids hardly has the time to commit to legitimate causes, let alone something so last-minute and, frankly, trashy. We won't put our names on a headline for a sorority that finds it appropriate to sell yourselves for money. Sorry, not happening. Go get jobs. Contribute something to the world. I assure you, no guy worth anything will ever take you or your lack of morals seriously.
As for the victim of the horrific fire, Punch-Drunk Kids sends our best wishes. We'll make a donation to the animal shelter, although I'm sure your bodies will rake in enough cash from the campus miscreants.
Sincerely, Matt James
Without another thought, I hit send and head home, where I dream all night of a strawberry blonde girl with killer legs.CHAPTER 3
I stare dumbly at the computer.
"Go get jobs." Is he fucking serious? My heart is thumping in my chest, ricocheting inside of me like a tennis ball during an intense match. What the hell? Is this really happening right now? I take in the email before me one more time.
I grit my teeth and frantically begin to type out my own response back.
I will have you know that this is a legitimate cause, with the intention of raising enough money that we can cancel the auction. If you would get your head out of your ass for a minute and let me explain, you would know that. Instead, you're sitting high in your ivory tower, looking down your nose on a house of girls who have big hearts and would do anything to help a sister in need. We are trying to raise funds to help the victim pay medical bills, but you are too much of an asshole to care.
Punch-Drunk Kids is a poor excuse for an indie band. Good luck with your life full of county fair concerts. Dick.
Done. Take that, you pompous asshole. Just as I'm about to hit send, I don't. If I send this to him, I'm out of options. This is my one chance to raise enough money to buy my freedom from being some guy's plaything for an evening. Virgin or no, I pride myself on at least being choosy about whom I sleep with. The first one was a solid choice ... until he wasn't.
No. I can't throw in the towel yet on PDK. I need them. They are the only way I can raise enough money to stop the auction. I'm going to have to go find him.
It's the only solution, find him, and beg if I have to. God, I hope I don't have to. This ass already thinks he's better than all of us. How am I going to change his mind?
I take a deep, calming breath. I have class in an hour and being this pissed and up in the air is certainly not a good idea. I'm going to have to settle this with him now.
Regardless of the joy the idea of telling him what a shithead he is brings me, I'm still very much in need of his assistance. No matter how many times I inhale and exhale, it does nothing to calm my nerves. I'm a walking live wire; one false move and I'm certain to explode. Throwing my laptop in my bag, I storm out the door, down the hall and head across campus to where Sarah — who is obsessed — says he practices.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Star Crossed"
Copyright © 2018 Heather Stone.
Excerpted by permission of Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
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
Rcvd an ARC at no cost to author..(netgalley) This is another short installment in the Sorority Secrets series.. We meet Caroline who is one of the sorority sisters who is auctioning off her virginity, even thought she is not one. She is afraid that they will kick her off of sorority if she admits that she lied to get in, knowing that her family would be upset and she also doesn't want them not to trust her. She decides that she will get a college band to play a charity concert and make enough money that they wont have to go thru auction. When she reaches out to band the lead singer is a jerk and she decides to go personally and it turns out that the lead singer is the hottie that she has been crushing on. When Matt sees that it is Caroline that is asking things change since he has wanted her from the very beginning.
3 Stars Review by Sue Late Night Reviewer Up All Night w/ Books Blog Caroline is between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, she has a sorority that is auctioning off their virginity to help gain funds for one of their sister’s brother who was severely burned in a fire. They are also hoping to help a local animal shelter that the same fire destroyed. The problem? She is no longer a virgin. Star Crossed by Heather Stone is hot and heavy. It is also the first book I read by this author. I definitely enjoyed reading this book but found that there was no real conflict between this couple to overcome. Everything was all too easily brushed aside. This probably due to the fact that it is a novella. Even without the conflict, this is was a sexy and entertaining read. Recommended for those who love a simmering read with a HEA.
Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin - Carina press for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Publication Date is September 17, 2018. This was a cute close to the sorority secrets series. I liked Caroline and Mathewson and how they played out and resolved Caroline’s problem. It was a cute, fun, sexy read.