From the author of Kicked and the co-author of the Cleat Chaser duology comes the third book in the BAD BITCH trilogy by Celia Aaron.
I’m your classic skirt chaser. A womanizer. A total d*ck. My reputation is dirtier than a New Orleans street after a Mardi Gras parade. I take unwinnable cases and win them. Where people see defeat, I see a big fat paycheck. And when most men see rejection, it’s because the sexiest woman at the bar has already promised to go home with me.
But Scarlett Carmichael is the one person I can’t seem to conquer. This too-cool former debutante has it all—class, attitude, and a body that begs to be worshiped. I’ve never worked with a person like her before—hell, I’ve never played nice with anyone before in my life, and I’m not about to start with her. This woman wasn’t meant to be played nicely with. It’s going to be dirty. It’s going to be hot. She’s about to spend a lot of time with the biggest d*ck in town. And she’s going to love every minute of it…
*This is a standalone romance with an HEA.*
About the Author
Christina Saunders is an Alabama girl who loves to tell stories that are always hot and sometimes dark. In addition to being an unrepentant book hoarder, she has a particular affinity for dirty jokes and foul mouths. She lives with her husband and two sassy daughters, who put up with her antics and outlandish writing habits. She's also indie-pubbed under the pseudonym Celia Aaron. She is the author of Bad Bitch, Hardass, and Total D*ck.
Christina Saunders is an Alabama girl who loves to tell stories that are always hot and sometimes dark. In addition to being an unrepentant book hoarder, she has a particular affinity for dirty jokes and foul mouths. She lives with her husband and two sassy daughters, who put up with her antics and outlandish writing habits. She's also indie-pubbed under the pseudonym Celia Aaron, whose titles include the Bad Bitch trilogy.
Read an Excerpt
By Christina Saunders
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2016 Christina Saunders
All rights reserved.
My phone beeped. I ignored it and pressed a throw pillow into my face. Maybe it would dull the raging hangover that stomped through my head. Or maybe I just needed to get some hair of the dog from my desk. But that would require standing upright, something that wasn't happening until there was a damn good reason. My beeping phone wasn't even close.
The darkness from the pillow was welcome, blotting out even the small slivers of sunlight streaming in through my office windows. I'd spent many a night on my couch, either totally blotto or just shy. My law firm's close proximity to the French Quarter was no accident. Work hard, play hard.
The phone wouldn't stop. Faye, my long-suffering secretary, appeared to be firing on all cylinders this morning. Finally, the incessant beeping came to an end and I could relax into the cracked leather. What had I even done last night? I remembered leaving work and heading to O'Toole's, a great bar only two blocks from the office. Then there was a blonde or maybe a brunette who caught my attention, couldn't remember which. Drinks, drinks, and more drinks. Kissing, tonguing, groping. I brought my fingers to my nose and sniffed. No sex, apparently. Strike out for once. And now I was here.
A knock at my door was like a spike through my temple.
"What?" I groaned.
"It's urgent, Mr. Granade." Faye's voice was, thankfully, muffled.
"Linc or Wash?" The only people I received calls from that ever qualified as "urgent" were my brothers. Everyone else could go fuck themselves.
She cracked the door slightly. "Mr. Granade, you need to get up. It's Stone and Porter."
My fog cleared just enough for an image of the posh downtown high-rise that housed the old-money law firm of Stone & Porter to pop into my head. The imaginary sun sparkling on the building made the headache turn up a notch, so I went back to focusing on the gloom created by the pillow.
"It's urgent," Faye repeated.
I threw the pillow at the door and immediately regretted it. Fucking daylight. I blocked it with my forearm over my eyes, but then I got a whiff of my pit. Rank. The hangover, the sun, and my need for a shower only served to magnify my irritation.
So, I blew. "Faye, I don't give two shits that some stuffy, uptight, arrogant fuckwad from Stone and Porter is on my goddamn phone. Do me a favor and tell them I'll call them back whenever I'm good and damn ready. And, if that bothers them, tell them they can suck on my nuts as a comfort until I get around to it. Okay? Can you do that for me? Oh, and tell them if that still isn't enough, I'll even let them get a few licks on my taint." I flailed around until I found another pillow and smothered myself with it. "Jesus fucking Christ, bring me some Pepto-Bismol."
I would have felt bad about unloading that much invective on Faye, but she'd worked for me ever since I opened my doors and had heard far, far worse. She was definitely grayer than when we'd started out, but she was the best secretary in the city, as far as I was concerned.
Faye coughed. Fuck. A dry Faye cough wasn't simply a cough, it was a scolding of epic magnitude. Nothing good could come of it.
"What?" I groaned into the pillow.
"The 'fuckwad' from Stone and Porter you mentioned isn't on the phone. She's standing right here."CHAPTER 2
When I'd pulled up outside the faded house on the edge of the French Quarter, I knew I had to have the wrong address. This was a law office? Somehow, the morning sun made the building appear grungier, the peeling paint casting shadows along the façade so it seemed a mix of dingy white and gray.
My navigation panel told me in a smooth British accent that I'd arrived at my location, and upon closer inspection of the narrow front porch, I saw KENNEDY GRANADE, ATTORNEY AT LAW on a tarnished silver plate. This was it. I hoped I had enough hand sanitizer to wash off whatever funk I picked up from visiting this part of the city.
I let the car parallel-park itself and pulled my leather briefcase from the seat next to me. No point checking myself in the mirror — I was already certain I was more put-together than anyone who'd ever set foot in the Granade law firm.
The wind blew cold and sharp down the city streets. It rarely grew cold in New Orleans, but January was an exception. The streets bustled despite the chill, tourists and natives going about their lives in my hometown. The familiar smell of the Quarter — garbage mixed with sugar mixed with wet dog — assaulted my nose as a particularly biting blast of air blew by.
I snugged my scarf closer to my exposed ears. My hair was arranged in a tight bun at the crown of my head. As the only female associate at Stone & Porter, I found it important to dress impeccably and present myself modestly, not a hair out of place. Today was no exception.
I climbed the stairs to the porch, my heels wobbling on the uneven steps. Getting to the front door without a broken neck was the least of my worries. Dealing with Kennedy Granade — especially given his less-than-stellar reputation — would likely be the true stumbling block.
Gathering my resolve, I rapped my knuckles on the narrow front door, the transom windows along the sides giving me no clues as to what lay inside. No one came. I knocked again. Still nothing. I checked my watch. It was ten in the morning. I'd just come from the most important meeting of my life, and it seemed the Granade firm wasn't even awake yet. It did not bode well.
I turned the handle and winced as it creaked and the door swung inward. The dim foyer was adorned with shabby chairs and art that was so bad, I feared it came from a low-end hotel. At least it smelled pleasant, like some sort of air freshener.
"Mr. Granade?" I closed the door behind me and stepped onto the threadbare rug in the center of the room. A hallway continued toward the back of the house, a staircase rose in front of me, and what looked like a secretary's office was to my left.
Leaving wasn't an option, so I took a few steps toward the open office.
"Good morning." A woman came down the hall, appearing from the gloom at the back of the house. "Can I help you?" She carried a steaming cup of coffee and wore practical flats, a navy long-sleeve blouse, and black slacks. Her gray hair brushed her shoulders and she gave me a welcoming smile.
"Yes, I'm Scarlett Carmichael, an associate with Stone and Porter. I left a few messages for Mr. Granade a little earlier, but he hasn't returned my calls."
"I'm Faye, Kennedy's assistant. I haven't had a moment to even listen to his messages yet." She sat down at her neat desk and placed her coffee on a coaster.
I followed her into her office. "Is he in? I'd like to speak with him as soon as possible."
She quirked an eyebrow. "He's here, yes."
"If he's in a meeting, I'm happy to wait." I threw a look at one of the tatty chairs in the parlor. "It's an urgent matter, and I prefer to speak with him about it in person." I was, in fact, not happy to wait, but I needed to speak with Mr. Granade as soon as possible.
She smiled, warmth in every wrinkle around her mouth. "A meeting. Right." Picking up her phone, she hit a button next to the name KENNEDY, and held the receiver to her ear. She repeated the process three times with no results.
She set the phone back into its cradle and tapped her fingers along her coffee cup as she gave me a once-over — toes to bun — and nodded to herself. "I have an idea."
She rose and strolled down the darkened hallway. I followed along, relieved when she flipped a switch and bathed the space in warm light. Framed settlement checks lined the walls, some for pittances, others for respectable amounts. Mr. Granade was no pauper, though his office gave the impression otherwise.
Stopping at a door, Faye knocked. And as I heard his voice and the ensuing vitriol, I learned everything I needed to know about Kennedy Granade.
He sat behind his desk, his deep brown eyes bloodshot, his dress shirt a rumpled wreck. Even though he looked hungover, he was still a handsome man. Chestnut brown hair, dark eyebrows, angular jaw, and almost too-full lips. He would clean up well, and that's all I really needed.
I perched on the edge of his still-warm couch. The room smelled of stale alcohol and I glanced to the windows, wishing for some bit of fresh air, even if "fresh" was relative since we were on the edge of the Quarter.
"So, what can I do you for?" He made a show of grabbing a legal pad and a pen.
No apologies for his earlier words, nothing. Just straight to business. It was a relief, actually. I didn't need to scold him; I needed to convince him to work for me.
"I'm here about a case. Stone and Porter would like you to serve as co-counsel." I opened my briefcase and pulled out an engagement letter.
"Why would they send a secretary to tell me this?" He dropped his pen and started digging in his desk drawers for something. "My phone works fine and Guy Porter knows where I'm at. I beat him like a drum a year ago in a wrongful death case. I have his settlement check framed out in the hallway. You may have seen it."
I'd stiffened at his statement that I was a secretary. He wasn't the first to make the assumption. Sadly, he wouldn't be the last.
"I tried to call several times this morning. There was no answer. This matter is time sensitive. I have a fee-splitting agreement already drafted up. It's attached to the engagement letter." I rose and would have placed the documents on his desk, but it was such a mess of papers that I preferred to hand them to him instead.
He studied my face, then narrowed his eyes before taking the proffered documents. After throwing them on top of the stack of pleadings and briefs cluttering his work space, he leaned back in his chair and laced his fingers behind his head. A stain, likely from beer, spread beneath his right pec and over his abs. I stared for a moment, but not at the stain — his chest was broad and lean, and I could make out the imprint of a six-pack beneath his shirt.
"I'll read that shit later. For now, tell me what your boss wants." He smirked as I glanced back up to his eyes. Had he noticed I'd been checking out his body?
"Well." I cleared my throat, my voice suddenly raspy. "We have a long-term client, Rhone Industries, that has run into an issue with a competitor. Mr. Rhone visited us yesterday and laid out several pieces of information concerning the theft of high-dollar trade secrets and what seems to be a concerted campaign of corporate espionage involving Greenwood Technologies. I can't really tell you more until we're on the same team. Suffice it to say, Stone and Porter is not in the business of doing plaintiff's work. We never sue. We only defend. We need someone who is a seasoned plaintiff's lawyer that knows how to get results." I arched my eyebrow as a cocky smile began to form on his face. "Somehow, and I'm not entirely sure how" — I glanced around the messy office — "your name was thrown into the mix. Mr. Porter would like you to spearhead the case. However, Mr. Rhone is our biggest client, so we want to be intimately involved every step of the way. Co-counsel."
He grinned. "So, Mr. Stick-Up-His-Ass Guy Porter needs help but he sends you begging? Why couldn't he come himself? I would have rolled out the red carpet for him. Hell, I may even have showered if I were feeling extra frisky."
"I'm sure Mr. Porter would have very much enjoyed visiting your quaint little office here." I wrinkled my nose in distaste as I studied the faded wallpaper and tasteless paintings. "But he's in Saint-Tropez at the moment."
I leaned back and crossed my legs at the knee. He followed the movement, his grin faltering for a moment as he took in the shape of my legs. So the rumors were true — in addition to him being a total dick, he was also a womanizer. The urge to stalk out of this shithole and never look back waged war with the need to live up to Mr. Porter's expectations. He'd given me a position of trust with this assignment, and I wasn't going to let him down.
"So, are you interested or should I move to the next candidate on my list? We are working against an evidence trail that is disappearing by the second, so I'll need your answer today. Now, in fact." I stood.
He didn't move, still affecting an air of nonchalance. "Who's your next candidate?"
"I'm afraid that's confidential." The next candidate's track record wasn't half as good as Granade's, but if I had to go with him, I would.
"Pendleton? It's Pendleton, isn't it? He's good, sure." He rose and came around his desk. Even in my heels, I was at eye level with his shoulders.
I gripped my briefcase by the handle and took a step toward the door. "As I said, Mr. Granade, that's confidential."
"You might want to do a little more research, though. Last I heard, his second mistress was pregnant and his wife was about to file for divorce." He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back against his desk. "Scandal doesn't exactly jibe with the Stone and Porter image, does it? I think that's why they don't hire any female associates. Afraid their dicks will get the better of them."
I gritted my teeth and took another step toward the door, but I maintained eye contact. I didn't want him to think he'd gotten the better of me — ever. But he was right about Pendleton. He was the next choice, and now with this new information, I would have to mark him off the list. I had a couple more hopefuls, but none with the experience or skill of Granade.
He cocked his head. "What's my cut?"
"If you'd looked at the documents I gave you, you would see that the fee is done in the usual thirty-three and a third contingency for counsel, with those monies split equally between your firm and Stone and Porter."
"Equal split, huh? Will I be doing equal work? Doesn't sound like it. Sounds like Porter will be doing hookers and blow in Saint-Tropez while I'm working up the case. You need a closer, Ms. ..." He trailed off and raised his brows in question.
"Carmichael." Color rose in my cheeks, and I hated it. It wasn't often I was made to feel like an afterthought.
"Right, Carmichael. Like I said, your boss needs a closer. I don't need this case." He waved his hand around his office. "I built my empire from following my own leads, not taking handouts from lawyers who didn't even have the decency to show up here and ask me themselves."
"You've made your point, Mr. Granade." I stepped into the hallway, my need to cut him down to size almost overcoming my decorum. Almost, but not quite. Charm school and debutante balls had made their mark, and above all, I'd learned to maintain a polite, if cold, demeanor. He followed behind me, dogging my steps through his ramshackle office. I refused to speed my pace and strode toward the front door with my head held high, my shoulders balanced even as I walked in heels.
I turned the creaking front door handle, and was about to step out when Granade asked, "So what's the damages? What does Porter think he can recover? Has he even done any investigation or even basic math yet? I doubt it."
He stood behind me, too close for my comfort. I straightened my back and glanced over at Faye. She watched, her reading glasses perched on the tip of her nose, with a slight smile creasing the corner of her lips.
I released the door handle and turned before giving Mr. Granade the withering stare that had wilted quite a few would-be suitors and rivals during the past few years. "I have run the numbers. I have begun the preliminary investigation. I am taking the lead on this case in Mr. Porter's absence. I graduated summa cum laude from Vanderbilt Law School with a J.D. and an L.L.M. And I was handpicked by Mr. Rhone himself to serve as first-chair counsel in this case. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have more candidates to interview."
His eyes grew bigger with each of my words until he looked like he was choking. Good. Glancing to my side, I noticed Faye grinning big, approval written all over her face. I turned and opened the door.
As I stepped out onto the porch, I added without turning around, "And based on my preliminary estimate concerning the trade secrets that were misappropriated, I expect the damages figure to easily clear a quarter of a billion dollars." I yanked the door shut behind me with a satisfying thunk.
Excerpted from Total D*ck by Christina Saunders. Copyright © 2016 Christina Saunders. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was the third book in this series. The writing was excellent, the story line was good with some plot twists and drama. The main characters however lacked the luster and spark that the characters in the other two previous books seemed to have. It was a good book and definitely had it's moments of laughter, suspense and of course hot sex. I did like how the author wrote the brothers of the other two books and their significant others into the story line of this book.
*ARC received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* Kennedy is not my favorite brother of this series. I am glad that he got his crap straightened out in this book, but still. He is a Total D*ck! The suspense is throughout and much more amped up in this book compared to the other two. These Granade brothers, just can't seem to keep out of trouble! I am glad that the characters in this book do not follow along with the two previous books as far as the main characters go. Scarlett can be just as sassy as the other female leads in books 1 & 2, but she has her sights set on success and is a very professional person. Kennedy is, well, Kennedy. I was more interested in the case they were working than I was the relationship between Kennedy and Scarlett. There wasn't much substance there for me. That, to me, was the only thing that needed some work in this book. There was also a hint of Scarlett's relationship with her mother in one chapter and I thought the book could do without it. Her employer also did "threaten" Scarlett to call her mother to save his own hide when things got heated, but these scenes, or mentions, were pointless to the whole story and the book would have been fine without it. If her mother was that overbearing with Scarlett and her life, there should have been more visits or phone calls between the two throughout book. These scenes were so minor that it was irrelevant and a waste of space. They didn't add anything to Scarlett's need to be a successful lawyer. I did get to see a sneak peak of how Lincoln and Evan were doing in the end so that was nice.
Total D*ck is a great conclusion to the Bad B*tch series. There are lots of laughs, plenty of sexual tension, and some great romantic suspense in this book, as attorneys Scarlett Carmichael and Kennedy Granade (the total d*ck of the title,) work together on a case that moves from corporate espionage to murder. This book also has it's fair share of awesomely written smut which is characteristic of works by Christina Saunders aka Celia Aaron, who happens to be one of my favorite authors. She never disappoints. This very enjoyable book is a great way to spend a few hours. I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher, via NetGalley, in return for an honest review.
4.5 Fun Stars! This is the third book in the standalone series and the youngest brother Kennedy's story. I loved his character! He was known as a total d*ck but I thought he was fun and highly entertaining. Scarlett works for an established law firm that needed Kennedy's help bringing down a company that hacked into a competitors and stole very valuable information. Kennedy was pretty much a d*ck to Scarlett from the beginning but she was no wilting flower. I loved how Scarlett put him in his place which only turned Kennedy on. It was fascinating watching them go at each other, turning the heat up at every turn. I loved all three books in this series and would highly recommend them! I can't wait for more from Christina Saunders! ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is the third and final book in the trilogy and perhaps my favorite. It's easily read standalone. This is Kennedy Granade's story. He's a party animal and womanizer but he's also one of the best civil litigators around. Those cases others say can't be won he wins. The last thing he wants to do is work with a pompous stuffy firm on a case. That is until he realizes what the eventual paycheck could be! Scarlett Carmichael is nothing like the women he's usually with but after working with her he discovers this debutante might just be the woman he needs. As the case they are working takes several deadly twists and turns so does their relationship. It's hot. It's dirty. It's vital! This is a recommended read!