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M. Leighton’s Down to You was just the beginning. “Up to Me has even more shockers in store!” (Examiner.com)
For Olivia, romantic bliss has never felt so right as it does with Cash. Unpredictable, except when it comes to satisfying her desires, Cash’s ‘bad boy’ reputation is well-earned, but he’s turning his life around with the one woman who accepts him for who he is.
Until strangers from the past turn Olivia and Cash’s world upside down. What they want is something only Cash can give them. And if he doesn’t deliver, then they’re taking the one thing that Cash values the most.
Olivia always knew that in falling for Cash she was likely to get burned. But this new threat is beyond anything she imagined. Now she has to trust Cash with her life—and for Olivia that’s much easier than letting go, and trusting him with her heart.
Includes a teaser from Everything for Us
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author M. Leighton enjoys letting her mind wander to more romantic settings with sexy Southern guys, much like the one she married and the ones you’ll find in her books. When her thoughts aren’t roaming in that direction, she’ll be riding wild horses, skiing the slopes of Aspen or scuba diving with a hot rock star, all without leaving the cozy comfort of her office.
Read an Excerpt
Out of the corner of my eye, I see the light flicker at the back of Dual. The door to Cash’s office opens and closes as he comes out into the club. He looks up and our eyes lock instantly. His expression is carefully schooled, per my request, but that doesn’t mean my toes don’t curl inside my work shoes. His eyes are blazing as they look into mine. My stomach does a flip and then he looks away, which is a very good thing. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be Cash who blew our cover, it would be me—when I leave my position behind the bar, march right over to him, plant my lips on his, and then drag him back to bed.
Tearing my eyes away from him, I force my mind back to my job.
“I got it,” Taryn chirps, reaching in front of me to grab a dirty glass from the bar top.
I smile and nod my thanks, but inside I’m picking her crazy, dreadlocked motives apart. She’s been nice to me all night and I’m not sure why. She’s never been nice to me. Openly hostile, yes. Spitefully devious, yes. But nice? Oh no. Before tonight, I would’ve assured anyone who asked that Taryn would rather sharpen her toothbrush into a shiv and shank me than even look at me.
And yet, here she is, smiling my way and bussing my side of the bar.
I’m not a naturally suspicious person, so . . .
Okay, so I’m a naturally suspicious person, but I have good reason to be. A lifetime of schemers, liars, selfish buttmunchers, and all-around icky people has made me a bit jaded. But I’m coming around.
Anyway, I am extremely curious to know what Taryn’s got up her sleeve. And there is something up her tattooed sleeve. I’d bet my life on it. Or her life. Either way.
I can almost see the wheels turning behind the blue of her almond-shaped, kohl-lined eyes.
The only thing I can do, however, is watch my back and keep my eyes open. She’ll slip up and show her hand eventually. Then I’ll know what’s going on in that twisted mind of hers. Until then, I’m more than happy to let her kiss my fluffy butt and help as much as she wants.
“So,” she begins casually as she makes her way back to me. “Got plans for tonight after work? I thought maybe we could hit Noir and have a drink, get to know each other a little better.”
All right, this is getting ridiculous.
I stare at her, working to keep my jaw from dropping open as I wait for the punch line.
Only there isn’t one. She’s serious.
She smiles and nods. “Of course I’m serious. Why would I ask if I weren’t?”
“Um, because you hate me,” I blurt.
Dammit! There goes keeping my eyes peeled and letting her continue on with her ruse.
“I don’t hate you. What on earth gave you that idea?”
Oh. My. God. Does she really think I’m that stupid?
I turn to Taryn and fold my arms over my chest. I’m not even supposed to be here. Cash and I just got back from my dad’s house in Salt Springs, Georgia, a few hours ago. Gavin, the part-time bar manager of Dual (Cash’s club in Atlanta), had my shift covered since Cash didn’t know if I’d be coming back or not. And yet here I am, working to fill in for Marco when I should be naked, wrapped up in Cash’s arms. I don’t have enough patience to play games.
“Look, I’m not sure who you’re trying to fool, but if it’s me, you might as well give it up. I’m on to you, Taryn.”
She opens her pouty ruby lips like she’s going to argue, but then she snaps them shut. Her innocently pleasant expression settles into something a little more normal for her and she sighs.
“Okay, I admit I was a little jealous of you when you started here. I don’t know if you knew this or not, but Cash and I used to date. Until recently, we were still . . . resolving some things. I thought you might be trying to get in the way of that. But now I know you’re not. Besides, I know he’s not interested in you. He’s got someone else on the hook, so it wouldn’t matter, anyway.”
That piques my curiosity. “Why do you say that?”
“What? That he’s got someone else on the hook? Because I’ve seen him with a blond girl a couple times and he’s been very, very distracted lately. And that’s not like him. He’s not the one-girl type of guy.”
“Oh, hell no! I knew that going in. Any girl who goes into a relationship with Cash thinking she’ll change him or that she’ll be the only one is dumber than a box of her long blond hair.”
“Blond? Because of the girl you think he’s seeing?”
Taryn shrugs. “Her, too, but Cash has a type,” she says, quirking one pierced brow at me and holding up a pale twist of her hair. “Blond.”
I nod and smile, trying my best to seem unaffected. Which I’m not, of course. Far from it. In fact, I’m so affected I feel like I might hurl right in Taryn’s pretty face.
“What makes you think he’ll never pick one of these . . . blondes and settle down?”
Her laugh is bitter. “Because I know Cash. That boy has wild blood. Guys like that don’t change. And girls can’t make ’em. It’s just the way they are. It’s part of why they’re so irresistible, too. Don’t we all want what we can’t have?”
I smile again, but say nothing. After a few seconds, she grabs my towel and swipes at a wet glass ring on the bar. “Anyway, I’m over it. I just wanted you to know I’m burying the hatchet.”
“I’m glad,” I manage to squeak out past the lump in my throat.
I busy myself with early cleanup duties. Dual is less than an hour from last call. How in the world I’ll make it that long is beyond me, but I know the first step is to keep busy. But no amount of busywork can silence the conflicting voices in my head.
You knew he was a bad boy. That’s why you tried to stay away from him and not get involved.
I feel dismay curl in the pit of my stomach like a cold, heartless snake. But then the voice of reason—or is it the voice of denial?—speaks up.
After all that has happened over the last few weeks, how can you doubt the way he feels about you? Cash isn’t the type to fake it. And what he’s said, what you’ve shared isn’t fake. It’s real. And it’s deep. And Taryn is a psychotic bitch who has no clue what she’s talking about. Maybe all that tattoo ink has gone to her brain.
While all of that is true, nothing I tell myself eradicates the feeling of unease that has settled into my bones. Into my heart.
One part of me—the rational, logical, uninvolved, hurt-too-many-times part—pops up to make matters worse.
How many times are you gonna fall for the same lines? The same kind of guy?
But Cash is different. I know it. Deep down. I remind myself that it’s completely unfair to judge a book by its cover. No matter how much experience I have with similar covers. Cash’s cover might be that of a bad boy, but the book, the inside, is so much more.
As I clean the grate under the beer tap, my eyes wander the thinning crowd and dark interior of the club, looking for Cash. Wouldn’t you know that when I find him, a busty blond bombshell is throwing her arms around his neck and rubbing her skanky little body all over him. I grit my teeth against the urge to jump over the bar, march right over there, and snatch her bald-headed.
But my anger fades into acute distress when I see Cash smile down into her face. I see his lips move as he speaks to her and my heart springs a leak. It makes me feel somewhat better when he reaches up to unwind her arms from around his neck and then take a step back from her, but it’ll take more than that to get Taryn’s unwelcome words out of my head.
My mood circles the drain for the next hour and a half. Even the fairly likable personality Taryn has adopted when she’s not being an utter bitch doesn’t help. I even start thinking to myself that maybe it would be a good idea to go back to my townhouse for the night.
An hour later, as I wash the sliced-lemons container on my end of the bar, I’m still pondering my options while debating the likelihood that I have undiagnosed bipolar disorder. A shot glass slides across the bar in front of me. I look up to see Taryn at my right, grinning, holding a glass of her own.
“Shhh,” she says with a wink. “I won’t tell if you won’t. It’s closing time, anyway.” She pulls a ten-dollar bill out of her pocket and throws it down.
At least she’s paying.
Normally, I would politely decline, but a shot to calm my nerves and ease my troubled thoughts sounds like a good idea. I wipe my hands on a towel and grab the tiny glass.
Taryn raises hers and smiles at me. “Salut!” she exclaims with a nod.
I nod and raise mine as well, and we both toss back our shot. I don’t need to ask what she poured. The vodka burns all the way down.
Making a deep, growly “ah” sound, Taryn grins at me. “Come out with me. You look like you need a night of frivolous fun.”
Before I can answer her, Cash’s voice interrupts us. “Olivia,” he calls from the doorway of his office. “Come see me before you go. There are a few things I need to discuss with you.”
“Okay,” I reply, my stomach tightening with a mixture of excitement, desire, and dread. He ducks back into his office and closes the door. I turn to Taryn. “Next time?”
“Sure,” she responds pleasantly. “I’ll just finish up and head out.”
She wanders back down to her end of the bar, and it occurs to me that we might actually make it to being friends one day.
I piddle around a little, slowing down enough that Taryn can finish before I go back to “meet” with Cash.
“Ta-da!” she exclaims, throwing her towel in the sanitizer to soak. “All right, Livvi, I’m outta here. Wish you could come, but duty calls.” She tips her head toward Cash’s office and rolls her eyes. Grabbing her purse from the shelf under the counter, Taryn circles around to approach me from the other side of the long, black bar. Planting her hands on the shiny surface, she leans forward and gives me an air peck like she’s kissing each cheek. “Night, doll.”
I’m still struggling with disbelief as I watch her walk through the door and out into the night, dreadlocks swinging. I decide that dramatic personality shifts like that can’t be healthy.
The instant the front door thumps shut, Cash’s office door opens. He emerges, his expression hard and determined. With purpose, he crosses the empty room and locks the double doors behind Taryn.
For a few seconds, all that I’ve been worrying about for the last couple of hours fades away like the space his long stride eats up so effortlessly. I’m mesmerized just watching him, the way he moves. His long, muscular legs flex with each step. His perfect butt shifts behind the pockets of his jeans. His wide shoulders are square and straight above his trim waist.
And then he turns toward me.
I might never get used to how handsome he is. It might never fail to leave me breathless. His nearly black eyes bore hot holes into mine. They don’t break contact as he crosses the room again, this time toward me.
He hops over the bar and lands beside me. Without a word, he bends, throws me over his shoulder, and carries me down the length of the bar and through the cutout on the other end.
My heart is pounding as he takes me through the office and into his apartment on the other side. My body is on fire with desire and anticipation for what’s to come, but my mind is still harboring some doubt and insecurity from earlier. I’m debating whether to say something to him and go back home for the night or just ignore every shred of rational thought and stay, when he sets me on my feet.
Immediately, his lips cover mine and all other considerations are gone. He pushes me back against the apartment door. I feel it click shut behind me.
He takes my hands and brings my arms above my head, pinning my wrists together in the long fingers of one hand. His free hand blazes a fiery trail down my side, his thumb grazing my already-aching nipple, then on to my stomach, where it slips beneath the hem of my tank top.
He flattens his palm over my ribs and moves it around to my back and down into the waistband of my pants. The fit is loose there, so it’s easy for him to slide into them, then down into my panties to cup my bare butt.
He pulls me against him, grinding his hips into mine as he sucks on my lower lip. “Do you know how hard it was to let you work tonight? To know that I can’t touch you or kiss you or even watch you?” he pants against my open mouth. “All I could think about was what you look like naked and the little noises you make when I stick my tongue inside you.”
His words make the lowest part of my belly fill with heat and tighten. He releases my wrists, but rather than push him away, I thread my fingers into his hair and crush my lips to his. I feel him working at the button and zipper of my jeans, and excitement floods me.
“It’s only been a few hours and all I can think about is the way you taste, the way you feel wrapped around me. When you’re so hot and so ready. So wet,” he murmurs against my mouth.
Just as my need rises to fever pitch, a voice interrupts us.
“Nash?” It’s my cousin Marissa and she’s pounding on the interior garage door. Cash drags his lips away from mine and places his finger over my mouth to hush me. “Nash?” She bangs again. “I know you’re in there. The garage is open and your car is here.”
I hear Cash growl. “Shit! What the hell is she doing back?” he whispers.
My mind races. “What should we do?”
Cash sighs and leans back to run his fingers through his mussed hair. Luckily, his preferred style is kind of spiky and disheveled, so it’s not noticeable that my fingers have been in it.
My body aches with want, but my mind is already in gear for reality.
“Well, I guess the only thing to do is pretend like you’re closing up.”
“Okay,” I say, straightening my clothes and hair.
“I could kick myself for opening the garage door so early. I was gonna pull your car in after Taryn left.” He sighs again and shakes his head slightly. When he looks back at me, his eyes are smoky and hot. “We’re far from finished, though,” he promises, leaning in and lightly biting my shoulder. A bolt of electricity shoots through me and lands between my legs. He knows exactly what to do and what to say to tear me up.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
After reading down to you, I was waiting for this book to come out. Thankfully this author didn't make us wait forever like many others are!!! This is a very good sequel to d.t.y.. Looking forward to the third book for another point of view, although Iam not ready to let olivia and cash go yet. My only complaint is this book is only 165 pgs.
M. Leighton is one of those new to me authors where I look forward to her books. I loved Wild Ones and I loved Down to You. So when this book came out, I could not wait to read about Cash and Olivia again! It does pick up where Down to You ends. I do have to say though, that the last chapter of Down to You from Duffy's pov had me really worried that this series was going to take a turn for something weird (like suspense and thriller and let's face it, we aren't reading these for that). And it did turn to what I thought...unfortunately... The disappointing part of this book is the whole Russian mafia storyline. It pains me to say it :cringe: but it bordered on ridiculous (ah...that hurts me to say it). I wanted to love everything about this book but I just couldn't get past the whole suspense/thriller aspect that instead comes off as unbelievable and ridiculous (again..hate to say it). I do think adding the Russian Mafia storyline was a bit ambitious for this book. It might not have been if I'm not an avid reader of James Patterson and Michael Connelly who do triller/suspense well. It was also frustrating that Olivia kept on and on about the whole "bad boy" image. I mean I really thought that was resolved in Down to You and he's not ONLY a bay boy since he's also Nash's persona, lawyer and all. Ok - so now that's over, I want to get to the aspects of the book that I did really like. The chemistry between Olivia and Cash is still really great. Anytime the story is just them (sans the Mafia) then it felt more like Down to You....more like M. Leighton. Also what's gotten better are the sex scenes in this book. M. Leighton really kicked it up a few notches in that department and I couldn't be prouder or happier. Cash and Olivia's sex scenes were more graphic and hotter. I do like the suprise of Nash in this book though. I thought that was was an interesting twist. Overall, i still liked it but didn't love it like DTY. I will still read the next book but expectations will be a little lower.
Holy panty dropping hotness! What a ride this one was. Down to You already had me swooning over Cash, but now, hot damn what a man. Up to Me had me hanging on every word; loving the waves of suspence, re-reading those sexy things Cash said to Olivia because they were too tasty for just a once over, and gasping at twists that I most certainly didn't see coming. I really enjoyed getting deeper into the characters in this book, and the parallel POV was beautifully done. Captivating, engaging. I really liked Down to You, but I LOVED Up to Me. I may just die of want while waiting for the next book!
This book totally lived up to my expectations after reading Down To You. Cash and Olivia are truly battling to become a solid couple. With the mix of Nash, Marissa, and Gavin the story twists and turns couldn't be more captivating. Loved the book and love the series.....great job M Leighton, don't make us wait too long for the conclusion :) Btw.....anyone else want to see Gavin get hooked on Ginger?
I loved this series! I want sure if it could get any better than Down to You, I read the first book in one night. I was not disappointed by any means, this book kept me on the edge of my seat and wanting more just like the first one did. Loved it! Can not wait til the next book comes out:) I am certainly not ready to let go of Olivia and Cash.
I loved, loved, loved this book. What a great continuation to this series. I love the chemistry between Cash and Olivia and can't wait to see what happens with this story in the next installment of this series. This book was great and I would highly recommend it.
I Love this series. It was thrilling and steamy at every turn of the page. I stumbled apon the first book in the series, Down To You. I'm so glad I did. This author rocks. I'am excited for the next one. Can't wait. :)
I couldn't put it down. I loved the twist in the middle, i was not expecting that. I can't wait for book 3. I'm in love with Cash =)
When will #3 be out. Need Nash now!!!!!!!!
I have to admit, while 'Down To You' had me intrigued, this follow up lost my interest completely. It's a relatively short book to begin with and after forcing myself to get through a little over the first half, I had to stop. This is something I never do, but the characters lacked details in their emotional responses and the plot wasn't very interesting. Cash and Olivia both has issues, but they never seem to handle them the way they should. Instead of dealing with their insecurities and the seriousness of the situation they've found themselves in, their main focus seems to be the physical attraction to one another and satisfying that, which is fine for some readers. However, I prefer a deeper romance. Overall, it was just a very boring book that I wouldn't recommend.
Lots Danger in this book along with another Bombshell I didn't see coming AGAIN!!!! Lots of Hot Steamy Juicy Sex! I still wanted to beat the crap out of Olivia for doubting Cash & wanting to back away from him it was just getting ridiculous. I am more in Love with Cash, he is one smoking Hot bad boy! I was wondering if he was really in love with Olivia or not as he was having some waffling moments. You will have to read it to find out if he actually is or is he just in Lust?? and will Olivia finally admit she loves Cash and get past his bad boy ways? Good ending but it's setting up for the next book- No word on when that will come out yet. Quotes: "My hard-on isn't a problem anymore; the sound of Marissa's voice took care of that. In fact, it almost game me a damn vagina." "Trust in what you know about me. Because I know, if you stop listening to your fear, you know who I am. Deep down. You know me, Olivia. You know me." "You don't have to. That look says it all. It makes my butt pucker." "You do all kinds of delicious things to me." "I'm just happy to see your hen house being taken care of by such a fabulous cock." Read more on my blog iloveladyporn dot com
I enjoy the series. The second book did not disappoint! Great drama, action, and steamy love scenes. Can't wait for the third book!
Loved the first book (Down to you) and loved this one even more. The suspense is intense, the relationship between Cash and Olivia keeps getting stronger, the new secondary characters are becoming really interesting and the plot thickens ... wow, this is getting better and better. Hope the third book comes out soon! Highly recommend the series.
I devoured this book!! I cannot wait for book 3!! Pppppplease hurry!
Great sequal. Better that the first book and that was wonderful! Great, fast read!!!
Love this series! The plot it a little more defined in this book than the first. Cant wait for book #3 to finish it up!
Enjoyed this book a lot. Lots of action, suspense and romance. Can't wait for the next book about Nash! You won't be able to out it down.
I love reading series books. This book was great. The romance is steamy. The sex scenes are as well. Loved eeach individual and especially the introduction of the real Nash. And the Austrialian. hHope they come out with their own books in the series. Great Job would recommend to my friends.
I completely love this series. I bought the book last night and could not put it down until i finished it this afternoon. I can not wait to see what happens in the third book. It is getting so exciting, make me want to jump up and down. Hope the nect book comes out sooner rather than later. :) Overall, I LOVE THE BOOKS! They are Fabulous.
I was completely satisfied with how this author moved from the first book to this one. The twists wrap you up and tie you down holding you hostage for the next book! Really well done and I can't wait to read book 3!! Hurry!
Omg... I could not wait for book 2 to come out and I was not disappointed!!! Love the twist, I wasnt expecting that! Yes please to Gavin... such a hottie. I suggest that a spin off should include his story :) well done!
I absolutely loved this second installment of Michelle Leighton's series. I was a huge fan of Cash from the previous book Down to You and this book did not disappoint. I love the roller coaster thrill of trying to figure out what was going to happen next. I was in Olivia's head as her character grew and loved that she could see things clearly. I can't wait for the third book to come out!
I happened onto this series by chance. LOVED them both! Well written. Likeable characters. Suspense and intrige. I can not wait for Nash's point of veiw!(and I do hope there is his point of view!)
LOVED this book! You should definitely read Down to You before you read Up to Me. Both of these books draw you in and keep you on the edge of your seat all the way up to the last page. This was a great addition to The Bad Boys series. This book has a twist that I didn't expect, but it made the book ten times better! I only wish that these books were a little longer =] Can't wait for the third book to come out! Thanks M. Leighton! Keep the great reads coming!
Good plot and characters