Today we have an excerpt from STRIPPED by Piper Lawson! Make sure you check it out along with the giveaway!
Ava Cameron has stars in her eyes. When the feisty designer moves to NYC after graduation with her best friend, things are finally clicking into place.
But now their brand new label, Travesty, is under attack.
The man leading the charge is the hottest hookup Ava ever had. One she never wanted to see again...
Nate Townsend might be from the right schools, the right neighborhood and the right family. But under the surface, his scars run deep.
When the society prince and the loud designer come face to face on a case that could decide Ava's future, sparks fly.
Nate's not about to let Ava forget she's the only person who knows his secrets. And Ava’s walking the line between getting Travesty back on track and being dragged into the gutter by one stubborn young lawyer planning to take her down.
If Nate Townsend didn’t make the gutter look so damn good...
It should’ve been simple to walk away. To put on my coat, shake his hand or whatever the hell you did after a night like that, and get in my cab. But his thumb stroking the flesh of my arm stopped me.
“Most people wouldn’t do what you did for someone they’ve never met,” Nate murmured.
“Well, I’m not most people.”
“I’m starting to get that.” His tone was unreadable. Then he bent down, haltingly. Brushed his lips over my cheek. Light. Grateful. “Thank you.”
The memory of kissing him an entirely different way came raging back.
“I don’t want your thanks,” I whispered without thinking. Nate froze, pulling back to meet my gaze.
He paused, watching and waiting. “Then what do you want?” he asked softly.
I didn’t know if he was being suggestive. But my mind grabbed it, stole it, ran with it. Instantly my brain was feeding me images of an imaginary performance, as dark as it was provocative.
When I’d agreed to go home with him, I’d figured I knew the score. Knew what I was getting into. We’d have one night. Nothing personal. But he was changing all the rules and I suddenly felt unsteady.
The backs of my eyes burned and I squeezed them closed. Fighting this madness that made me want him, despite everything.
Because of everything.
When I finally raised my gaze to his face, his lips were parted and his eyes were on mine.
Nate was overwhelmingly and intoxicatingly close, and suddenly it was too much.
I took a step back. A moment later, he followed. I took another step. So did he. The next step I took pressed me to the door, and I could feel the hammering of my heart through my back against the wood.
“Ava?” His voice was low, coming from somewhere in the darkness inches away. My name wasn’t a single question. It was as many as I could conjure.
The hum that bubbled up from the street, the perpetual noise the city wore like a blanket, all of it stopped while we stood.
Nate’s phone buzzed in his pocket, startling us both. “That’s your car,” he said.
I swallowed. And we watched each other. I could practically feel the heat crackle between us, but he didn’t reach for me. Just waited, that perfect composure back in place, creating a tenuous barrier between me and whatever lay underneath.
“What do you want?” Nate asked quietly.
I wanted those lips on my skin instead of spouting cynicism. Wanted those blue eyes glazed with heat, not pain. Wanted his sculpted body tight with passion over mine instead of with anxiety, haunted by some ghost I’d never know. And I didn’t want to spend tonight lying awake alone, thinking about tomorrow, when the rest of my life would be decided for me in a single meeting.
“Can the car wait?” I breathed after what felt like a year.
He expelled a long breath and it shook at the end. “Ava. Don’t get me wrong. I want you,” he said tightly. “I want you … every way. But I can’t be gentle. I can’t go easy. It’s not in me tonight.”
For a long moment Nate just held my gaze with his. Those eyes blazed into me fiercely, like he was asking me to be sure. I lifted my chin in response.
With a groan, Nate fused his mouth on mine.
It wasn’t a kiss. His tongue invaded, wild and mindless between my lips. Stroking, stoking.
I reached for him. Felt the tie loosen, the top button undone.
I was used to guys worshipping me. I liked it, being able to flirt and tease. To be treated like … well, like a girl.
Nate hadn’t gotten the memo. He slammed his body into mine on a groan, my arms winding around his neck and my hands in his hair. He lifted my legs around his hips like I was weightless. Turned and set me on the back of the couch, pulling back to look at me.
“Is this what you wanted?” he demanded, panting.
“Yes,” I gasped. Whatever this was, I’d never felt it. But it was addictive.
I grabbed the back of his head and pulled him to me. Nate kissed me so hard I fell backward. I gripped his shirt for balance, and while my hands were there, unfastened the row of buttons and pushed the shirt off.
I found his body, smooth skin over hard muscle. I wanted to purr just touching him.
Nate pulled me off the couch, setting me on the ground and swiveling me. The top edge of the couch dug into my stomach as he pressed me into it.
His hands unzipped the back of my dress, then he yanked it over my head in one tug. “Why are you still here?” he muttered into my neck, capturing my hands at my side so I couldn’t move.
I pried my hands out of his grasp, spinning back to face him. “Why did you let me stay?” I volleyed back, running my hands up his chest, pulling off the tie that was dangling. His belt and pants went next.
Wordlessly he turned me around so I was facing into the couch, and he pressed his hips into my lower back, like he was molding me to fit him. Nate unclasped my bra and pulled it off. Stuck a finger in the side of my panties and ripped them down.
Piper Lawson Bio:
I love reading and writing stories about sassy, sexy, smart girls and the guys who fall hard for them. My main household expenditures include books, shoes, and chocolate, not necessarily in that order. Coffee = life (and I’ll defend it accordingly, especially when cornered). I have two business degrees, neither of which I’ve managed to turn into a fashion label (boo).