“Mr Gray Sweatpants was a romantic comedy that also was packed with emotion and heartfelt moments. This author never disappoints with the heat and the steam with the chemistry between Leo and Casey being like an inferno. These two made me laugh, cry and everything in between. A story that ticks every box and leaves you completely satisfied.”– Wiley Kate (Bookbub Review)
“Another touching, engaging story with many characters from the Single series if you’ve read and become a fan of them, and even if this is your first you’ll be captivated from beginning to end.” – Cheri ~Words Turn Me On (Goodreads Review)
“I opened this book and started with a smile, which turned into a giggle and developed into a laugh! It’s a slow burn romance with so much more in store.”– Sue Hancock (Goodreads Review)
“The storyline was so sweet, emotional and really steamy. I loved they way the author was able to make me care about the characters both the main characters but also the minor characters. I would love to see more stories within this world.”– Sarah Nielson (Bookbub Review)
“Casey,” he panted, breaking their kiss. “I’m trying to be good.”
“You are. Oh boy, you are. You’re sooooo good. You feel so good.” She rocked against him and moaned again.
His mouth fell to her neck, and he scraped his teeth along the side, seeing stars behind his closed eyelids as she slid the V of her legs along his hard shaft. He wasn’t going to last long. He was going to make a mess in his shorts if she kept moving the way she was, kept making those sexy little noises and pressing her tits toward his face.
“I’m willing to wait if it’s what you need, Leo,” she said, all breathless and sounding like she was hanging on by a thread. “But know that it’s not easy. I want nothing more than to feel all of you inside me. I can feel how big you are.” She slid her hand between them, and the heat from her palm felt like a brand against his cock, even through all the layers.
He growled. “Careful.”
“But don’t you just wonder how it would feel?” She ran her fingers up and down along his cock, driving him ever-loving mad with how badly he wanted to punch a hole through the khaki and fill her up properly.
“Every damn minute of the day,” he gritted out.
“How much of me do you need to know before we finally get to … give in to our basest desires?”
“So much more, baby. I want to know it all.” It took every ounce of willpower he had left not to push his hands down the front of her panties—since that was all that was between them, as she was wearing that sexy summer dress—and feel just how wet she was. He knew she was wet. He knew that when she climbed off him, there’d be a wet spot on the front of his shorts from where she was riding him. But he wanted to feel that wet heat on his fingertips, on his tongue, and wrapped around his cock.
“This feels so good.”
“So good,” he echoed.
“I’m close, Leo.”
Oh fuck. Yes.
He hadn’t heard the sweet melody of Casey coming in what felt like forever. Granted, it’d only been a little over a month since that night on his couch, but given the level of self-inflicted torture and sexual deprivation he felt, it could have been thirty years. Every moan, every mewl, every whimper made his dick throb against his khakis and his balls cinch up tight.
“Leo …” she said on a gasp.
“Casey, I want to get to—”
But his words were cut off at the knees when she grabbed him by the hair, lifted his head up and crushed her mouth to his. A second after her tongue surged forward into his mouth, she began to whimper and breathe heavily, the puffs from her nose hitting his upper lip.
She was coming.
She was coming.
Andraya removed her suit cover-up and kicked off her sandals as soon as she hit the beach. The mid-September sun beat down on her head and face, making the day bright and beautiful. She smiled as she walked halfway down the sandy spot, out of the prying eyes of the palace guards. Because of that, she’d worn a two-piece yellow bathing suit Annie had given her. When she her destination, she dropped down on one of the many chaises the royal family attendants had set out. Umbrellas dotted the area too, but Andraya allowed herself one half-hour in the sun. Renata insisted she swim here.
Darling Andraya, of course you must use our beach. Your father would skewer Alessio if we let you use the public one.
Renata, my father does not control my life over here.
Then do it for the school. Do you really want to sunbathe with students?
And you shouldn’t swim alone. I’ll have a female guard far enough up on one of the cliffs for privacy but close enough for her to jump in and get you, if need be.
Eventually, Andraya had given in. Eventually, everybody gave in to the queen who, at sixty, was imposing and lovely.
Lying flat on her back, she rubbed her arm to make sure she had enough sunscreen on her body. Satisfied she did, she took a book out of her backpack. By Elena Ferrante, The Lost Child, had won the Strega Award. If Andraya thought it was age appropriate and interesting enough, she planned to teach it next term.
She began reading. The book was interesting, but her eyelids began to close. So, she set it down, got up and headed into the Mediterranean Sea. Sand squished between her toes and still-warm water lapped at her feet. She went out further and further then dove into the water.
When she got back on land, she felt great. She laid back on her chaise, picked up the book, and began to read again. Her family wondered why she’d moved to Casarina. Was anything better than this?
What the hell? Ben Moretti stopped short inside the door of the Agricultural wing. He walked up close to the color picture of a woman sunbathing plastered on the wall. No, not any woman. Dio mio, Andraya Manwaring.
A prank? Damn it, he hoped his kids weren’t responsible for this. They’d asked to stay at friends’ houses overnight so he came in early on the first day and didn’t drive them to school.
For a few seconds, he stared at her curves. Wow! He had no idea she was so…sculpted. Her dark hair was up on her head and she had her eyes closed. The amount of skin revealed made him swallow hard. Shrugging off the reaction, he pulled down the first one headed up the hall. Outside every few rooms were more of copies of the photo. He yanked at them. His heart beat fast in his chest. This was so unfair of her. She’d be embarrassed to hell.
His phone buzzed. Renata. “Moretti.”
“Are you at school yet?”
“Are there photos of Andraya up in your wing?”
“Yep. I’m taking them down as I go.”
“When you’re finished, could you come over to the Humanities wing and head off Andraya. I’m having the building scoured. If you can, get them down in her hallway first, but tell her what’s happened.”
He wondered why Renata called him. He hadn’t spent that much time with Andraya. They’d met during the summer for some preplanning, and he’d talked to her about the kids. He’d also have to confess some of the reasons for their behavior. And she was understanding of their issues. He owed her “Sure, I’ll help out.”
“She parks in her designated spot outside the Humanities wing.” Teachers had their own spaces in the faculty lot.
Making quick work of ripping down the rest of the flyers in this wing, he jogged down to her hall, grabbing pictures. He got to the outside door and found her just entering the building.
“Hey, Ben. Are you waiting for me?” She looked like a daisy in a pretty yellow dress.
“Yeah. Renata asked me to meet you.”
“Let’s talk on the way to your room.”
She stopped. “Tell me now.”
Sighing, he handed her a copy of the picture. She stared at her photo then lifted her gaze. “Hey, it’s a pretty good shot of me, don’t you think?”
“How can you joke about this?”
A small line marring her brow. “I’m not ashamed of how I look.”
“Why would you be? You’re gorgeous.”
Now those light brown brows shot up. “Why…thank you.”
She took another glance. “Where’d you get this? I was sunbathing on the palace property.”
“I’m afraid someone took a picture of you there. Copies were posted all over school.”
“Seriously? Why would anyone do such a thing?”
“I…” He glanced away.
“I’m afraid my kids did it. They stayed overnight at a friend’s house, so they could have come in early without me knowing it.”
“Let’s not overreact. Or assign blame just yet.”
Now, he frowned. “I didn’t expect you to be…all right with this.”
“I’m not. No one did this with kindness in his or her heart. But I’m also not going to melt into a puddle at the sight of it.” She took a bead on him. “You know, anyone could be responsible.”
“You don’t have enemies. You’re too nice.”
“There’s resentment among some of the faculty because I’m so close to Renata. And all my life, people have been jealous of me being the daughter of the U.S. president.”
“This looks more like kids’ doing to me. They had to sneak on the palace property over the weekend to take the photograph, then somehow get the flyers up when school opened early.”
“Walk me to my room, would you?”
“Sure.” On the way they passed teachers who were arriving.
A woman stopped them. “Andraya, I’m so sorry.”
“Thank you. But it’s not the end of the world, so don’t worry about me, Iliana.”
They went further and bumped into the new member of her department. Ben said, “Domenico.”
Andraya held his gaze boldly. “Dom.”
“Lookin’ good,” he said with a seedy smile.
She gave him a dazzling one. “Why, thank you, Dom.”
He recoiled back. If the stronzo thought he was going to get a rise out of her, he was swimming in the wrong fish tank.
They kept going. Finally, he couldn’t keep it in. “You know, you’re something else. I wouldn’t have handled this as well as you are.”
“Why, you have a great body?”
Holy hell. He kept himself from being embarrassed. And worse, turned on by her comment. All he said was, “Ha!”
The kids were fourteen and they looked so young with their new sneakers and recent haircuts as they walked into her classroom. They were whispering and giving her sly looks. Just as she thought, she’d have to deal with the photo right away. Once they were seated, she greeted them. She was heartened to see several students frowning or sad even. Some, though, were grinning a lot like Dom.
“I’m sorry to have to start the first day like this, but hello, I’m Professoressa or Prof Andraya, if you like. I met some of you this summer, others not. But, before I can greet properly, I’ll address this.”
She held up one of the copies Ben had given her and with a bland expression on her face, she silently walked down one aisle and up the another, until she’d covered the whole room.
Once back up front, she said, “These were all over school this morning. If you know who did this, tell that person I’m not embarrassed. I know this is a flattering picture of me.
“I also know whomever did this was trying to hurt me, and I’m very sad about that. Again, I’m not angry, not embarrassed, but sad.
“With that, I’d like to forget about this…” she crumpled the paper tossed it into the trash “…and go on to our first day together.”
A pretty little girl raised her hand. “Do you have something to say, Serina?” The kids wore name tags until their teacher learned their names.
“Yes, Professoressa. I hate that stupid person who did this to you. Lots of students will be sorry, like me.”
“Thank you for telling me that. Now I’d like to have the first class I planned.” She picked up a stack of journals. “I’m handing these out for you to use at home then bring back in case we need them in class. Like right now. In either English or Italian, you’re to write about your expectations for the class. How you’re feeling about it. Be honest. You have fifteen minutes. No one else will read it but me. I’ll comment on each one.”
They got to work. Most of them. The two dark-haired Moretti twins looked at each other. She saw Meliora shake her head at Matteo. Huh, she was the dominant one. Their journals remained closed. Andraya walked to them. Bent over, so they both could hear. “If you don’t do this now, you’ll have to come after school to complete the paragraphs.”
“Can’t,” Meliora said. “No ride home then.”
“Not an excuse. You’ll have to find one. And since you’re new this year, I’ll tell you that it’s rule at the Marcello School that a teacher can keep kids after school any day of the week. Even Saturday. Parents have to agree to accommodate them before you enroll.” Italy had classes on Saturdays.
Meliora glared at her with hateful dark eyes. Then she opened the journal and wrote, No expectations. Feeling like shit now.
“Three paragraphs are required.” She glanced over at the boy. He’d opened his journal and started writing.
“Mattie!” Meliora whispered harshly.
“Come on, Meli. You know what Papa said.”
“And if you insist on preventing your brother from doing assignments, Meliora, I’ll separate you in the room.” She arched a brow. “Or we’ll transfer you to a different classroom and another teacher. For the whole year.”
A glare that could freeze hell came from the girl now. But she started to write. And Matteo did the same. Andraya couldn’t wait to read what they had to say.
All of her classes consisted of the same speech, and similar statements from the students. But she did get to the journals activity and some other get-to-know-you activities.
At the end of the day, after the students left, Ben appeared in her doorway. “Hey. How are you holding up?”
“I made it through. Come on in.”
He walked to the front. Now she noticed how big and attractive he looked in black and white shirt rolled up at the sleeves and khaki pants, his hair tousled. He hitched a hip on the edge of one desk.
“From what I hear, it was more than that. The kids told me what you did. Good for you.”
“Thanks, but as I said, it was tedious and tiring. And marred our first time together.”
“For what it’s worth, some kids told me directly that they didn’t like the prank. And as they worked, I overheard even more of them discussing it, saying the same thing. You’re well liked, Andraya.”
“Thank you, Ben. Do you still think it’s your kids?”
“I don’t know. I can usually tell when they’re triumphant over something bad they did, and I didn’t get any vibes of that when their nonno picked them up.”
“I hope it wasn’t them.”
He checked the time. “Are you up to going to the meeting?”
“Of the assessment team. We’re picking up from what we did this summer on the new courses.”
“Renata would excuse you.” The queen was conducting assessment, as she was responsible for the curriculum. Otherwise, the facilitator would have been Luciana DeLuca, the upper grade principal.
Andraya pushed back her chair. “I told you, Signor Benito, that I’m not a wilting flower. I’m ready.”
“You said you wouldn’t dissolve into a puddle and now you’re not wilting flower.” The corners of his mouth turned up and his deep brown eyes crinkled. “I guess you are a force to be reckoned with.”
Another smile. “Let’s go.”
“The meet cute between Damon and Kate was sweet and felt really organic. this story being an age gap of 12 years was great one of my absolute favorite tropes!” – ARC reader
“The chemistry between Kate and Damon is 🔥🔥🔥! Some of their 👏 moments 👏 …“ -ARC reviewer
“I always look forward to a Loren Beeson book; she knows how to write a killer storyline with extremely likeable characters and One More Kiss was no exception.” -ARC reviewer
Loren Beeson is an indie author with miles of imagination. She is a dreamer, artist, and radiologic technologist who loves all things romance. Always writing short stories as a young child and young adult, she knew she wanted to become an author someday. Horses are her muse while drawing, and writing is her escape from the real world. She’s a lover of Flaming Hot Cheetos and smutty romance novels, and occasionally has a glass of wine or two… or four.
Loren can be found in her cozy home in Texas with her nose in a book, her corgi and mini-Aussie on her lap, and her son trailing along with her and her husband through their many adventures.
My Review – 4 1/2 stars
Emotional. Heartbreaking. Yet satisfying.
If you love a romance where two broken people come together, you’ll enjoy Trust in Me. The storyline, which starts in the previous book (Dangerously Deceptive), does have darker tones that may bother some readers. So please be cautious if you’re a sensitive reader. This book will take you on a roller coaster ride full of emotion. It will break you apart and put you back together. There will be times you cry. When you’ll laugh. And in the end, you’ll get the happy ending you long for.
*Disclaimer: While I was offered an ARC in exchange for an honest review, I borrowed this title through Kindle Unlimited. The review above is only my opinion.
A USA Today bestselling author of sports romance and romantic suspense, Jacob plans on writing many more stories.
★★★★★ Intel Chicky Reads Romance (Kara Merideth) – “I’ve read all of Eva’s mafia books and this one was a bit of a departure from her usual tales, but what a totally fantastic ride!”
★★★★★ Karen_Lee_Reads – “Readers get humor, shenanigans, a couple whose hot and steamy relationship keeps readers happy and a truly nice Irish Mob leader.”
★★★★★ Jess and the Traveling Chair – “I CANT. GET. ENOUGH. Y’all this book is one that you stay up until 2AM to read because its mysterious, SPICY, and the perfect amount of possessive alpha male.”
The second time, I drank a bottle of his most expensive cognac, which I’d never be able to afford on my own.
And the third time… well, he caught me stealing from him.
Stealing from the head of the Irish Mafia wasn’t smart. But then I never claimed to be.
Now I owed him a debt… a big one. And it couldn’t be settled with money, or favors.
He only wanted one thing…
Me. Submitting to his darkest demands. Once the debt is settled he’ll let me go.
Except he is forbidden to me. Because if I were smart… I’d figure out another way to repay my best friend’s father.