Book Title: Unmasked (Beachwood Bay, #7.5)
Author: Melody Grace
Genre: New Adult, Romance (Novella)
Release Date: June 1, 2015
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
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One night to forget the rules…
Noelle Olsen is braced for another bad blind date — until a sexy stranger sweeps her off her feet and tempts her on a wildmidnight tour of New York City.
Ash Callahan doesn’t lose control. He’s built an empire on cool logic and sense — until a chance encounter with Noelle brings out the reckless streak he never knew he had.
One night. Two unlikely hearts. No holding back. As the night unfolds, Ash and Noelle discover new passion and adventure, but can their moment of connection last until the morning light? Find out in the sexy, fun new novella from New York Times bestselling author, Melody Grace!
UNMASKED is part of the Beachwood Bay series, but can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story.
She looks up, her face illuminated in the glow of the street lights. Blue eyes focus on me, her dark blonde hair pinned back from a heart-shaped face—which right now is frowning in annoyance. “My heel is stuck!” she exclaims. “Damn shoe. This is why I always wear flats. That, and my mother always taught me to never wear shoes I can’t run away in.”
She yanks her leg again, and I can see the heel of her jeweled pump is caught in the grate.
“Your mother sounds like a treat.” I catch hold of her arm to steady her.
The woman looks amused. “She’s a New Yorker born and raised,” she says, eyes sparkling with mirth. “Plus, she wanted to prepare me for men and their beastly ways.”
I laugh. “Let’s see what I can do to prove her wrong.”
I look down, examining the problem. “You picked a great spot to get stuck,” I note, wondering if we can get her free before the lights change and traffic starts streaming past.
“It wasn’t on purpose, trust me—oh!” She startles as I reach out and take hold of her bare ankle. She flails a moment, then grabs hold of my shoulders for balance.
“Sorry,” I say, trying to rotate her shoe to lever the heel out. But it’s stuck firmly in place. I look up. “We might have to leave it.”
“I’m hoping you mean the shoe and not my whole foot,” she jokes.
“No amputation necessary.”
“But I’ll be hopping around on one leg all night.” The woman’s face falls.
“Cinderella managed it.”
“Cinderella had a pumpkin chariot to take her home, not the L train.” She smiles again, a wry, teasing look, and out of nowhere, I feel a powerful rush of something. Some heat or strange awareness just from looking up at her, framed there in the streetlights like a classical painting. Botticelli, or Raphael…
A car horn breaks through my thoughts. It speeds past, barely a few feet away.
Wake up, Ash! I scold myself. Musing about pre-Raphaelite paintings is going to get the both of you killed.
“I’m sorry,” she says, looking down at me. “You’re getting your tux all dirty down there on the ground.”
“Don’t worry about me.” I run my hand up her calf without thinking. She inhales sharply, and suddenly, my touch seems intimate.
Her skin is soft and smooth. Her ankle seems delicate in my hands.
“It’s no use.” She sounds weirdly cheerful. “I’m doomed. You go ahead to the party. I’ll flag down a cab and go home.”
“Not so fast,” I say, rotating the heel. Suddenly, her shoe pulls free. She stumbles off balance, and I have to quickly stand and grab her before we both go tumbling into oncoming traffic.
We both freeze. My arms are locked tight around her, pressing her warm body against my chest. She gasps, her face just inches away, lips parted wordlessly, those blue eyes wide in surprise.
Not just blue, I realize now. Her eyes are almost a warm grey, fringed with pale lashes. I stare at her, thrown for a moment. Her perfume drifts around us, something light and sweet like wild roses or—
“Honeysuckle,” I murmur.
“You smell like honeysuckle,” I repeat. A part of me is howling that I’ve suddenly become a dumb sap, but it’s overridden by the feel of her body, soft and yielding, like she belongs in my arms.
The woman’s gaze drifts to my lips. Suddenly, kissing her is the only thing I want to do.
It’s madness. We’re still standing in the middle of a busy street, with traffic streaming past. I don’t even know her; and what I do know tells me she’s the last woman on earth I should be kissing, but somehow, it’s not even a choice.
I want her.
And for the first time in my life, I don’t need to question why.
With a spark of determination, I tilt her head up towards me and close the distance between us, claiming her mouth in a deep, hot kiss.
She doesn’t hesitate. In an instant, her arms are up around my neck, and her body is melting even closer against me. It’s a rush of heat and sweetness, edged with the thrill of the unknown. Heat surges between us, and just like that, this wildfire of a moment is raging out of control.
I can’t get enough.
Welcome to Beachwood Bay. The small town where passion and romance are making waves.
"Sizzling hot and super emotional - the perfect combo!"
- NYT and USA Today bestselling Lauren Blakely
"Sexy, sweet, and swoon-worthy."
- NYT Bestselling Emily Snow, author of the Devoured series.
Melody Grace is the New York Times bestselling author of the Beachwood Bay series. A small-town girl turned SoCal beach lover, after spending her life with her nose in a book, she decided it was time she wrote one herself. She loves steamy romance novels, happily-ever-afters, and lusting after fictional menfolk. She lives in LA with her two kittens, Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers.