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Complete List Of Full-Length BWWM Paperbacks By Jamila Jasper | Interracial Romance Collectors Rejoice!

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Welcome to my master list of BWWM romance novels I have published as Paperbacks. I'll give you the direct link to buying Jamila Jasper on Paperback. All paperback books are 5"x8" so that your collection has a portable, uniform look.

"Bookmark" this page as I'll update it often as I work on expanding my catalog to have a further reach.

The list will take you from "most recent" to least recent releases. If you have a book that you want to see as a paperback that isn't currently available, COMMENT on this post.

I take my customers wants seriously and aim to make reading my books a comfortable and easy experience for you.

Read more to get all the links you need in one convenient location:

Complete Paperback Collection by Jamila Jasper 

 

NEWEST PAPERBACKS 2018

 

📚 Killer Love Paperback: http://amzn.to/2rqYJJk

📚9-Inch Addiction Paperback: http://amzn.to/2H175Ly

📚Beauty & The Biker Paperback: https://amzn.to/2uxgdFl

📚Silver Fox: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CHSMC28

📚Silver Fox 2: https://amzn.to/2Pryvx0

📚Get Pucked Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1981000437

📚Mr. Too Big Paperback: https://amzn.to/2Izm7Ze

📚The Sicilian Brotherhood I Paperback: https://amzn.to/2E7mH0Y

📚The Sicilian Brotherhood II Paperback: https://amzn.to/2EaSfDk

📚The Sicilian Brotherhood III Paperback: https://amzn.to/2rrVRcw

📚Alpha Bait Paperback: https://amzn.to/2rt8K5Q

📚Jealous Ex Husband Paperback: https://amzn.to/2QLyjxy

📚Bad Boy Heaven Paperback: https://amzn.to/2QEeZSF

📚French Kissed Paperback: https://amzn.to/2UqXBzT

📚The Biggest Ego Paperback: https://amzn.to/2L4y3UX

📚SEAL's Captive Paperback: https://amzn.to/2L4mvB7

📚Ex Con's Captive Paperback: https://amzn.to/2QkPZAF

📚Hitman's Captive Paperback: [LAUNCHING DECEMBER 21st 2018]

Wild Winter Lust 

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Get Wild Winter Lust paperback: http://amzn.to/2D8k2UK

 

Sleeping With The Mafia

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Sleeping With The Mafia Paperback => http://amzn.to/2DnbQxo

Cocked & Unsheathed

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Cocked & Unsheathed paperback => http://amzn.to/2Dnw7mr

The Situationship

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The Situationship paperback => http://amzn.to/2r3hjXZ

Bound & Gagged

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Bound & Gagged paperback => http://amzn.to/2DnDFWj

Out of Bondage (Book #3 Becoming A Riccardi Series)

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Out of Bondage paperback => http://amzn.to/2FuXE6p

 

The Family Secret (Book #2 Becoming A Riccardi Series)

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The Family Secret paperback => http://amzn.to/2DqUrE7

Mad Mafia Love (Book #1 Becoming A Riccardi Series) 

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Mad Mafia Love Paperback => http://amzn.to/2DqaKRN

Ride A Cowboy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ride A Cowboy paperback => http://amzn.to/2DlM38N

Father by Choice

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Father by Choice paperback => http://amzn.to/2EzlOLq

Blue Eyed Hunk

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Blue Eyed Hunk paperback => http://amzn.to/2D4zPVa

Stripped Bare

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Stripped Bare paperback => http://amzn.to/2D4WQqZ

This is the end of my full-length novel paperback list. If you'd like to see a novel as a paperback that isn't available, please comment on this post down below. I take my customer's inquiries seriously and will work to make the book available for you as soon as it's possible.

 

Nook, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play BWWM Book List | Published Wide Interracial Romance

Hey everyone, this is my master list of BWWM romance novels I have published WIDE. Beneath each book, I will list which platform each book is available on for your convenience. "Bookmark" this page as I'll update it often as I work on expanding my catalog to have a further reach.

The list will take you from "most recent" to least recent releases. If you have a book that you want to see on a non-Amazon platform that isn't available, COMMENT on this post. I take my customers wants seriously and aim to make reading my books a comfortable and easy experience for you.

 

Read more to get all the links you need in one convenient location >>>>>

 

9-Inch Addiction

Universal Link: https://www.books2read.com/9inchaddiction

Platforms: Amazon, Nook/Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, 24 Symbols+

Coming Soon: iBooks/Apple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Killer Love

BWWM Books Romance Novel Excerpts Killer Love Jamila Jasper BWWM BooksUniversal Links: books2read.com/killerlove
 

Platforms: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Coming Soon: Apple, Kobo, iBooks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Winter Lust 

bwwm romance novel new release kimonoUniversal Link: books2read.com/wildwinterlust

Platforms: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, 24Symbols, Thalia, Inktera  

COMING SOON: Apple, Google Play

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extra Stuffing 

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Platforms: Amazon, Apple, Google Play Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, 24Symbols, Thalia, Inktera

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cocked & Unsheathed

cocked and unsheathed dark romance booksUniversal Link: books2read.com/cockedandunsheathed

Platforms: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play [IN PUBLISHING], Scribd, 24Symbols, Thalia, Inktera  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rock Hard Soldier

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Sleeping With The Mafia

mafia swirl romanceUniversal Link: books2read.com/sleepingwiththemafia

Platforms: Amazon, Apple [IN PUBLISHING], Barnes & Noble [IN PUBLISHING], Kobo, Google Play, Scribd, 24Symbols, Thalia, Inktera  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bound & Gagged

books similar to 50 shades to greyUniversal Link: books2read.com/bound-and-gagged

Platforms: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Scribd, 24Symbols, Thalia, Inktera  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Situationship 

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Platforms: Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Google Play, Scribd, 24Symbols, Thalia, Inktera  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out of Bondage (Book #3 Becoming A Riccardi Series)

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Platforms: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Scribd, 24Symbols, Thalia, Inktera  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Family Secret (Book #2 Becoming A Riccardi Series) 

our best contemporary romance novels jamila jasper the family secretUniversal Link: books2read.com/thefamilysecret

Platforms: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Scribd, 24Symbols, Thalia, Inktera  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mad Mafia Love (Book #1 Becoming A Riccardi Series) 

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Platforms: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Scribd, 24Symbols, Thalia, Inktera  

Full Series Boxed Set Link [discounted]:  http://amzn.to/2tXQxzT

Full Series Boxed Set Audiobook Link [Audible, Amazon, iTunes]: http://amzn.to/2C5sdkU

 

 

 

 

 

Father By Choice

 books similar to 50 shades of grey father by choiceUniversal Book Linkbooks2read.com/father-by-choice-jamila-jasper

Platforms: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, 24Symbols, Thalia, Inktera  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue-Eyed Hunk

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Platforms: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, 24Symbols, Thalia, Inktera  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stripped Bare 

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Platforms: Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Google Play, 24Symbols, Thalia, Inktera  

Stripped Bare Audiobookhttp://amzn.to/2y41ikg

Dark Romance Books: Cocked & Unsheathed | BWWM Romance by Jamila Jasper

cocked and unsheathed dark romance booksDark romance books can't beat Cocked And Unsheathed, the gritty military romance novel released by Jamila Jasper in August of 2017. This interracial romance novel follows the story of a SEXY military man named Zane when he comes back to his home of Peach, Georgia.

He meets Dana Bright -- a strong, confident, black woman that he immediately falls for. This story is perfect if you love romantic stories and interracial romance books.

This story has a surprising twist at the end... 

Read the description below and then keep reading to get a full taste of the sample:

Home from the military with a fire of desire burning inside him and a 9-inch python that makes women scream...

Zane's instincts to possess Dana Bright kick in the first time he sees her.

Her guard is up, but she can't help but crave the sexy soldier just back from the Gulf War.

After a sultry night between the sheets, everything in Dana's life changes.

Zane's the first man to ever make her climax.

Dana knows he could be shipped off to Iraq at a moment's notice...

But now that she's addicted to all of his nine-inches,

She doesn't know how the heck she's going to say goodbye...

Dark Romance Book Excerpts: Cocked & Unsheathed 

 

 

Prologue

As Told By Dana Bright

 

I tried to forgive my father. Well, technically John Porter was my step-father. My daddy had died when I was five years old. But my mama still had bills to pay and her small-time job babysitting white ladies’ kids barely cut it. The first man that had come along and offered to take those burdens off her shoulder seemed like a God-send.

 

But John Porter had been far from a God-send. I’d known him as my father since I was eight years old. And he’d stuck around. Though by now, I’m sure my mama and I both wish that he’d left.

 

Like every toxic marriage, things had started off great with John.

 

My mama never had to worry about the lights getting turned off. All of a sudden we had food on the table. All of a sudden me and my sister Cleo were going to the dentist. We had new shoes in the middle of the year. By the time my mama wanted to marry John, hell we couldn’t wait to have a father.

 

Having a man around the house started off nicely.

 

I remember waking up on a morning, slipping into my jeans and t-shirt for school and running downstairs to meet John. Daddy.

 

It was only after the wedding that things changed.

 

But their wedding day was beautiful. John didn’t have much of a family so to speak, so it was just us Brights. My mama’s family was Southern and they knew how to throw down. Aunties and uncles who had migrated to New York all came down to Peach, Georgia for the affair.

 

I think the big to-do made things worse in the end. But at the time, there was pure bliss in my house. Everyone wanted to see mama happy and with John, we all thought she would be.

 

It’s possible the little signs had been there all along. It’s possible there were hints and clues that mama had shielded us from.

 

We’d always known John was a drinker. We’d known about his two year stint in jail up in Massachusetts. But he’d assured my mama that it was all a set up and he’d been falsely accused.

 

When a woman is desperate and in love, she’s willing to do crazy things.

 

Letting John Porter into our home was certifiably insane. 

 

They hadn’t been married one week when it started. Cleo and I were playing upstairs when we heard a blood curdling scream — our mother’s scream. We turned towards each other and ran out of the room. The sound of ceramic crashing against the wall startled us as we peered down the stairs. 

 

John’s fingers snaked through our mother’s hair and he was pressing her body against the wall, punching her in the back as she screamed.

 

We stood at the top of the stairs, still and stunned. We said nothing. We froze and listened to our mother scream and scream until he dropped her. She collapsed to the ground wailing and John walked off. She sobbed and sobbed there whilst Cleo and I stood powerless, wondering what we should do.

 

We’d never been exposed to that before. A man putting his hands on our mama was plain incomprehensible. But we knew that we should never tell. We knew that what we’d experienced had been shameful. Our childish minds couldn’t process whether the shame belonged to us, our mother, or to John.

 

Now that I’m old enough to understand, it’s too late. Our childhoods already happened. Our mother is already broken. And my sister and I are drifting through life pretending to be normal. But nothing that happened to us was normal. And any chance at being normal was stolen from us.

 

Cleo developed such a deep distrust of men that I think it changed her forever — even more than it changed me.

 

Cleo didn’t speak to either of them anymore — not John and not mama. I tried to convince her otherwise, but she was adamant about wanting them out of their lives. That meant mama — in all her old age — was my responsibility. 

 

After work, I promised her I’d come over. John was out with one of his other women so mama thought it would be a good time to drop by. I was happy he was gone even if it was just for the afternoon. Despite my best attempts to forgive him, I still felt uneasy around John. I still felt that nagging sense that a whooping was just around the corner. Silly. John was too old to whoop anyone anymore.

 

That didn’t make my gut feel any safer.

 

I drove over to mama’s little house in Peach, just a few miles away from my own. 

 

The door was unlocked and as I walked in, I could hear her fussing over something in the kitchen.

 

“Momma I’m home!” I called out to her.

 

She didn’t reply.

“Momma it’s Dana!”

 

“C’mon into the kitchen child.”

I walked into the kitchen where my mother was cutting up some fresh cornbread she’d made in her cast iron skillet.

 

“Mmm. That smells delicious.”

“Lemme get you some butter.”

 

She buttered my cornbread, putting a fresh slice on each of our plates. When she’d served us both up, she led me out into the living room.

 

“John might not be back for another two or three days.”

I didn’t want to talk about John.

 

“He’s off with Edith?”

 

My mama shook her head, “No a new woman. Younger. ‘Round 55 years old.”

I pursed my lips in disapproval. My mother had known about John’s cheating for decades and she never did anything about it. After years of being beat down on, she didn’t have it in her to stop him. Even if he ran women ‘round her for decades, she did nothing.

 

“Okay mama.”

 

I bit into the cornbread, appreciating the flavor as my mama’s family recipe practically melted in my mouth.

 

“So how you doing? How’s work?”

 

“Work is work.”

 

“Mhmm. And what about that boy you were hanging round?”

I pursed my lips. My mama always brought up some boyfriend of mine right after I’d kicked him to the curb. I wasn’t one of those women who was confused about what the problem was. I’ll admit it to you right now. The problem was me. I was the one who kept choosing men that forced me to replicate my past.

 

I would see the good qualities that John had in other men and my magnetic pull towards them was immediate. Of course, just like with John, their bad qualities had come out immediately. The only thing I was grateful that I’d never done was get married.

 

Lord, I couldn’t imagine what it would have been like to be married.

 

The closest I’d come was Willy Morris. He was fifteen years my senior and a police officer. We’d been together for eight years. Seven of those years he’d beat me black and blue until I snapped, nearly killing him in self-defense. I shot him right in the foot and he howled like a goddamn coyote. Willy didn’t press charges, but I never saw him again after that. He never came sniffin’ round and I promised myself I’d never let a man whoop me like that again.

 

You know the saying “there are many ways to skin a cat”? Gross, I know. But that’s sort of what it’s like with bad men. There were so many ways for men to treat me wrong without laying a finger on me. That’s what I was forced to learn after Willy.

 

And well, the last guy I was with had found a way to hurt me again. But this time, I wasn’t the one who’d left.

 

“Orville?”

 

“Yes, Orville. What ever happened to him?”

 

“He moved out west mama.”

“So y’all are finished?”

“Beyond finished,” I mumbled.

 

I couldn’t bare to tell my mama the full story. Orville had a whole family out west. In this current age of social media and the internet, his wife had found me and she’d pleaded with me to convince Orville to come home. He’d been gone from them for a year without saying a word and the poor woman was desperate.

 

I had to end it with him. 

 

Yet another boyfriend that ended up not being worth a damn.

 

I wondered how many years I could go on blaming John for how I was. Maybe I was just broken. And maybe I was always meant to be broken.

 

“You’ll find someone else. Someone who treats you right. Look at me. After your daddy died, I found John.”

Yes, my mama still said stuff like that. Even after John had beat her black and blue and even after he’d cheated on her with everything with a pussy in a fifty mile radius.

 

“I’m hoping not to find a man like John.”

I knew my sharp tongue would get me in trouble with her, but I still had a little bit of Cleo in me. I couldn’t pretend that everything was okay.

“Listen… John has provided for me. He’s provided for you and your sister. The man has his flaws but you two sound downright ungrateful sometimes.”

I felt the cornbread turning in my stomach. Yes. John had done so much for us. 

 

I remembered the first night he’d climbed into our bed when we were ten years old. How he’d held a knife to Cleo’s throat and forced me to do things to him. I remembered how it had happened for years and years. I remembered how I’d wet the bed until I was seventeen. I remembered how Cleo had gone to that New Orleans witch doctor to have an abortion after John had gone too far.

 

John. The provider in our family. He had done so much for us. We should have been eternally grateful.

 

“We ain’t ungrateful mama,” I whispered.

 

Speaking out against John would get you nowhere in her house. No matter what he’d done, my mama had been brainwashed into thinking it had been better than raising us alone would have been.

 

“Well Cleo’s damned ungrateful.”

I remembered the blood washing down her thighs after the witch doctor’s medicine that John had forced down her throat pushed the baby out of her. I stood with her in the shower, rinsing the blood down her thighs as she screamed in pain. Not just the pain of the induced miscarriage, but the pain of being impregnated by her stepfather. The pain of enduring years and years of rape, only to have it end like this.

 

We thought that maybe after we were older John would stop being attracted to us. But it never really stopped. And I never really knew how much our mama knew about it. We never told her and never spoke much about it. But she had to have known, hadn’t she?

 

How could she miss out on Cleo’s screams? Or the way our teenage years had been fraught with disciplinary infractions? How could she miss the fact that the life had been sapped from our faces? How could she miss out on the fact that we both carried the wounded empty expressions of woman who had been broken? 

 

John made no secret of his attraction to us when we were younger. So I told myself that she had to know. And I had to tell myself that she was just too scared to do anything about it. She was my mama, of course she cared about us. But she was under his spell too. I tried to forgive. I really did. 

 

And I thought I could forgive. My sister on the other hand couldn’t. Cleo had packed up and left Peach as soon as she turned eighteen. If she could have gone earlier, she would have. And I didn’t blame her the way my mama did. We hadn’t had real childhoods. Not after daddy died. John had stolen them away from us and each time I had to face him, I was reminded of that.

 

“I don’t think Cleo’s ungrateful mama.”

My mother snorted and then wandered off to the kitchen for more cornbread. I tried to relax. I hadn’t come here to get a lecture about Cleo’s malfeasance. And I hadn’t come here to be reminded of all the things I spent every day of my life trying to forget.

 

“You know… I know you two didn’t have the perfect life growing up.”

I said nothing.

 

My mother sighed, “But I’ve been praying for you Dana. I’ve been praying that the right man will come along.”

 

I snorted, “I doubt it.”

 

My mama chuckled, “You don’t believe me. But there’s a line in the Bright family that possesses the sight. I think you’ll meet someone very soon.”

 

I scoffed, thinking she was just trying to make me feel better. But I wondered how true that could be. Could there really be someone out there that would break my curse with men? Was it possible to attract a man who didn’t sense my dark past like a vampire? 

 

“Well mama I hope you’re right. I’m getting older and… it would be nice to have someone.”

“Don’t just settle for the first man who comes along.”

 

Sometimes my mama said more than she meant to say.

“Can I have some more of that cornbread?”

“Sure thing.”

 

I followed her into the kitchen. After I had another slice, we changed the subject to more pleasant things. No one wanted to talk about John anymore, or my last boyfriend, or the fact that Cleo hadn’t spoken to anyone in the family for over a decade. 

 

We laughed for a long time. My mama told me about new ideas for my yarn store. And she told me about Doris, her latest spades partner. Then after a while she got tuckered out and just fell asleep. I cracked open a book as she drifted off to sleep.

 

Her snores rang through the house. I read until I feared John would come home. I snuck out of my mama’s house, locking the door behind me with her keys. The screeching of cicadas created a soundtrack for me as I walked to my car. Once inside, I checked my phone and I saw a message from Cleo.

 

I was the only one she bothered talking to, but she’d made me promise not to tell mama.

 

“I’m getting married.”

That was it. I rested my head against the steering wheel and started to weep. Cleo had broken the curse of our childhood. She’d found a good man out there. I knew he had to be a good man because Cleo was no fool. She wouldn’t let anyone else get too close — not after what we’d been through.

 

My tears were both tears of joy and tears of envy. While Cleo had managed to step closer to happiness, I couldn’t have felt further away from it. I was still in Peach, dodging John, listening to mama deny the past, and falling in love with dead beats.

 

I was stagnant. 

 

And I wanted a big change.

 

This book will be available for purchase on Amazon soon. If you can't wait to get a taste of Jamila's stories, check out her latest release "Gang Bangers" here => http://amzn.to/2fT0J7F 

Dark Romance Books: Meeting The Twins

dark romance books meeting the twinsLove dark romance books? Jamila Jasper's latest release will satisfy your craving for interracial romance and a dark romance plot. This saucy BWWM romance novel tells the story of a black woman named Alyssa who is caught between two difficult choices. Falling for a pair of intense, masculine white twin brothers completely rocks Alyssa's hum-drum world. Check out more of the description to learn more and keep reading for the full two chapters featured on this website. 

Alyssa Coleman is hard on her luck after losing her job as a programmer and getting dumped by her boyfriend Shawn. A chance encounter in a cafe where she’s drafting her cover letter to a big tech company leads her to meeting Galen Radcliffe, an attractive blonde artist who instantly falls for her sweet demeanor. Their date goes far better than expected and Alyssa’s week is topped off by a swanky new job… 

Her first day at work, Alyssa is shocked to meet her boss who looks exactly like Galen in every way. Did her date lie to her? When Alyssa confronts her boss, she discovers his name is Dante Radcliffe. He’s the CEO of the tech company where she’s just been employed and he’s Galen’s identical twin brother.

At first, Alyssa is able to keep her romance with Galen out of the office, but as she pulls longer and longer hours with Dante, her feelings for both of them begin to get muddled.

When Galen announces a possible move to New York City and Dante proves himself to be more of a playboy than Alyssa realized, she wants to be through with them forever.

But things just aren’t that simple when true love is on the line… 

As Alyssa fights to do what’s right without anyone getting hurt, she’ll have to make more than a few difficult choices. Meeting the Radcliffe twins was far more of a game changer than she could have ever imagined… 

Dark Romance Books Excerpts: Meeting The Twins

 

Chapter 1

 

The whirring of the blender in the café stirred Alyssa Coleman from her deep state of focus. As she heard the friendly blonde barista calling her name, she got her smoothie and re-seated herself at the isolated corner table. She stared at the top of her word processor: To Whom It May Concern

 

Click… Click...Click…

 

She erased the opening and tried again: Dear Sir or Madam…

 

Alyssa sighed and sipped on her “Meta Boost” smoothie. She hadn’t expected to be searching for a job again. She certainly hadn’t expected to have to write another cover letter. The process wasn’t just grueling; it felt pretty fruitless too. Despite her degree and her experience, Alyssa felt like just another nobody. Companies didn’t want to hire her and she couldn’t figure out why: was it racism? Sexism? Was she really just not good enough?

 

When Alyssa got her degree in computer science everyone in her family had shown up to her graduation proud that their baby girl had made it. Now, there were no more cowbells and tambourines to celebrate her every move. Her family questioned why she hadn’t been able to keep a job and then more importantly, why she hadn’t been able to keep a man.

 

Just when Alyssa thought life couldn’t get harder. She’d just lost her job working with a mid-sized tech firm as a programmer when her boyfriend Shawn had dumped her. She was quickly turning from the family’s prized sheep to the black sheep and she didn’t know what to do. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Life was supposed to work out if you did everything right. And Alyssa had done everything right. She’d been Shawn’s ride or die and he left her for a girl who had barely graduated high school whose “career” was posting half naked photos online.

 

Alyssa felt betrayed by everybody. Nobody had warned her that she could end up thirty years old with no boyfriend, no job and bills on bills on bills.

 

Alyssa kept her mind plastered on her cover letter as she thought about her meeting with Maeve later that day. Alyssa and Maeve Wilson were more different than any two people could be. Alyssa had deep, sable colored skin and Maeve was paper white. Alyssa had black hair that fell in tight ringlets around her shoulders while Maeve was a redhead with pin straight hair that reached her waist. Alyssa was a gritty computer scientist and programmer while Maeve was a spiritual healer who held all kinds of New Age beliefs.

 

Despite their differences, the two were close friends. Even if Alyssa was an out of practice Christian, she had to admit that there was something to Maeve’s beliefs. At least she always felt a sense of peace and calm around Maeve that she didn’t feel around anyone else. Maeve was highly empathetic and gave the best advice. Alyssa was so looking forward to this meeting. She was desperate to meet someone, anyone to take her mind off Shawn.

 

Alyssa clacked away at her keyboard, going through the motions of drafting yet another cover letter. Alyssa heard the sound of the milk steamer as the baristas behind her made yet another drink. As the barista’s heels clicked across the coffee shop floor, Alyssa looked up and watched the next events unfold in slow motion.

 

The barista missed the fact that Alyssa’s computer charger was stretched across the coffee shop floor and inserted into the nearest plug. By the time the barista realized the computer charger was there, her heel got caught in the cord and she fell to the ground in slow motion. The cup of steaming hot coffee she was carrying flew out of her hand and traveled through the air like an ocean wave landing on the customer who it was intended for.

 

“SHIT! OH SHIT!” The man yelled standing up and removing his steaming t-shirt in the middle of the coffee shop. The barista was on the ground looking up at him with the perfect cocktail of shame and humiliation in her eyes.

 

She stood up and tried to apologize with tears in her eyes, “I’m sorry… I’m so sorry…”

 

“It’s fine,” The man growled.

 

At that point Alyssa had to step in.

 

“Hey, I’m so sorry,” She said to the barista.

 

Alyssa continued, “And you too sir. I should have warned you about my cord.”
 

“It’s okay,” The barista said.

 

“Yeah… I hope this one’s on the house,” The man growled again.

 

“Yes! Yes of course sir! Why don’t I go get you a warm cookie in the back,” The barista tittered.

 

“Any spare shirts back there?” He teased.

 

The barista looked confused but then scurried to the back of the coffee shop probably to escape more than anything.

 

Alyssa turned to the guy who was standing shirtless in the near empty coffee shop and offered him a personal apology.

 

“Hey, I’m so sorry… Are you hurt from the coffee?”

 

The guy smiled and replied, “Well it certainly hurts but I’ve been burned worse.”

 

“Oh.”

 

“I’m kidding… but also, I’m Galen,” He said.

 

“Alyssa… Nice to meet you.”

 

“Nice to meet you to. Mind if we talk for a while? I’ll share my free cookie with you,” He said.

 

Galen sat across from Alyssa shirtless, apparently not caring about the fact that he was in a public venue. The barista hustled from the back with a warm chocolate chip cookie and apologized profusely for not having extra shirts. Galen didn’t seem to notice. He’d already found something else to occupy his time.

 

He split the cookie in half and handed it to Alyssa. As his hand crossed over the table, Alyssa couldn’t help but notice how thick his hands were and how his bulging blue veins traveled all the way up his arm.

 

“So, what are you up to on this fine day,” Galen said.

“Writing a cover letter. I’m one of America’s many unemployed and I’m struggling to write something that doesn’t sound inauthentic.”

 

“Corporate America values inauthentic.”

 

“Very funny.”

 

“I’m not joking. But I guess I sound a little pretentious don’t I? Curse of being an artist.”

 

“An artist? In this economy?” Alyssa teased.

 

Galen smiled and his hazel eyes gleamed. Alyssa was glad that he could take a joke.

 

“So what kind of job are you looking for?” Galen asked.

 

Alyssa bit down on her lower lip. She was always nervous telling people about her profession. Many people were bold enough to accuse her of lying -- they just couldn’t believe that a black woman could be a programmer. Others would just give her doubtful looks as if they were trying their best to believe her but simply couldn’t. Alyssa figured she needed to stop caring what strangers thought of her so she answered honestly.

 

“Honestly? I’m a programmer. Looking for a job in tech, maybe consulting.”

 

Galen snorted.

 

“No way, just like my brother.”

 

“Oh?”

 

“Well I wish you luck Alyssa. I know it’s a tough world.”

 

“Don’t I know it…”

 

There was a moment of silence and Alyssa found herself staring at Galen. He was more attractive than she’d even realized. In the frenzy of the hot coffee drama she had hardly noticed that the man she was speaking to was attractive enough to be a model.

 

He had gorgeous pale skin, dirty blonde short cropped hair and hazel eyes.

 

Galen noticed her staring at him.

 

“Think my shirt’s dry enough to wear?” He asked and then dressed. As he dressed Alyssa noticed his muscles flexing and subconsciously bit down on her lower lip even harder.

 

“So… Uh… What kind of art do you do?” She asked awkwardly, suddenly feeling shy and realizing that she’d been flirting with Galen for a while.

 

“Mixed media. I paint, draw, sculpt, anything that uses my hands,” Galen said.

 

“So you’re good with your hands?”

 

“Among other things.”
 

“Well your girlfriend’s a lucky girl,” Alyssa said, throwing out a blatant piece of bait.

 

“Well she would be a lucky girl if I had one,” Galen said.

 

“Oh…”
 

“Speaking of girlfriends, would you like to go on a date tonight?”
 

“Tonight?”

 

“Yes,” Galen said, amused by her shock.

 

Alyssa nodded. “I’m supposed to meet up with my friend in a few so maybe after? Call me,” She said.

 

Alyssa reached into her purse and pulled out her minimalist business card, handing it to Galen. She stood up and packed up her belongings.

 

“I’d better go Galen. See you later?”

 

He nodded and continued sitting in Alyssa’s spot as she walked out the door.

 

Drinks with Maeve always went one of two ways. They would either end fantastically with drunken singing and/or karaoke OR Maeve would spout some of her spiritual beliefs, Alyssa would get upset with her and they would spend the next three days fighting.

 

Alyssa had a feeling things would go the second route. They’d started off the night with mojitos and Alyssa had just returned from a “session” with a client. She was in the headspace that Alyssa was so often aggravated by. They’d been talking (read: Maeve had been lecturing) about the power of healing quartz when Alyssa decided to change the subject.

 

“So after this, I have a date Maeve… I met this attractive guy named Galen in the coffee shop after I wrapped up my cover letter today. Oh my goodness he was so cute,” Alyssa started.

 

Maeve’s face lit up, “Cute? Did he look like Shawn?”

 

Alyssa snorted. “No! He did not look like Shawn. This guy was white okay and he’s an artist.”

 

“Hm… Did you find out his sign?”

 

“His sign?”

 

“Leo? Scorpio? Gemini?”

 

“Maeve!”

 

“Okay okay, tell me about him.”

 

“Well he was so hot and I don’t know… I’m kind of into that brooding artist type after Shawn. He seems laid back.”

 

“But you aren’t laid back at all,” Maeve said.

 

Alyssa glared at her.

 

“Exactly Maeve, it’s called balance.”

 

Maeve closed her eyes and sipped on her mojito a few times. Alyssa hated when Maeve went “into her special place” while they were out together. She sighed dramatically as she waited for Maeve to return to planet earth.

 

Maeve’s eyes snapped open and she reached across the table and held onto Alyssa’s arm.

 

“What is it Maeve,” Alyssa asked in a flat tone that barely masked her frustration.

 

“I’m getting a strong negative feeling. Chaos… Problems…”

 

“Okay so what? You’re getting a ‘feeling’ this guy isn’t right for me?” Alyssa snapped.

 

“No, I’m not saying that at all. Just be careful. You barely know him and you have… other things to focus on,” Maeve cautioned.

 

Alyssa sighed and answered, “Well thanks for the input.”

 

“Don’t take it personally Alyssa.”

 

Alyssa was still glaring.

 

“Alyssa, it’s just a warning,” Maeve pleaded.

 

“I’m sick of your warnings. Can’t I have anything good Maeve?! I’ve practically lost everything and I don’t need some soothsayer predicting gloom and doom.”

 

Maeve grinned, “Really Alyssa, soothsayer?”

 

They both looked at each other a burst into laughter. Alyssa was still a bit peeved but she realized that maybe she was overreacting. No matter what, Maeve always had her best interests at heart.

 

“Okay crazy, I’ll try to be careful,” Alyssa mumbled.

 

“Thanks,” Maeve added. She then launched into a spiel about her latest plans for spiritual healing and which crystals she was trying to order from Mexico. Alyssa might have been tired of listening to her but she was far away from their little table in the bar. She was anxiously anticipating her date with Galen and imagining how far things could go. Who knows, maybe this chance encounter would lead to something far greater than she ever imagined.

 

Hopefully there would be no need to be careful.

 

Chapter 2

 

Alyssa wondered if she should have dressed up more for her date with Galen. It had been a long time since she’d gone out with a man she barely knew and the wounds from Shawn were still fresh. Alyssa hated to think of herself as one of those bitter women who didn’t trust anybody but Shawn had built up her walls more than he’d broken them down. Alyssa had just parted ways with Maeve and she had to admit that Maeve’s warning was haunting her. Sometimes that crazy girl was actually right about her predictions and Alyssa knew that she was taking a risk.

What did she even know about Galen? He was kind enough to share his free cookie, he was an artist and of course, he looked incredible with his shirt off. Was that really all it took to grab her interest? Alyssa walked down the street to the restaurant where they’d agreed to meet. A classic, American style restaurant revealed absolutely nothing about Galen’s tastes or interests.

 

Alyssa’s hair was pinned back in a neat bun and her outfit was tasteful rather than revealing. Even if it had been a while since she was in the dating game, she knew that the key to a first date was keeping things tasteful. Alyssa walked into the restaurant and scanned the room for Galen. He saw her before she saw him and gestured for her to come over to his table. Wow. Alyssa was stunned. Galen had been appealing enough in the coffee shop but now he was sexy. He wasn’t wearing anything particularly fancy -- dark wash denim jeans and a plain fitted v-neck -- but something about the way he wore the outfit was driving Alyssa wild.

 

He pulled out the chair and gestured for Alyssa to sit. She was trying to play it cool but soon Alyssa realized that she was beaming like an idiot.  They looked at the menu in silence and then decided on what to eat.

 

When they put their orders in, Alyssa got down to business. She was intrigued by Galen's entire persona. He had chosen a nice enough restaurant so even if he was an artist he obviously wasn't struggling.

 

“So Galen, what exactly does an artist do to stay afloat. I mean, is there really money in art these days?”

 

Galen chuckled. He appreciated how quickly Alyssa got to the point.

 

“Well, I wouldn't say art keeps me afloat but a man has to find ways of doing what he loves.”

 

“Agreed. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones whose passions in life happened to be profitable.”

 

“And what passion would that be exactly,” Galen asked smirking.

 

Alyssa shrugged. “Programming, computers, technology, it's all so amazing.”

 

“And that's your passion?”

 

Alyssa nodded.

 

“I love that humanity as a whole has come so far. We have advanced… We have created more than even our grandparents could have imagined and I've always wanted to work in a field that creates.”

 

Galen tried to hide his scoff.

 

He interjected, “But don't you think this focus on advancement has numbed our minds to the true beauty of the world Alyssa? What about art or literature.”

 

“Art or literature can't save lives the way science can,” Alyssa scoffed.

 

Galen became brooding but his response was interrupted by the arrival of their meal. Alyssa wondered if she had become too defensive too quickly. She knew that. Ring a woman in the scientific field made her hardened to debate. Alyssa wondered if she’d lost some of her softness in the process of pursuing her dream career.

 

They began eating in marked silence.

 

“Art and literature have saved more people than science Alyssa, just in ways you technophiles can’t seem to grasp,” Galen growled.

 

Alyssa knew that she could either keep up this debate or be the bigger person. It was time for her to show what she’d learned from her previous failed relationships…

 

“Hey, I don’t mean to argue. I’m sorry. I know that it must feel terrible to have people talk badly about your career,” Alyssa said. She flashed Galen a smile, hoping that would be enough to smooth things over.

 

“It’s fine,” Galen replied.

 

Galen kept eating and then after a while he said, “You know… I just don’t get how people don’t follow their passions. I know art… the whole art world can be hard but it’s just lazy if you ask me.”

 

Alyssa could feel her blood pressure rising again. She liked Galen for a lot of reasons but she was quickly finding out that there was one area where they would always disagree.

 

“Well maybe not everyone’s in a position to do so,” Alyssa replied, shrugging her shoulders and trying not to appear too invested in the entire thing.

 

Galen scoffed, “You really believe that? I don’t know Alyssa. I see so many unhappy people and my theory is that they choose to be unhappy.”

 

Alyssa wasn’t sure that she could hold back, “Come on Galen… It’s just not that simple.”

 

“I think it is,” He said, ignorant to the fact that this line of conversation was upsetting his date.

 

“Well I think that not everyone’s born with a silver spoon in their mouth,” Alyssa blurted out, immediately regretting what she’d said. So much for not coming off as catty and judgmental.

 

Galen dropped his fork and raised his eyebrows.

 

“I resent that,” He said calmly.

 

“I’m sorry.”

 

“No, you’ve got to speak your mind I guess,” Galen said sarcastically.

 

“Listen, I’m sorry okay? Maybe it’s good we find out where we disagree so early in the game,” Alyssa pleaded.

 

Galen smiled.

 

“You’re right. Maybe you would have found out how stubborn I was when it was far too late.”

 

The tension between them dissipated and the subject of conversation shifted quickly away from an arts vs. technology debate that would have surely ended the night prematurely. Alyssa decided to take interest in Galen’s passion and she asked him what he wish non-artists knew about art…

 

As he started speaking to her about his passion, his eyes filled with a light that Alyssa hadn’t noticed before. He was energized by his love of art and Alyssa couldn’t help but wonder how that energy translated elsewhere. Was it possible that Galen was just as fiery and intense about his lovers as he was about his art? Shawn hadn’t had a lick of creativity in him, maybe Galen was just what Alyssa needed.

 

They finished up their meal and Galen took the check before Alyssa could even offer to pay her half of the bill. She was secretly relieved that he payed because until she got another job, she was trying to live more frugally.

 

“So… Want to do something else?”

 

“Maybe we could get a coffee, take a quick walk?” Galen suggested.

 

It sounded pleasant enough. As they left the restaurant arm in arm, Alyssa started to feel more connected to Galen. He asked her questions about her previous job, her love of programming and how she got started in such a field. Those weren’t unusual questions; there had never been very many black female programmers in Alyssa’s world and most people wondered how she’d even broken past those glass ceilings. Alyssa had always attributed her success to three things: hard work, dedication and faith. Those had carried her a long way.

 

Galen might have been in a different field entirely, but he still knew the value of hard work and dedication.

 

They both ordered black coffees as strong as their personalities and took a quick walk around town. Alyssa was starting to feel that this date with Galen might turn into something more; she definitely wouldn’t have been opposed to a second date.

 

“So Galen… if you don’t mind me asking, what exactly are you looking for. I don’t want to be pushy it’s just that I’m fresh out of a relationship that had a pretty awful ending. I’m not looking to make any more mistakes.”

 

Galen squeezed her hand.

 

“Don’t worry, we can take things slow. I like you Alyssa. There’s something about you that’s so different but at the same time, so peaceful to be around. I’m hoping that we can do this again.”

 

“So am I.”

 

Galen continued, “To tell you the truth, my heart’s been broken in the past. I know this tortured artist thing might seem cliched but I have to tell you, I’ve been through some terrible things.”

 

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Alyssa said.

 

“It’s alright. I’m not looking for pity Alyssa. I just want to let you know that if I seem guarded, that’s why.”

 

“Ready to head home?” Galen asked.

 

Alyssa nodded. The night had gone well but it was about time to wrap it up. If things went on any later into the night, who knows what kind of expectations Galen could come up with. He didn’t seem like he was that kind of guy but they never really did, did they?

 

As they walked to her place, Galen pulled her close. Their conversation pace was slowing down, matching the winding of the evening. Alyssa felt the spring breeze picking up around her and she walked even closer to Galen matching his stride. As she clutched his large bicep, she wondered if all artists spent that much time at the gym. Galen was obviously strong with thick natural musculature that accentuated his lean physique.

 

When they arrived at Alyssa’s apartment, she let Galen walk her to the door, using her body language to make it clear that she wasn’t going to let him upstairs on the first date.

 

“So, we’ll do this again?” Galen asked.

 

Alyssa stood next to him, looking into his eyes and noticing that Galen was a towering 6’4” for the first time. She nodded, keeping her eyes locked with his and hoping desperately that he got the hint about what she wanted.

 

“Yes, I’d love that,” Alyssa added, letting the words spill out of her mouth slow and precise.

 

Galen leaned forward and held onto the small of Alyssa’s back pulling her close. He pressed his soft rosebud lips to hers for the first time. As he kissed her, Alyssa felt the electricity of fresh romance and arousal shoot through her body. She reached up and held onto Galen’s face, kissing him back hard letting him know that she felt exactly as he did.

 

Alyssa didn’t want to pull away from what had been the most electrifying kiss of her life to date. Finally, a need for oxygen caused Alyssa to come up for air. She pulled back and opened her eyes, looking right into Galen’s eyes and seeing the desire that she expected. She understood because she wanted it too. Just not now, not yet.

 

“May I have another?” Galen whispered.

 

Alyssa nodded and tip toed up to his lips again. The second kiss wasn’t dulled by the initial one and Alyssa easily slipped into arousal again. She pulled away and whispered, “I’ve got to go…”

 

Galen nodded and then watched her leave. Alyssa’s heart was pounding as she closed the door behind her. The date hadn’t been perfect but perfect wouldn’t have been real. Alyssa couldn’t wait to tell Maeve that her prediction had been wrong. There had been no big drama, no disaster waiting to happen. It had been decidedly normal. Alyssa was happy for that. She needed some normal in her life. All she needed for everything to be in her order was a new job.

For the first time in a while, Alyssa felt like things were looking up.

Currently, this book is not available on Amazon but will be published soon. If you would like to be the first to know when the rest of this book is released, join Jamila Jasper's e-mail list. Click here to sign up for Jamila's NO SPAM guaranteed list.  If you're interested in more stories like this one, check out this saucy short story by Orlena James. Illicit Love Affair by Orlena James is a hot hot hot BWWM romance story. Click here to read more! 

Romance Novel Excerpts: The Devoted Winter

romance novel excerpts the devoted winterIf you enjoy romance novel excerpts featuring strong black female characters and attractive white men, check out The Devoted Winter. This is one of our best steamy romance novels and one of Jamila Jasper's first best-selling novels to top the charts of African American romance. If you enjoy BWWM books or you're searching for the top romance novels in interracial romance, be sure you check out this steamy full-length novel.

Nadiyya is a curvy, spunky black woman who is finally on the road to realizing her dream. Her life changes when she meets a confident white investor, Lucian. In the rural winter wonderland of Vermont, the two embark on a journey together to launch Nadiyya's company. Nadiyya's determined to realize her dream; nothing and no one will stop her.

This story has a few dark twists as Nadiyya and her romantic interest get closer. Other people in Nadiyya's life just can't be happy for her and in her quest for love, she battles far more jealousy than she could have ever imagined dealing with. All in the name of love and success...

 

Romance Novel Excerpts: The Devoted Winter

 

Chapter 1

 

Nadiyya and Slade had been best friends for years. It hadn’t been easy for her to get established in this podunk Vermont town, but when she met a white guy who actually got it, things became a lot easier. Slade wasn’t like other guys, who were only trying to get into her pants. He wasn’t like other white guys because he actually wanted to get to know her. He didn’t pigeonhole her into the role of ‘sassy black friend’ or use her to get into the pants of her white besties. Slade actually respected Nadiyya and that meant a lot to her, especially in her mid twenties when real friends were getting harder and harder to come by.

 

The two were both freelancers and artists, with Nadiyya a bit more grounded in practicality than her counterpart. After a year of working closely with each other, Nadiyya and Slade finally decided to join forces and actually start a business together. They wanted it to be big, but they needed the capital first. Nadiyya’s family had always been too poor to help. Her mom was a drug addict and her father had abandoned her mother before Nadiyya was even born.

 

Nadiyya and Slade were sitting together in the cheap one room ‘office’ they’d rented, trying to brainstorm ways they could pitch their business to venture capitalists and actually get the revenue they needed. Vermont was small time and venture capitalists were more interested in eco-friendly businesses destined for failure than big ticket ideas that lacked a humanitarian lean. Two cups of coffee brewed in the background. Nadiyya’s heart was beating fast as she watched Slade on the phone. She smiled. He was so… Nordic in his appearance.

 

He paced around the room with the timbre and enthusiasm in his voice fluctuating and Nadiyya watched him, waiting for him to finally end the call and give her the verdict. Slade was average height, around five foot eleven. He was relatively thin but toned, with a bright mop of carrot colored hair on his head. Sometimes he wore it short, but in the middle of winter he let it grow out so he could almost put it in a ponytail. He dressed like a native Vermonter, but he was born and bred in Greenwich, estranged from his family for reasons that Nadiyya wasn’t quite certain of.

 

Occasionally, during moments of silence in his phone call, Slade would look up at Nadiyya and try to express what was happening with his eyes. ‘This guy’s giving me the run around’. ‘This is amazing’. Stuff like that. Nadiyya couldn’t wait for him to get off the call. Slade was getting more and more excited, his voice getting louder as he was clearly nearing the end.

 

“That sounds great Jason.”

“Yes.”

“Just send me the invoice and I’ll get back to you.”

“Alright. You have a great day too.”

 

He hung up and opened his arms wide for a hug. Nadiyya hugged him and then pulled away excited. “So it’s good news?! We got the money?” she asked.

 

“Not quite,” Slade replied.

“Well then why are we so excited?” Nadiyya said.

“Jason knows a guy who is interested, but he is going to want to come in to oversee the project. He’s taking a big risk with us…” Slade trailed off.

 

Nadiyya was still excited. Slade was right. This was the biggest step they’d been able to take in months. Finally, they were going to have all the money they needed to make this work. Nadiyya was pulled out of her head by Slade pulling her in for a hug again. This time, his attitude had changed. It was more sensual. When Nadiyya tried to pull away, Slade planted an awkward kiss on her lips.

 

Nadiyya pulled away quickly.

 

“Slade what are you doing? We’ve talked about this. We’re just friends!” Nadiyya said. Although Slade had always been respectful of her boundaries, she could tell working so closely with him was starting to have an effect.

 

“I’m sorry Nadiyya,” he said. He turned away from her, clearly upset at her rejection, and began to pack his things. It had been the last item on the agenda for the day, so luckily Nadiyya didn’t have to spend the rest of the day skirting around the fact that her best friend had just tried to kiss her.

 

The two left the building and got into their separate cars. Nadiyya didn’t think anymore of what had just happened. She figured it was a spur of the moment mistake, brought on by the fact that they’d just had a major breakthrough. Slade, on the other hand, wasn’t so capable of letting go. He slammed his hands on the steering wheel as he sat in traffic. He felt rage welling up inside him; his inner monologue reminding him of his failure:

 

Stupid. You stupid asshole. You should have known she’d reject you. You thought she was different. But you were fucking wrong… She’s the same as all these other whores. Jackass! Idiot! Why do they all think they’re better than you? I’m a decent fucking guy but these girls only want assholes. They’re just put off by my intelligence probably… If only I looked like one of these douche bag alpha males. I’m so fucking ANGRY! I want to hurt her. I love her. I love her… I’m going to have her no matter what.

 

A near collision in an intersection snapped Slade out of his rage momentarily. But his mind still lingered on his goal to get with Nadiyya. He didn’t have to take no for an answer. Who was she to defy him? Who was she to decide that he wasn’t worthy? He wanted her and he felt as if he’d invested so much in her. He wouldn’t accept rejection, not this time. Slade knew that he could never get Nadiyya without using his ‘masterful intelligence’. He needed to be stealthy, subtle and devious. That was the only way to make a woman yours in the modern world.

 

 

The next day in the office was completely normal. There was not a hint of awkwardness between Nadiyya and Slade, which surprised both of them. A part of this was the fact that they were preparing for that venture capitalist to make his appearance. They tidied up their notes, chalkboard and work area in an attempt to appeal to this incredibly wealthy man. Nadiyya was nervous. She had no idea what to expect and she didn’t have the charisma that Slade seemed to have when it came to business. Business men just seemed more comfortable seeing the white male front to the business. Acknowledging and relating to Nadiyya was just way too far out of their comfort zone. Nadiyya just hoped this guy at least wasn’t blatantly racist. Working with him would be much too difficult if that were the case.

 

A knock on the office door sent chills down Nadia’s spine as she anticipated the arrival of the venture capitalist who had dared to take a chance on them. Slade got the door and let in the mysterious investor who held the key to their hopes and dreams.

 

“Good afternoon. I’m Lucian Wynter,” he said coolly.

 

The first thing Nadiyya noticed about Lucian was his confidence. It didn’t take her long to take in and ‘notice’ his good looks too. Lucian was around six foot two with a light tropical tan. His hair was dark brown and cut short. His eyes were an icy blue color that seemed to match the snowy wasteland outside. He stomped his boots on their office’s doormat and took his coat off as if he had just entered his own home and not an unfamiliar office.

 

“Good afternoon Mr. Wynter,” Slade said as he hastily hung up the man’s jacket and moved to shake his hand. It was obvious that Lucian was accustomed to receiving respect whether or not he’d done anything to earn it. Slade and Nadiyya hastily introduced themselves and bustled around trying to make sure that he was comfortable in their office. They didn’t have to do much. Lucian felt instantly at home. He pulled up at the main table in the office and sat down. “Well, pitch me your idea,” he said. He spread his legs and leaned back as if this were all a joke to him. Nadiyya felt instantly annoyed but she knew better than to bite the hand that was about to feed her.

 

Their sales pitch lasted less than ten minutes. Slade and Nadiyya were in sync to the point where they’d perfected their selling. They both eyed Lucian Wynter expectantly, waiting for his face to betray some notion of what he thought about their idea. “It’s good. I’m in,” he said, keeping his nearly goofy smile plastered all over his face. Nadiyya couldn’t help but worry that he thought they were just a big joke.

 

Something entirely different was going through Lucian’s mind. He hadn’t really heard a single word of their sales pitch. Damn. He hated when he got like this… But he couldn’t help it. That girl, Nadiyya Jefferson, was too beautiful for him to bother paying attention to a single word that came out of her mouth. He didn’t care what her business idea was as long as he got to work with her. Something about her was just intriguing.

 

And hell, he had the money anyways. Lucian found their bustling around him quite entertaining. During their entire pitch he watched them move around like anxious little bees.  If only they knew where he’d come from and what he’d had to do to turn his family’s millions into billions. Maybe they wouldn’t have such blind respect and awe for him then.

 

When Nadiyya ended her pitch and clasped her hands respectfully in front of her, Lucian decided he’d seen enough. He simply had to get close to this anomalous woman. Yes, it would cost him and yes there were plenty of options out there but there was something about her that magnetically attracted Lucian. It was more than her appearance too. He didn’t come across many black women in his line of work and in fact he never had come across one who was so effortlessly beautiful and clearly uninterested in pursuing him. He also felt fascinated that this young would choose to work here in bumfuck nowhere, as an entrepreneur no less. It took some balls.

 

When Lucian leaned forward and verbally expressed his interest in working with them, he saw a genuine smile break out across Nadiyya’s face for the first time and realized he was hooked. Lucian figured it wouldn’t be hard to impress her. She was a young pup of an entrepreneur and he’d excelled in the world she desperately wanted to be a part of. Lucian was already envisioning how he would seduce her with his infinite knowledge and charm. Unfortunately, things weren’t going to be quite so simple.

 

Nadiyya absolutely despised working with Lucian. It hadn’t taken long for her to realize that the guy was a total pig. She figured she should have known from the first time he’d walked into their office as if he’d owned the place. Nadiyya tried her hardest not to let Lucian know how repugnant she found him. After all, he was their bread and butter. She just wished he would have given them the money and disappeared. Most venture capitalists were satisfied with weekly check ins. But no, Lucian had to be right there, hovering over their project the entire way. Nadiyya felt sick of him within a few days and she wasn’t sure she could hide it for much longer.

 

The worst part of all of it was how Slade and Lucian seemed to disagree about everything. Slade had one vision, but Lucian insisted on turning his ideas over immediately. Nadiyya tried to support Slade and take his side but two against one had absolutely no effect on Lucian. He was always convinced that he was right. Lucian’s ideas seemed so out of this world impractical to Nadiyya too, but she couldn’t help but wonder if maybe he was right.

 

Eventually, she stopped wondering and decided firmly: Lucian was an asshole.

 

They were all sitting around with cups of black coffee discussing marketing strategies. Nadiyya had piped up with an idea that she thought was worth bringing up. Lucian seemed to barely consider her idea. His brow was furrowed. He was looking off into the distance staring profusely at some point on the wall. “That won’t work at all. We need something better,” Lucian said. Nadiyya was instantly turned off by how quickly he’d dismissed her idea without giving it a moment of consideration. Nadiyya was annoyed, but not foolish. She knew they needed the money.

 

Slade on the other hand was getting sick of Lucian too. His male pride had been bruised too many times by Lucian’s casually dismissive ways. On a lunch break, Lucian went out to make some calls and ‘try the local cuisine’ (as he’d told them in a mocking voice). Slade and Nadiyya huddled up alone together at the first opportunity they’d had in days. They were both equally infuriated by the way Lucian had hijacked their entire venture.

“I want out. Fuck this guy! He doesn’t get to make the choices around here!”

 

“He kind of does, Slade,” Nadiyya said calmly. She always tried to balance out Slade’s emotions when they started to run amok.

 

“Well I don’t like his attitude,” Slade replied.

 

“Neither do I but we have to deal with it.”



“He’s always staring at you, too,” Slade said, unable to hide his jealousy.

 

“What does that have to do with it?” Nadiyya probed.

 

“Nothing I suppose. I just don’t like it. He’s skeevy,” Slade mumbled.

 

“We just need him ‘til launch. Or ‘til he gets bored. We can’t fuck this up, Slade. We need him,” Nadiyya said sternly. She knew she would have to keep an eye on Slade, who was prone to acting rashly when tensions got high.

 

Nadiyya wondered what Slade’s comment meant about Lucian always staring at her. Did Slade still like her? Was the man she’d absolutely abhorred actually trying to flirt with her? Nadiyya wondered why men were so complicated and why they never seemed to understand that women weren’t conquests or simple games they could play. She had no interest in either of them. She just wanted to have something to show for herself as a real entrepreneur, as a real business woman. Nadiyya had no interest in the petty drama that ‘romance’ would thrust upon her. She’d seen how ‘romance’ could end and it wasn’t pretty.

 

Her best friend from high school had been knocked up a few times. Her sisters were both married to men who cheated serially. As for her mother… Her mother had been a fool for men more times than she could count. Nadiyya was having none of it. She refused to replicate these debilitating cycles of self loathing and pain all for some half-baked attempt at romance. Why was romance more important for women than building a life for themselves?

 

Nadiyya felt like she would never understand why everyone around her was so obsessed with finding love.

 

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