We are getting so excited for the upcoming release of Beautiful Secret! Have you read Chapters One and Two yet? Eeeee!! Remember, in the US, Target has a special edition where every copy is hand-signed by us (there are 15,000 of them, don’t fret) and which includes Beautiful Beloved in print for the first time!
But if you don’t have a Target near you, don’t worry. We’re doing a ton of giveaways of these editions, so you’ll have lots of chances to get one. Plus, you can get Beautiful Secret in print, e-book, or audio at many other retailers!
- Although Niall & Ruby hit stores on April 14th–just around the corner–we’re also getting excited about the upcoming Dark Wild Night in September! And, because you guys were so amazing and voted in droves for Sweet Filthy Boy in the DABWAHA March Madness for Romance, we promised you a sneak peek at Oliver+Lola, and here it is! We honestly love this book SO MUCH and hope you do, too.
In this little excerpt, Lola wakes up to find Oliver asleep on her couch. As she contemplates him (and his hotness), he wakes up and they have breakfast together and then . . .
I lean against the counter, sip my nectar of the gods and watch Oliver eat. In some ways, he’s built like a stick figure: so long, so lean, loping stride and arms, nothing but sharp angles. But also, he’s strong. Muscle ropes around his biceps, his shoulders. His chest is broad, tapering into a straight waist. I could draw him, I think. I could draw him and I might even surprise myself with what I see.
“What are you thinking about?” he asks through a mouthful of cereal. “You’re staring at me as if you’re surprised I have arms.”
“I was thinking about what it would look like if I drew you.”
I feel my eyes go wide. I definitely didn’t mean to say this out loud, and we both know it. Oliver has gone so still, as still as the blood in my veins. He’s looking at me as if he expects me to elaborate but I can’t. Something shuts off in my brain when I’m nervous, some trap door closes.
Minutes pass and all I can hear is my own heartbeat, and the sound of Oliver eating. We’re not strangers to silence, but this one feels pretty heavy.
“Well do you want to?”
I blink up to his face. “Do I want to what?”
He takes a bite of Rice Krispies, chews and swallows. “Draw me.”
My heart inflates
“It’s no big deal, Lola. You’re an artist. And I realize I’m a bit of a demigod.” He winks and then ducks to take another milky bite of cereal.
Do I want to draw him? Hell yes, and real talk time: I do it all the time. But usually from memory, or at the very least I do it when he doesn’t know what I’m drawing. The idea of having unfettered visual access to that face, those hands, the ropey arms and broad shoulders . . .
“Okay,” I squeak.
He stares at me, giving me a tiny lift of his brow that says, “Well?” and before I can over-think this, I’m off, running to my bedroom, and digging through my desk for my bigger sketchpad and charcoals. I can hear him in the kitchen, putting his bowl in the sink, running the water to wash it.
My mind is a blender, coherent thoughts are chopped and killed. I have no idea what I’m doing right now but if Oliver wants to be drawn . . . well fuck. I’m going to fill this goddamn book with sketches.
Sprinting back to the living room, I nearly wipe out on the wood floor in my socks and manage to grip the wall just in time to see Oliver with his back to me, looking out the enormous loft windows. He reaches behind his neck and pulls his shirt over his head and off.
“Oh,” I groan.
He whips around and looks at me, mortification spreading over his face. “Were we not doing this? Oh, God, we weren’t doing this. We were just doing face and stuff.” Holding his shirt to his body, he says, “This is horrifying.”
“It’s fine,” I manage, looking at a pencil in my hand as if inspecting the quality of the sharp peak. I’m staring so hard I could break it with the force of my eyes alone. Oliver is shirtless. In my living room. “This is totally fine, I mean it’s really good to draw you without a shirt because I can focus more on muscle details and hair and nip—” I clear my throat. “Things.”
He drops the shirt, eyes still searching mine to check that I’m sure. “Okay.”
I sit on the couch, looking up at where he stands near the window. He looks out over the skyline, completely at ease. By contrast, my heart is tunneling a path out of my body through my throat. I spend more time than I should on his chest, the geometry of it: perfectly round, small nipples. A map of muscles, built of squares, rectangles, darting lines and sharp angles. The triangular tilt where hipbone meets muscle. I feel him watch me as I draw the dark hair low on his navel.
“Do you want my pants off?”
“Yes,” I answer before thinking and quickly shout, “No! No. God, oh my God, it’s okay.”
My heart could not possibly beat any harder.
His mouth is half unsure smile, half straight line. I want to spend a year drawing the exact shape of his lips in this moment. “I really don’t mind,” he says quietly.
The devil on my shoulder tells me, Do it Do it. Your geometric style never works with drawing legs. This would help.
The angel just shrugs and looks away.
“If you’re sure,” I say, and then clear my throat, explaining, “You know I’m really bad at drawing legs and . . .”
He’s already unbuttoning his pants, hands working the soft denim, unbuttoning the fly one tiny pop at a time.
It would be good for our friendship if I could look away, but I can’t.
With Herculean effort, I drag my eyes up to his face. “Yeah?”
He doesn’t say anything more, but holds my eyes as he pushes his jeans down his hips and kicks them to the side.
“Yeah?” I repeat. I am breathing too hard for this. It has to be noticeable.
This is totally different. Something is happening this morning that is not canon Oliver+Lola. I feel like we’re stepping through the doorway into Wonderland.
*holds breath* SO DID YOU LIKE IT? We hope so!! Dark Wild Night is coming at you September 15, 2015. But don’t forget you get Niall & Ruby first, and we hope they knock your socks off. We love you guys. We really do.