Friday, December 29, 2017

A Naughty New Year with Amy Andrews

Amy is an award-winning, best-selling Aussie author who has written sixty plus contemporary romances. She writes books featuring lots of sex and kissing and likes to make her readers tingle, laugh and sigh. She loves good books, frequent travel and great booze although she'll take mediocre booze if there's nothing else. She lives on acreage in a sunny part of Australia with a gorgeous mountain view but secretly wishes the ocean lapped the back fence.

This is the deleted first chapter from No More Mr. Nice Guy, my USA Today bestseller that was my first book for Entangled’s Brazen imprint. It intros (heroine) Josie and (hero) Mack’s sister Sal, and just how Josie came to write that embarrassing ten point sex list during a drunken night with her bestie. The same list Mack finds the next day and decides he wants to be the guy Josie checks it off with!

Josie Butler was officially sloshed. Not that it was her fault. Sal, her best friend of fifteen years, was virtually force-feeding her cocktails and it was New Years Eve. She groaned. "I'm a horrible person."

"Rubbish." Sal plonked another frosty delight in front of her. "Drink up."

Josie blinked blearily at the vile pink creation before pushing it away. "I've had enough."

"You've just dumped a long-term boyfriend and packed up your entire life to move to the other side of the world in search of adventure on a complete whim." Sal pushed it back. "You need more."

Josie winced at the term dumped. "Oh God." She dropped her forehead to the kitchen counter and shut her eyes as the events of the last week swirled through her gut, along with what felt like a gallon of alcohol. "I am a horrible person. Curtis will never forgive me."

"Curtis will be fine."

Josie shook her head, considerably awkward with her forehead still attached to the bench. "He's such a nice guy and I've...I've ruined everything for him."

Sal sighed. "Maybe if he wasn't such a dud in the bedroom you'd still be with him."

Josie glanced up at her friend. Her eyebrows were knitted together and she looked fierce. Josie wished for a moment she was a petite blond with huge blue eyes and a don't-mess-with-me attitude instead of being curvy and freckly, with weird looking cat-eyes. "Curtis wasn't a...dud. He was just...conservative. Which is what attracted me in the first place, remember?" Perfect for someone happy to fade into the background. "It's not his fault I..."

"Was bored to death?"

Josie shook her head. She hadn't been bored to death. Or she hadn't realized it anyway, until that fateful day at the hairdressers. "Changed my mind."

"You're a twenty-five year old healthy, active woman with normal sexual appetites. You deserve a healthy, active sex life. You deserve orgasms."

"I have orgasms," Josie protested, her cheeks growing warm. Curtis wouldn't approve of this conversation one little bit.

Sal cocked an eyebrow at her. "I'm not talking about the ones you give yourself."

Josie sat up straight. "Sally Kennedy! I don't do that." Her cheeks went from warm to fiery hot-the curse of being a redhead-because there had been the odd guilty time when she'd succumbed. But all masturbation had ever accomplished apart, from a few seconds of sordid pleasure, was an even bigger feeling of dissatisfaction and a whole lot of remorse.

"Oh, Jesus. It's worse than I thought, then. Here." Sal placed the pink drink in her hand. "Get that into you. I'll be right back."

Josie did as she was told. For once in her life she didn't have everything laid out like the proverbial yellow brick road in front of her-more like a potholed mess leading into thick, swirling mist-so drinking seemed the easiest thing to do.

Hell, it was preferable.

She absently twirled on the bar stool, taking in the open plan areas of the small kitchen, dining, and living room she knew so well. Three small bedrooms and a bathroom branched off the hallway where Sal had disappeared. There was nothing luxurious about the apartment that lay above the Kennedy family veterinary practice in inner suburban Brisbane where Sal and her brother Mack lived. In fact, it was a far cry from Curtis's large, modern four-bedroom, two-bathroom house. She'd loved that house-it was everything she thought she'd ever wanted. And not even the fact that it was in a country town of only five thousand people about a million miles west of buttfuck nowhere had bothered her.

She wasn't sure when it had started to feel like a prison. Looking back, there wasn't any one moment, she supposed. Just vague feelings of disquiet she hadn't been able to articulate, a slow dawning she was being stifled, that she was hiding herself away in a nice, safe cocoon.

That she'd settled.

Josie took in the general untidiness that reigned around her. Two pair of Sal's shoes by the door, her handbag and keys thrown on the coffee table, books strewn around the living room in various stages of being read, this morning's unwashed dishes in the sink. A jumper of Mack's thrown haphazardly over the back of the couch. Not like Curtis's house. Everything was neat and tidy and ordered, just the way he liked it.

But there was something about this place. It oozed warmth and family. It was cozy. It was a home as opposed to a house and she envied Sal and Mack that.

She also fleetingly envied her friend's sexual freedom, even if it had sprung from tragic circumstances. Losing her new husband and unborn baby in a car accident five years ago had changed Sal irrevocably. She'd closed off her heart, determined to never leave herself vulnerable to that kind of hurt ever again. Sal had always been an unashamed fan of sex, but now she used it as a way to deflect the hard ball of hurt inside.

Was that healthy? Hell to the no. But Sal had gotten on with her life the best way she could and she was whole and functional.

Still, some of the stories Sal told in that flip kind of irreverent way of hers...well, they certainly blew Josie's mind. Which reminded her of the conversation she'd overheard at the hairdresser last week. The conversation that had changed her life. That had made her haul ass and walk away from everything that felt safe.

She'd been reading a magazine, minding her own business, when two women opposite her-mothers in their forties-had a detailed conversation about how often their men went down. Josie had been rather scandalized that they'd talked about something so intimate so openly in such a public forum, but by the end she hadn't even bothered to pretend she wasn't listening. It had triggered a memory of a brief relationship she'd had in college with a guy who'd gone down on her any chance he got. It reminded her how much she used to enjoy it. How intense the orgasms had been.

And it was then she realized she couldn't do it any longer. After five years, she finally figured out she'd settled for a nice, safe guy because the opposite kind of man had made her mother's life continually chaotic. Hell, after living through that she'd craved nice like the worse kind of drug.

Considering she counseled people for a living, her lack of insight had been stunning.

But she was suddenly, shockingly, up to speed and living a dull, predictable life wasn't fair to her. And Curtis deserved better, too. He was a good, kind, decent man and he deserved a woman who appreciated that, who was totally into him. Not someone who was only there because he was the safe option. Not somebody who eavesdropped on oral sex conversations and got herself all revved up and frustrated at the lack of it in her life. He deserved someone who wasn't settling.

And she'd been working out a way to tell Curtis exactly after the hair appointment when he'd arrived home and done the last thing she'd expected. He'd proposed. He'd just found out he'd been the successful applicant for the principal position at the school where they both worked and he felt it best, as well as morally responsible, that they were married.

Had she not been in a total panic she may well have resented the less than romantic proposal, but she could suddenly see herself doing the right thing-not wanting to cause someone she cared about any pain-and just staying, being there with him forever. A married woman living a small town life. A marriage of missionary positions and no going down, a marriage of safe, of settling.

 Both of them ending up miserable.

The dumping had been epically bad, lacking the finesse and coherent thought she was known for. And then she'd run. Run and not looked back, because safe was still what she craved.

She groaned and plopped her forehead on the counter again. So going to hell.

"I found it!" Josie pulled her head up, the room lurching ever so slightly. "Took me a while." Sal brandished a book as she walked towards Josie. "But I knew it was in that mess of a shelf somewhere."

Josie squinted at the book through her cocktail goggles as Sal slapped it down in front of her. It was some kind of modern illustrated guide to the Kama Sutra.

"Nothing but dirty pictures and in depth descriptions," Sal said with relish. "Let your education begin."

Josie opened the cover and flicked through some of the pages, photos and helpful illustrations leaping out at her. "Bloody hell." She shut the book. "I think I'm way too drunk for this."

Sal sat on the chair beside Josie and plonked another cocktail in front of her. "Nope, the drunker the better with that." She riffed through the pages like she was looking for something in particular, then stopped and tapped a picture. "Alcohol makes anything seem possible."

Josie blinked at the pretzel-like position. "I think I'm going to need more than alcohol for that."

"Like a degree in Bikram yoga?"

"Like an orthopedic surgeon on speed dial."

Sal laughed. "Could be kind of fun trying, though, right?"

Josie looked at the image again, a little flutter taking up residence in her chest. Hell yeah. She smiled at Sal. "Maybe."

"It's okay to want sex,” Sal said softly. “To like it."

"I know." Josie's gaze drew back to the image of the pretzeled lovers wistfully.

Sal covered Josie's hand with her own. "Say after me. I am a healthy, young woman with a normal sexual appetite and I deserve sexual fulfillment."

Josie gave Sal an exasperated look.

"Don't you believe it?" Sal asked.

Josie thought about it for a second, glancing back at the illustration. She wanted to tie herself into a knot with a man so freaking bad. "Of course."

"Doesn't sound like it to me."

Josie straightened. "I do," she insisted, her voice strong and firm.

"Well say it."

Josie took a deep breath. "I am a healthy, young woman with a normal sexual appetite and I deserve sexual fulfillment."

"Say it again." Josie repeated it and Sal nodded. "Now promise me you'll say it every morning like an affirmation."

Josie rolled her eyes. "I promise." Maybe if she said it often enough she'd start to believe it.


Suddenly serious, Josie grabbed Sal's hand before she could pull it away. She looked deep into her best friend's freakishly blue eyes. They were utterly mesmerizing. Sal should seriously start a cult. "Thank you," Josie said enunciating every word carefully to combat the slur. "You've always been there for me. The luckiest day of my life was when we moved in next to you. One of Mum's smarter moves."

Josie and Sal had been ten when they'd become neighbors and fast friends. Mack had been fifteen. All the Kennedy family had lived in the apartment above the vet practice back then and Josie and her mother had lived in the block of tiny one-bedroom flats next door. The little block of flats was still there. In fact, Josie could see them if she looked out the window over the kitchen sink.

"Your mum marrying Doug was kind of smart, too," Sal pointed out.

“Yes.” After a long line of losers, her mother had finally found a good guy. "Even if it did take her to the other side of the world."

"Yeah, but think how that's working out for you now."

"True," Josie admitted. "London's going to be a very cool place to start a brand new life."

They raised their glasses and clinked them together in a toast.

"Okay," Sal announced as she swallowed half her drink "I've got an idea." She slid off her chair and headed to the table near the door, where the phone and answering machine sat, and grabbed writing pad and pen. "Come over here." She pointed at the couch. "Bring the book. And our drinks."

Josie obeyed, the room spinning a little as she made her way over to the cushiony leather couch, plonking down next to her friend.

"Let's make a list," Sal said already scribbling on the page.

"What kind of a list?" Josie peered over Sal's shoulder. She had written I am a healthy, young woman with a normal sexual appetite and I deserve sexual fulfillment just under the Kennedy Family Veterinary Practice header. She'd added in brackets and underlined twice, say out loud every morning-that's an order.

"A sexual to-do list."

Josie frowned, realizing that she was nowhere near drunk enough for this conversation.

Sal handed her the notepad. "Write. Ten sssex-ay things you'd like to do with a guy."

Josie stared at the page askance. "You mean positions?"

"Not necessarily, just anything you can think of. Dirty, Smutty. The kind of stuff you have erotic dreams about. And don't tell me you don't do that either, Josephine Butler, because I'll believe that even less."

Josie glanced down at the book on the coffee table lying open at that page and squirmed. Bloody hell, was she actually going to do this? "Well, I think that's gotta be number one." She tapped the image.

"Totally. Although maybe it should be number ten. That's hardly sex 101. You need to work up to that one."

"It doesn't have to be according to my level of expertise does it?" Because that would be a very sad list.

Sal burst out laughing. "Of course not. Just write whatever comes to mind."

A bunch of things came to mind and her cheeks reddened again. Not because they were particularly dirty and smutty but because they weren't overly adventurous at all. It was kind of pathetic, actually.

"Come on," Sal urged. "What else."

"Um... What about...bondage?"

"Like being spanked?"

Josie blanched. "No." God no. That might be trendy in a post Fifty Shades of Grey world but it just didn't appeal. "Something light, tied up?"

“Good.” Sal clapped.

Josie wrote it down and then followed it with the next thing that came to mind. 
"Talking dirty...?" Sal frowned.

"You said whatever came to mind."

Sal held up her hands. "Hey...okay, no judgment."

But Josie could tell Sal, Queen of dirty talking, was scandalised by the lack of it in Josie’s life. She stared at the list and reached deep inside her for something outrageous. Something Sal-worthy. A fantasy she'd sometimes used to help her get across the line with Curtis drifted into her head. Her hand shook as she put it into words. Threesome.

Sal whistled. "Ménage. Now we're talking."

Josie decided she didn't want to know the story behind the enthusiasm in Sal's voice but there was something liberating about being able to admit this stuff. To normalize it. She barely hesitated with the next long-buried fantasy. Sex tape.

"Good," Sal said as she took a sip of her drink. "Just make sure you're the only one who has a copy."

Bloody hell…Josie faltered for a moment, imagining her naked bits plastered all over the internet. She almost slashed a line through it but decided she'd wait till Sal went to bed to do it. Hell, who was she kidding? After Sal had gone to bed she was burning the whole damn list!  "You know I'm not really going to do any of this stuff right?"

"I know, I know." Sal nodded. "It's just a...fantasy list. Just for fun."

"I think you're getting the most fun out of this," Josie grouched.

"Confession is good for the soul, my dear." She clinked the rim of her glass against Josie's. "What's next?"

Josie thought for a moment then wrote public fornication. What the hell-in for a penny, in for a pound.

"Ooh, that’s a good one."

Josie smiled at the admiration in her friend's voice. Next she wrote screaming orgasm.

"You've never had a screaming orgasm?"

Josie sighed. "Not for a looong time. Curtis wasn't very..." In front of her much more sexually adventurous friend, Josie felt embarrassed to even say it. "He didn't like a lot of...vocalization."

Sal shook her head and Josie was pretty sure she caught a muffled dud as Sal took another swig of her drink. "What about a vibrator?" Sal suggested. "Don't suppose you have one of those?"

Josie didn't bother to confirm or deny, just wrote get vibrator on the list.

"That's eight," Sal prompted after Josie had stared at the list for long moments.

"I saw this show once where this couple used to dress up and pretend to be other people and pick each other up in a load of different places. It looked like a lot of fun."

"Role play."

Josie blinked. She couldn't believe they were actually talking about this stuff with an illustrated sex guide in front of them. Suddenly, the whole thing seemed hilarious and she laughed. Sal laughed, too, but when they were both done, Josie added role play to her list.

"Lucky last," Sal announced. "What will it be?"

"Easy." Josie wrote the word that started all this. Or at least attempted to. It was a hard word to spell stone cold sober-nigh on impossible with several fruity cocktails addling her sense. She crossed it out twice before starting again.

"Here." Sal whisked the pen out of her hand and wrote it down, spelling it correctly.

"Of course you know how to spell it."

"There are some words that deserve that level of respect."

"Hey, I'm a good speller," Josie protested. "I won the school spelling bee six years in a row. But it's not like it's on the national curriculum spelling list."

"It should be."

Josie chuckled at the thought. "Can you imagine it in a spelling bee. 'Yes little Johnny, your word is cunn...cunnli...cunnil...'"

Sal cracked up. "You can't even say it."

"Yeah,'s as hard to pronounce as it is to spell."

"Not hard to enjoy though." Sal sighed.

Josie sighed, too, remembering the times she'd been on the receiving end. "Agreed."

"So Curtis didn't-"

"No, he didn't." She doodled stars around the list. "Not that I'm blaming him. I shouldn't feel like they have to if it's not their...thing, you know? It'd be pretty awful if your heart wasn't in it, right?"

"Did you go down on him?"

Josie blushed. "Yes. Sometimes. But-"

"Curtis never heard of quid pro quo, then?"

"He wasn't exactly into me doing it either."

Sal snorted. "A guy not into blow jobs? That'll be a first."

"He was raised by puritanical grandparents where hard work and clean living were revered and fun of any kind was frowned upon. He's a good guy, Sal."

"I know." Sal gave Josie's hand a squeeze. "And he will find someone who likes sex the good old fashioned way every second Thursday. He's just not for you. Now -" She stood. “Who can I set you up with to get that list started in the next two weeks?"

Josie rolled her eyes. Sal couldn't be serious. "I'm not doing the list."

"No more nice guys," she continued ignoring Josie's protests. "Someone really filthy. A bad boy. A guy who when he looks at you, you know he already has you undressed and is nailing you in a grubby alley somewhere."

Josie swallowed at the imagery. It shouldn't turn her on. But it did. A bad boy. She knew from growing up with a mother who was perennially attracted to bad boys that they weren't stayers. But for a sex list? They were perfect. Her mother's heart may have been permanently broken but she'd never ever seen her come out of her bedroom with anything but a huge smile plastered on her face.

A bad boy. Now, that was tantalizing. But...wait. No. It wasn't a real list. "I'm not after a boyfriend, Sal."

"Bloody hell, of course not." Sal's recoil at the suggestion bordered on comical. "I'm not talking about a boyfriend. I'm talking about rebound sex. Lots of rebound sex."

"Rebound sex?"

"Yeah, you know, fun, short, sweet. Temporary. A guy to help you get over the guy. To get you ready for the next guy. You don't stay with rebounds. That never works out. They're not boyfriend material."

Josie shivered as she allowed her brain to go there for a second before pulling herself back. "I'm not doing it."

"Oh come on. Just try a couple of things."




"Hmmm." Sal collected their glasses and headed to the kitchen unfazed by Josie’s denials. "Mack will know someone."

Mack? Good guy Mack? As if. Absently, Josie reached for his jumper hanging over the back of the couch and brought it to her face. Hell, he even smelled like a good guy. And besides she didn't want to be set up. She wanted to have two weeks hanging with her best friend before she embarked on her great adventure, without worry over asking some guy-some bad boy-to dislocate a hip for her.

Glad for a chance to redirect the conversation, Josie said, "Where the hell is that brother of yours anyway?"

"He got called out to one of his beloved horses.”

“On New Year’s Eve?”

Sal shrugged. “Horses don’t know what day it is. All in the life of a vet. He'll probably be gone half the night, if I know him.” Sal held up the jug of cocktail mix. "Another?"

"Oh God, no. If they took a sample of my eye fluid I'm sure they'd find alcohol in it."

Sal shrugged and poured herself one before heading back to the couch.

"So how is Mack doing?"

Sal huffed out a frustrated sigh. "Fine. He says. But I know he's still hurting from that deceptive bitch's betrayal. I mean how could you cheat on Mack for fuck's sake? You couldn't find a more perfect guy if you created him in a lab."

He was one of the world's good guys. Great with people and animals alike. Funny and gentle and honorable. Like Curtis, in a lot of ways. But not fucked up by his upbringing.

"Still not forgiven Cynthia?"

Cynthia and Sal had been really close for the two years Mack and she had been together. But no one was a fiercer protector of Mack than Sal. Probably because he'd been there for his sister every step of the way when her world had crumbled down.

Sal took a swig or her drink. "I hate her with the fire of a thousand suns."

Okay. Not forgiven. "She cheated with her ex, wasn't it?"

"Yes. Because Mack was too sweet, too good, too nice. Too perfect." Sal made air quotes with her fingers. "And because she felt pressured by all his amazingness, she slept with her Grade-A asshole ex."

Josie shook her head even though part of her sympathized with Cynthia-she'd been with a nice guy, too, and she'd been bored to death... "Sounds like she wasn't good enough for him anyway."

"She wasn't. But now his heart's been stomped into the ground and he's completely sworn off women. He's living like a freaking monk and she's made him so much...harder. I hate that."

Mack? Hard? Josie couldn't imagine it. "It's only been six months."

"It's too long. He needs to get back on the horse. Trust me I know." Sal looked suddenly grim but she shook it off. "He needs rebound sex."

There were those words again. Rebound sex.

"Actually, what he needs is revenge sex, but rebound sex sounds so much more palatable."

Josie blinked at the thought. "I suppose that's what Curtis will be having."

Sal gave her a what-the-fuck look then laughed. "Oh please, Curtis wouldn't know revenge sex if it yanked his trousers down and gave him one of those blow jobs he's not very keen on."

Josie shouldn't have laughed but she couldn't help herself. Poor Curtis. She hoped he stepped out of his comfort zone just once and had truly amazing revenge sex. Or that he at least found a nice beige woman who wanted the same things as he did.

Sal yawned and downed the remainder of her drink in one swallow. "I'm hitting the sack.”

“You’re not going to wait till midnight? Its only forty-five minutes away.”

“Nah. I was up at four this morning operating on a Great Dane and I told Mack I’d take the six am open tomorrow for any drop ins. I’m totally beat.” She stood. “You going to stay up?"

Josie nodded. She was too wired what with half a dozen cocktails and a sex list taunting her. "Think I'm going to ring in the New Year beefing up on pretzel sex."

"There are some other pages marked if you're interested." Sal hugged Josie and stood. "See you next year,” she threw over her shoulder and laughed at her own joke as she departed.

Putting her to-do list down on the couch beside her, Josie picked up the book. She flicked through the pages, the images blurring in some macabre sexual dance. They were equal parts disturbing and arousing, and her pulse thudded thick and heavy as she contemplated their illicit promise. A dog-eared corner caught her eye and Josie stared at the Standing Wheelbarrow. The description was mind boggling.

Bloody hell. She was going to need an orthopedic surgeon on speed dial. The thought was intensely thrilling.

Happy New Year to me…

He’s done playing the nice guy…

Newly single school counselor Josie Butler just made herself a Sexy To-Do list (featuring Bad Boys only). To her mortification, her best friend’s gorgeous older brother Mack finds it…and laughs. But when Josie goes looking for some sexy fun, Mack’s nice guy side turns all hot bad-assery, and suddenly she’s pinned against an alley wall. Hottest. Sex. Ever.

Veterinarian Mack Kennedy can’t believe Josie wants to ditch her sweet, girl-next-door lifestyle. Even worse, that she’d consider doing it with anyone but him. When she leaves for London they’ll go back to being ‘just friends’ but until then, he’s going to show her just how bad nice guys can be.

And it’s the perfect plan, as long as no one finds out… and no one falls in love.

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  1. I checked this one out on the Amazon link. Sounds "hot". Anyway, I was wondering since I see that you have written books for Harlequin - Have you written for the Blaze series they have? That was always to me the steamiest of their series and since this book sounds like something I must read. I was wondering if the rest of your books are like that. Long story - well long - I must read this! Thanks for the giveaway and I am going to purchase this one! Happy New Year!

    1. Hey Mary. No, I never wrote for the Blaze line although I always said I was going to give it a try but now, sadly, I can't since it's no longer :-(
      For Harlequin I write for their medical line and for their now also defunct KISS line. *All* my books (over 60 now) sit at the hot end of the spectrum so if that's your jive then you can't go wrong :-)
      I hope you enjoy the book, Mary. Lovely "meeting" you.
      Amy xxx

    2. I did see that they are getting doing away with some of their series. Blaze was my favorite. YES, I did see you write the books that I do like to read. I like them to be steamy. Nice meeting you and I will leave a review once I finish the book. Thanks for answering back and Happy New Year to you!

  2. I loved this story. This deleted scene is great!

  3. Loved this deleted chapter. Thanks for sharing it.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  4. Thanks for the peek via the deleted chapter, Amy! FUN!

  5. Great first scene - of course, I went right out and bought it! Thanks for giving us this sneak preview.