Published by Mischief, HarperCollins
Digital: 18th April 2013

Contemporary Erotic Romance, Multiple-partners.

One Man is not Enough.

Fun-loving, twenty-something, Lyssa Payne enjoys being the center of male attention. Rather than commit to a single lover, she has an arrangement that allows her to play with a whole host of men. However, the dynamics of Lyssa’s relationships abruptly change when she meets enigmatic artist, Victor Alexander.

Victor enforces a strictly no touch policy between them, compelling Lyssa to be ever more inventive in her bid to bed him. The stakes further rise when she discovers Victor has a gorgeous male lover. Why should it be hands off for her, but hands on for actor, Leif? Worse still, as her fascination with Victor deepens, Lyssa’s other playmates desert her. What exactly is a greedy girl supposed to do to win the hearts of the men she desires?  |  |  GooglePlay  | Barnes&Noble

EXCERPT – Chapter One

‘Lyssa! You could at least pretend to be listening while I’m telling you about my abysmal date. The odd acknowledgement wouldn’t hurt. Even a grunt, so I’m actually convinced you’re still alive.’

‘Huh? What?’ I glanced up from the theatre seating plan I’d been colouring for the last half hour—red for empty seats, blue for those that had already been reserved, and green for the corporate bookings—to find my favourite workmate glowering at me. The only trouble with working in the theatre box office was that it was either all go, phones ringing, people hammering on the window for attention, or else afternoons of endless, coma inducing nothingness. Programs didn’t need stapling, ice-cream didn’t need ordering, and even the drinks tickets for tonight’s interval were already printed. Of course I’d zoned out. ‘Sorry, Hats. I didn’t mean to ignore you. Go on, you were saying you touched him, right?’

Hattie scrunched two handfuls of her naturally jet black hair and sighed. ‘Jeez, Lyssa, you really weren’t listening, were you? Point one: the main focus of a first date is not to cop a feel of a guy’s tackle. Point two: Bryan never even kissed me. There’s no way he’d have let me grope him. We didn’t even shake hands.’

Surprised, and not entirely on board with Hattie’s version of dating, I plastered on a sheepish grin that would hopefully diffuse some of Hattie’s anger. When roused she bore a certain similarity to a Chinese firecracker, and she could be vicious with a staple gun.

‘It turns out he has OCD. It means he has to disinfect after he comes into contact with anything foreign. We lasted twenty minutes before I called it off. I couldn’t take the scent of alcohol gel any longer.’

‘OK. I can see how that might have caused some problems.’ It’d definitely rule out anything similar to the night I’d enjoyed at the gallery. Though I’d suffered for it the following morning, and it’d left me wondering about several things. How could a man be so into me, but not want to touch me? I didn’t suppose I’d ever find out. It wasn’t as if we’d exchanged numbers, and even if we had, I wouldn’t have expected him to call.

‘But you did say you were kissing someone, right? I swear I distinctly heard the K word mentioned.’

Hattie’s pretty almond-shaped eyes narrowed to two thin slits. ‘No, all I did was speculate what it might be like to actually date someone I fancied for a change, rather than the losers DatesRUs keep pairing me with.’

‘Oh, Hats.’ I hid my smile. She really didn’t need a match making service, and certainly not one with such a dire name. Hattie was lovely; delicate and refined in the way only the Chinese seemed to manage. All she needed to do was lower her standards from the heights of perfection they were currently set upon, or failing that get a guy home with her long enough to experience her cooking. I’d tasted her dumplings, and sworn undying love to her shortly afterwards.

‘Seriously, Lyssa why does it have to be so hard? You never have any trouble finding yourself a nice guy. I know you have Nathan now, but even before him there was always a steady stream. You never wanted for a date if you fancied a night out.’

‘Hm.’ Only partly true. My list of exes included the jobless, the homeless, an entrepreneur and an investment banker. None of whom had been great choices. I certainly had bad memories about coming second in importance to a sock empire. ‘I’m not exactly choosy.’ I reminded her.

‘So you’re saying I have to lower my standards.’ Hattie pursed her cute little Cupid’s bow lips and thought for a moment, before dismissing the advice. ‘I don’t think I can do it. I mean, he needs to be fit and at least reasonably good looking for starters. And he can’t smell. Plus, he has to be able to hold a conversation about more than Smartphone apps and sport. But I don’t want a geeky professor either.’

She really didn’t ask for much.

‘And good in the bedroom department,’ I suggested.

‘And good in the—’ Hattie’s lips twisted into a puckered moue. ‘I’m not bothered about that. As long as he knows where to put it, we’ll be fine.’

‘Right.’ I nodded tactfully, what was point in discussing this when I knew she already had her heart set on the impossible? Sure enough, Hattie’s gaze strayed to the huge black and white close-up of Leif Haralsson that sat directly opposite the booking desk. There was no denying the theatre’s current male lead oozed style. Every inch of his tall, wiry frame was perfection. He looked fab in clothes. He probably looked even better out of them. Couple that with his soft, candid blue eyes, a bird’s nest of light blond hair, and he was a female fantasy made flesh.

Nor did his sexiness end there. Nope, he had a voice that flowed through one’s veins as if you’d just injected chocolate, a sharp edged jaw with a cute little cleft in his chin, and the sort of sultry pout hitherto only seen on old time screen legends. Did I want to screw him? Absolutely. Did Hattie stand a chance? Probably not, if only because she’d have to wade through a ton of adoring fans with far looser morals to get to him.

‘You know he doesn’t have a girlfriend,’ Hattie confided, her voice becoming soft and just a little breathless. ‘Melanie from wardrobe told me.’

Melanie, the font of all wisdom, had probably forgotten to mention that he was a) gay, b) married or c) both. Still, so as not to dishearten my one true friend, I patted her on the back. ‘Fab. So ask him out.’

‘Really?’ Hattie snapped to attention. ‘I suppose I could, couldn’t I?’ Sometimes she forgot this was the twenty-first century. ‘That’s how you hooked up with Nathan, wasn’t it? You asked him out.’

‘Pretty much.’ I ducked my head. The problem with discussing men was that the conversation inevitably seemed to come round to my love life. If love life had been an accurate descriptive, that wouldn’t have mattered, but what I had was actually a sex life, and a fairly unusual one at that. I was swinging with three guys and a couple, four if you counted the man I’d met at the gallery, and Hattie only knew about Nathan. As for how I’d hooked up with Nathan, the problem there started with the word date. Date hadn’t featured very prominently in our first conversation, and certainly hadn’t preceded ‘fuck’, ‘ride, or ‘cock’, and possibly hadn’t come before ‘you don’t mind if my mate joins in, do you?’ either.

I could be a really bad girl.

I was also a monumental coward. ‘Hey, I’m going to go and straighten up the gift section.’ It had already been done that morning, but anything to avoid the relationship questions. I liked Hattie — a lot. I didn’t want to fall out with her, but I’d learned pretty quickly that people didn’t like my arrangement. While one or two friends had been accepting, more often they turned judgemental, and then cut me dead. The friends I had remaining were mostly the ones I was playing with, and even they were slightly huffy with me at the moment. It wasn’t as if I’d planned what had happened at the gallery, I’d just been swept along by events. Birthday madness, I suppose you could call it…