his wicked games



Lily would do anything to save the Frazer Center for the Arts—even take on the infamous billionaire Calder Cunningham.

The Cunninghams have long held a reputation for being eccentric—and secretive. When Lily breaks onto their estate, she only wants to find and reason with Calder. The Cunningham family was the Frazer Center’s largest benefactor for years—until Calder took over the family funds and broke the pledge contract without warning. Now the Center is on the brink of closing, and she’s desperate to save the institution her father founded.

But Calder turns out to be more than she bargained for. He’s willing to consider her pleas—but for a price. Lily must indulge his whims, play along with his games—all while confined to his mysterious mansion—or she’ll never get the funds to save the Center. She must decide: play the mouse to his cat, or lose the organization she and her father spent their blood, sweat, and tears to build.

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Exclusive Excerpt

“What do you think?” Calder says. “Want to go for a swim?”

I must show my shock on my face because he lets out a laugh.

“Haven’t you ever been for a swim in the rain?” he asks. “You get damp either way.”

I’m not sure if he’s being serious or not.

“I don’t have a swimsuit,” I remind him.

The corner of his mouth curls up. “Not a problem.”

Before I can utter another word, he pulls his t-shirt over his head, exposing his perfectly-chiseled chest.

My mouth falls open, but I snap it quickly shut again.

“What are you doing?” I say.

He grins. “Swimming.”

His hands move to the button of his jeans.

“Are you stripping?” I’m unable to keep the shock out of my voice.

“I’m not going to swim in my jeans,” he says matter-of-factly. His fingers pause on the zipper. “You’re welcome to join me, of course.”

“I—” My entire face is on fire. “I’m not going to take off my clothes.”

He shrugs. “Suit yourself. You’re missing out, though.” He unzips his jeans and slides them down in one movement, revealing a pair of dark boxer-briefs.

Once more I’m bombarded with memories of last night, of his naked body reclining on the bed. Of the way I touched myself at the sight of him.

My body responds in turn now. I clench my hands and unclench them again, trying to gain control of myself.

Calder hooks his thumbs in the waistband, and my heartbeat quickens. Is he going to pull those off, too?

“For someone who’s shy about skinny-dipping, you certainly have no qualms about watching,” he says.

I almost fall over.

“I—I’m not watching,” I say, quickly turning away. “You’re the one who tore off your pants without warning.” I imagine I’m the color of a ripe tomato right about now.

He chuckles. “Come, Ms. Frazer. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before.”

My blood runs cold. Oh my God. He knows about last night.

“What—what’s that supposed to mean?” I demand, still refusing to turn and look at him. “What are you implying?”

“Forgive me,” he says, his voice thick with amusement. “I didn’t mean to give offense. I was only suggesting that by this point in your life you’ve probably seen a naked man or two—unless I’m mistaken?”

“I’m not a virgin,” I say, rolling my eyes. “But that doesn’t mean I’m okay with men just stripping off their clothes in front of me.” No, but I’m all right with spying on those same men while they pleasure themselves in their bedroom.

Forget the ripe tomato—I’m probably as red as a fire truck right now.

“Well,” says Calder behind me, “if you’re not comfortable with complete nudity, then maybe we can keep our undergarments on.”

“I’m not swimming.”

“Where’s your sense of adventure?” he says. “May I remind you that you broke onto my property? That I had to wrestle you down in the mud? Certainly you can’t be afraid of taking a little dip in the rain.”

“I’m not afraid,” I say, spinning on him angrily. He’s closer than I thought—just in front of me now. There’s still a bit of amusement around the corners of his mouth, but his dark eyes bore into me. Butterflies dance in my stomach.

“If you’re not afraid,” he says, his voice breathy and low, “then why are you resisting?”

He’s so close that I can feel the heat radiating off his skin, so close that I can smell the musky scent of his soap—or is that only him? All it would take is the smallest of movements and I could brush my fingers against his bare stomach, learn if his skin is as soft and smooth and hot as I imagined last night.

“I…” I don’t know what to say. I don’t have an excuse, not really, except for the general sense that this is a bad, bad idea.

Oh, I’m in trouble.

Calder must sense my indecision, because his eyes suddenly darken. Before I can react, he grabs me around the waist, just as he did on the lawn yesterday.

“What the—” I cry as he hoists me off my feet. “What are you doing?”

He doesn’t answer. Instead he turns and starts carrying me to the pool.

“Put me down!” I cry, pissed that I fell for his trick a second time. “I swear, if you throw me—”

Suddenly I’m flying through the air, Calder’s arms still around me. We crash into the pool, and water rushes all around us.

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About Ember Casey

Ember Casey is a twenty-something writer who lives in Atlanta, Georgia in a den of iniquity (or so she likes to tell people). When she’s not writing steamy romances, you can find her whipping up baked goods (usually of the chocolate variety), traveling (her bucket list is infinite), or generally causing trouble (because somebody has to do it).

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