Authors: Nana Malone
his is a work of fiction
. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.
ace For Love
© 2015 by Nana Malone
ll rights reserved
. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
over Art by Kimberly Killion
Edited by Val Hayward
Copy Edited by Marcie Gately
in the United States of America
For all those who’ve had to fight for recovery, this is my love story to you.
he In Stilettos
Series (Contemporary Romance)
*Sexy in Stilettos (Alec & Jaya)
Sultry in Stilettos (Beckett & Ricca)
Sassy in Stilettos (Caleb & Micha)
Strollers & Stilettos (Alec & Jaya & Alexa)
Seductive in Stilettos (Shane & Tristia)
(New Adult Contemporary Romance Serials)
**Sinful in Stilettos - Expected 2016
The Chase Brothers Series (New Adult Contemporary Romance)
London Bound (Alexi & Abbie)
London Calling (Xander & Imani)
The Donovans Series (New Adult Contemporary Romance)
Come Home Again (Nate & Delilah)
Love Reality (Ryan & Mia)
Race For Love (Derek & Kisima)
**Love in Plain sight - Expected Winter 2015
Hit & Run Bride Contemporary Romance Series
(New Adult Contemporary Romance)
Hit & Run Bride (Becca & Liam)
Hit & Miss Groom (Van & Alex)
ove Match Series
*Game Set Match (Jason & Izzy)
Mismatch (Eli & Jessica)
Chick-Lit With Sass (Erotic Chick-Lit Romance)
The Protectors Series (Superhero Romance)
*Betrayed a Reluctant Protector Prequel
Reluctant Protector (Cassie & Seth)
Forsaken Protector (Garret & Symone)
Wounded Protector (Jansen & Lisa)
to miss a single release? Click here:
**Upcoming release. Dates Subject to Change
copy of the USA Today Bestseller,
SEXY IN STILETTOS
? Just tell me where to
you mean you're breaking up with me?"
Derek Donovan shoved his hands in his pockets and leaned up against the far wall in Kallie Wintor's sun-lit penthouse apartment overlooking the French Quarter. The building only had seven floors, but the view was spectacular. He'd expected some dramatics but the venom in her voice was unexpected. Especially considering she was sleeping with someone else. "I think that's pretty self explanatory. This isn't working out. You and I had an agreement. When it wasn't working anymore, we walk away. It's not working for me. I'm walking away."
"So you think I'm just going to let you go? I have plans for us. For you. You can't just leave me."
The woman had never been told no in her life. This was what happened when someone was given everything they ever asked for. She thought she could control every outcome to her favor.
And that was the main crux of the problem. Well, one of two anyway. She had this roadmap in her head of where they were going and he liked his independence far too much. After two months, all of a sudden she'd started making plans for them months in advance. And coming from a woman who had signed on the dotted line for a no strings, keep it casual fling, it had surprised and irked him. He understood just a little too late that she'd said whatever she needed to have him.
That alone made him twitchy. He hated liars. And more importantly, he liked his freedom. He'd been looking for a way out for a few days and the opportunity had presented itself yesterday when he'd come over, unannounced. From the street, he'd seen her naked tits pressed up against her floor to ceiling windows while some guy fucked her from behind.
When she'd approached him at the All Star Game a couple of months ago, he'd told her he wasn't looking for anything serious. He always made it clear when he started to date someone. Made sure they knew it wasn't going anywhere. And Kallie had said she was down for that.
His only request was that while they were hooking up, they kept it simple and didn't sleep with other people, because he really preferred to avoid nasty dramatics. He should have known that shit was too perfect to be true.
Sure he'd had his reservations. There were always groupies at those kinds of baller events. And, as the trainer for the NBA team, the New Orleans Jaguars, he got some of the residual perks, but so many of those chicks had a long term goal and paycheck in mind. And his playing days were long past thanks to his ACL injury. He'd never play basketball for anything more than recreation now.
He'd thought himself immune to the groupie girls with a five-year plan. And Kallie Wintor was beautiful. The classic southern belle with corn silk hair and bright blue eyes but with a dirty side. "I am leaving, Kallie. But you shouldn't worry about that too much. I think the guy I saw you fucking last night can probably help sooth any ego wounds you have.
Her beautiful eyes flared wide. "What?"
"Oh yeah, I should have mentioned I saw you yesterday. I mean, I probably should have taken it personally that you never let me fuck you against the window, too worried that people would see, but I can't muster the energy to give a shit."
She stumbled forward, changing tactics. "Derek, I'm sorry. It was stupid. A one time thing. I never should have—",she blew a strand of hair out of her face. "Let me make it up to you. I'll blow you. Remind you why we're good together."
Usually, when a woman so generously offered to wrap her lips around his cock and suck him into her sweet warmth, he wasn't ever turning her down.
Except for now. In this case, with this woman. So. Not. Even. Happening.
She sidled up to him and tried to wrap herself around him boa constrictor style, and Derek wished he was anywhere but here.
He gently removed her arms from around his neck. "Kallie, not gonna happen."
She pulled back with raised brows. "You're seriously turning me down?"
He bit the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing at the incredulity in her tone. Might not be a good idea to laugh in her face. She wasn't used to hearing no. "I'm sorry, Kallie, but yeah. I'm not even mad about that dude. Truth be told, it was nearing time for this to be over anyway."
"Why can't you see that we'd be good together?"
He had no delusions about why she wanted him. It wasn't his looks, though they probably didn't hurt. He was just starting in his career so he didn't have money. No, Kallie wanted a project, and he was damned if he was going to be anyone's damn boy toy. He wasn't a doll she could dress up and parade around and would jump when she said.
She glared at him as she stepped back. "I know your reputation, you know. The girls you've been with. Women talk. Derek Donovan, the devil himself in the sack. I made a mistake last night. But you can’t walk away from me. We're not done, Derek."
His stomach knotted. She wasn't wrong, there had been a string of women. More than he could remember. It wasn't something he was proud of. After the injury that had sidelined him, his friends had been getting NBA offers. The jealousy and despair had made him spin out and he'd gone a little bit out of control. The guy he'd been then would have taken the blow job and walked away. But he wasn't that person anymore. Especially not if it meant relinquishing his freedom. "Goodbye, Kallie."
isima Jennings tightened
her gloves around her wrists. The smell of exhaust and burning tires filled her nostrils. All around her, the pit crew ran around checking and rechecking her tires, her fuel, the comms, her safety guides. After all, as with any standard Formula One race, once the event started, they'd only have 3 seconds at every pit stop to touch the car. Montreal’s track was no different. Her pit manager checked the radio in her helmet. "Kisima, radio check."
"Coming in loud and clear, Adam."
"Perfect. You got this. Stay relaxed, this is supposed to be fun."
. She wouldn't start having fun until she was in the car, on the road. For her, the fun was when she hit the pedals and the engine purred for her. Totally under her control. She chose how it moved, how fast. God forbid how slow. How the powerful machine took corners. She loved every minute of it. She couldn't control much of the world, but this she could do.
As a test driver for Daniels Racing, she normally didn't race. Her main job was to test each car on both a simulator and open tracks, reporting everything she felt and how the car handled. Precision was key. And every day she aimed for perfection. But she loved to race. It was her ultimate goal. She not so secretly longed for the sense of being out of control. When she was driving, she could bring a little piece of order to the chaos that was ultimate speed. But to get to that goal, she'd need to prove herself first.
The exhibition race was supposed to be low pressure, low stress. These things were always about showing up the opponent. Daniels Racing and Gifford Racing had a long-standing rivalry. So this was her opportunity to shine. To show what she could actually do. Today, it was her job to make her car and her team look good. She knew what the other racers said about her. Knew they didn't respect her because she was a woman. Because she was black. Because of her looks.
She got far more attention for her face than she did for the work she did on the track. No one took her seriously. Except for TJ Daniels, the team owner of Daniels Racing. Since she was a kid, he'd been grooming her to be a driver. He'd poured pools of money into her and she flourished under his tutelage. She just hoped one day she could pay him back.
Let's make today that day.
A win today against Gifford would be a huge coup for him. For them...
As competitive as she was, she hated the fierce competition between Daniels and Gifford. It made her feel like she was in the middle. And somehow, she always lost. When TJ's son had joined the rival racing team as their Director of Sponsorship, it had sliced an irrevocable split in the once tight family. With her smack in the middle.
She was close to Christian. They'd always been close. Growing up, they'd carted together. Even coming up in the racing world, they'd flourished together. But then he'd quit racing inexplicably. Two years later and he'd still never told her why. Last year he'd gone to work for Gifford. His father still hadn’t recovered from the betrayal.
"How's my girl?" Christian asked.
Kisima looked up through her visor and grinned. Christian might not be able to see her smile because of her helmet, but he'd see her crinkled eyes through the visor and know she was giving him her full beam. She nodded and he patted her helmet just before pulling her close for a hug. "You stay safe, okay?"
She nodded her acknowledgment. Christian held on for a beat too long and she sighed. Recently, it seemed like his hugs carried more weight. Like he was asking a question with every one of them. A question she didn't have an answer to.
She loved him. She'd always loved him. Just not the way she needed to in order to carry on a relationship. Just not in the rub-our-naked-bodies-together kind of way. Or hell, even in that I'd-like-to-test-out-your-kissing-skills kind of way. It wasn't him. He was handsome, smart, and attentive. And they got on great. After all they were practically family. The only problem was, there was no spark.
But she didn't have the heart to disappoint him. And he, apparently, didn't have the balls to come right out and ask her out. It was all about the lies they could tell each other...and themselves.
Kisima nodded again and Christian gave her a final hug. But as his father approached from the pit, he made a hasty exit. That was the way of things these days. When TJ was around, Christian bolted. One of these days, the two of them would have to work their shit out.
TJ sighed. "I guess that's not getting any better."
She shrugged and gave him a quick hug, then let go and zipped her suit up the whole way.
"That's my girl. Go have some fun." His grin made his eyes dance. "And while you're at it, kicking Gifford's ass wouldn't be bad either."
Just before she climbed into her car, she gave a thumbs up. He'd been giving her the same short pep talks since she was ten.
She climbed into her seat and went through her brief checks of all her electronics first. She'd already done this, but it was part of the routine. Then she tightened her seatbelt harness. As the engine roared and purred to life like a lover she was well acquainted with, she could feel the stress of the day washing away. This was her domain. Nothing could touch or hurt her here. She owned it.
On her left, Gifford's driver, Antonio Bates, strapped himself in and checked his vehicle. He caught her glance and she nodded an acknowledgment. He, always a gentleman, flipped her off. Asshole. She couldn't believe she'd once thought she loved him.
She shook her head. Once an asshole, always an asshole. When she’d been hired as a test driver over him, he made it clear from the get-go he thought she was nothing but a pretty face and a shitty driver. He'd also made it clear, that while he thought she was shit behind the wheel, he didn't mind looking at her tits in
. She never regretted that spread more than when she saw him.
That was okay though, it would make beating him all the sweeter. They both gave the go signal, and their crews backed off. This was it, this race was hers.
At the green light, they both took off. Bates was out just a hair faster than she was, but that didn't alarm her, he was always out faster. But he never stayed there.
Speed. Accuracy. Control. Calm
. Kisima repeated her mantra over and over again as the wheels spun on the road in front of Parc Jean Drapeau. This was a historic race for Formula One. There had only been three Montreal street races in the history of the sport and she was honored to be part of the budding tradition.
Along the way, fans cheered from the stands. But she tuned them out. Antonio's back tires spun a little as he took one of the turns too fast, and she used the opportunity to slingshot around him on the inside. Just by the skin of her teeth did she break out in front of him. They passed each other using similar methods for the next twenty miles, loving every second of it.
She visualized the next turn coming up, remembering her strategy. It was a fast corner, and dangerous if she wasn't careful. The roaring crowds around them were nothing but background by now. As they approached the turn, Antonio released his throttle just a hair, and she blew past. What the fuck was he doing? The last thing she needed him to say was that he let her w—
Suddenly it felt like someone reached down from the heavens and pulled up the back end of her car, and slammed back down. The scraping sound as she rolled told her that her tire had blown. Her heart thundered as her body flooded with adrenaline.
Oh God. Oh no
Her second tire burst and she flew again, completely losing control of the car. The steering wheel whirled in her hands and the barricade approached at an alarming speed. Not only was she losing control, but she was going to crash...hard. The last thought she had was,
Please God, not like this. Not like them