Table of Contents
PRAISE FOR THE “SIZZLING”* ROMANCES OF
“The guys are hot, and the sexual tension is unbelievable!”
—New York Times
bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries
“A must read for everyone.”
“Be sure not to miss out on this one, after all, being wicked and being in love can fall hand in hand. This is a keeper, definitely.”
—The Romance Readers Connection
“I can’t say that I have ever laughed so much while reading erotica, but Susanna Carr definitely delivered. I love this book. It was an enjoyment to read such a change from the average erotica.”
—Romance Reader at Heart
“Delightfully humorous, with sizzling chemistry between the characters, great secondary characters, and a love story that won’t be soon forgotten. A definite recommend!”
“A hilarious romantic read that will have you turning page after page . . . a must-read story.”
“Carr’s stories are full of well-matched characters, exhibitionist-style lovemaking and some wedding faux pas that are sure to entertain married and single women alike.”
“Witty and sexy . . . what a huge amount of fun!”
—Just Erotic Romance Reviews
“Sexy, sassy, delicious fun.”
“Delivers exactly what readers want.”
OTHER SIGNET ECLIPSE TITLES BY SUSANNA CARR
Bad Girl Bridesmaids
Red-Hot and Royal
Published by New American Library, a division of
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,
New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,
Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2,
Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124,
Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park,
New Delhi - 110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632,
New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue,
Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
First published by Signet Eclipse, an imprint of New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
First Printing, October 2009
Copyright © Jasmine Communications, LLC, 2009
All rights reserved
SIGNET ECLIPSE and logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data:
The year of living shamelessly/Susanna Carr.
eISBN : 978-1-101-14549-4
1. Man-woman relationships—Fiction. I. Title.
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
This 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.
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.
To my editor, Becky Vinter, with thanks.
“Grab hold of your dates, ladies and gentlemen,” the bandleader announced. “The countdown to the New Year will start in one minute.”
It was time. Katie fluffed out her long black hair and smoothed her hands over her little black dress before pressing her palm over her nervous stomach. She was going to start her wild affair with Ryder Scott. Tonight.
Her skin stung with awareness at what she was about to do. She had never had the courage to really go after him until now. Well, what she currently had wasn’t so much courage as it was imagining her regret if she never let him know how she felt. This unrequited crush was entering its eleventh year and no one was getting any younger. Katie gave a little sigh and fought her way through the crowd of shiny dresses and ill-fitting suits as she searched for Ryder.
Unfortunately, Ryder was best friends with her brother, Jake, and he still saw her as Jake’s little sister. That was the downside of always having him around the house when they were growing up. Ryder’s family life was sad and neglectful, but the Kramers had been happy to open their home to him.
In return, he was protective toward the family, Katie in particular, which was great when he wanted to check that her car had enough oil, but not so great when she wanted him to sweep her off her feet and make mad, passionate love to her.
Katie thought back to the one moment during the summer when she’d thought he might feel the same way. She had been hot and sweaty, wearing a threadbare tank top and Daisy Duke shorts while gardening. When Ryder had walked into the yard, he had folded his arms across his chest and run his eyes over her, giving her a certain look that suggested he was seriously considering pouncing and ripping her clothes off. But instead of pressing her against the dirt and doing some wicked and wonderful things, Ryder had clenched his fists, pivoted on his heel and walked away without looking back.
If he hadn’t gotten the hint by now that she was a sensual woman ready for the taking, then it was time for her to make the first move.
“Ten . . . ,” the crowd started to chant.
New Year’s Eve was the perfect, symbolic night, Katie decided as she stood on the tips of her toes and looked over people’s shoulders for Ryder. She thought she could see him in the far corner of the Women’s Auxiliary Hall.
“Nine . . .”
Katie hurried toward him, her progress slow as she dodged and swerved around people. It was just her luck that she was on the other side of the hall for the countdown. She had to get to Ryder in time for her New Year’s kiss!
“Eight . . .”
The specially ordered black velvet dress hadn’t quite turned her into Cinderella for the night. She glanced down at it with a frown. It was certainly feminine and elegant—but utterly the wrong choice for a seduction. The dress said sweet and demure when she needed naughty and sexy.
“Seven . . .”
The fitted bodice and full skirt didn’t compete with the slinky dresses worn by Tatum and Sasha, Ryder’s ex-girlfriends. Those two grabbed every man’s attention with their scandalously short dresses in bold jeweled colors while Katie felt invisible. As usual.
“Six . . .”
It didn’t help that Tatum had been all over Ryder all night like a leech, while Sasha had flitted around him, constantly readjusting her bra to draw his attention to her chest.