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From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Ashley comes a new story in her Dream Man series…
Charlotte “Lottie” McAlister is in the zone. She’s ready to take on the next chapter of her life, and since she doesn’t have a man, she’ll do what she’s done all along. She’ll take care of business on her own. Even if that business means starting a family.
The problem is, Lottie has a stalker. The really bad kind. The kind that means she needs a bodyguard.
Enter Mo Morrison.
Mo doesn’t say much, and Lottie’s used to getting attention. And she wants Mo’s attention. Badly.
But Mo has a strict rule. If he’s guarding your body, that’s all he’s doing with it.
However, the longer Mo has to keep Lottie safe, the faster he falls for the beautiful blonde who has it so together, she might even be able to tackle the demons he’s got in his head that just won’t die.
But in the end, Lottie and Mo don’t only have to find some way to keep hands off until the threat is over, they have to negotiate the overprotective Hot Bunch, Lottie’s crazy stepdad, Tex, Mo’s crew of frat-boy commandos, not to mention his nutty sisters.
All before Lottie finally gets her Dream Man.
And Mo can lay claim to his Dream Girl.
**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**
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One Thousand and One Dark Nights
Once upon a time, in the future…
I was a student fascinated with stories and learning.
I studied philosophy, poetry, history, the occult, and
the art and science of love and magic. I had a vast
library at my father’s home and collected thousands
of volumes of fantastic tales.
I learned all about ancient races and bygone
times. About myths and legends and dreams of all
people through the millennium. And the more I read
the stronger my imagination grew until I discovered
that I was able to travel into the stories… to actually
become part of them.
I wish I could say that I listened to my teacher
and respected my gift, as I ought to have. If I had, I
would not be telling you this tale now.
But I was foolhardy and confused, showing off
One afternoon, curious about the myth of the
Arabian Nights, I traveled back to ancient Persia to
see for myself if it was true that every day Shahryar
(Persian: شهريار, “king”) married a new virgin, and then
sent yesterday’s wife to be beheaded. It was written
and I had read, that by the time he met Scheherazade,
the vizier’s daughter, he’d killed one thousand
Something went wrong with my efforts. I arrived
in the midst of the story and somehow exchanged
places with Scheherazade – a phenomena that had
never occurred before and that still to this day, I
Now I am trapped in that ancient past. I have
taken on Scheherazade’s life and the only way I can
protect myself and stay alive is to do what she did to
protect herself and stay alive.
Every night the King calls for me and listens as I spin tales.
And when the evening ends and dawn breaks, I stop at a
point that leaves him breathless and yearning for more.
And so the King spares my life for one more day, so that
he might hear the rest of my dark tale.
As soon as I finish a story… I begin a new
one… like the one that you, dear reader, have before
Call A Commando
“I’m getting a breast reduction.”
Smithie took his attention from the piece of paper he held in his hand, looked across his desk and all the way across his office to the woman striding through the room.
The woman who was the subject of the words written on the paper in his hand.
His throat was tight.
“I’m going natural,” she finished her announcement.
Known far and pretty damned wide as Lottie Mac.
Lottie Mac, Queen of the Corvette Calendar.
Though Smithie just called her Mac.
He’d been wrong. She wasn’t done finishing her announcement.
Mac stopped at the front of his desk and proclaimed, “And you can’t talk me out of it.”
It took Smithie a minute to force his mouth to regain the ability of speech.
“I don’t care what you do to your body. It’s not my body. I don’t know why you think I’d have a say in it.”
Lottie gawked at him.
He got this.
He was a strip club owner and she was a stripper. His premier stripper. He had velvet ropes to contain the people who lined up, wanting to watch her dance. It wasn’t a stretch she’d think he’d have a problem with her getting rid of her implants.
Forcibly pulling his mind from the paper in his hand, he turned it over and laid it on the desk, giving his full attention to Mac.
And what she was saying.
Mostly, why she was probably saying it.
Before he could dig into that with her, she kept speaking.
“I interviewed seven plastic surgeons in the Denver area. I’ve chosen one. I’m doing it next month.”
“Why?” Smithie asked.
“Why?” Mac asked back.
“Not heard a thing about you doin’ this, now you’re not only doin’ it, you did all the research into it,” he pointed out. “So what’s the deal and what’s the rush?”
He knew both.
He just wanted to have the conversation.
“There’s no rush,” Mac lied.
When these women would learn that they couldn’t get away with lying to him, he did not know. He was in a variety of relationships with several women of his own, had kids with them, and he’d run a strip club for decades. He could spot a lie before the person even spoke the words.
Hell, his bouncers were the worst culprits. They thought they had that, “you’re a man and I’m a man” thing going on when no man was any kind of man if he lied through his teeth.
“Mac,” he stated warningly.
She didn’t answer his question.
She said, “People will still come watch me dance.”
“I know people will watch you dance. Had Joaquim do a head count coupla months ago for a few nights. Thirty-five percent of the people through the door were female. They say ten percent of the population is gay. So we can assume ten percent of that were lesbians who might have another reason they’re here to see you. But that means twenty-five percent of those females were here just to get a drink, but mostly to watch you dance. And you’re probably the only time a man can get away with saying he comes to a strip club to take in the talent of a dancer’s moves. You got big tits, you got regular tits, it’s not gonna affect your line at the rope. So let’s stop with the bullshit. Now, tell me why?”