Four women. One friendship.
Can a trip to a magical place heal their open wounds, or will they give it all up to succumb to their deepest desires?
Imani has the world on a silver platter, and she couldn't be happier. Or so she thought. The bedroom magic between her and her husband, Kevin, seems to have fizzled out. Sexually frustrated and on edge, she knows he's been creeping to someone else.
Although Roze is a mother and wife, success is what drives her. However, with her marriage crumbling due to her devotion to her job, she's grasping at straws to keep it all together.
As a struggling artist, the ground is something Logan's feet can't seem to plant on. Nothing seems to be going her way, especially her sex life with her new boyfriend, AKA the minute man. All she wants is for someone to rock her world.
Desiree is the glue—the one who holds the friend group together. However, the secret she's holding in might be the very thing that tears them all apart.
Release date: August 22, 2023
Publisher: Urban Books
Print pages: 288
* BingeBooks earns revenue from qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate as well as from other retail partners.
His whisper in my ear alone was enough to send me to the edge of my orgasm. I held it at bay, knowing that once I released, he would too. But it was right there, just begging to come out and make me feel better than I had in a month.
“Wait, I can’t yet,” I told him.
“You can’t what?”
Wait. My lover’s voice had changed. Not only did it change, but it was one I recognized. Suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder, and I blinked out of my daydream. No longer was I in my comfortable bed. Instead, I was seated at a table inside of my favorite brunch spot staring into the confused face of my husband, Kevin. Standing near the table, holding the check for our food, was the very same man I’d been daydreaming about. The sexy young waiter looked to be in his mid-twenties, maybe 25. He was a decade younger than me, but old enough to evoke an unwarranted lust inside of me. I was a sucker for his chocolatey skin tone and full lips. My fingers truly felt as though they’d massaged the back of his tapered fade, and my body felt as if it really knew the weight of his. Kevin raised his brow at me and pointed at my stomach. It was then that I realized I was clutching it with one of my hands.
“You need to go to the bathroom, babe?” he asked.
“No!” I cleared my throat and sat up straight. “No, I, uhh, I’m fine. I think I just had one too many mimosas. Is it time to go?”
“Yeah, I was trying to get your attention, but you were zoned out. Alex here”—Kevin paused and pointed at the server—“just brought over the check, and I just realized I left my wallet on the dresser. I must have been rushing.”
“No worries. I’ll get it,” I said and reached into my Louis Vuitton.
“Well, unless you want to be in the back doing dishes, I don’t have a choice. Here you go. Keep the change.” I handed Alex a crisp $100 bill.
“Oh, wow. Thank you, ma’am. You two have a lovely day.”
I gave a fake smile as Kevin and I got up and left the restaurant. As always, he held every door for me, a gesture that used to give me butterflies. But now it didn’t do much for me. And it might have had something to do with the fact that it seemed to be all he did lately. After I was safely in his Corvette, I fought with myself to not say anything as he was walking around the back of the car. I smoothed my dress down over my thick thighs and told myself to let it go. However, in my thirty-five years of life, holding my tongue had never been my strong point. To me there was no great good in holding back the things I needed to say. All that ever did was babysit someone else’s feelings, and that was something I never cared to do. Especially when I was a person in the equation. When he got in the car and drove away from the restaurant, I turned in my seat to face him.
“That’s the third time in a month that you left your wallet at home when we went out somewhere.”
“Yeah, so? I’m forgetful sometimes.” He shrugged like it was no big deal.
“I’ve never known you to be this forgetful. I guess I just want to make sure everything is all right on your end.”
When Kevin and I got married, we made the decision to keep separate bank accounts. The one we shared was only used to deposit money so that our bills could be taken out. But it seemed as though recently it was I who was putting more money in that account to cover all of our necessities. It wasn’t something we’d talked about, because when we first moved to L.A. it was I who was short, and Kevin covered for me. However, I was short because I hadn’t yet found a storefront for my growing clothing line. That was also years ago though. Kevin, on the other hand, was the VP of an industrial company and made good money, a lot of it, too. Which was why I couldn’t understand what was going on with him.
“Listen, next time I’ll be sure to bring my wallet, okay? It’s not that big of a deal.”
He said it so casually. There was no hint of concern on his face even though I pointed out the other times he’d done the same thing. The way he was trying to brush me off was the reason I had to keep going.
“It is a big deal, especially when you came up short on the mortgage last month. And the month before that, I had to cover your car note for this toy and your Rolls-Royce! That doesn’t include my cars.”
“I thought we were a team, Imani.” Kevin sighed and shook his head. “Because I quite vividly remember us moving here to L.A. to chase your dreams of being a fashion designer. I believe that was after you quit your high-paying job at the law firm. I paid for everything, everything, for two years so you could put everything you had into your business. Do you remember that?”
“Yes,” I said and gave an eye roll.
“Okay then. All I’m asking you to do is support your man without questioning me. I love you.”
I hated when he did that. Telling me he loved me before I was finished speaking was the ultimate silencer in our relationship. Once he said it, there was no getting through to him and the conversation at hand was over. We were almost to our Beverly Hills home when his phone began to ring from inside of the car’s cup holder. I watched him grab it, look at the screen, and drop the phone in his lap. It was odd because Kevin never ignored calls, even when his mother rang a thousand times a day. If he wasn’t busy, he would answer.
“Who was that?” I asked.
“I didn’t recognize the number,” he answered and rubbed his hand down his chin.
He was lying. See, Kevin had a tell whenever he wasn’t being truthful, and that hand gesture was it. I figured that out soon after I started dating him after college. He wouldn’t lie about anything big, just little white lies. I picked up on it and never told him that he had a tell. That way he wouldn’t fix it. And that decision served me well in that moment and had me wondering who in the hell it was calling his phone.
“Mhm,” was all I said.
When we arrived home, I kicked off my heels at the door as soon as I walked in. Kevin was right behind me, and we made our way up the spiral staircase. The banister tickled the palm of my hand, and it was then that I realized the effects the four mimosas I drank had on me. I didn’t stumble up the steps. I felt like I was floating. Not only that, but my clit hadn’t stopped thumping since my daydream at the restaurant, and I was hornier than ever.
When we got to our bedroom, I sat on the bed and watched as Kevin undid his tie and unbuttoned his shirt. The bout we’d had in the car was fading to black as I zeroed in on his sexiness. I focused on all of the physical qualities that had made me fall for him. Kevin stood at six foot two and had the smoothest caramel-colored skin I’d ever seen in my life. Back in college he barely had a mustache, and now that he was a full-grown man, the thick ’stache connected to an even thicker beard. I didn’t mind that he dyed them to keep the grays away. Hell, my hair was full of dye too. It was true that black didn’t crack, but aging always had a tell somewhere. But one place it wasn’t at was his body. Kevin stayed in the gym faithfully putting in work, and the six-pack that showed without him having to flex was proof of that. As I watched him undress, I bit my finger.
“Hmm?” he asked and looked over his shoulder at me.
“Come here,” I told him and spread my legs, giving him a view of my lace thong.
The sight of my pussy used to make him quiver in anxiousness. All he wanted to do was fuck me. Hell, if the man could have lived in it, he would have. But apparently more than him not paying bills had changed. He shook his head at me.
“Babe, I’m stuffed. All I want to do is take a shower and then a nap right after. You know I have a long workweek ahead of me.”
“I can’t even get any head?” I asked, hating that I sounded as if I was begging him.
It was ridiculous because I was. I was lying there with my legs spread wide open, begging my husband to fuck me. I tried to seduce him some more by moving my panties to the side and showing him how wet I was. However, he barely took a glance.
“Imani, I just said I’m tired. Why don’t you use one of your vibrators while I’m in the shower?”
“I know you didn’t just tell me to use a sex toy when there’s some dick right in front of me!” I was astonished to say the least. I closed my legs and stood up. “We haven’t had sex in a month, Kevin!”
“Here we go again,” he sighed and ran a hand over his face. “Imani, we both have been busy with work!”
“The way I’ve been the only one taking care of business around here, I can’t tell! Who is she?”
“Huh?” he asked.
The bewildered look on his face made me even more frustrated. He had the nerve to act taken aback by the question. Like any woman who hadn’t been so much as touched by their husband wouldn’t wonder the same thing. Everyone knew that what a man wasn’t getting at home he was getting somewhere else.
“You heard me. Who the hell is she?” I asked louder. “The Kevin I know is damn near a sex addict. You used to live in this pussy, and now I can’t even get you to look at it. I’m not fucking stupid! The money, the phone call in the car . . . You’re cheating on me. So I want to know who she is.”
“Imani, you clearly had too much to drink if you think I’d ever cheat on you. I just said I’ve been busy at work.”
“And like I said, the broke tendencies lately aren’t matching up with that story.”
“You know what? I’m about to take a shower and a nap. I’m not having this conversation anymore.” He snatched some clothes out of his drawer and went toward the bathroom connected to our bedroom.
“Don’t walk away fro—”
“Imani, it’s done.” His deep voice seemed to get deeper, and he shot me a look he never gave me before.
That alone stopped me in my tracks. I let him go into the bathroom and slightly jumped when he slammed the door in my face. He’d never talked to me like that, and it scared me. Not because of his tone of voice, but because it was then that I really knew he was hiding something.
These roses are almost as beautiful as you. . . .
“Miss Jamison, I asked for these papers on my desk an hour ago!”
The tyrannosaurus rex shouting at me was none other than my bullheaded boss, Bethany Liner. Her icy blue eyes were piercing when I walked into her large corner office. As hard as she was staring at me, I was positive she had X-ray vision and could see my pink Vicky Secrets through my skirt suit. Bethany was a middle-aged white woman from the Bronx. She had the pinkest lips I’d ever seen, and they never smiled. That might have been for the best, however. With all of the Botox in her cheeks it would probably be a scary sight. Her hair was shoulder length and completely blond. Although she claimed it was natural, everybody knew it wasn’t. At her age there should have at least been one gray on her head, but there wasn’t a single strand.
I forced a smile on my face as I set the folder of processed claims down on her desk. As expected, my smile wasn’t returned. Her office was as cold as her gaze. There were times where I felt that dropping out of college to pursue my dreams of being an artist wasn’t the smartest thing to do. As my mother always reminded me, had I gotten my degree, I would be in Bethany’s chair and not working out of a cubicle. But I didn’t mind working as an insurance specialist at Lakeside.
“I’m sorry. I fell behind due to the workload being doubled last minute,” I told her, forcing a chipper tone out of my mouth.
She rolled her eyes and slid the folder in front of her. After taking a moment to sift through it, she put it to the side and focused her attention back on me. “I don’t need any slackers working for me, do you understand?”
“Understood,” I answered quickly.
“Good. Let me ask you something, Miss Jamison. Are you happy working here?”
“I’m good at my job,” I told her.
“That’s not what I asked you. I asked, are you happy working here?”
I paused for a moment. It sounded like a trick question. The kind that, if I didn’t answer right, could cost me my job. Knowing that Bethany’s temper was short, I quickly came up with something to say.
“The work environment is pleasant, and I enjoy coming in and seeing my coworkers every day. The job itself is a piece of cake. However, who doesn’t want more money? Especially with all of the new clients we’re taking on and how heavy our workload has gotten.” The last part kind of slipped out.
When I played it back in my head, I wanted to kick myself. No, I wanted to hurry out of the office. I was a bold woman, but at work I tried to stay in my place. Mainly because outside of that job, all I had was my artwork, and that didn’t bring a steady check in every month. I cleared my throat and prepared to apologize for my forwardness, but she held a hand up to stop me from speaking.
“We’re taking on another health provider, Whitman’s Hospital. This is a big contract, and I don’t need anything to fudge this up,” Bethany said and then sighed. “I understand with all of the new clients, there’s more work to be done, and that work falls on all of you.”
“Yes, it does,” I said, unsure of where the conversation was going.
“I want the morale on the floor to be where it needs to be to keep this ship afloat,” she continued. “And that’s why I wanted to know if you were happy. And now I know you’re not.”
“I never said—”
Bethany put another hand up to silence me. “So I’ve made the decision to give everyone a raise and a bonus. And you, Miss Jamison? I’m looking to give you a promotion and your own office.”
“Oh, Bethany. I would love that!”
“I’m sure you would. However, it all depends on your performance when the reps from Whitman’s Hospital come to view our office at the end of the week. They are our newest client, but also our biggest. I need you and everybody else to put your game faces on. Can you do that for me?”
“Yes, of course I can. Especially if I get Patricia’s old office with the city view,” I said, sighing in bliss, thinking about the beautiful office.
“Don’t bring up that wretched woman’s name ever again in my presence!” Bethany scowled, and my eyes got wide.
“Okay. I won’t ever speak of her again,” I said. I tapped my fingers together, and then not able to help myself, I asked, “What did she do?”
“She’s the reason why our contract with Flagstaff fell through. She was sleeping with Tom Hick!”
“Wait, isn’t he the VP of Texicam?” I asked.
Texicam was Lakeside’s biggest competition. The two companies fought neck and neck to close the biggest contracts with new and existing health-care providers. I had no idea that Patricia was sleeping with Tom. That was bad for business all around, especially since she’d been Bethany’s right hand. She knew everything Bethany knew.
“Yes, that’s him. He was able to close the deal with Flagstaf under our nose because of information Patricia fed him. But guess what?” Bethany smiled. “The joke was on her. After he got what he wanted, he dropped her like a hot potato, and I fired her. No man or job. That’s a double whammy.”
“Wow,” I said, shaking my head. “So her job is the one I’ll be filling?”
“Prove yourself to me, and we’ll see. Now get out of my office so I can enjoy my lasagna.”
I turned around in my three-inch Louboutin pumps and got out of there before she could change her mind about giving me a shot at a promotion. When I returned to my cubicle, I smiled when I noticed a small bouquet of flowers on my desk that wasn’t there when I left. I sat down and admired the roses before reading the note that came with them. Well, I tried to read it anyway. One minute the little white paper was in my hand, and the next it was being snatched from me.
“Hey!” I exclaimed and turned to face the culprit.
The person standing behind my desk chair was Kimberly, my colleague and friend. She sat in the cubicle next to mine, and we often passed the time talking and laughing together. Like me, Kimberly was a beautiful and fiery black chick who came from a well-to-do family. Except, unlike me, she was born and raised in New York. She wore her short hair in finger waves and always wore red lipstick. That day was no exception.
“Okay, Daddy Nathan! Sending you roses with this sweet note: ‘These roses are almost as beautiful as you.’ Awwww, girl! He is so nice!”
“Give me that!” I snatched the note away from her and read the words for myself.
Nate was a guy I was currently dating. It had only been a few months, so it was still relatively new. I like. . .
We hope you are enjoying the book so far. To continue reading...