Olivia Watts knows that her problems are painfully average. She got engaged, and her fiancé cheated. She gave up on her dream job—street photographer—and settled on a more practical one: graphic designer. She scrimped and saved to buy a home, only to realize how empty it was. So when Olivia hears about an exclusive dating app that matches subs with highly trained doms, she does something she never thought she’d do in a million years: She signs up. The last thing she expects to find is a man whose sizzling touch reawakens the woman she used to be. . . .
Noah Grant has no time for relationships. His sole purpose is to win reelection. That’s why he pays a premium to the discreet app that satisfies all his dark desires. But after sweet, innocent Olivia is vetted and arrives for their week together in his penthouse, it’s blatantly clear that she’s running from her demons. Noah’s more than willing to be her escape—until their emotions get tangled up in their games. Now, to become worthy of Olivia’s heart, Noah will have to prove that he’s more than a fantasy.
Timing was everything. Sometimes perfect timing caused accidents. Sometimes perfect timing was a blessing, bringing two people together to find their happily ever after from a chance encounter. And sometimes perfect timing was cruel, changing lives in a blink of an eye.
Olivia Watts discovered that today was about the latter.
Had she not caught that earlier train out of Manhattan, returning to the Bronx a half hour earlier, then she wouldn’t be standing in the doorway of her bedroom watching a bare ass jiggle. She knew that ass. Hell, she even loved that ass. It belonged to Cameron Kline, former star high school quarterback, now a stockbroker on Wall Street.
But he wasn’t the only familiar one in the room. The feminine legs currently hooked around his arms while he pumped his hips belonged to Lacie Hicks. The butterfly tattoo on her ankle bounced with every one of Cameron’s hard thrusts.
An odd icy calmness fell over Olivia as she leaned against the doorframe and crossed her arms. She felt like she was watching some sex party she wasn’t invited to. Her bare feet were exhausted from being in heels all day and pressed against the old hardwood floors. Her mind began to drift back to the day that would change the direction of her life forever. She wanted to look away—knew she probably should—but she remained at the door watching the bouncing bed and the sweaty bodies.
“You fucking like that, baby?” Cameron growled, pumping his hips harder and faster. “You like when I fuck you this hard?”
“Yes, baby. Yes!” Lacie screamed louder than necessary. Her fingernails dug into that jiggling butt. “Fuck me. Yes!”
Olivia almost rolled her eyes. Almost.
Over the next few minutes, Lacie’s screams grew louder and louder, until she began panting, “I’m coming. I’m coming. Oh my God, I’m coming.”
This time, Olivia rolled her eyes. Lacie deserved an Academy Award.
“Shit. Yeah. Fuuuuuuuck.” Cameron grunted, bucking and jerking, flopping on top of Lacie like a fish out of water.
Olivia knew his face was contorted in pleasure the way it always was when he came. His eyes were likely shut as his butt flexed with the pulsing of his orgasm.
When all was said and done, Cameron lay on top of Lacie, and his chuckle was long and drawn out. A sexy laugh that Olivia had heard brushing across her ear many times over the past ten years.
Lacie’s fingers tickled up Cameron’s back and she practically purred, “That was so amazing, baby.”
At that, Olivia piped up. “Oh please, you totally faked it.”
Cameron flipped over, his face turning ashen. With his shaggy sandy-brown hair and rich hazel eyes, matched with chiseled features, he had always been gorgeous. His muscular square chest was heaving, beads of sweat sliding down his sculpted bare torso.
Next to him, Lacie’s mouth hung open, her arms covering her bare breasts, legs crossed, as if decency mattered now. Her strawberry blond hair had always made Olivia envious, as did her sculpted lips that were a perfect shade of pink and her big hazel eyes. Maybe now Olivia saw the difference between them more than ever. Lacie was everything Olivia wasn’t. Perfect.
A flush of adrenaline tingled through Olivia’s body as her gaze returned to Cameron. They had been high school sweethearts. Cameron was two years older. They’d met when Olivia was a freshman. Ten years she’d been with him. Ten years now wasted.
He finally spoke. “O-O-Olivia.”
“Oh, you know my name. That’s good,” Olivia quipped, fully aware her calmness didn’t seem like a normal reaction. “For a second there, I thought that you might have forgotten it. You know, because you were busy fucking my maid of honor in our wedding in our bed.”
And that life-changing event a month ago was the exact reason Olivia was now entering L’amour, the swanky cocktail bar known for its revolving art shows, on a late Thursday night after a hellish day.
The bar always reminded her of something out of a James Bond movie. From the crystals hanging from the light fixtures to the mix of leather furniture and velvet Victorian couches, the space spoke of old Hollywood glam. The crowd consisted of twenty- and thirty-somethings ready to drink their busy day away. Maybe even to drown their desire to flip their egotistical bosses off and run for freedom.
A quick look down the bar revealed her best friend, Paige, sitting on the stool at the clear-glass-top bar. Her long legs were crossed, her red high heel dangling off her toe while she scrolled through her phone. Paige and Olivia were exact opposites and always had been. Where Olivia had long brown hair and chocolate brown eyes, Paige had a short blond bob and almond-shaped green eyes. Paige was tall, Olivia was five foot five. Paige was naturally thin and could eat more than some men and barely put on a pound. Olivia had to watch every single thing she put in her mouth, and she ran daily and still had plenty of curves. Paige was outgoing and fun. Olivia was quiet and a homebody. And yet . . . regardless of all those differences, they’d become friends when they were twelve years old, and had been stuck together like glue ever since. Lacie and Olivia had been neighbors and grew up together since birth. When Paige moved to New York City, the duo quickly became a trio. It had been the three of them, until Lacie’s betrayal.
Olivia hurried to Paige’s side, slid onto the stool, and hugged the martini glass waiting for her. “Baby, I’ve been waiting for you all day.” She licked her lips.
“Wait. Not yet. We need to make a toast.” Paige dropped her phone and held up her martini glass. “So I know that today must have been extra sucky. Because of that, I figured we need to celebrate.”
Olivia snorted. “Celebrate the fact that my engagement ended a month ago?”
“Exactly.” Paige nodded, voice chipper. “We’re going to celebrate that you lost two hundred pounds of asshole and one hundred and twenty pounds of total bitch a month ago. Because how amazing is that?”
Olivia barked a laugh. “That’s true. It is quite a lot of asshole and bitch to lose.” Instantly, her day was turning around. She had no idea what would have happened to her without Paige. When things got dark, Paige was there to lighten up her world.
Paige lifted her glass. “I say good riddance to that asshole and bitch.”
Olivia clanged her glass. “Good riddance.” Then, because really, the day called for it, she downed half of her chocolate martini in one gulp.
With only the piano man playing a song in the corner of the cocktail bar, she took another couple of sips in silence, which tended to be how they drank the first few sips of their martinis. Chocolate had a silencing effect, and the chocolate flakes along the edge of the glass were to die for.
Right as she placed her glass down on the bar to thank Paige for being such a good friend, Paige nudged her and gestured to the two women on her other side. Olivia leaned over a little, totally eavesdropping on the conversation between a redhead and a blonde who wore bright pink lipstick.
“Master L blew my fucking mind,” Pink Lips said before sipping her champagne.
“Would I know him?” the redhead asked.
Pink Lips shook her head. “He’s not famous, if that’s what you’re asking. He wasn’t much into talking, but he sent me to the spa. I got treated real nice. Then our scene lasted for hours. Seriously, he’s been the best dominant yet.”
“Oh my God,” Olivia mouthed.
Paige grinned and nodded.
Recently, BDSM seemed all the rage. Everyone had been talking about the dark and wild sex craze. Books were written about BDSM, movies had been produced. Olivia was both a book lover and a movie watcher, and recently she’d taken an interest in BDSM, as had the rest of the world it seemed.
Pink Lips placed her champagne flute down and continued. “SiR connected me with this new guy tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes. I can’t imagine anyone besting Master L. God, he was incredible.”
Master . . . A hot flush shot through Olivia, settling straight between her thighs. The thought of being dominated had aroused her starting with the very first book she read to the one she had been reading last night. When she masturbated, she thought of a man taking her roughly, demanding dirty things of her. In her most private fantasies, she was never in control. Ever.
A truth she had kept from Cameron.
But Paige knew about Olivia’s fantasies in great detail. And years of friendship told Olivia that look on Paige’s face meant trouble.
“Girrrrrl,” Paige drawled. “It’s fate.”
Olivia adamantly shook her head. “Don’t even think about it.”
Paige hesitated, examining Olivia intently, nibbling her lip.
Shit. The lip nibble made her even more nervous. “Wait—”
Paige turned to the women next to them. “I’m sorry to have eavesdropped on your conversation. I know that’s way rude and all, but I’ve gotta ask. I’ve heard about SiR before. Is it really legit?”
“Yup, the app is completely legit,” Pink Lips said with a soft nod. “It’s the best way to meet dominants, really.”
Olivia begged for the floor to open and swallow her up. Paige was lying through her teeth. Olivia had never heard of this app and knew Paige hadn’t either because they had never talked about it. Trying to pretend she wasn’t there, she sipped her martini, looking straight ahead at the rows of liquor bottles behind the bar.
“Cool,” said Paige. “So the app is safe?”
Olivia dared to look to her right as the redhead placed her champagne flute back onto the bar. “Everything about SiR is all very hush hush because the dominants are usually men in high-powered jobs.” She paused and waggled her eyebrows. “Every single dom I’ve met has been experienced to say the least.”
“Oh wow. They’re highly trained dominants then?” Paige asked, as if she knew what she was talking about.
Pink Lips nodded, obviously unaware of that fact. “You have to sign a nondisclosure and get tested for STIs and HIV. But on the flip side, you are promised that same security too. Do you two go to the public sex clubs here?”
“Yup, for a few years now,” Paige said without a hitch to her breath.
Olivia’s face burned as the bartender strode by them to serve a couple sitting a few stools away. He had to have overheard this conversation. Though she couldn’t help but note how frighteningly good of a liar Paige was. But maybe that was just Olivia’s insecurities popping up, reminding her that she had very good reasons not to trust people. But Paige was good people.
Pink Lips finished off her drink then reached into her Versace clutch and handed Paige a business card. “I suppose it’s my time to pay it forward, since someone once threw me a bone and gave me this card. Signing up to SiR changed my life in the best kind of way. You’d be wise to join.”
“I’ll happily accept your kindness.” Paige smiled. She waited until the women were out of earshot before she turned to Olivia. “You have to do this. It’s a sign. You need to take it.” She handed her the card. “What are the chances that we were just talking the other night about how much you wished your sex life was as exciting as that movie we watched. Then we show up here and bam!”
Olivia took the card. Paige was a huge believer in fate. She made big decisions based on the belief that if she followed the signs fate left for her, she’d always be on the right path. So far, Paige had a job she loved and an amazing sex life, even though she preferred fleeting relationships.
Olivia had gone on a different path and made all her decisions based on logic. She had a job as a graphic designer that she hated, a nonexistent sex life, and a broken heart. She slid her fingers over the black business card. The SiR’s white font was raised, making that single word seem more important than the app’s private password to join.
“You deserve this,” Paige said softly, nudging Olivia with her shoulder. “There is no harm in trying something new. For once, Olivia, don’t be the good girl. Do something perfectly inappropriate, all because you can.”
Olivia glanced down at the card again, running her fingers across the textured letters. Timing had once ruined her life. Was this the universe’s way of making amends?