Excerpt from Stroked Hard by Meghan Quinn


 He’s hot. Like, stop breathing kind of hot with his killer body, vivid blue eyes, and constant five o’clock shadow.

Did I mention his body?
Watching Hollis Knightly, Olympic diving gold medalist, man-pony specialist—and cocky bastard—stand up on the diving platform in nothing but a small piece of Spandex? Yeah, I’m beguiled.
And easily seduced.
I want to keep things light but he won’t leave me alone. And hell, if he’s not wearing me thin.
What is supposed to be a simple summer fling with a very hot man, has now morphed into a f*cked-up mess of feelings, attachment, and dare I say it…love. But I don’t do relationships. And Hollis Knightly does.


“Tell me what’s wrong, or else we’re going to sit here all night, which I don’t mind. It’s not that far away of a drive from my pool. I can easily sleep here and get ready for practice quickly.”

Knowing he’s telling the truth, I haven’t really seen him budge on anything, I give in. “You lied to me. I don’t like liars and I don’t put up with them.”

The strong set of his jaw and the furrow in his brow relaxes as he takes in my words. Quickly his anger turns into confusion and concern. “When did I lie to you?”

God, the next words coming out of my mouth are going to sound so childish. Which probably is the truth, but it matters to me. Keeping promises matter to me.

“You said you were going to hold my hand on the way home.”

His concern morphs into a cocky grin and I instantly hate that I even said anything.

His voice turns into liquid velvet as he says, “I’m sorry, baby. I wasn’t sure you actually wanted to hold my hand given the cold-bitch vibe you were shooting my way. I wanted to respect your wishes.”

“Whatever.” I fold my arms over my chest and look out the passenger side window. “Just take me home.”

“No way in hell until you wander that little hand over here.”

I look to the side to see Hollis holding out his hand, palm up, waiting for me to join him in an awkward connection.

“I’m over it, just drive.”

“Nuh-uh, lactose lips.”

His stupid names crack me every time. “Lactose lips?”

He laughs and shakes his head. “Fuck, I don’t know. Not my best. Just hold my hand.”

Giving in, I link my hand with his, our palms touching, our fingers wrapping around to the back of our hands, his fingers reaching farther. Briefly, he looks up at me and smiles, a gut-twisting, ovary-clenching, heart-pounding smile. The kind of smile that says I just handed the world over to him.

“Now that wasn’t too hard, was it?”

“You ask me?” I counter.

With the most genuine look on his face, he says, “Like a fucking dream, baby.”

And then, as if he didn’t just rock my whole world those five little words, he pulls out onto the street and drives us back to the complex, our hands never parting.

We stay in silence as we drive. I look out the window, enjoying the palm trees that wobble up to the sky, looking like they were plucked out of a Dr. Seuss book, all the while, trying to ignore the heat that’s starting to build in the pit of my stomach.

This was such a bad idea. Such a bad, bad idea. God, Mel, what were you thinking?

To me, hand holding is so much more intimate than making out. Don’t agree with me? Think about it. You could be at a bar, plastered to the wall, one shot away from taking your clothes off and offering up your nipples as garnishes to the bartender, and all of a sudden, have an urge to run your hands sloppily through the hair of the guy next to you, only to follow it up with some very unattractive tongue-on-tongue action. You’ve seen those chicks, the ones with their thongs hanging out the back of their pants because they’re constantly giving themselves wedgies. Drunk make-out sessions are a twenties mistake. But have you ever heard of drunk holding hands? Not really. You don’t go to a bar, get wasted and hold hands with another person. Holding hands is meant for someone you’re intimate with, someone you have a connection with.

What does that say to me? Am I “drunk” holding hands with Hollis? Or do I actually have some kind of intimate connection with him? Crap, is that what all his texts and phone calls have been, ways to be intimate?

Could it be?


No. He’s too cocky, too arrogant when he talks, always joking about my boob somehow falling in his mouth. That’s not imitate. That’s just . . . perverted.

Yes, Hollis is a pervert who wants to hold hands.

Great! I’m holding hands with a pervert. Christ, might as well be drunk making out with my thong hanging out the back of my shorts.

Before I can torture myself even more with my inner diatribe, we park in the apartment complex, closer to the condos rather than my apartment. How convenient for Hollis.




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