Author Archives: Aubrey

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A sample from THE GURU

Check out this HOT excerpt … then click here to get your copy of The Guru!

“And that’s what I was doing?” I say, raising my eyebrows. “Coming downstairs hoping to be your one-night stand?”

“Are you really going to deny it? We both felt it when I dropped you off — the something in the air. I just thought we were both smart enough to know which lines not to cross.”

I think about denying it, but I came here for a confrontation, not more evasion. Might as well clear the air and get it over with. “Okay. Fine. That’s what it was. But as someone once said, ‘It was my choice to make, not yours.’”

“And it was my choice to be strong enough for both of us, and say no.”

I don’t know which half of his statement to be furious at first. “So I’m weak.”

Anthony exhales. He wants to be mad, but I’ve made that too hard. “Of course you’re not weak. You’re stronger than ever.”

“Good thing you were strong enough to resist my stronger than ever advances.”

“It’s not that. It’s not that you were weak. It’s that you were … influenced.”

“Because you’re so charming? Because bitches just melt into unprotesting pussy in your presence? Get over yourself, Anthony. I have a mind of my own.”

Another sigh. “I know you do. Look — I don’t want it to be like this.”

“Why not? You don’t want it to be the other way, either, apparently.” I put both hands on my hips. “But thank you. Thank you for being strong enough to say no to the question I never actually asked.”

“Your body was saying it.”

I almost want to laugh. “I see. My body. And is it saying the same thing right now?”

He looks me over — the pretentious ass actually looks me up and down. “Honestly? Yes.”

I shake my head and move to walk around him. We’re done here; I’m tired of all the bullshit.

“Caitlin.”

“No. That’s enough. That’s about all I can handle.”

“Look at me.”

“I’m done looking at you.”

He takes me by the arm and turns me. I wrench away, then push against his chest.

We stare at each other.

He tries again, this time reaching for my face. I slap it away again, eyes still locked on his. I refuse to lose this staring contest.

Anthony moves toward me in one long, fast stride. I react instinctively, wanting to hit him again, but he’s suddenly too close to me. His hands are on my face. He’s holding me against him, our bodies pressed together, his lips smashed against mine. For a fraction of a second, I’m lost and floating. My arms stop trying to hit him and my mouth stops protesting. For just that blink of time, there’s bliss, and I’m somewhere else.

But then I push him away, harder this time.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”

“What you want me to do.”

“I don’t want you to—”

He comes forward again, his hands back in place. This time I only half-protest for a couple of beats. Then my pushing hands circle his firm torso and become pulling hands, spreading open against his dress shirt, kneading, pulling his hips into mine.

We pull apart, our mouths separating. We lock eyes. There’s a small moment where I think one of us might say something — a quip from me about his failure to be strong, a protest from him about how my heat is keeping him from working — but then it pops and we’re suddenly one again, moving, undulating, pressed together from top to bottom.

He backs me up and my ass hits the table in the center of the room. His hands move lower, rubbing down my front, pawing my breasts with urgency.

Then he steps back. His lips are smeared with my lipstick. He drops his arms back, shakes off his blazer and tosses it behind me.

“Get on the floor,” he says.

“What?”

“Take off your panties and get on the floor. Hurry.”

I still stand there dumbly. All the blood in my body is one giant throb. I’m practically dripping. I catch sight of Anthony’s slacks, and see the huge protrusion.

This is really happening. Me and Anthony. Anthony and me.

How many nights have I dreamt it? And is it wise to move from fantasy to reality after all this time?

No. No, it’s obviously not.

When I don’t move, Anthony comes back to me, lifts my skirt, and drags my panties to the floor. He puts his hands on my hips and moves me down. “The carpet will chafe. Lay on my coat.”

I look back. I’m kneeling now. I see the discarded blazer behind me — not a random toss, apparently, but a sex blanket instead.

My mind says, We’ll ruin it. But I say nothing because Anthony has guided me to it already, and my ass is on it, and the lining is soft and luxurious.

His big hands open my legs and lift my skirt. He looks hungrily at my pussy, then reaches forward to run a finger between its lips.

“Lay back.”

“Here?”

“It has to be the floor. There are people in the rooms around us and the walls are thin. The table is too shaky. It’s here or nowhere.”

“I meant, here in this room?”

“I’ve got you on the floor with my finger in your pussy. We can’t stop now and pretend it’s all the same, so don’t make me second-guess this, too.”

“Anthony …”

“Lay back.”

I do. My head is in the clouds. I feel every heartbeat in every part of me. My pussy wants more of him, and grips his finger. I’m so wet. I want all of him and I want it now.

I sit back up, then lean up enough to fondle his hard cock through his pants. I begin to unbuckle his belt but he pushes me back down.

“I’ll do that,” he says. “We need to hurry.”

“Why?” And then I think, Oh, right. The time. Marcy only had fifteen minutes with Anthony, and that probably means I only had fifteen minutes, too. “How long do we have?”

He looks at his watch. I don’t know the brand, but it looks phenomenally expensive. “Seven minutes.”

“It’s enough.” I hike my skirt higher and lean again for his hard cock, wanting more than anything to have it inside me, but again he pushes me gently down.

“It’s enough to fuck you,” he agrees. “But first, I need you to come for me.”

WANT TO READ MORE? Click here to get your copy of The Guru!

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The Clothing Mogul – Sample Chapter

The following is the first chapter from the second Trillionaire Boys’ Club book, The Clothing Mogul, available now. Enjoy!

“You have to fall in love.” Then, because she’s my publicist, Alyssa adds the key word: “Publicly.”

I laugh, but she hasn’t stopped looking my way. “You’re serious.”

“Of course I’m serious. A public romance is better than ads, better than commercials. It’s real. More or less.”

“Absolutely not. No fucking way.”

For me, no fucking way is enough. Alyssa made a joke and I chuckled. But I’ve half-forgotten it already. I have my phone out, and I’m playing with this new app that R&D developed to help with custom-fitting of our athletic apparel.

But Alyssa’s still looking at me. And I know that look. She has that little notepad she uses when she’s brainstorming, crossed arms pressing it to her chest.

I meet her soft brown eyes. She has long brown hair that frames her face in waves. Her lips are a little open and always look kissable. I very much want to push Alyssa up onto my desk, spread her legs, and have myself a pussy buffet.

Unfortunately, she knows me too well, and would never allow that to happen. She’s entered this office more than once to find me and some girl doing exactly that.

“Next,” I say.

She continues giving me the laser stare. “Are you even listening to me?”

“Of course I’m listening.”

“What’s Hurricane Apparel valued at right now?”

I shrug. We make clothing that would easily kick Under Armour’s ass, even if it was only athletic wear. But Hurricane is all souped up with sensors, and monitored by a family of apps. We don’t make clothes; we design valuable tools for athletic performance. Half the pro athletes in the country right now wear Hurricane, and we signed a huge collegiate deal a few months ago — both thanks to and in spite of my “good buddy” Nathan Turner and his dealmaking.

I should know my company’s valuation, because big numbers make girls want to suck my dick, but then I’ve got to figure out profit and loss, carrying costs and inventory, employee expenses and downtime ratios, account for factory changes and unions (except in China, har-har) and so on. I’d love to memorize one number and always offer it as unyielding, but a touch of OCD won’t let me.

“You really don’t have any idea, do you?” Alyssa asks.

“The accountants know.”

“Maybe the accountants are stealing from you.”

I give Alyssa a look.

“Fine. What are you personally worth right now.” Because that, she knows I know. I’d write it on a name tag and wear it at cocktail parties if I could.

“$2.2 billion.”

“And if you had to guess … after all the collegiate expansion plans are fully rolled out and—”

“Double that.” I’ve run the figures. Of course I know my bottom line. It’s like knowing my shoe size, not that I’d ever wear shoes that weren’t custom.

“So generously, you’re closing in on a $5 billion personal net worth.”

“For now.”

“If you listen to me, though, and take this seriously—”

“I am taking it seriously.” I’m still holding my phone, now checking LiveLyfe and barely paying attention. Alyssa leans forward and takes it. I look up, annoyed.

“You’re an asshole,” Alyssa tells me.

“I’m glad I pay you so much.”

“It’s okay. It’s your brand to be an asshole. It’s your brand to be a narcissist. Everyone knows the names of your designers, and why your underwear is better than all the other labels, but I’m suggesting something that adds a dimension to your arrogant, obnoxious personal brand and promises enormous potential without taking anything away from what you already are.”

“Nobody would believe it.”

“That you could fall in love?”

I don’t even like hearing the words. It’s not that I’m immune or grossed out, like a kid considering cooties. It strikes me as naive and simplistic, given where I am and where the company is. Alyssa might as well be suggesting we have a tea party and invite our suppliers, or reward our best salesmen with soft pink pillows with rainbow needlepoint on the front. My office has slate gray walls with original art in bold colors — the full-room equivalent of a sober suit paired with a power tie. But the way Alyssa is pitching this idea, I figure her next suggestion will be to get motivated by hanging a poster showing a kitten hanging from a branch, bearing the caption, Hang in there, baby.

“Yes,” I say. “That.”

“Don’t you see? It’s perfect. Of course it’s not realistic. Only your mother could love you.”

“Thanks.”

“And you? You’re so emotionally retarded, only a woman with serious issues would believe that your cocky, aggressive come-ons could ever pass for real affection.”

“Girls with issues are always the hottest.”

“But Ashton, none of that matters. We’re not trying to sell the media on reality. We’re trying to sell them on what they want to believe. That’s always easier. Why do you think I launched Mateo Saint’s all-meat menu by publicizing his hundred-thousand-dollar donation to PETA?”

“Mateo donated a hundred thousand bucks to animal rights?”

“No, of course not. I tried, and PETA rejected the donation. Very loudly and very publicly. The publicity PETA gave us by bitching at Mateo for his gall in even attempting the donation was worth way more than a measly hundred grand. Their anger and indignation launched the all-meat menu through the roof. But the reason I knew to try that tactic was because PETA is a loud group that desperately wants to believe Mateo’s restaurants are evil. But that’s their belief, not reality. The meat he uses is ethically raised, but PETA isn’t interested in the truth. So we play with desire, not reality. Understand?”

“Not really. Mateo was crucified over that.”

“For a while. But then it passed, and now he’s as much a contender for Nathan Turner’s little billionaire group as you are. Ask Papa John or whoever’s behind Little Caesar’s if they can say the same. Negative publicity is underrated.” She gives me a sly smile. “Just wait until I find a way to get you sued by Disney.”

“You’re trying to talk me into something different.”

“It’s pretending to fall in love, Ashton. You can do that, can’t you? Isn’t that what you do with the women you fuck?”

“I prefer women who know it’s their job to go down on me. High maintenance girls — the ones you have to pretend to actually like before sticking your dick in them — become stalkers.”

“You’ll be worth $5 billion soon, optimistically. But you have a niche fan base. It only matters so far, seeing as the clothing is what truly sells Hurricane, but it does matter. Our publicity options are limited to garden variety commercials and ads so long as you, yourself, aren’t good on camera.”

“I’m on camera all the time. I have two interviews lined up tomorrow.”

“For a small audience who’s decided to like you despite your many failings. But what if we could get people to actually like you?”

“People love me.”

“Men love you. Women, not so much. I think it has something to do with the way you see our gender as a long series of holes on an endless golf course. But women do love your clothes, Ashton. Right now, only those who don’t find you personally repugnant will buy from you, but rest assured: your misogynistic, rakish ways are costing you sales. Hurricane Apparel could be LuluLemon, but you’re so fucking notorious that those women shoppers all know who’s behind your brand. And a lot of them say, ‘Screw that guy. He hates women, so I’m not buying his clothes.’ They buy LuluLemon and you lose a sale because you’re a big public fuckface.”

“I like how you use all the best industry buzzwords.”

“Think about what happens if we stage a real relationship. We get a girl and you ‘fall in love’ with her. We start with contacting bloggers through a dozen or so different accounts at once, all of whom claim to have ‘caught’ you with a ‘secret girlfriend’ that you’re trying to hide from the press. A Fiverr gig will get that started. Start it up with the right bloggers and they’ll contact my office to ask about you and this mystery girl. Of course I’ll deny it all. But I’ll protest a little too much, then eventually I’ll get ‘sick of all the harassment’ and send out a press release that ‘backfires’ and suddenly oops, everyone knows that billionaire bad boy Ashton Moran is sneaking around with some girl on the sly — but unlike someone having an affair, the philandering Moran is hiding his fidelity. It’s always the same girl, and the paparazzi keep catching them kissing sweetly. And then people start to realize, ‘Oh wow, we haven’t seen Ashton fucking his way through any modeling agencies lately!’ And then bang-zoom, just like that … everyone in the world knows you’re smitten. You’re in love with one and only one woman.”

“Cute,” I say. “But I’m not interested.”

“Why?”

“Because it sounds boring. How would you like to fuck one guy forever?”

Alyssa gives me a look that says I’m not getting off the hook that easy. For one, she’s a woman and therefore wired differently. And second, I’m not sure how much Alyssa gets laid. I’ve wanted to fuck her since we met, but I’d be afraid she’d bite my dick off the entire time.

There’s a stereotype that men are intimidated by strong women. It’s totally true.

“Love is bullshit, Alyssa. You’ve been in publicity long enough to know that.” It’s half true. I’m not sure exactly how old Alyssa is, but there’s no way she’s older than 25, making her younger than me. Only her ruthlessness and results have gotten her to where she is.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s bullshit. This isn’t about reality, remember? It’s about what people want to believe. And here are two things that most people very much want to believe: One, that there’s such a thing as true love, and that every story has a happily-ever-after waiting to happen.”

I actually snort laughing at this.

“And Two, that every hardass like you secretly has a heart of gold. Nothing’s hotter than a guy who’s strong on the outside, yet soft in the middle.”

I try to laugh at that too, but Alyssa’s now giving me her most dick-biting stare.

“You’re always looking for the next big move, Ashton,” she says, dead serious. “I’m telling you, this is it. Hurricane has serious penetration among professionals, and the expected trickle-down into the consumer market that cares about such things. Everyone wants to be like Mike. Now you’ll have the same in collegiate sports. Hurricane has high production but inventory to spare. We’ve done all we can with what we have. You hired me to make you more money, and I’m telling you: The bottleneck to your company’s growth, as of right now, is you.”

I look away, annoyed by it all — mainly because Alyssa is the best and most media-manipulative publicist I’ve ever seen, and I’m sure that she’s right.

She pulls something glossy from her bag and slaps it on the table.

“Family Circle has a circulation of sixteen million,” she says, poking the brightly colored magazine. “Do what I tell you and they’ll consider an interview. It’s my job to make sure that happens. Then Good Housekeeping and a dozen other rags who’d never touch you now will follow. We get you into these magazines as a guy who’s sweet and full of family values deep down, and you become LuluLemon, but oh-so-much bigger. Hurricane will take their lunch money. Do you get me, Ashton?”

I look at the magazine again. There’s a teaser for an article on six ways to build your own bird feeder. Imagining myself inside its pages makes me want to retch.

But yes, I get her. And I agree.

“We find you a girl and you publicly fall in love over the course of maybe six months. And take my word for it: your business will blow through the roof.”

“If I can only fuck one girl — at least in public — for six months, then she has to be hot.”

Alyssa nods, trying and failing to hide a tiny smile, now that I seem to have granted her idiocy permission. “I already have someone in mind.”

“Who?”

I expect she’ll show me photos of some model or actress.

Instead, her smile widens. “You’ll never guess.”

WANT TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS BETWEEN ASHTON AND HIS FOR-HIRE GIRLFRIEND? 

Get your copy and read the rest … The Trillionaire Boys’ Club: The Clothing Mogul is available NOW at the links below!
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Cover reveal for Trillionaire Boys’ Club #3 – The Producer

theproducer-600COVER REVEAL TIME!

I’m releasing the SECOND book in the Trillionaire Boys’ Club series, The Clothing Mogul, on December 6th … but I wanted to reveal the cover for the THIRD book now to get you excited!

Book Three is The Producer and is Cole Ellison’s story. You’ll learn a bit more about Cole in The Clothing Mogul, and hopefully by the time you read that you’ll be ready for “more Cole.”

If you haven’t yet started the Trillionaire Boys’ Club series, it begins here with The Connector (book 1).

… and continues in The Clothing Mogul, which comes out on December 6, which is available for preorder as of the time I’m writing this post, and which will be discounted for the first week after launch.

The Producer (book 3, the cover revealed in this post) comes out in early January!

HAPPY READING!

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Meet Ashton

Name: Ashton Moran

Company: Hurricane Apparel

Net Worth: $2.2 Billion

Key Connections: Nathan Turner, Cole Ellison, Caspian White, others

Ashton Moran’s company, Hurricane Apparel, was the first clothing manufacturer to make widespread integration between apparel and technology both practical, seamless, and appealing to consumers. Hurricane’s debut lines were all in the athletic sector: clothing for serious athletes, clothing for weekend warriors and hobbyists, and sponsored clothing lines for major sporting franchises. It has since diversified into non-athletic wearable tech, but the company’s mainstays are still in sports and recreation.

All of Hurricane’s clothing is embedded with a variety of sensors meant to monitor the wearer’s physical condition: not just heartbeat and breathing, but also VO2, perspiration rate, skin temperature, and more. Used in conjunction with the company’s suite of smartphone apps, Hurricane’s clothing gives athletes more visibility into their physical state while exercising than ever before — something many athletes report has allowed them to optimize their training and reap commensurate gains.

Hurricane truly took off when its apparel was worn by a team that ended up winning the Super Bowl. The coach mentioned the app-integrated gear in a press conference; Hurricane bought a ton of commercial spots to capitalize; Hurricane’s PR specialist Alyssa Galloway masterminded a guerrilla publicity campaign built on rumor and carefully selected negative mentions (Galloway’s signature move). The rest was history.

Personally, Ashton Moran is known as an immaculate dresser and a notorious ladies’ man. Friends joke that Ashton spends more on his wardrobe than most billionaires spend on cars. They also joke that Ashton is incapable of love and only feels lust. Ashton claims this is ridiculous. He just has no interest in love — at least as far as his conquests are concerned. “Fucking is more fun than ‘lovemaking,'” he’ll say. And he says “lovemaking” in obvious air quotes so that nobody might think he’d ever use the word as a real thing.

In the opinion of Galloway, who many claim is the unsung asset responsible for much of Hurricane’s popular success (it gets all the right press at all the right times), the largest obstacle between Hurricane Apparel’s stellar growth and STRATOSPHERIC growth is Ashton Moran himself. He’s a brilliant businessman, a ruthless negotiator, and lover of fine things — something that means his apparel doesn’t just work; it looks great, too. He’s always led Hurricane down a premium-products path (a simple sweat-wicking, app-enabled workout shirt from Hurricane runs over $200) and knows his company’s brand spot-on. But he’s a cad and he leaves pissed-off, sometimes broken-hearted women carelessly in his wake. He’s a cold-hearted womanizer … and everyone knows it.

Behind closed doors, Galloway has argued with Ashton extensively about changing his public image to improve Hurricane’s market share. But in Ashton’s opinion, “who he is” doesn’t matter when it comes to “whether his company’s clothing is worth buying.” Galloway argues that his asshole persona grates on the public — and that as long as he remains a loud-and-proud philanderer, Hurricane will never get press where it could make the biggest difference: writeups in magazines like Women’s Health, Family Circle, or even People.

Despite many fights, Ashton refuses to change. To Ashton, women are disposable. What’s more, he argues that if he tried to “change his public image to seem nicer,” he’d actually be doing the women he sleeps with a disservice. If they know he’s a love-’em-and-leave-’em sort of guy from the start, at least all cards are on the table. If he lies, though, they’ll be disappointed when he doesn’t call and moves on to his next conquest.

In Ashton Moran’s opinion, the best thing Hurricane could do to increase its profits would be to land endorsements with more major sports franchises.

Hurricane PR agent Alyssa Galloway, however, believes that the best way for the company to increase profits would be for its CEO to settle the hell down for a change … maybe even find a way to fake falling in love.

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If you’d like to read all about Ashton in his own story, his Trillionaire Boys’ Club book, The Clothing Mogul, is available now. Click here to get it.

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ALMOST WRONG: Sample Chapters

The following are TWO sample chapters from my book Almost Wrong, available now. (I thought I’d give you one chapter from each of the book’s two perspectives.) Read and enjoy!

CHAPTER 1: HUNTER

I take a long moment to assess myself in the mirror, wondering if it’s true what life’s losers say: that being successful is basically the same thing as selling out. I don’t think so, but of course I wouldn’t — being a huge sellout and all, judging by my bank account.

Most of the time, I ignore ideas like that. But today’s my birthday, and birthdays are times for reassessment. And while it’s not hard to shake the voices of most haters from my brain, today one hating voice remains.

I don’t care what most people think about me—my lifestyle, my company, my money, or my status as a possible sellout—but I do care what that she thinks. Or I used to, anyway. A lifetime ago.

“Hunter.”

I don’t turn to face Duncan right away. I’m preoccupied with the mirror, with straightening the brushed silver links in the French cuffs of my Charvet shirt. I’m not entirely onboard with the way Martin cut the sleeves of my suit coat to hang above them. They’re a quarter-inch too long and don’t show enough white when my arms hang at my sides — maybe half an inch.

It occurs to me that even having an idea how long my sleeves should hang might, to certain people, strengthen that whole “sellout” idea. I used to wear ratty tees instead of bespoke suits. I used to fight, and get suspended from high school. I’ve given my dad the finger more times than I can count, which hardly mattered because Dad was drunk most of those times. I defended a kid with my fists once, when bullies were trying to take his lunch money. But during my worst years I robbed plenty of other kids, so at best things evened out. Maybe that’s why I give so much to charity: trying to keep my soul from the devil.

That’s what Angela’s mother would have said.

Duncan comes up behind me. I see him in the mirror rather than meeting his eyes. There’s a piece of glass between us, giving us one degree of distance. Maybe it’s a metaphor for our friendship as it extends beyond business.

Several inches of crushed ice lay in the polished black sink below me. Other places I visit use polished rocks instead. I’m fascinated by that. Putting shit in sinks, in fancy hotels and restaurants, makes the experience highbrow; it’s the opposite of the way things used to be, when our sink on Lewis Street was always piled high with dirty dishes, both before Dad got remarried and after.

“Hunter.”

“I heard you, Duncan.”

“Samantha is looking for you.”

“Tell her to meet me in the third stall from the left. I want her on her knees and ready.”

Duncan rolls his eyes. He doesn’t realize I’m half-serious. Samantha is five-eleven in heels, thin and strong, blonde, and spends half an hour every morning brushing her hair before touching it with a hairdryer or hot oil or whatever the hell she uses to shine it. She pretends to primp because she feels she deserves to look her best.

But really, she doesn’t. She’s a horrible person. That’s why Duncan fixed us up. She’s not a good woman so much as one who’s more than willing, at a moment’s notice, to make sure I’m satisfied. I pay her bills; she does her job. She’s no stranger to time on her knees.

“She wants to make a toast,” Duncan says.

“To Dreadnought Records?”

“To you.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s your birthday, Hunter.”

This time, I roll my eyes. Since I’m still looking in the mirror, I can’t help but be a little insulted by my reflection’s attitude. Stupid callous billionaire, thinking he’s too good for everyone else. He’s forgotten his roots. No matter how much he pretends to keep his connection to the old neighborhood, everyone knows he hasn’t seen it in person for years, unless it was in a documentary about the underprivileged.

“I think she’s toasting Dreadnought,” I tell Duncan.

Duncan grabs my shoulders and turns me around. He’s in a suit much like mine, but I can’t help but feel he wears it better. I can’t place his aftershave. Duncan’s black skin is so smooth around his mustache and little beard that I want to touch it.

“You’ve been in here for half an hour. Like a girl.” A beat, then: “You’re hiding.”

“How do you hide in a bathroom?”

Duncan turns to the restroom attendant. I wonder if it speaks ill of me — if it adds credence to the idea that I’ve forgotten my roots — that I’m barely aware of the attendant’s presence. He’s a small man, his skin color somewhere between my ivory and Duncan’s ebony. It’s like someone averaged us, made us shorter, shoved us into a monkey suit, and gave us an Hispanic accent. He’s sitting on a stool, doing nothing. Literally nothing, earning a few cents above minimum wage to feed his family, just waiting for someone to come in so he can hand them a towel.

Duncan speaks to him. “Manuel.”

“Si, Mr. Hall?”

“How long has Mr. Altman been primping in the mirror?”

“I do not know, Mr. Hall.”

“Has he been doing that thing where he talks to himself?”

“I do not think so, Mr. Hall.”

Duncan turns to me. “Walter was asking for you, too.”

“I don’t want to talk to Walter on my birthday.”

“Do you want to talk to him at the Dreadnought celebratory cocktail hour? Because that’s what we’re calling this event. Nobody even knows it’s your birthday.”

“I’ll go out if Samantha can announce my birthday in her toast,” I say, “then I can leverage that into an excuse. I’m not talking to Walter.”

Duncan sighs, then fishes a ten from his pocket and stuffs it into a small box beside the Manuel’s station. Manuel has a little Virgin Mary there, right on the goddamned corner of the sink, as if this is a shrine. The box has an image of the Virgin on its two visible sides. Too much Mary for a hotel bathroom. Nobody wants Her on the sink while you take a leak or get a blow job in the stall from your rich, pretty, slutty girlfriend. Though, for the right tip, I figure both Mary and Manuel will turn their heads.

“Let’s go, Hunter. If I don’t bring you out this time, Samantha will have my head.”

“Have, give,” I say. “She can do both.”

“Straighten your cuffs.” Duncan is speaking to me, but Manuel sits upright and composes himself.

“Si, Mr. Hall,” he says.

CHAPTER 2: ANGELA

I really hate getting the mail.

Today, there’s a water bill. That’s not too bad. It’s just forty bucks, easily payable with my tips. I don’t even have to break the seal on my direct deposit paycheck. I’ll write a check, of course, but I like thinking of the money as coming from my tips instead. The mental gameplay helps. Like how, when I worked at the deli, I used to pay for Mom’s diabetes medication with tips. Those pills were on that Walmart cheapo plan anyway, so it’s not like it was a big accomplishment, but every bit helps. Tips were scant at the deli, but at least the games made it feel like I wasn’t footing my mother’s medical expenses. God knows I foot enough of her others.

Sometimes, the mail is worse. Sometimes, depending on the time of month, I cringe when it comes.

Rent is simple, but painful. I expect and plan for that one. Mom used to kick in for rent, but her current philosophy seems to be that her disability requires saving over contribution. I used to live with Mom; now she lives with me. Same house. The only change since graduation is that I started paying the full rent while Mom kept the master bedroom.

The rent stub is fine. Other things brought by mail tend to hurt. The electric bill fluctuates, especially in winter. California doesn’t make you immune to cool nights, and Mom uses this plug-in heater that gobbles the juice. When it’s especially cool, which is rare, we’ll turn on the furnace. But the furnace needs servicing I can’t afford, so it always scares me a little. And that always makes our electrical bill (which I pay; Mom’s on disability and hence unable to do much more than watch TV and eat with my stepfather) a terrible little surprise. Sometimes, I open it and sigh; other times, I have a panic attack. But it never passes without an emotional reaction.

There’s cable and Internet. I’d be willing to skip both, but Mom’s insistent.

There’s our cell phone plan. That one feels really frivolous to me, seeing as I’m the earner and budget maker. With all the phones added together, it’s half what we spend on food — but Mom can’t live without her cell, and the family plan makes adding me sensible.

Besides, it’s good to have a phone. I never know when Mom might yell a religiously charged judgment at someone in a public place and I’ll have to look it up before knowing how to respond. A cry of “Jezebel” has become easy (she’s called me that often enough), but something like “David and Jonathan” is harder. After she said that one, I had to look up “penalties for hate crimes.”

There’s Mom’s medical loan. The hospital gave us a payment plan for her knee surgery. Getting them to agree was easy enough: when her bill arrived, we didn’t pay it. They offered us a payment plan as an alternative to debt collectors. Easy.

When things are on an even keel, though, my careful budget work keeps us somewhere right around break-even. Problem is, nothing stays on an even keel. Sometimes, the car breaks down, like last month. Sometimes, an appliance will go on the fritz. Sometimes, Mom will order too many On-Demand movies and turn the cable bill into a time bomb.

I’m flipping through bills, delaying my trip back up the porch steps, when I see a red envelope, larger than the others.

Even before opening it, I know what it is.

I open it anyway. It’s a generic birthday card with several points of amusement. First, it’s clearly for a Jewish person, judging by the subtle Star of David on the front. That in itself means I’ll need to burn the thing before Mom sees it, lest she take mortal offense to her Catholic beliefs. Second, it says nothing specific to indicate the sender knows me. Third, my birthday was a full week ago. And fourth — most insultingly — the signature inside is clearly a farce and a forgery.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ANGELA. Hunter.

But that’s a fucking joke. I recognize the handwriting. I should, seeing as I’ve been getting birthday and Christmas cards bearing this handwriting for years. Hunter’s personal assistant.

Hunter doesn’t even have a secretary. Hunter has a personal assistant. The kind of person you hire to pick up your laundry, buy your vitamins, and send birthday cards to your stepsister.

I stare at the card, unable to believe that this year (as every year) he can’t be bothered to sign the card himself. He probably doesn’t even know it’s sent. I’m sure it’s a recurring task in his assistant’s to-do list, going out faithfully without bothering the boss.

I look at the object in my other hand: a gift card for Olive Garden. One hundred bucks. Hunter’s standard present — which, again, he probably only knows as a minor debit from his titanic balance.

My jaw works, wanting to grind my teeth. I know how my eyes must look: they’ll be hard, in that glare people say is so bitchy and intimidating.

I stare at the gift card, hating it. Hating the way he sends this offering in such an offhand, forgettable manner each year, inside a card he never sees, signs, or considers. I hate the way it’s for Olive Garden, which I happen to love, though I know Hunter feels way too good for it. Most of all, I hate the way my pride wants to throw it in the trash … but I pocket it instead.

Money is money. Food is food.

I stalk inside, wondering if it’s worth sending a thank-you note. Twin powers war inside me. I was raised to be polite and thank people for gifts they’ve given. But I was also raised with pride — by my mom back when she had some, and even a bit by Hunter’s father, Bill, whom I don’t like any more than his son, but ended up stuck with nonetheless. I hate that it’s harder to loathe Bill than Mom, seeing as he at least contributes to the household a little. And sure, he drinks his paycheck before it hits the bottom line, but he always reminds me that I should be grateful, so I pretend to be, like a good little girl.

I used to have pride. I learned from two proud people whose pride had twisted and soured, turning them into what I’m saddled with today. Supporting proud people is even worse than supporting dishrags. Shameless people will at least get out of your way, but prideful folks feign self-sufficiency, which makes dragging their carcasses out of the gutter to prop them up that much harder.

I’ll send Hunter’s assistant his fucking thank you. Hunter probably won’t see it.

But I won’t send him a birthday card.

Our birthdays were close enough that after our parents married, before I tried to leave the first time and Hunter vanished, we used to have parties together. One set of decorations, one cake, two friends each. A cost-saving convenience, disguised as family unity.

Today is his birthday. He’ll be thirty, and next year it’ll be my turn to do the same.

Happy birthday, asshole.

+++ WANT TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN ANGELA AND HUNTER REUNITE? +++
Get your copy and read the rest … Almost Wrong is available NOW!
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The Long-Anticipated Series and Title Reveal!

The “Syndicate” has finally arrived!

OMG, it’s finally here! All the mystery and teasing surrounding my upcoming “Join The Syndicate” project has been fun, but it’s also been exhausting. I can’t really talk about the book (or the whole series; a new book will come out EVERY MONTH starting on 11/1) when I can’t even give you the NAME of the book or the series, or even reveal the hook.

Because ladies, this series has a KILLER hook!

It goes like this:

What’s hotter than billionaires?

Trillionaires, of course.

But the problem is, nobody has a trillion dollars. It’s absurd to think that anyone would, at least at this point in history. Forbes named Bill Gates the richest man in the world, and that guy only has about $90 billion — not even 1/10th of the way to a trillion. What a pussy, right?

(I know, I know … why am I worrying about realism in a romance novel? People keep asking me that. The answer is because I think YOU DESERVE AN HONEST STORY, not one I pulled out of my ass and slapped together. Because after all, what’s sexier than believability?)

So to solve the “trillionaires are unrealistic” problem, I got an idea.

One trillionaire is ridiculous.

But what’s NOT ridiculous is a group of billionaires who pool their money to create a trillion: enough money to shake governments and reinvent society — to change the world, as it were.

That’s how the Syndicate was born.

But there’s more to this story. See, outside of romance novels, billionaires have an image problem. They’re usually ugly old white men who never see the sun. That meant my cabal wouldn’t all be young hot guys. Of course not. There’d be women in that group. There’d be crusty old dudes. There’d be geeky virgins.

(WAIT! Keep reading! It’s about to get better. 🙂 )

So I realized there would need to be a group inside the group.

There would be a cabal WITHIN the cabal.

A small group that created the Syndicate, who were there from the beginning. A group that controlled it.

A group that the public already knew and loved … because they were the handsome guys on all the magazine covers, wearing their ten-thousand-dollar suits and shining their cufflinks.

These guys had the public’s eye. They were a fitting “best face” for the Syndicate’s otherwise stodgy public image.

And that, right there, was the birth of the TRILLIONAIRE BOYS’ CLUB … which just so happens to be the name of my brand-new series, launching on November 1st.

You’ve already met some members of the Trillionaire Boys’ Club — the first members of the controlling group inside the Syndicate.

Caspian White, from Gagged.

The guys from Trevor’s Harem.

And a few others.

But now you’ll meet Nathan Turner.

Nathan is the master networker and connection-maker who formed the Syndicate. He did it by gathering the youngest, hottest, most alpha-asshole bad-boy billionaires the world already knew and “loved to hate.” Nathan made the smaller group first — the Trillionaire Boys’ Club — so he could attract the “old guard” to join the larger Syndicate.

Nathan is the creator.

Nathan is the founder.

Nathan Turner, everyone knows, is THE CONNECTOR.

In the first book of the Trillionaire Boys’ Club series, you’ll see Nathan meet his match in a bright college freshman named Alexandra — or Alex, as she prefers to be called.

Nathan’s working hard to make the connections needed to form his Syndicate. So will Alex stand in his way and be his undoing? Or is it possible she could really be just the piece of leverage he needs to build an empire?

That’s the story of my new book, coming out on November 1 of this year.

It’s called “THE TRILLIONAIRE BOYS’ CLUB: THE CONNECTOR” (Or just “The Connector.”)

In December, you’ll meet another member of the Club, starring in his own book. It’ll be named the same way: The Trillionaire Boys’ Club, a colon, and then his title — the unique thing that makes him rich and infamous.

In January, you’ll meet another.

And so on. And so on.

You’ll meet a new bad-boy billionaire member of the Trillionaire Boys’ Club every month for six months before the series will take a break and spin you off into something I’ve been building toward for a full year already. (And after that it’ll continue, with book 7.)

THE GUYS IN THIS SERIES ARE LIKE POKEMON. YOU’RE GOING TO WANT TO CATCH ‘EM ALL.

As with all of my books, the individual volumes in the TBC series can be read out of order, but there’s a thread of story behind them … so die-hards may prefer to read them in the order they were written. That’s your call, but I strongly suggest you read Nathan’s book first because it talks about the formation of the Club and the Syndicate.

(SIDE NOTE: The story REALLY starts before the TBC series even begins: toward the end of my book Almost Wrong. Be sure to get that one so you’re all caught up!)

So that’s the story.

That’s the Trillionaire Boys’ Club, and it’s going to change the world.

THAT’S where you’ll meet Nathan for the first time, and see how this whole Trillionaire Boys’ Club thing begins.

Are you ready?

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THE SYNDICATE IS FORMING NOW. Get your copy of book 1 in the Trillionaire Boys’ Club series — The Connector — by clicking here.

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Ten Questions with Syndicate Founder Nathan Turner

Yesterday, billionaire and master networker Nathan Turner (subject of Aubrey Parker’s new romance novel coming out on 11-1-16) took your questions. You asked, Nathan answered. If you haven’t met Nathan Turner yet, you can read his dossier here.

Below are the ten questions Nathan chose to answer. If he didn’t choose your question, what can I say? The guy is beautiful and rich, but he’s also a raging asshole.

Lauren G: How do you operate behind the scenes of so many powerful companies?

A: I simply see inefficiencies in businesses that their owners are too close to their own operations to see. Company A might have market breadth but lack mindshare with buyers. Company B, on the other hand, might have a fantastic brand but lack what Company A does best. A partnership between the two benefits both. It’s not pulling strings that matters so much as making introductions. I’m a connector. I introduce people with talent and assets to each other. My talent is in taking two plus two and, through the right connections, making them add up to ten. 

Kristin: What is it in your past that makes you stay out of the limelight? Why behind the scenes when you are leading the deals?

A: It’s not my past that makes me prefer a lower profile. It’s the fact that the tallest poppies are the ones who get their heads lopped off. Look at the scandals surrounding the acquisition of GameStorming by LiveLyfe. You always hear about possible wrongdoing by Caspian, Onyx, and Aiden, right? You never hear similar accusations lobbed at me, even though I was instrumental in that deal. I’m not afraid of taking heat, but I’m also not stupid enough to take it on when it’s not necessary. By staying below the radar in the biggest deals, I reap the benefit without any of the downside. It’s the purest distillation of a perfect business. The purest source of power and profit.

[Various]: What’s the deal with your “only date the same woman a maximum of three times” rule? (Compiled from several people’s questions)

A: Pfft. You know how women are. No matter how much they say something can just be about sex, they’re always just fooling themselves. A secret I learned is this: they’re not actually pretending. They actually believe they can just get off and get out. And hey, I know that happens. I’m not an idiot. I know women are sexual beings who can have a fling like any man. All I can say is that it’s never happened to me.

Not long ago, I met the hottest piece of ass. She was cheating on some guy to fuck me, so I figured I’d discovered the loophole. She and this other guy had a thing going, but it had gotten boring. By the time I got involved, her relationship with this other dude was totally asexual. So we fucked and she took her conversation and discussion and crying and all that bullshit to him. It was great. I got laid and he had to deal with all the time-consuming relationship crap. We even joked about it, her and I. “You’re just a cock to me,” she said. And then I’d prove it.

But then do you know what happened? Our own little joke turned on me. She laughed at the idea of me being “just a cock to her” and that laughter made her feel something toward me. Like we were best friends now with this one inside joke. And the next time I went to bend her over something she said, “Wait. I want to know how you feel about me.” I told her she was smoking hot and had a super tight pussy. She said that wasn’t what she meant. And that’s when it hit me. She wanted some sort of an emotional connection. I almost couldn’t fuck her. Almost.

That was the fifth time we hooked up. Just five times. And so I made a rule. I figured there was a lot of pussy out there for a rich, good-looking guy like me, so why did I need to settle? I decided to play it safe. THREE TIMES; that became the rule.

I’m not interested in loving anyone. My business is girlfriend enough for me.

Jean: Would you reject an advantageous business relationship if there were sexual strings attached which violate your 3 encounter rule?

A: Absolutely not. I have three or four women I’m currently rotating under that basis. One of them is particularly pertinent: a connection of mine named Celeste, who I keep satisfied because she’s a media buyer with a lot of pull. I don’t really need much media, but my other friends do. Connections matter. Celeste has kept her clinginess mostly under control, but she does impose a lot, testing my limits. Like this thing coming up. She asked me to speak at her alma mater. Why the hell would I want to speak for a college class? It sounds obnoxious. I very, VERY seriously doubt I could meet anyone of interest on that errand. I mean, shit … am I supposed to wheel and deal with a freshman? Such crap.

Jana: What caused the grudge between you and Ashton Moran?

A: He’s just an arrogant, self-centered playboy asshole. He runs an apparel business and never, NEVER goes anywhere without dressing to the nines, with his hair perfectly coifed and usually a goddamn $500 pocket square. Frankly, his stubbornness is in the way of my plans for the Syndicate. And his female record? To think that people call me a ladykiller. The guy can’t go ten minutes without fucking some hot catch. Someone should write a book about that guy.

Diane: Nathan, why acquire “only enough and no more” money to join?

A: It’s just inefficient to amass more when I should be using my strongest talent for the Syndicate. I don’t need to prove myself to these people. This is a case where I’ll do the minimum. What I bring to the table beyond my billion is worth that much a thousand times over.

Michelle: What is the thing you’ve found (if any) that money has not been able to buy?

A: Everything and everyone is for sale. You can’t buy longer life (yet … but talk to me in a few decades because you just never know) and you don’t seem to be able to buy people back from the dead. But aside from life and so-called “matters of the heart,” there’s virtually nothing enough money won’t buy. You can buy someone’s integrity right out from under them. And if you can’t, you can buy that man’s neighbor, who will sell out to bury him for you. Sometimes people say money can’t buy happiness. That’s total bullshit. People who say it are clearly poor or not actually trying.

Michelle: Oh and how do you feel about anal?

A: That sure looks like a second question from the same person to me. Someone can’t follow simple instructions. If you were here, I’d need to teach you a lesson in a rather harsh and interesting manner.

However, I’ll allow it because it’s an excellent question. The answer is that I love it when the woman loves it. Most say they’d never do it, but really they just won’t admit the fantasy. They want me to talk them into it, and when I’m balls deep in them, those same good girls come loud enough to shake the rafters.

Tiffany: The zombie apocalypse has started! You only have time to grab the first five things closest to you, what are they?

A: The closest things to me right now, as I sit in my office, are yes-men and lawyers. Fortunately they’d make for excellent “currency” for hungry zombies.

Lauren L: How do you feel about pizza?

A: Questions like this are the reason I so rarely do interviews.

If you’d like to read all about Nathan in his own story, his Trillionaire Boys’ Club book, The Connector, is available now. Click here to get it.

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Meet Nathan.

Name: Nathan Turner

Company: The Foundation

Notable Holdings: LiveLyfe, GameStorming, Evercrunch

Net Worth: $1 Billion

Key Connections: Too many to quantify

Meet Nathan Turner. At a net worth of only $1 billion, Nathan is the least wealthy member of the Syndicate … and the one most responsible for its existence.

As a gifted (some say prodigious) networker, Nathan decided his best path to the kind of power the Syndicate would one day represent would be to leverage his many social and business connections rather than acquire the assets all on his own. Forming the Syndicate was the best way to do it, so Nathan’s goal therefore became simple: acquire enough money to meet the minimum required to join his own group, but no more.

There are networkers, there are gifted networkers, and then there is Nathan Turner. Despite his abrasive, arrogant personality, Nathan’s ability to make powerful friends is beyond the comprehension of most of his peers. His secret is to establish connections that lead to massive benefit for those he’s connecting — and to never force himself into the middle. In Nathan’s opinion, it’s better to be behind the scenes than out in front, and it’s better to profit big from future deals than to profit small from the deal on the table.

Facts on Nathan’s connections are hard to come by, but he’s rumored to have connected Caspian White to LiveLyfe creator Evan Cohen, to have introduced Forage founders Onyx Scott and Aiden Page, and countless other credits.

Nathan’s first significant company was the online education site LEARN.it, which he sold to Teach.Org for a $100M buyout after just 18 months at the helm. He then parlayed that sum with a string of investments in such breakout startups as GameStorming and Evercrunch.

Due to the 10X’ing of his investments in these startups, pundits argued that super-connector Nathan may have had insider information that gave him an advantage. Allegations of insider trading were lobbed around but were, in all cases, quickly dismissed. His relationship with GameStorming CEO Caspian White was noted but came to nothing, whereas Evercrunch barely even gave him a blip. At the time, nobody could establish connections between Nathan and Evercrunch. However, he did have close ties to producer Cole Ellison, who boxes regularly with Evercrunch’s Ben Stone. (And of course, the lack of a connection between Nathan and Stone was then quickly rectified.)

Nathan’s social life is somewhat unusual. It’s not quite accurate to say that Nathan has friends in the normal sense, but it definitely looks like it from the outside due to his abundance of acquaintances. The same is true of adversaries. Because he prefers to stay behind the deals rather than in front of them, Nathan has few true enemies. Instead, he’s the subject of many petty grudges. (Hurricane Apparel’s Ashton Moran is one notable example.)

Similarly, the press has never been able to establish more than brief connections between Nathan and a love interest. It’s not really accurate to say that Nathan “dates.” It’s truer that he makes efficient sexual appointments that don’t interfere with hours he’d rather be working.

As with his business dealings, relationships with women tend to be focused and goal-driven, conducted like negotiations. When Nathan and a woman get together, each has a goal. As long as the goal for both is pleasure with no strings, Nathan makes an effort to find the time.

Nathan does have one other rule: He will not go out with the same woman more than three times unless there is an established business reason for doing so. Returning to the same well in the past has demonstrated to Nathan that given enough exposure, even the most stalwart “it’s just sex” women tend to get attached … and his calendar, with all his networking, is already full enough.

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If you’d like to read all about Nathan in his own story, his Trillionaire Boys’ Club book, The Connector, is available now. Click here to get it.