Friday, August 2, 2013

Book Blitz: Nice Girl to Love: The Complete Collection by Violet Duke

Nice Girl to Love: The Complete Collection by Violet Duke

***This is the complete Nice Girl to Love serial romance collection, which contains: Resisting the Bad Boy (Book One), Falling for the Good Guy (Book Two), and Choosing the Right Man (Book Three).***

Release Date: July 31, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Romance

The • Nice • Girl n. 1. female of the species who never does anything or anyone bad: Hands-off, she’s a nice girl. 2. the woman that men take home to meet mom: Find my son a ‘nice girl to love.’ SEE ALSO: a good girl; girl scout; Abby Bartlett


Abby Bartlett is the quintessential nice girl. Between teaching, volunteering, completing her PhD, and helping her best friend raise his daughter, Abby never gets the chance to be anything but nice. That is, until the all-wrong-for-her man she’s only ever known from afar starts daring her to simply take that chance for herself. His sage advice? Try something wild and fast.  Preferably him.

An unbridled, hotshot attorney with a not-so-little black book, Connor Sullivan has earned himself quite the bad boy reputation. But in his defense, he’s a very conscientious one. He knows far too well that sometimes in life, love isn’t enough…or worse, not even a factor at all. To avoid that misery–and repel the drama–Connor has a firm ‘nothing over a month’ rule.  Who knew a nice girl would be the one to make him want to break all his rules?


Abby is well aware that everyone thinks she’s in love with her best friend Brian. He is, after all, the type of man a nice girl should be with—the polar opposite of the bad boy—the kind of guy who didn’t let his wife’s decade-long illness stop him from showering her with a lifetime of love every second until her dying day. But everyone’s wrong; she couldn’t possibly be in love with him.  Because she’s never once allowed herself that option.

It’s taken a while but Brian has finally come to terms with surviving the woman he spent half his life loving, a third of it losing. Truth is though, he wouldn’t have ‘survived’ any of it really had it not been for Abby—sweet, incredible Abby—the woman he’s never once had to picture his life without, never realized he couldn’t truly live without. Until now. Now that he’s finally able to love her the way she deserves, the way he knows she wants to be loved…by his brother.  Who’s giving him exactly one chance to speak now or forever hold his peace.


And now it’s up to Abby to decide between the bad boy wanting to start a life with her and the good guy fighting for the life they’ve already built.

Excerpts from Nice Girl to Love

Abby went mute as she felt Brian’s tongue lash across her skin, sensitizing the nerves to levels beyond pleasure.

If he didn’t stop, there was a good chance she’d pull the towel he was wearing right off.

“Do you want me to take it off?” he asked, his words tickling her skin.

Yes. “No,” she stammered, unable to take her eyes off the portion of the towel that was tucked at his hipbone. Just one good tug—

“I was talking about the ice, sweetheart. But if you have other things in mind…”

Ice? What ice? “Oh! Ow.” The burning of the ice at her ankle finally filtered through to her brain. “Yes, actually, can you take it off? I’m a wuss when it comes to icing my injuries.”

Brian quickly pulled off the ice and rewrapped her ankle before resuming his massage. “So back to the other things you wanted me to take off,” he teased.

Okay, seriously? It was a really good thing the man had never flirted with her before because she was certain she’d never have survived it, especially not when his hands were kneading her muscles into butter.

“You’re impossible,” she complained thickly, though it came out more like a purr. His massages should be illegal for how good they felt.

She blinked slowly at him and started wondering idly what was so wrong with him losing the towel. A fuzzy smile drifted across her face.

“Damn, you’re going to fall asleep on me aren’t you?” Brian’s voice floated over her hair softly as he pressed a smiling kiss to her forehead. “Go ahead and rest, sweetheart. You had a pretty eventful afternoon.”

With that, he stood and walked over to the linen closet for some clothes.


He was heartbreakingly handsome. Always had been. But ever since he’d gone back to coaching afterschool to supplement his teaching income, he’d gotten even burlier from the added lifting sessions before practice. It was almost unfair. Superhuman, really. His build was now more impressive than the average underwear model’s physique—a standard issue Sullivan trait it seemed—though every other aspect of him remained far gentler and way more mellow than Connor.

She’d never thought of mellow as being the new sexy. But it so was.

And nice was the new hot. With two T’s.
Hearing Brian’s soft chuckles echoing in the room, she realized she must have said the last couple of sentences out loud.

“I think you’re ‘nice with two T’s’ too, Abby,” he whispered before kissing her on the cheek.

“Sweet dreams, honey.”

*     *     *

Connor leaned back, stuffed, and frankly surprised at how good of a time he was having simply talking with Abby. “Doesn’t sound like you have that much time for yourself. What do you do for fun?”

She got up to grab them another two beers from the kitchen. “Honestly, I’m a homebody. Never got into the nightlife scene here. Plus, by the time I was twenty-one, I was basically babysitting Skylar all day every weekend, and nearly all my weeknights. Since that pretty much carried on clear until last year, I guess my idea of fun is hanging out with her. Lame, I know.”

He felt like he was talking to a martian. He hadn’t realized she’d spent even more time babysitting Skylar than he had. And he knew for a fact—from Brian’s complaints about it—that she hadn’t taken a single cent from them for babysitting.

For God’s sakes, she was just so nice.

“So you don’t do anything just for yourself? Just for fun?”

“Well, I have been privately executing my mission to learn how to cook the most beloved dishes from every country in the world,” she returned with a smile. “That’s fun.”

It was possible baby bluebirds helped her get dressed in the morning.

She was just that sweet.

“You’re driving me crazy.” He swept an arm around her waist and lifted her right up onto his lap.


He slid a hand into her hair, rubbed a thumb over her heated cheekbone as he brought his lips to within inches of hers. “I shouldn’t want you this much. You’re everything I’m not, and I’m everything you couldn’t possibly want. I know I should leave you alone, but I just can’t. I can’t stop myself from wanting you.”

Her breathing had grown so erratic, he was actually starting to get concerned. “Say something, sweetheart. I’m baring my soul here.”

“I shouldn’t want you either,” she whispered, “but I do.”

His arms locked around her, instinctively staking a claim on her. Mine.

For now.

The two words were his only anchor keeping him in the reality he maintained for himself. He had to be brutally honest with her, with them both. “I meant what I said earlier, Abby. I’m never going to break my one-month rule.” Feeling like the lowest piece of scum, he hammered that last nail in, “Not for anyone. Not even you.”

She was silent for a long while, and Connor started preparing himself for the rejection to come.

“I know our fifteen minutes of friendship are up but can I ask you something as a friend? Will you answer me as one?”

He tensed. “I’ll try.”

She chuckled. “Again with the copout.” Raising her warm doe eyes up to his, she asked quietly, “If you weren’t trying to get in my pants, if you were just my friend and I asked you what one thing I could do to stop being ‘a nice girl’ for just a little while, what advice would you give me?”

That was easy. “I’d tell you to try something new. Something that excites you. Something that’ll take you from zero to sixty just as fast as it could take you back to zero whenever you were ready to return.”

“Something wild and fast...” She loosened her death grip on his shoulders, slid her hands down his back slowly. “That’s good advice.”

He saw her gaze travel down to his lips and it took everything he had not to kiss her right then and there.

“Are you volunteering, Connor? To be that something wild and fast for me to try?”

“No,” he replied raggedly, “I’m insisting. Requiring.” He dropped his forehead against hers. “Asking.”

Her eyelids dipped down, veiling her reaction from him.

And so he waited.

“I can’t do a whole month with you.”

He blinked in surprise. That, he hadn’t been expecting. “Why not?!”

“It’s too long.”

Well, he did ask.

A touch indignant, he argued, “You said you don’t do one night stands. Now you’re saying a month is too long?” He knew he was getting overly worked up but he couldn’t help it, she was being irrational. His brain started firing on all pistons, every combat cell in his body taking a front seat like they always did when he was about to do battle in the courtroom. “Or is it just one month with me that’s too long?”

She flinched.

He felt thoroughly insulted.

“It’s not how you’re making it. Being with you would be like…ice cream. The most decadent ice cream I could ever imagine. I’d be hooked after the first bite. And if I didn’t discipline myself, I’d...overindulge.”

“Until it made you sick?” He wasn’t really good with metaphors.

A smiled peeked through. “No, until it was all I’d want to eat, all day, every day.”

What the hell was wrong with that? “And if you overindulge on the ice cream…”

“I’d be in a sugar coma, incapable of doing or thinking of anything else. But you.”

Call him a bastard but hearing that felt good.

*     *     * 

Lord, but he was beautiful. For well over a decade, Abby hadn’t allowed herself to acknowledge that fact. Not once. But she was definitely making up for lost time now.

Brian had always had that effortlessly charming farmer-boy-next-door look to him, complete with the infectious 'can Abby come out to play' smile and a generous heart worn right there on his sleeve. Not to mention the body of an All-American football god that belonged on a billboard selling grit-covered denim and boots like it was going out of style.

He was the perfect, unjust combination of strong and sweet.

And apparently, her immunity to the man had somehow worn off.

Her once impenetrable vaccination against things like that gorgeous hair of his? Gone. Now she absolutely noticed its kaleidoscopic shades of brown from all his time in the sun, tousled in that just-out-of-bed country-perfect ease, which usually made him look slightly overdue for a haircut…and all the sexier for it.

But that was nothing compared to the effect his eyes had on her. On all women, undoubtedly. Where Connor's were a piercing ice blue always deep in thought, Brian's were warmer, earthier, always rich with affection. The startling color of the ocean, his eyes had a depth of conquered pain that just sucked you in, made it difficult to look away. And if ever you caught those eyes smiling at his daughter, the fierce protectiveness and sheer determination for hope where his had clearly been through the ringer made it impossible not to get emotionally invested, inspired.


Made it impossible not to want to love him with every inch of your soul.

Abby didn’t know when her feet had walked her over to the couch, or why her eyes were now running along the lines of his body in a way she’d denied herself for as long as she’d known him, but here she was. How did this happen? How could her reaction to Brian be this different after just one night, one kiss? The way her skin tingled now at the mere thought of his name was pitching her toward a minor panic attack She could hardly breathe.

“You’re going to give me a big head if you keep staring at me like that.”

She gasped as one of Brian’s thickly muscled, sleep-warmed arms wrapped around her waist and tugged her down on top of him. Abby hesitated for a brief second before eventually letting him pull her in the rest of the way for a head-to-toe good morning hug.

If she were being totally honest with herself, she’d always adored the feel of Brian’s massive arms wrapped around her in one of his ‘I’m here for you’ python squeezes. It was addicting, as was the way he’d hold her close whenever she’d fall asleep on him during a DVD.

Now feeling his arms around her when they weren’t both upright...this was a whole new kind of addicting.

When she opened her eyes—funny, she didn’t remember closing them—she saw Brian looking at her with a sleepy combination of humor and hunger. “Why are you tiptoeing around me today, woman? I was expecting my usual pillow in the face wake-up call.”

Sugarplums, had his voice always sounded this sexy? She averted her eyes…which ended up being a lateral move as she was now staring directly at his chest. “I was giving you a few extra minutes; you looked more tired than usual,” she mumbled into one hard pec. All mostly true.

“Didn’t you sleep well last night?”

She could feel him smiling against her temple. “Not exactly.”

Frowning, she tipped her head back and looked at him in concern. “But you always sleep like a coma patient on this sofa.”

“The sofa was fine. I, on the other hand, was less so.” He dragged his fingers through her hair in long strokes. As if he were petting a cat.

She almost purred. “Wh-why?” A fully enunciated word. And in a near-normal tone with barely even a stutter. She was so proud of herself.

“Let’s just say I was a little…uncomfortable,” he murmured, shifting over so she could stop imitating a human blanket and instead wedge herself between him and the backrest of the couch.

Another lateral move.

“You should‘ve told me. I would’ve had you sleep in my bed—”

“Do tell,” he teased, deliberately making that innocent sentence sound dirty.

Abby felt her cheeks burn. “I meant I would’ve slept out here.”

“Spoilsport.” He grazed a knuckle over her hot skin. “And like I said, that’s not the kind of ‘discomfort’ that was keeping me up.”

“Oh.” She dragged a corner of the quilt draped at his waist up to cover her face. Or did smothering only work on extinguishing cooking fires? Everything he was saying was simply more kindling to the most dangerous kind of fire. “Brian, I appreciate the effort,” she mumbled from under the quilt, “but truly, you don’t have to work this hard to help me get over Connor.”

Before she could so much as yelp, she went from being simply wedged to being thoroughly hot-dogged—a more apt description here than sandwiched—with a very intense-looking Brian launching a now full-body interrogation of her every reaction to him. From the rapid rise and fall of her chest against his, to the way her fingers instantly flexed into his obliques when his fingertips skimmed over her shoulder blades, she could see the fireburst of sea green around his pupils flare with every new bit of damning data her body revealed to him.

“Is that all you think this is, Abby? Don’t you feel what’s happening between us?”

She felt something alright. And she was trying her damndest not to move her hips at all lest she wake it up even more.

Something in her expression must have given her thoughts away.

With an incredulous headshake, Brian let out a low, throaty chuckle. “I’d ask you what you were thinking just now but I’m not sure I could handle it.”

Honestly, she wasn’t too certain she could handle it either. The saying about big hands? Apparently very, very true…

“Sweetheart, I’ll give you exactly two seconds to come back to me or else I’m going in after you,” he warned, gripping the couch cushion in a way that belied the smile in his voice.

Who knew watching a man’s forearms flex at close range could this mesmerizing?


“I’m back, I’m back!” she exclaimed, yanking her gaze back up to meet his.

“Aw, just as things were about to get interesting,” he pouted, somehow managing to make even that look masculine.

Mentally, she smacked herself. This was Brian for goodness sakes. Wonderfully sweet Brian. Lovably brawny Brian.

Achingly sexy Brian.


*     *     * 

“I don’t get why those women gossip about me,” Connor grumbled. “I’m not really all that interesting.”

“They seem to disagree. They went on and on about pool hall brawls and sex clubs…”

He rolled his eyes. “The first is only partly true and the second not at all.”

“Aw. Brian will be so disappointed,” she teased. “He’s been making cracks about all your sexual conquests for at least the last decade or so.”

Oh, he has, has he? He made a mental note to kick Brian’s ass later. “Yeah, well my brother tends to have a flair for the dramatic.”

“Really?” Another impish grin. “So no plundering or pillaging to speak of?”

Trust a future English professor to get him all hot and horny with choice vocabulary words. “Nope, sorry,” he downplayed.

“I don’t think I believe you,” she sang out, hopping onto the bed and propping herself up on a pillow, heels kicking in the air as if they were about to exchange sleepover stories. “In fact, I think you’re going to have to let me be the judge of that. Tell me the most supremely wicked thing you’ve ever done.”

“I am not having this discussion with you.”

“Why not?” Abby lowered her gaze down to his zipper, which seemed to be moving telekinetically. “Uncomfortable?”

He crouched over a bit more.

“C’mon. I’m curious about your hedonistic ways,” she kept on, clearly amused by his discomfort. “Are we talking secret society orgies with whips and chains?”

“What?! God, no.”

“Backdoor action? Threesomes?”

He averted his gaze to study a missed stitching in the rug he never noticed before.

“Seriously?” That quieted her, and boggled her eyes quite a bit. “Were they with two women or are you a ‘Devil’s Three Way’ kind of guy?”

Where the hell did she learn that term? Attempting to clear his throat was suddenly very difficult. “Uh…both.”

She let out a faint whistle. “Wow.” Okay, she looked far too curious now for her own good.

“But I haven’t done either in a while. It was all pretty much consolidated to one year of my life a long time ago.”

“You didn’t enjoy it?”

“I didn’t say that.” He shrugged. “Honestly, it was fun and exciting at the time but it got old fast. It’s a ton more work than pornos make it out to be.”

“Well, what if it were me and another girl satisfying your every carnal desire? Would you still feel like it was work?”

He nodded. And meant it. “Another woman would just end up getting in the way. Plus, she’d get all pissy that I’d be focusing solely on you and that’s never fun.”

She bit her lip, a reluctant smile peeking through regardless. “What a sweet, utterly disturbing compliment.” Her expression turned contemplative then. “Well what about you, me, and another guy?”

“Oh, hell no.” He scowled. No way was he inviting some other man to see her, let alone touch her. A low growl rumbled in his chest. No, just no. The thought of it made him...jealous. An altogether unfamiliar and extremely unpleasant feeling.

“Oookay. Then how about the other thing? The…you know?” She turned a sweet shade of pink and shook her heinie in the air.

Holy hell, but the woman was trying to kill him. “Abby, you don’t have to do any of that for me. Honest. Contrary to what the rumor mill spews out, I’m not some kinky sex fanatic. When you and I eventually get together, it’s going to be plenty hot, believe me. We won’t need any of those bells and whistles.” As he said it, he realized how true a statement that was. Just kissing Abby last night had been ten times more intoxicating than some of the more down and dirty romps he’d had with other women in his past.

“Hmm.” She rolled over onto her back and stared up at the ceiling, silently thoughtful, a small smile playing on her lips.

Good god, what was she thinking now? Already, this kinky interview from hell had him ten degrees past aroused. His own fault for coming in here, really. It was way past time for him to leave.

But just as he stood to go grab what was unequivocally going to be a very cold shower, Abby sat back up and called out casually, “Hey, could you toss me my lotion?” She pointed at the dresser behind him. “My legs get so dry here in the summers without it.”

Such an innocent request.

That he didn’t trust for one second.

He was sure this was going to be a look but don’t touch deal with her lathering up those gorgeous legs of hers while he sat there like schmuck. Staring, no doubt. He narrowed his eyes and began silently listing all the ways he was going to pay her back for this when her two-week stay here was up. Slapping an unaffected look on his face, he passed her the lotion, forcibly blocking all the erotic lotion-inspired images that were attempting to take over his brain. Evil woman. Only a day into their no-sex agreement and already he was closer to begging than he cared to admit.

While avoiding direct eye contact with the skin smoothing extravaganza, his gaze strayed to the partially open plastic bag sitting atop her dresser. It was over at the other end but he recognized the hot purple logo on the bag immediately.

Just like that, every muscle in his body stopped working.

Well, save one, that is.

The bag was from an adult novelty shop his friend Kim owned just a little north of here. He could only make out two of the items in the bag but they were enough to send his blood pressure skyrocketing—the first was what looked to be the tiniest pair of sheer white panties that would effectively cover nothing and, Lord help him, a silver bullet vibrator. He was going to have a stroke.

Stifling a groan over how the word ‘stroke’ instantly made him think about rubbing one off, he gripped the edge of the dresser like a man possessed. The door was just a few feet away. He could make it. But first he needed to get some much needed air into his lungs. Breathe, you moron!

He dragged in a breath. And that’s when he heard it.

The tiniest whisper of a giggle.

“Why you little—”


About the Author

Violet Duke is a former professor of English Education who is ecstatic to now be on the other side of the page writing wickedly fun contemporary romance novels. Besides writing and feeding her book-a-day reading addiction, she can often be found tackling reno projects with her power tools and trying pretty much anything without reading the directions first, or cooking ‘special edition’ dishes that laugh in the face of recipes. Violet lives in Hawai’i with her two cute kids and similarly adorable husband.

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