Unwanted Stars by Melissa Brown
RELEASE DATE: February 3rd
It’s funny how the tiniest of things can change your life… an invitation, a simple kiss goodnight, a matchbook…
Auden Kelly is in need of a change.
She’s trading in her nine-to-five sales job for the adventure of a lifetime: a one year contract with a European tour company.
For one full year, Auden will get paid to see the world. What could be better? Her brother gives her a journal, instructing her to document all of her adventures as she travels from country to country. And that’s exactly what she does.
When a mysterious stranger enters her life, however, everything changes: her expectations, her priorities and her view of the world. And nothing for Auden will ever be the same.
Note: Although these books are part of a series, they do not need to be read in order
“I love this bridge. It’s gorgeous, isn’t it?”
“Yes,” I said, my voice small.
Campbell’s brow knitted in concern, “Auden, is everything all right?”
“Why do you ask?”
“You seem distant. Did something happen today? With Anabelle?”
“No,” I said, looking out into the water, “just thinking.”
“About me?” he said, a smug grin plastered to his handsome face. I shook my head in amusement, cracking a smile without meaning to.
“Perhaps,” I said.
“Look,” he said, “all kidding aside. I’m into you. You must know that by now.”
“But, your job means everything to you. And it’s not fair of me to ask you to risk it.”
I said nothing, hoping he’d continue.
“So, if you want to call this off. If you want me to leave you alone. Just say the word.”
The thought of missing out on whatever this was with Campbell was more than I could handle. Without hesitation, my head shook as I focused my eyes on his.
“I’m into you, too,” I said. “A lot.”
Campbell closed the space between us, whispering into my ear, “Then be with me.”
I swallowed hard, closing my eyes and listening to his words. Craving them, wanting more. Wanting his hands on me. Knowing that’d be next to impossible out here in the public eye. Knowing that finding actual privacy would be just as impossible.
His hand was warm in my grip. I squeezed it in solidarity, wanting him to know his desire for me was reciprocated. He placed a gentle kiss on the tip of my ear, before leading me across the stone bridge.
Hand in hand, we walked, gazing at the water, the tourists and the shop owners of the market. We didn’t say much, which felt odd at first. But, the silence between us became soothing and calm. His hand in mine, the way his thumb grazed over my fingers was all I needed to feel content.
Street lamps were the only light to be found by the time the water bus was back in our sights. Campbell stopped walking. His eyes were on fire as he took me in with his eyes. His need for me was obvious.
“Come with me,” he said, pulling me to the side of a building. One small street lamp shined dim with burnt orange light. I leaned my back against the stucco, feeling it’s cold, bumpy texture. Campbell placed his hand against the building, just above my shoulder. His other hand pressed to my hip.
“I can’t let you go yet,” he said, his eyes searching mine.
Brave Auden finally decided to make her appearance.
“Good,” I said, lifting my chin. His eyes widened, pleased with my response.
“Why?” he asked, exploring my neck with his lips.
“Why what?” I asked, playing dumb, yanking back on the control once again.
“Why is that good?” he asked, placing gentle kisses along my jawline.
“Because…” that simple word hung in the air for several moments. Campbell continued to seduce my skin with his lips and I did my best to slow down my breathing.
“Tell me,” he said.
“Tell me,” he repeated.
“I want you,” I said. The words left my mouth in a whisper.
Campbell stopped his kisses and I could feel his cheek against my neck. It was puffing out, forming a satisfied smile.
“Tell me again,” he said, pulling back, gazing into my eyes.
I swallowed, unsure if I should say it again. But, terrified at the thought of not saying it.
“I—I… I want you.” I said, my eyes narrowed. I was trying desperately to hide my fear, my anxiety, my lack of self-control around this man.
“You’re exquisite,” he said, his fingers running down the sides of my cheeks before he cupped his hands to them and kissed me. Hard.
His tongue entered my mouth immediately and I stroked him with mine. Delicious strokes that left me wanting more. And more. His fingers weaved through my hair, pulling gently at the base of my scalp. My back dug into the stucco, but I didn’t care.
Harder and harder, he pressed me into the building, my arms wrapped around his neck as his hands wandered down to grip my ass, hoisting my legs around him, my heels digging into the small of his back. He was hard beneath his jeans and it excited me. The feel of him beneath me was intoxicating.
Campbell pulled his mouth from mine, pushing me up further so that his lips were level with my chest. Slowly, he unbuttoned the top buttons of my tunic, exposing the lace of my bra.
“So sexy,” he said, running his fingers across the lace, causing goosebumps to rise along my arms and legs.
“Say it again,” I said, enjoying his appreciation of my body.
“You’re so fucking sexy. I can hardly stand it.”
“You want me, don’t you?” I asked with a smirk.
“You know I do,” he said, before dipping his head into my chest, stroking the skin beneath the lace with his tongue. A moan escaped my lips as I pressed my hips into his arousal.
The water bus let out three long sounds of the horn.
“Shit,” Campbell said, knowing that was the signal for last boat of the night.
“Last call. We’d better…um, we should probably go,” I said.
“I know, but…”
“I know,” I said, pressing my forehead to his. “I know.”
Slowly, he lowered me to the ground, buttoning my top for me and smoothing down my hair. Such a gentleman. He was practically devouring me just a minute prior, but when reality resurfaced, so did his chivalrous nature.
We ran to the water bus, hands again interlocked. But, when a few members of the tour hopped on the boat, my hands jumped quickly to my lap. We remained detached all the way back to our hotel, saying a casual goodbye for the night, knowing the tour members eyes were upon us.
I have always been fascinated with books----ever since I was a little girl sitting in front of my record player, following along with my huge 12x12 storybooks.
I love books---everything about them. I love reading them, being surrounded by them in bookstores and libraries, and most recently, writing some of my own.