One of our absolute favorite series is the Love in the City series from Steph Nuss! Her characters are fun, the banter is witty, and the romance is heartwarming. We happen to swoon harder with every male she writes and we’re on some pins and needles waiting for the next book! Wanted By you is the first novel in the series and we got an exclusive little scene into Carter and Elly’s very first Valentine’s Day…check it out!
It was the Friday night before Valentine’s Day, and Elly and I were hanging out in my dorm working on our Psychology homework. On any other Friday, we’d probably be at a party somewhere, getting drunk and having a good time, but since most of the parties this weekend would be directed towards couples, Elly didn’t feel like going out. And if she wasn’t going out, I wasn’t going out.
That was the way it’d been since I saw her on our first day of college a few months ago. Sure, I noticed other girls around campus flirting for my attention, but the only woman who held mine was lying across my twin bed right now with her long, red hair cascading over her shoulders as she kicked her feet in the air and stared up at the television.
“Gross!” she exclaimed, wrinkling her nose.
“What?” I asked, intrigued by her outburst. Turning my head toward the television, I watched the Russell Stover’s commercial. Smiling, I looked over my shoulder. “You have a thing against chocolate?”
“Assorted chocolates, yes,” she said seriously.
“Everyone loves boxes of chocolate. Flowers and chocolates. Isn’t that what every girl wants on Valentine’s Day?”
Shaking her head, she muttered, “Not this girl.”
Laughing, I closed my Psych book, too distracted by the hot girl in the room to even care about depression. It was already depressing enough that it had been almost six months and I still hadn’t made a move on Ellyson Evans. “Okay then, what’s your ideal Valentine’s Day present?”
“I don’t know, but it’s definitely not a box full of chocolates with suspicious fillings inside of them.”
This is what I love about her. Any other single girl would be whining because she wouldn’t be receiving a box of chocolates this year, but Elly’s complaining about the actual chocolates themselves. “Isn’t that the fun of it though? You never know what you’re going to get.”
“How is that fun?!” she said, furrowing her brows. “I mean, Forrest Gump’s mom was right, life is full of surprises, but when it comes to chocolate, I want to know what I’m getting. I don’t want to bite into a peanut-butter-cup-look-a-like and find out it has coconut inside. That’s just disgusting.”
I laughed again. “Don’t they have them labeled underneath each piece of chocolate?”
“Yes, but who actually takes the time to read those things?” she deadpanned. “And even if they did read them, they still probably wouldn’t know what they were since some of them are called weird names. None of them say, ‘Looks like a Reese’s cup, but it’s not!’”
“Okay, so tell me what you’d prefer?”
Resting her chin on her hand, she sighed. “You know the Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Crème?”
“Yeah . . .”
“I’d like a box full of fun-sized Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Crème bars, but you can’t get them this time of year. They only come out with the fun-sized ones during Halloween because white chocolate is like the middle child in the chocolate family.”
I’m the middle child in my family. I couldn’t wait to see where she went with this.
“Compared to milk and dark, white chocolate is the most delicious. It’s not the attention whore like milk chocolate or a liar like dark chocolate.”
Amused, I said, “I get how milk chocolate is an attention whore, but how is dark a liar? Isn’t it supposed to be the healthier chocolate?”
“That’s just it though. It is healthier so people end up eating more of it because they think they’re doing something good for themselves, but then they lose all sense of portion control. That’s not healthy. Sure, dark chocolate might statistically be healthier for us, but it still has calories and fat just like all the other chocolates. If I’m going to eat chocolate, I’m going to eat the most delicious, who-cares-how-many-calories-it-has kind.”
Laughing again, I nodded. “Okay, okay, you have a point.”
“What about you?” she asked, smiling proudly. “What’s your ideal Valentine’s Day gift?”
Smiling mischievously, I allowed my eyes to roam over her tight, little body sprawled across my bed. With her shoulders slightly hunched and her elbows pressed into the mattress, her breasts swelled against her sweater. Her jeans hugged her ass just right, and from my seat at my desk, I imagined the perfect Valentine’s Day gift: Ellyson Evans lying on my bed in nothing but sexy, red lingerie to match that beautiful hair of hers. Sure, most guys would want their girl already naked, but as I imagined slowly unwrapping the lacy material from her body, taking my sweet, torturous time, touching her and kissing every inch of her until she was begging me to take her, I thought getting Elly naked myself would be the ultimate gift.
“Earth to Carter,” Elly laughed, waving her hand in the air.
Shaking my head, my smile widened as I let the daydream of her disappear, knowing I wouldn’t tell her what I really wanted for Valentine’s Day. Over the months, we’d become really great friends, and as much as I wanted her, I couldn’t risk ruining our friendship right now. “I guess my ideal gift would be beer. For guys, alcohol is our chocolate.”
She laughed. “But it doesn’t taste nearly as good though.”
One Day Later
After Ellyson left my room last night, I couldn’t sleep. Her scent lingered for a while, causing all of my thoughts to drift back to her. The way she smiled and laughed, the way her mind worked; she was so unlike any other girl I’d ever met. Like sheets straight from the dyer, she was warm and inviting and completely captivating, it wasn’t a surprise I stayed up all night thinking of a way to give her a Valentine’s Day gift without coming on to her. I wanted to eventually make a move, ask her out on a date, but I knew she wasn’t ready for it. She didn’t notice me the way I noticed her, or if she did, she was great at hiding it.
“What are you doing?” Cash asked, walking back into our room after saying good-bye to the girl he’d brought back last night.
Another reason I couldn’t sleep last night: my roommate hooked up with the loudest chick on the planet. I couldn’t have been happier to see her go.
“Just working on something,” I answered, gluing a piece of cardboard into the inside of an old shoebox. “Glad you finally got Miss Squeals to leave.”
“Man, she was loud, wasn’t she?” he laughed, rubbing the back of his neck.
“Loud is an understatement.”
“What’s with these?” he asked, grabbing the bag of chocolates from my desk.
“Nothing,” I said, snatching them out of his hand.
He laughed, and then walked back to his bed and flopped down on top of it. “Carter, please tell me this has nothing to do with Elly.”
“It has everything to do with her.”
“You are so pathetic. Just ask her out. You have her number. You know where she lives. You have a couple of classes together. Just fucking do it already!”
Looking over my shoulder, I glared at him. “Sorry, but I don’t just want to hookup with her.”
“I know, but−”
“It’s just some chocolate. It’s not a big deal, but if anyone’s to blame it’s you. If you hadn’t brought that chick back last night, I wouldn’t have had to leave to keep my hearing intact.”
“You’re right; I can get pussy without buying it chocolate.”
“That’s not what I meant,” I said, rolling my eyes. “Last night, I went to the store to kill time and I found the chocolate she likes.”
He groaned, covering his face with his hands. “Dude, it’s sad that you even know what kind of chocolate she likes.”
“No, it’s not,” I said, proudly admiring the shoebox full of tiny squares. “Women love men who pay attention.”
Throughout the day, I’d watched couple after couple exchange gifts and affections. Love songs played on the radio. Grand gestures went on here and there. A few guys even proposed. Women carried teddy bears and flowers and boxes of chocolates around campus like they were gold medals from their perfect boyfriends.
But as the day turned into night, I headed over to Elly’s, knowing Paige, Elly’s roommate, was at her Monday night class.
I knocked on the door, and Elly immediately answered.
“Hey,” she said, opening the door further. “What’s up?”
“Not much,” I said, walking into her room. She shut the door behind me, and I turned to face her. “Just thought I’d bring you this.”
I handed her the shoebox wrapped in shiny red paper, and she smiled and shook her head. “Carter, what is this?”
Taking a seat on the edge of her bed, I shrugged. “Open it.”
The smile on her face grew as she lifted the lid and found thirty small squares filled with fun-sized Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Crème candy bars.
Laughter fell from her lips as she sat next to me. “Where did you find these?”
“BJ’s in Brooklyn.”
“You went all the way to Brooklyn just to find the most delicious chocolate?” she asked in a sweet surprised voice.
“Cash brought a chick home with him the other night. I had a lot of time to kill.”
She took one of the bars out and immediately ripped it opened, and then tossed it in her mouth and moaned as she bit into the white chocolate bar filled with cookie chunks. “It’s like a tiny brick of heaven.”
I laughed and slid my arm around her shoulders. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Elly.”
“Thank you,” she said, batting those big brown eyes at me. “I really do love it. Best box of chocolates ever!” She moved the box of chocolates off her lap and walked into her closet. I heard her footsteps coming closer again and looked up to find her showing off a thirty-pack of Coors Light. “It’s a good thing one of my neighbors has a fake id.”
Standing, I walked over to her, wanting more than anything to take her face in my hands and kiss the ever-loving fuck out of those perfect pink lips, but instead, I just smiled down at her. “You got me beer?”
“Of course, I did,” she smirked. “It’s your chocolate.”
Grabbing the case from her hands, I set it on the floor and then wrapped her up in a hug, hoping someday we’d share a Valentine’s Day together as a real couple instead of just friends.
A little exchange from Harper and Maverick in Fantasized By You!
A little sexting from Baylor and Fletcher of the upcoming Pleasured By You!
Fantasized By You (Love in the City, #2)
Pleasured by You (Love in the City #3)
Cherished by You (Love in the City #4)
Challenged By You (Love in the City #5)
Inspired By You (Love in the City #6) – Coming Soon!
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Changed by You (Love in the City #7) – Coming Soon!
Add to Goodreads