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Kaine (Summon a Bad Boy 4) by Megan Slayer
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I call on the fates to bring my love to me. As I will it, so mote it be…
Nikki Sinclair isn’t interested in love. She’s happy as a model and doing her own thing. Besides, keeping people at bay means she won’t get hurt again. Then she runs into Kaine. He’s nothing like she expects and exactly what she never realized she needed. But he’s got a past. It’s up to her to decide if she’s willing to summon this bad-boy mechanic or keep going on as a solo act.
Love can be a tricky thing. What if fate has its own idea for Nikki? She’s not willing to argue, especially if it means having her bad boy.
Time to do some summoning.
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Copyright ©2022 Megan Slayer
“If I can make her listen this time…” Nikki Sinclair drove to her best friend’s house, then parked in the driveway. She loved her friend, Sarah, like a sister, but Sarah could be controlling and pushy. Sarah wanted to use her magic spell to pair up the various members of their friend group with eligible bachelors. Until now, Sarah’s use of the spell had been harmless. Now, she’d set her sights on setting up Nikki with the right man.
Sure, their friend Karey had found Jimmy. They’d be married in a few months. Swell. Then Mandy met Jack. They were talking about getting married and when to set the date. Fantastic. Natalie had forged a relationship with one of baseball’s bad boys, Bentley. Good for her. Had they all found love on account of the spell?
Nikki doubted it.
Magic wasn’t real, and it hadn’t brought the couples together. Their mutual interests and attractions had done it. They had things in common, and that familiarity helped the desires grow. It wasn’t rocket science.
But Sarah insisted it was magic.
What didn’t help matters much was Sarah’s need to troll for dates at the same damn bar. One More Round was nice enough as a hangout, but besides Jack, there weren’t any decent guys there.
Sarah might think she could find a date for Nikki there, but Nikki still had her doubts.
Tonight, she had other plans, too. Nikki strode up to the front door. If she didn’t tell Sarah now about her job and not wanting to go to the bar, she’d wuss out. She knocked and waited for Sarah’s reply.
Sarah opened the door. “Hey. You’re not dressed to go out. What gives?”
“I have a show tonight.”
Ah, Sarah. The girl needed to know everything. “At the art museum. I’m part of the Gowns Through Time moving exhibit.”
Sarah crinkled her nose. “So no One More Round tonight? How about after?”
“I can’t. When I’m done modeling the dress, I’m expected to solo at the after-party.” She had to emphasize the solo part or Sarah would try to tag along.
“Solo?” Sarah frowned. “I’m your best friend. You can’t go alone -- take me with you. What about stranger danger? I should be there.”
“You mean you don’t want me going out on my own?”
“Yes. We should be in pairs. It’s safest.”
“And also gets you into an exclusive after-party with rich men.”
“Yes.” Sarah’s eyes lit up. “Exactly.”
Sarah frowned again. “You’re twenty-five, the most beautiful woman I know, guys would kill to be with you and you’re not scared to go solo?”
“Not when I’m with the other models.”
“Oh.” Sarah folded her arms. “What if some rich man sweeps you off your feet?”
“Unlikely.” She had one chasing her, and if she could avoid him, she’d be golden.
“I’m not dating a guy who is twenty years older than me.” She’d done it once and hated it. “We have nothing in common. When I did try to date a man that much older than me, he griped, I got bored and everyone was miserable. Look, I need to go. I’m due at the makeup stands at seven, and it’s six-forty-five now.”
“When is the show?”
“Arrivals start at eight-forty-five. We do our part starting at nine-thirty and the after-party is some time after eleven.” She checked her watch. “I’ve got texts from Laura, my boss. I need to go. See you.”
“Yeah, be safe.”
“Call Kurt. He’ll keep you company.” She rushed down the steps to her car.
Mentioning Kurt was a tricky proposition. Sarah wouldn’t admit it she loved him, but she did. If Kurt had the audacity to start seeing someone else, Sarah would flip out, but she had too much pride to admit she still cared about him. She wasn’t ready to try again, no matter how much she seemed to love him.
Nikki drove to the museum complex. She parked in the staff lot, then rushed into the building to the cafeteria. Getting dressed in the huge room wasn’t ideal for the models, but it wasn’t the worst place she’d prepped for a show. At least she could dress on site and not be driven to the location.
She left her purse and phone in the assigned area, then waited for her turn with the makeup artists.
Forty-five minutes later, she was dressed in a flame-red strapless evening gown that left little to the imagination. At least she had the figure for it. She adjusted the bodice as the dresser laced the corset and the hair stylist finished the last touches on her hairdo.
“You look smashing,” Carol, the dresser, said. “I’d love to wear this.”
“Why don’t you?” She wasn’t being catty. She believed every woman should be able to wear whatever made them feel sexy. Besides, Carol had the curves Nikki never got.
“I’m too short for dresses like this.” Carol beamed. “I’ll live vicariously through you.”
“You should wear this. It’d be killer on your frame. Those rich donors wouldn’t know what to do with themselves. They’d fawn all over you.” She grunted as Carol tugged harder on the corset strings. “Good?”
“Yep.” Carol stepped around her. “I don’t have your confidence, either. I’d be too worried the guys would laugh.”
“They don’t deserve you if they’d laugh. I’m serious.” Nikki stepped off the pedestal. “Don’t let them rule you. Be you and be bold. Don’t let them win. You win.” That’s what she told herself before every show.