Seven minutes in heaven never felt so good... Valerie Barkin and Alec Rogers survived bullies, awful parents, and seriously shitty social standing the only way best friends can—together. But with the unexpected sexual tension suddenly flaring between them, surviving their ten-year high school reunion might be a different story… Val hasn’t changed. She still feels like the stringyhaired band geek the popular kids teased, but Alec has definitely changed. He’s now the front man for the Grammy-winning rock band Chronic Disharmony, with the sexual reputation to match. And he’s more than willing to help Val rock the reunion. And then it happens—a drunken game of Seven
Minutes in Heaven—and their fourteen-years-long foreplay comes crashing to the forefront…changing everything. Seven minutes turns into a weekend of mindblowing, no-strings-attached sex. But these best friends won’t be able to leave their hearts out of it forever, not when the most meaningful benefit could change their relationship for good....
Table of Contents Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten Chapter Eleven Chapter Twelve Chapter Thirteen Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen Chapter Sixteen Chapter Seventeen Chapter Eighteen Chapter Nineteen Epilogue About the Author Also by Candy Sloane The Reality O If you love sexy romance, one-click these steamy Brazen releases… Falling for His Best Friend Emergency Engagement Tie Me Down Tight One Night of Scandal
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental. Copyright © 2016 by Candy Sloane. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher. Entangled Publishing, LLC 2614 South Timberline Road Suite 109 Fort Collins, CO 80525
Visit our website at www.entangledpublishing.com. Brazen is an imprint of Entangled Publishing, LLC. For more information on our titles, visit www.brazenbooks.com. Edited by Stacy Abrams Cover design by Heather Howland Cover art from iStock ISBN 978-1-63375-578-9 Manufactured in the United States of America First Edition March 2016
Chapter One Valerie had hit empty on her daily supply of exasperated groans. Over the past three hours, Alec’s lateness had ratcheted up from charming to maddening to code-red-level dick. Hanging out in baggage claim with her
elbow propped on her upended suitcase and her face in her hand wasn’t how she’d planned on starting her high school reunion weekend. Her chin was going numb and her neck ached. She shifted position and glanced down. While it alleviated her pain, the view rekindled it. Hours of waiting had wreaked wrinkled havoc on her tan linen skirt and fitted white button down. She was going to kill him. Her silent phone mocked her, though she was thankful for the excuse to have it glued to her hand. She’d been stalking
her inbox all day for an email from the London Philharmonic. She couldn’t will an acceptance email for their year-long residency program into her inbox any more than she could check one of the arrival screens for an update on where the hell Alec was. He was traveling by private plane—a smirk tugged at her lips—just like anyone would to his ten-year high school reunion. Alec had taken the time they spent hanging out in the Kenmore High School band room and become the lead singer
and lead guitarist of the Grammywinning rock band Chronic Disharmony. Valerie had taken it and become the second flute chair for the Philadelphia Philharmonic. For now. She snuck another furtive glance at her inbox. She and Alec had been so similar in high school—Val and Al—but they were polar opposites now, at least in the music world. Well, Valerie seethed as more minutes ticked by, in etiquette, too. She noticed a lanky guy with brown
hair in the distance and perked up —finally—but the relaxed smile she’d pasted on as camouflage before she ripped Alec a new one stiffened. It wasn’t him. She crossed her arms and grumbled. Apparently he was going for induction into the Penis’s World Record Book. She had timed their expected arrivals to coincide with dinner. Walking in fashionably late would assure that the people she wanted to avoid would be occupied. But now, the Opening Night Dinner had long since ended. Her
stomach clawed and whimpered. She riffled through her carry-on for the last of her plane peanuts. She hadn’t seen Alec in person since they’d graduated from Kenmore High, but lately his face had been everywhere: on TV, all over the internet, and on the cover of the magazine jutting out from her purse. She’d been browsing the airport newsstand in Philly before her flight when she saw him: Alec Rogers, her best friend, on the cover of Rolling Stone. They’d poured him into leather pants and nothing else. The museum of
tattoos on his chest and shoulders was framed by taut arms. Two ladder rungs of ab muscles laced up his stomach, a concave at his belly button the perfect size for some lucky lady’s lips. She shook her head, a stress headache nipping at her temples. Why am I thinking about that? Maybe because she’d bought the copy of Rolling Stone to give Alec crap about being such a rock star pretty boy, but instead she’d stared at it, at him, from the time she boarded the plane until she had reached cruising altitude. It might
have ended up with a ring of drool around that belly button had the flight attendant not interrupted to see if she wanted a drink. She had. Vodka straight. Her phone finally dinged with a text from Alec. You busy? It was the same message he sent her daily, usually after midnight. She had thousands just like it and thousands of other texts from him filling her phone like confetti. No, she typed, her fingers taut with
annoyance, just waiting at the airport for some dick who’s more than three hours late. “Want me to kick his ass?” She knew that rough song-worn voice, knew the composed breath that waited for her response. Alec stood above her. As she took him in, her stomach seemed to float up like a balloon she’d just let go of—a cocktail of excitement and nervousness buzzing and zinging as it launched into her throat. His signature dark brown fauxhawk was hidden under a baseball cap, his
torso and arm tattoos shielded by a leather jacket. But it was him, her Al, and at the same time it wasn’t. His combat boots made him appear taller than she remembered, and his shoulders seemed broader, even more so than when she’d seen them bare on the cover of Rolling Stone. She finally remembered to smile, to do something other than stare. His kind brown eyes lit up. “Val.” He set down his guitar case and pulled her into an embrace so forceful she almost lost one of her pumps.
He smelled of leather and alcohol, of a rock star. “Al,” she replied, hugging him back. Forgetting her annoyance for the moment and remembering how they did this— said each other’s names with different inflection dependent on their mood. She snuggled into him. The slight frame he’d had in high school was as well-built as it looked. Her abdomen stiffened against the muscles of his own. The stubble on his chin bristled at her cheek. “I’ll do it,” he said. “I’m just trying to
figure out how you kick a dick’s ass. Does it even have one?” “I don’t know. Maybe we should ask the dick.” He let out a dry laugh. “I’m sorry I’m late.” He squeezed her again. “If Dante were still with us, he would agree that L.A. traffic should be the tenth circle of hell.” “I’d nominate high school reunions for that illustrious spot.” Her stomach pitched. She’d hated having to wait all those hours for Alec, but now that he was here, they would have to go to the
reunion. See all those people from high school. Worse, they would see her. “I can’t believe you convinced me to come to this thing,” she continued. She parsed out her anxiety from the dizziness of talking to Alec in person, being in his arms. Her heart panted like a dog begging for a treat. She forced herself to let go of him. “Val, we’ve made good. We deserve to be here.” He certainly had. She wasn’t so sure about herself. She used to be a girl who played flute, and now she was a woman
who did. While Alec’s star had risen, hers had barely even begun to gather up the dust to be born. He inclined his head at her purse. “I see you got my Rolling Stone debut. Isn’t it awesome?” “Ten more minutes of waiting and I was going to draw donkey ears and domino-sized teeth on it.” Alec’s mouth curved into a knowing smile. “Like we used to do to yearbook photos of people we didn’t like. I know I was late, but you still like me, don’t you?” His voice was thick, pointed.
He had the same gentle face she knew, the same wide jaw and honest chin, but there was a hint of something mischievous behind his eyes. Alec had always had that to some degree, but now he had the swagger and sex appeal to match. The way his brown eyes sampled hers, the way his body shielded her view from everything in the world but him—it was unsettling and not at all the way she expected to feel around him. The discrepancy almost made her stumble. “You’re not remembering right. It was people we thought were asses,” she
corrected, “and three hours late, that makes you officially an ass.” One of the pictures from his magazine spread flashed into her mind—Alec, his strong back to the camera, a guitar sandwiched between his legs and his plump figureeight ass in those leather pants. It was enough to give any woman daydreams for days, fantasies forever. But not her— she was not supposed to be thinking about that. She blinked, bringing herself back to the real thing standing right in front of her. “I know it might seem dumb to
someone waiting to hear about a chair in...