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NEW RELEASE! Read Chapter 1 of Laws of Seduction #ReverseHarem #ParadiseKey

by on August 30, 2022

Built around the premise that love can be found with multiple partners, the island of Paradise Key has always been Gabriella Larkin’s home. She respects the open -minded community, but her own past relationships have left her burned, and doubting love. Throwing herself into her clothing boutique, Designs By Lark, she makes it her number one focus, until she meets Austin, Michael, and Kendrick.

Brothers Austin and Michael Curtis, along with their best friend Kendrick McClure, are new to the island, but not to the idea of ménage. A chance meeting with the gorgeous Gaby has sparks flying and the men planning on seduction. Enthralled by the intense sexual attraction between the four of them, Gaby embarks on a tumultuous and passionate relationship with the trio, but reaching for love will mean facing off with her past…

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BCDW4ZP6/

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/laws-of-seduction

iTunes: http://books.apple.com/us/book/id6443337178

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/laws-of-seduction-lori-king/1142099786

Chapter 1

“Are you sure this is a good idea, Austin?”

Austin Curtis looked up from where he was unpacking a box of dishes in the kitchen. Scattered around him on every surface was the evidence of his and his brother’s recent move from Apache Crossing, Texas, to the island paradise of Paradise Key. His younger brother, Michael, held yet another box of miscellaneous kitchenware as he waited for Austin’s response.

“No,” Austin sighed heavily and lifted a stack of plates into the cabinet in front of him. “But are you sure it’s not?”

“Don’t get bitchy.” Michael’s blue eyes narrowed, and a frown line appeared between his eyebrows. “I’m just second-guessing all this. I mean, it seems too good to be true. People like us don’t get job offers out of the blue or get the opportunity to move to paradise with no questions asked.”

“People like us? Oh, you mean veterans with no stable income? Or rednecks with no future? What people like us are you talking about, Mike?” Austin knew he sounded like a prick, but he couldn’t keep the words from spilling out of his mouth.

Michael had been acting like a petulant child ever since Jesse Steele called them and offered them a job. Jesse Steele, aka Lieutenant Steele from their Army days, had talked them into taking a job with the police department on the idyllic island of Paradise Key, just off the coast of Florida.

The island held an unusual community that embraced alternative lifestyles, allowing everyone to live the lives they chose, as long as it harmed no one else. For Michael and Austin, finding a new home that was so similar in mindset to their birthplace was ideal. Apache Crossing was a mecca for the alternative, and ménage groupings were popping up all over the place for their friends and neighbors.

It sounded like Paradise Key would be the perfect place for the brothers to start anew. The island had been used for a century by the wealthy to get away from the politics of high society on the mainland and maintained a tight-knit and exclusive population.

Jesse was a lieutenant with the police department, second only to the chief, so he was able to offer jobs to his Army buddies. Once they had jobs, they were automatically granted residency on the island. From what Jesse had described, everyone else who wasn’t already a resident of the island had to go through an application process. There was even a council and a registry for all residents. Austin was just relieved they hadn’t had to go through that. Moving from Texas to Paradise Key was a big undertaking without any added hang-ups.

Apache Crossing hadn’t been the same comfortable place for him since his parents died when he was eighteen. Sure, it was where he was born, and he still had plenty of friends there, but everywhere he went, there were reminders of that awful night and the life they had missed out on.

He and Michael had joined the Army to escape the misery that had surrounded them like a cloud when they were home. He detested the pity and sympathetic expressions on the surrounding faces. It was a daily grind of doom and gloom, then reassurances that their lives would get better. How exactly did the lives of two teenagers get better after they’d lost everyone they loved? Austin couldn’t stand another “How are you?” or “How have you been?” and just like the Army, Paradise Key had allowed him to escape.

“Stop it, Austin. Mike’s just freaking out because today is our first day on the job. He’ll calm down once they give him a gun.” Kendrick stepped into the kitchen and flung open the fridge. Taking a large gulp from a can of grape soda, he turned back to survey the disaster. “Hey, I thought you were going to unpack the kitchen?”

“What the hell do you think I’m doing?” Austin’s frustration was peaking, and he was considering throwing the first punch to start a fight so he could burn off some energy.

“Looks to me like you’re standing there daydreaming. Is the island spirit getting to you already, man? Those dishes won’t unpack themselves. I’m already done in the bathrooms,” Kendrick said with a laugh.

Kendrick McClure was like Austin’s second brother. They were so close, they called each other brother when introduced to others. Austin and Michael hadn’t met Kendrick until they got to boot camp, but the three men had been inseparable since. Their Army buddies had jokingly called them the Three Stooges. Where one went, you would usually find the other two following.

Austin was the oldest of the trio at thirty-six, but Kendrick was only eight months younger at thirty-five, and Michael was the baby at thirty-four. Kendrick’s light brown skin tone left no doubt about his African-American heritage, so there was no mistaking them for blood brothers, but they considered themselves family, nonetheless.

“Are you kidding?” Austin rolled his eyes at Kendrick and dumped all the silverware into a drawer. He grimaced at the metal clang when he shut the drawer and made a mental note to look for one of those drawer separator thingies before he met Kendrick’s laughing gaze. “Unpacking a half-dozen towels, a bar of soap, and a bottle of shampoo isn’t exactly manual labor.”

“Hey, I had to unpack toothbrushes, toothpaste, and all that hair junk you use,” Kendrick said. “You have more hair care products than the beauty salon in town.”

Austin flipped him off, but Michael cut them off before they could start slinging more insults.

“What time are we supposed to be there this afternoon?”

“Two. Shift change is at three, so LT said that’s when we could meet most of the guys. It will be good to see him and Glendridge again.”

“Shit, I forgot Brendan was from here, too. Yeah, maybe it will finally feel normal to work with those guys again.” That was the rub of being a soldier stationed overseas. A man built a camaraderie with his fellow soldiers, and once he arrived back stateside, nothing that was normal felt normal anymore. Austin never thought he would miss PT in the morning or the noise that came with ten guys in one hot-ass tent, but he did. Hopefully, he would adjust better in a new environment. Living back in Apache Crossing had been like pulling on a pair of itchy wool socks that were sitting in the back of his dresser drawer. He didn’t wear them because they itched, but he couldn’t throw them out because they were familiar.

“You know, we’re supposed to wear sweats.” Kendrick stared out the glass sliding doors. “LT’s going to put us through our paces to make sure we’re still in shape.”

“In other words, he’s going to test your defense skills before he tells everyone you’re the new trainer. Any excuse to whip his ass is a good excuse for me. I could use some exercise,” Austin said with a wicked grin to Michael.

Kendrick’s responding laugh confirmed his assumption.

“I’m itching to get on the mats. It’s been too long since I got to knock anyone’s teeth loose.”

“Well, just so long as it ain’t mine this time. Shit. I guess we’ll have to find a new dentist down here. God, I hate change.” Michael groaned as he left the room, carrying a box that said Books.

“What’s his deal?” Austin said to no one in particular, even though he knew Kendrick wouldn’t be able to resist answering.

“You know he worries about everything. This is a big change, but he’ll adjust. We all will. I mean, look out the window, man. It’s beach and ocean as far as the eye can see. We’re in paradise! Missouri never looked like this. We’re starting new jobs that pay twice what we would have made in Texas working for Paxton. How can this go bad?” Kendrick stared longingly out the window at the beach.

Austin hated to admit it, but Kendrick was right. The condo they were renting backed up to the golden sand, and Austin would have a sunrise view every morning when he woke up because his bedroom faced the east. They were in the perfect paradise and getting ready to create new lives for themselves. Instead of struggling to find construction work in Texas, they were going to be rolling in the dough and working on their tans on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico.

Watching his friend, he gave a mental sigh. Kendrick deserved this as much as Austin and Michael. It wasn’t so long ago they were sharing a tent in Afghanistan.

Austin would never forget the day Jesse came around to tell Kendrick his mother had suffered a fatal heart attack back in St. Louis. There was no chance to say goodbye or tie up loose strings. It all happened too suddenly. Kendrick had to fly home alone to take care of his mother’s body and belongings, then too quickly, he was whisked back to the never-ending sands of the desert.

Grief hadn’t left the man’s eyes until they stepped onto the ferry and made their way across the gulf waters to Paradise Key. Kendrick needed this place, and so did Michael. Austin would do everything in his power to make it work for all three of them.

“Do you think there are any beach bunnies down there this early in the morning?” he asked as he tossed another empty box into the growing pile in the hallway.

 A smile spread across Kendrick’s face. “What would it hurt to go look? We haven’t been for a run yet today, anyway.”

“I’ll get changed. You get Mike,” Austin said as he took the stairs two at a time, headed to his new bedroom.

The condo was a small two-story, the top floor consisting of one large master bedroom and bathroom. The other two bedrooms were smaller and on the ground floor, and they shared a Jack and Jill bathroom. There was the kitchen with its tiny dining space off to the side that looked out the back of the house onto the beach and the living room that ran along the front of the house. The place came furnished, which worked out well because shipping furniture from Texas to an island wouldn’t have been cheap, and none of the three of them had any interior design skills. The neutral shades of greens and beiges suited them for the moment.

They had shipped all their other possessions, so when they arrived yesterday, there was a massive stack of boxes in the living room that needed unpacking. Once they sorted the boxes into the rooms where they belonged, the task didn’t seem as daunting, at least until Austin reached the kitchen and all the unused dishes they owned. He would have been happy with using paper plates and plastic forks but couldn’t bring himself to part with his mother’s china plates, white with pale yellow daisies on the edges.

After throwing on a pair of sweats and dropping the clothes he removed on the bed, he headed back down the stairs shirtless and began searching for his tennis shoes.

“Come on, man, let’s go.” Kendrick hurried him while Austin located the missing shoes under the sofa and shoved his feet into them.

“I’m coming. Damn, what’s got you in a hurry all of a sudden?” Austin asked, following Michael out the back door to their small patio.

Kendrick just pointed down the beach, and Austin felt his own smile widen as he caught sight of a trio of pretty young women about a hundred yards away, setting up their beach towels for some morning sun. With a wink at Kendrick and Michael, he set off jogging down the beach, determined to meet some of the locals and settle into his new home.

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