Series: Hacker #1-5
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Genre: Erotic Romance, Mystery
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
Purchase: Amazon UK
Fans of "Fifty Shades of Grey" may recognize the "Hacker" narrative: Recent Harvard graduate and Internet entrepreneur Erica Hathaway falls for controlling billionaire Blake Landon.
I am very excited to share that Forever, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, has just acquired the Hacker series, five novels by #1 New York Times bestselling author Meredith Wild. The great news is already spreading—check out this piece in Yahoo! News.
Determined to overcome a difficult past, Erica Hathaway learns early on how to make it on her own. Days after her college graduation she finds herself face to face with a panel of investors who will make or break her fledgling startup. The only thing she didn’t prepare for was going weak in the knees over an arrogant and gorgeous investor who’s seemingly determined to derail her presentation.
Billionaire and rumored hacker Blake Landon has already made his fortune in software, and he’s used to getting what he wants with very little resistance. Captivated by Erica’s drive and unassuming beauty, he’s wanted nothing more since she stepped into his boardroom. Determined to win her over, he breaks down her defenses and fights for her trust, even if that means sacrificing a level of control he’s grown accustomed to.
But when Blake uncovers a dark secret from Erica’s past, he threatens not just her trust, but the life she’s fought so hard to create.
We descended into the smoky darkness of the top floor of the club. I embraced the noise, hoping to drown out the thoughts reeling through my mind.
I led us out to the dance floor, bringing us deep into the crowd through throngs of people gyrating to an especially popular Rihanna remix. I stopped and moved to face him, but he stilled me. His strong hand gripped my hip and pulled me back slightly until our bodies were flush with each other. The motion was so fluid and effortless, as if he was simply reuniting us to where we should have been all night. Together.
In an instant, my body melted into his. Everything felt right in his arms. The pounding base guided my movements as I began to sway to the beat of the music reverberating through my body. My muscles relaxed, and I got lost in the moment, in Blake.
The crowd was tight, but I didn’t care. All I could feel was Blake’s hands on me. In sync with the song, I pressed back into him, feeling a wild frenzy to be close to him, to feel that physical contact I’d been craving for days now. The song came to a close and merged into the next, slightly changing our rhythm and bringing us even closer. His erection became more pronounced, pressing against my ass, silently demanding what we both wanted. Arousal prickled my skin and my head fell back. His arm circled my waist and he kissed my neck. A hot, open-mouthed kiss that had my head spinning. Alcohol maybe, but more likely that drug that was Blake was taking over.
He spun me around to face him. Before he could speak, I grabbed him by the jacket and pulled him to me. Crushing my mouth onto his, I kissed him with a wild hunger. He met me full force. Our tongues tangled and I pulled him closer. He slipped his hand under the tight elastic of my dress, cupping my ass and grazing the edge of my panties. I moaned into his mouth, forgetting myself and our surroundings. I wanted to climb him right there among the hundreds of other hot, sweaty, and sexually charged people.
He growled a little as he pulled away. The lack of connection was abrupt, leaving me bereft, but the discomfort of not being connected was soon derailed by the knowledge that I was being led from the dance floor and down a hallway away from the chaos that once surrounded us.
In HARDPRESSED, the highly anticipated second book of the Hacker Series that began with Hardwired, Blake and Erica face threats that put both their love and their lives on the line.
Despite Blake Landon’s controlling ways, the young and wealthy hacker finally won the trust of the woman he loves. Internet entrepreneur Erica Hathaway broke down the walls that kept her from opening her heart and her business to Blake.
Ready to start this new chapter in her life, Erica is determined not to let anything come between them, even if that means giving Blake back some of the control he craves in and out of the bedroom.
But when demons from her past threaten their future, Erica makes a decision that could change their lives forever.
“Hey.” He caught my chin, turned me toward him. “I’m proud of you.”
“For what? Roping you in for four million dollars?”
He laughed loudly. “If that was all part of your master plan, then yes, I’m extremely proud because I never saw that coming.”
I smirked despite myself. I would have done just about anything to avoid taking his money, and he knew it.
“Seriously though, this is a big step. I want you to remember to enjoy the moment.”
And I did just that. Being with Blake made every moment a little sweeter. A lot sweeter. He gave everything a kind of wonder that made me question how I’d ever survived the tedious existence I called life before he walked in and turned everything upside down.
“I am, thanks to you.” I leaned in closer and met his lips.
He cradled my face in his palm and traced his tongue along my lips, coaxing them open to his, dipping into my mouth with soft lashes of his tongue.
He pulled back a fraction, leaving me breathless and feeling a little dazed on his taste and scent.
“Aren’t you going to ask me what’s in the bag?”
He turned away and unpacked the contents of the brown bag. He set out a container of strawberries, whipped cream, and a small glass jar of gourmet chocolate sauce.
“What kind of picnic did you have in mind?”
He held up the glass jar. “They drizzle this amazing chocolate sauce on the lattes and confections downstairs. I guess it’s not for sale, but when I politely explained to them that I’d be licking it off your naked body to christen the new office, they finally obliged.”
I giggled and tried to imagine that unlikely conversation between him and Simone. He twisted the lid off and offered it to me. I dipped my finger in the chocolate and then into my mouth. The chocolate coated my tongue, the taste decadent and divine, the experience only heightened by the surety that Blake would be making good on his plans shortly.
“I thought you were opposed to office nooky,” I said.
“This is your office. Different rules.”
“Which I see you’re already making.” I dipped my finger through the chocolate sauce again, but before I could make it to my mouth, Blake pulled it swiftly into his, tonguing my fingertip suggestively.
“Take your shirt off and lie down.”
I grinned and rose slowly to my knees, pulling my tank top off. “You’re bossy today.”
He pulled a black silk eye mask out of the bag and slipped it over my eyes, obscuring my vision. “It’s not a mood, baby. It’s who I am. You’d do well to remember that.”
Software mogul Blake Landon has met his match in headstrong Erica Hathaway. While his controlling nature and her independent spirit continue to battle, Blake has no intention of letting her out of his life again.
Erica has given Blake her trust and her love, determined that they will conquer any challenges together. But when he demands more and tests the boundaries of her commitment, she is forced to face the dark desires he’s kept hidden.
As their bonds grow tighter, their enemies close in. With Erica’s start-up in danger, Blake’s frustration grows as he tries to protect her from those who would ruin her only to get to him. Can their relationship survive when Blake’s enemies cross the line and threaten more than her livelihood?
My phone dinged.
B: I’m leaving work in twenty minutes.
I silenced my phone, ignored Blake’s message, and turned my focus back to Alli. She tucked a lock of long brown hair behind her ear and continued to update the team on the weekly stats for our Internet startup, Clozpin. I listened attentively, grateful to have her back on the team.
Alli had been back in Boston only a few weeks, but she was finally sharing a city and an apartment with Heath again. Heath was happy, she was happy, and I was thrilled to have her reclaim her position as the marketing director after the debacle with Risa. I’d invited Alli back even before letting Risa go for sharing confidential information about the company.
I winced at the thought. Alli was a fountain of optimism, but Risa’s betrayal still stung me. I hadn’t heard from her since our last meeting, and somehow the silence between us filled me more with dread than anything else. I wanted to doubt her ability to start a competing site with Max, our almost-investor and Blake’s sworn enemy, but the unknown worried me. What if they successfully lured our advertisers away? What if they were able to build something that was legitimately better and filled a need that Clozpin didn’t?
With the kind of money Max was bringing to the table plus Risa’s inside information gleaned directly from everything I’d learned in my short tenure as CEO of the company, anything was possible. And something about the way she left, filled with so much venom and resentment, spoke to every insecurity I had about running a business. I was still fledgling, without a doubt. I wanted to believe I could hold my own, and in many ways I had, but I had a lot to learn.
Another text message arrived on my phone, no less distracting as it vibrated against the glass top of the conference table.
I rolled my eyes and quickly tapped out a reply. I knew he’d pester me until I acknowledged him.
E: I’m in a meeting. I’ll call you after.
B: I want you naked in my bed by the time I get home. You should leave soon.
E: I need more time.
B: I’ll be inside you within the hour. Your office, our bed, your choice. Wrap it up.
The air in the room was suddenly too cool against my hot skin. I shivered and my nipples beaded, grazing uncomfortably against my shirt. How did he do that? A few well-placed words, delivered via text no less, had me checking my watch.
“Erica, do you have anything else you want to cover?”
My eyes locked with Alli’s. She cocked an eyebrow like maybe she knew I wasn’t paying attention. All I could think about were the consequences of keeping Blake waiting, and the physical response to that anticipation was already becoming difficult to ignore. I corralled my thoughts away from Blake’s promises and back to the present.
“No, I think we’re good. Thanks, everyone.” I collected my things quickly, eager to get moving. I waved off the rest of the group, and they dispersed to their workstations. Alli followed me into my partitioned office.
“What’s up with Perry? I didn’t want to bring it up at the meeting since it’s kind of an odd situation.”
“Not much. He emailed me again, but I haven’t replied yet.” I didn’t have time to get into the complexities of that situation right now if I wanted to meet Blake’s deadline.
“Are you thinking about taking him on as an advertiser?”
“I’m not sure.” I was still conflicted on the matter.
Her big brown eyes were wide. “Does Blake know he reached out to you?”
“No.” I gave her a pointed stare, making it clear without words that I didn’t want him to either. The last time I’d seen Isaac Perry, Blake had him pinned to the wall by his throat threatening to de-limb him if he dared touch me ever again. I didn’t want to make excuses for Isaac’s bad behavior that night, and I didn’t want to forgive him any more than Blake did. But this was business.
“He’s not going to be happy if you end up working with him.”
I stuffed my laptop into my bag. “You think I don’t know that?”
Blake’s associations colored more strategic business decisions than I cared to admit.
Alli leaned against my desk. “So what are you going to do? Perry must be offering something impressive if you haven’t completely shot him down yet.”
“Perry Media Group represents a dozen multimedia publications that span the globe. I’m not saying I trust him, but I can at least hear him out.”
She shrugged. “Whatever you think is best for the company I’ll support. I don’t mind dealing with him directly either, if you’re more comfortable with that.”
“Thanks, Alli. I’d rather get to the bottom of this myself though. We can talk about it more later. I need to head out. Blake is waiting for me.”
Blake Landon is a man who has everything-wealth, good looks, and the love of Erica Hathaway. The power couple has been through hell and back, and when life has torn them apart, somehow they have always found their way back to each other, more in love and stronger than ever.
Erica has never been more ready to say I do. On the verge of making the ultimate commitment, she uncovers an unsettling chapter of Blake’s history. As she makes peace with her own past and the family who left her behind, she presses Blake to tear down the last walls between them. Determined to know the man he once was, she opens a door to a world beyond her wildest imagination-a world that has her questioning the limits of her own desires.
As danger lurks and dark secrets come to light, will the past destroy their promise of forever?
E: Meet me at the club in 10 minutes. Please don’t be mad.
I reread Erica’s text until my brain caught up to her meaning.
The club she was referring to could only be one. My knuckles went white, as if gripping the phone on the brink of crushing it might stop her from doing this. Drawing in a deep breath that did nothing to calm me, I pulled up her number and held the phone to my ear. I listened to the endless ring, biting back the string of curses that would fly if she picked up. I knew she wouldn’t.
The warm timbre of her voicemail greeted me. I was stung with missing the woman behind the sound, but I couldn’t ignore the infuriating fact that she wasn’t picking up the fucking phone. I hung up and grabbed my keys. I flew down the stairs to the Tesla and, wasting no time, pushed my way into the rush hour traffic.
Checking the time, I calculated my journey and how long she’d be there without me. Ten or fifteen minutes if I were lucky. My mind spun over what could go down in that span of time in the exclusive underground establishment I’d known for years as La Perle.
She’d be prey.
If I were lurking in the shadows there as I’d done more times than I cared to admit, that’s all I would see in her. A little blond bombshell with just enough fire to make a Dom want to make her his. A man would have to be fucking blind not to want to bring her to her knees.
I hit the gas and swerved, bypassing a cluster of slowing cars that put precious time between us. As worry plagued my thoughts, so did unwanted memories of the club. I hadn’t stepped foot in there since I met Erica months ago. I’d had no reason to go back to that life. My jaw clenched as I thought of everything that had played out there, countless meaningless moments that I’d kept coming back for, years after I left Sophia. Everything about the place was charged with the promise of sex, the darkest kind of possibilities hanging in the air between every bated breath and less-than-innocent exchange.
My chest was painfully tight. Anger was there. The teeth-gnashing frustration that only Erica could elicit. But under all of it was love. Love for Erica that set my desire on fire. Though I wanted her far from all of it, my basest desires painted a fantasy of finding her in the club and being the man to tame her—even as I knew how fucking impossible that task was. In the daylight, she never made it easy, but hell if she didn’t submit like a dream at night.
I hit the brake at a red light. I closed my eyes, and there she was, gazing up at me with those hooded blue eyes, endless oceans. All that hellfire spirit tempered in the name of the pleasure I would give her. And I always gave her more than she could handle. I never let her rest until she was sated. Until I saw the wonder in her eyes that only I could put there, having pushed her to a place no one had ever taken her. Until the only word she could form was my name.
We were never short on passion. We couldn’t keep our hands off of each other. Adrenaline raced over the fatigue that had settled into my bones after another sleepless night. I could fuck the woman until I was blind, and it wouldn’t be enough. She’d promised me a lifetime, and I had every intention of loving her well every day this life would give me.
Love was a small word for what I felt for Erica. Maybe it was an obsession, this never-waning determination to make her mine in every way she’d let me. Heath had noticed, even warned me when he saw how she was changing me. He was no stranger to addiction, and no one could deny that she was my vice. The drug I refused to live without, no matter how many times she pushed me away. I’d fought like hell to keep the upper hand between us to protect her, to keep her out of the path of those who would hurt one to destroy the other. I couldn’t lose control and risk losing something more important—the one person who’d come into my life and made it worth living.
Yes, she’d changed me, as much as a man with my particular affinities could change. She’d pushed me. She’d walked into my life, five-feet-three inches of fiery independence. Her mere presence challenged me, getting under my skin, making me habitually hard until I could find the unexplainable peace that being inside her supple little body could bring. Even now, I could barely take a full breath, knowing she was beyond my reach. I clutched the steering wheel tighter. My bloodless fingertips tingled with the need to feel her body under them, loving her, claiming her, restraining her.
I adjusted my inconvenient hard on. Pointless when visions of the night before flooded me now. Her full, swollen lips parting for me and only me. Her nails digging into my thighs as she took all of me in the hot bliss of her mouth.
I released my tense hold, exhaling an uneven breath. My thumb grazed the worn leather of my belt. The hammer of my heart kicked up. The light turned green, and I sped closer to our destination. A flicker of anticipation took over with a rush of blood to my now rock-hard cock.
If nothing else, I’d enjoy punishing her when this was all said and done.
Coming September 15th!
Days after their nuptials, Blake and Erica Landon embark on their honeymoon—a journey that deepens their bonds and promises to fade the scars of their past.
Just when their troubles seem safely behind them, scandal surrounding would-be Governor Daniel Fitzgerald’s election threatens their newfound peace. Back home, Blake finds himself at the center of the controversy, haunted by the transgressions of his hacker past that he has no wish to relive.
With Blake’s freedom at stake and their future in peril, Erica will stop at nothing to clear his name. But when Blake defies the authorities and refuses to seek out the truth, their world gradually begins to crumble. Will he let his past win? Or can Erica convince him that their life together is worth fighting for—now more than ever…