Author: Dylan Allen
Series: Symbols of Love #3
Release Date: February 28, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Amazon UK
Purchase: Amazon CA
Purchase: Amazon AU
I’m here for pleasure.
And in paradise, I don’t have a past. I don’t have pain, my secrets don't haunt me and I can be anyone I want
He’s here for business.
Harry's intoxicatingly handsome, rich, and also the biggest jerk I've ever met. So, it's inconvenient that sparks fly every time our eyes meet.
Indulging in an affair wasn't on my agenda.
But fate isn't a mistress to our intentions; And what starts as strike of lightening on a moonlit beach ignites a fire between us that will span continents.
Meeting again in the unlikeliest of circumstances feels written in the heavens.
And I'll need the courage of the gods to tell him the truth.
They say the truth will set you free... but what if it destroys you first?
Series: Symbols of Love #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Passion Creations by Mary Ruth
Author: Dylan Allen
Release Date: February 28, 2018
What Others Are Saying
“Dylan Allen is fearless in her writing, gutting you with the prologue giving you every bit of Lilly’s story with a raw and flawless prose so you feel like you’re right there with her: the pain, the shame and the joy of self-rediscovery. Harry goes down as one of my favorite book boyfriends ever”
– Bestselling author Stephanie Rose
“Wow. Release grabs your heart from the very first sentence and doesn’t let go.”
– Goodreads Reviewer
“Your words grabbed me by the heart on page one. Release is sexy, evocative, and unputdownable!”
– New York Times Bestselling Author Ilsa Madden-Mills
“If there were 10 stars available to give, that still wouldn’t be enough for this book! I’m in love with this story”
– Goodreads Reviewer
“Wonderful story. Strong message, strong characters… I’m in awe. My heart almost couldn’t handle it all and was about to burst, I fell in love with Lilly and Harry right along with them.”
– Goodreads Reviewer
Chapter One Excerpt
British Airways FL505 from London’s Heathrow Airport to Accra’s Kotoka Airport
The fact that I’m taller than the bulk heads means I can’t see the faces of the people in the seats I’m approaching until I’m next to them.
I’ve never realized this before because I’ve never wanted to see the faces of the other people on the plane. But, I can see a pair of shapely, dark denim clad thighs in the seat next to mine. Another step closer reveals a pair of small, caramel colored hands – I note the absence of any rings – folded in a luscious and definitely feminine lap. Her slim hips rise to a narrow waist. It is covered in stretchy white cotton that shows every line of her body. And every curve. Her small, but very nicely rounded breasts are covered in that same stretchy white cotton. But her face is cut off by the bulk head and when I try to lower my head to see under it, I find my range of motion restricted by the press of bodies on either side of me.
I was late getting to the airport because of an accident on the motorway and I missed the pre-boarding for first class. So, I’m stuck in a line that stretches all the way to the back of the plane because some guy is trying to make his oversized carry-on fit inside the overhead compartment.
When the line starts to move again, I move quickly to reach my seat. When her face comes into view, I almost let out a low, appreciative whistle. Something I’ve never even thought about doing, but shit, it’s a great face. What I can see of it, anyway.
Her eyes are covered with a sleep mask and she’s got a pair of those ridiculously large headphones that only DJs in clubs wear. It’s a “Do Not Disturb Sign” if I’ve ever seen one. I don’t mind though, it gives me the chance to do some unobserved staring. She’s got a wide, full mouth, but with lips that are so full, especially her bottom one, that it looks like she’s started to pucker up for a kiss. Damn.
The rest of her face is made up of a slightly pugnacious nose, high cheekbones, a delicate jaw and narrow chin with a beautiful little cleft in the middle. They’re ordinary enough features. But, there’s nothing ordinary about that face. Her skin is so smooth, it looks almost airbrushed. It is the color of my favorite caramel candy and, but for a mole that sits on the top of her left cheek bone, is completely flawless.
Her hair is the color of the darkest chocolate and the overhead lights of her seat reveals a dark, silky riot of curls that framed her face and spilled down her shoulders.
“You’re holding up the line.” An irritated male voice behind me shakes me out of my trance. I throw an apologetic smile over my shoulder, while I put my carry-on overhead and drop down in my seat.
Thank God for first class seats on flights. It’s an extravagance, but with my height, long flights like these are impossible without it. I buckle up and get settled. My neighbor doesn’t stir.
It’s been a busy week, I should probably try to get some sleep, too. But, I can’t stop looking at her. Now that I’m seated right next to her, I can see the details of her face. Her profile is striking.
Her nose has a graceful slope and her lips look even fuller from here. And, there’s the faintest scent of citrus in the air now, and I know it’s coming directly from her.
I force myself to look away, I’m being a total creep. I settle into my seat, buckle up and put my ear buds in. When I turn on the random music player on my phone, and Beethoven’s Fifth, with its famous da-da-da-daaaa, that’s become the universal sound for “shit’s about to get real,” I find myself glancing at the woman next to me and hoping that it’s portent.
Being more impulsive was one of my New Year’s resolutions. And everyone knows those are only made to be broken. So, I’ve spent the last nine months not doing a single unplanned or unpredictable thing. Looks like I just needed some inspiration, because now, I find myself hoping that my neighbor will wake up and that when she does, she’s feeling impulsive, too.
* * *
The shock of ice cold liquid in my lap wakes me up. It’s followed by a loud gasp and a whispered, “Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry.” Right before a hand starts dabbing at my crotch. My eyes snap open, to find the plane is dark. I grab the hand rests of my seat and start to stand only to find my movement restricted by my seatbelt.
The overhead light comes on and our row is illuminated to bright, but somehow hazy yellow. As eyes adjust, I see that the voice and the hand belong to the flight attendant. She’s brushing the last chips of ice off my leg. “I’m so sorry, sir. It’s my first time serving the firstclass cabin, I’m so nervous. I apologize. I’ll pay for the dry cleaning, I promise.” Her voice is thick with tears and worry as her head whips back and forth between my leg and the front of the plane.
“It’s okay.” The soft, little voice from my left startles me. Before I can look in her direction, her torso is pressed against my left thigh and her hair tickles my nose as she leans across me. She starts to pat the shoulder of the frantic woman who’s now kneeling in the aisle next to me, trying to clean up the mess the spilled drink has made.
“It was an accident, I’m sure he’s not upset.” She coos at the top of the woman’s dark red head. She turns her head and fixes me with a narrow eyed, irritated stare. The light from above our seats, shines in her eyes and reveals eyes of the most unusual shade of gold. Her pupils are contracted to pinpoints under the light and set against thick, long eyelashes, they look almost supernatural. For the second time since I boarded this plane, I find myself staring.
“You’re not upset, are you?” She says, her voice still soothing for the benefit of the flight attendant, but her eyes are still on me, impatiently waiting for me to respond.
I’m confused and still groggy and because I don’t really know what else to say or do, I say, “Uh, no. I’m not.”
She looks back at the woman, “See, it’s okay. Why don’t you stand up? There wasn’t that much water in the glass anyway. I’m sure it’ll dry quickly,” she says, giving the woman one final pat before she leans back in her seat. The cold wetness seeping through my trousers and briefs tells a different story. But saying so, would make me sound like a jerk and I don’t doubt that it was an accident.
“Thank you so much, miss. I’ll be right back with another drink.” The woman says to her knight in shining armor, a grateful smile on her bright red lips. She stands up, straightens her vest, and tucks an errant lock of hair back into her bun. The badge pinned to her lapel reads, Tina.
Right before she turns to leave, she gives me a sheepish smile and says, “Can I get you anything, sir? You slept through our meal service.”
“Napkins would be nice,” I say with a pointed look down at my lap. Her smile falters a little, but her tone is cheery, “Yes, of course.”
As soon as she walks away, I look at my neighbor. She’s reading the magazine that’s spread open her seat tray. There is a stack of small plastic cups on one corner of the tray and a few crumpled gold foil chocolate wrappers scattered on there too. Her earphones are off, while her eye mask is pushed up into her hair, holding it away from her face and revealing the entire side of her face, her ears and the side of her neck.
The corner of her mouth lifts in a smile. “You’re staring,” she says softly, without taking her eyes off the magazine.
“I know.” There’s no point trying to look away or denying it.
She brings her finger to her mouth and licks it with the very tip of her pink tongue and then turns the page of her magazine, her eyes never leaving it.
I glance down at it, wondering what’s got her attention so rapt. It’s some sort of techy magazine. The headline on the page she’s reading says, Changing Definitions of Privacy in the Digital Age. Not exactly riveting, leisurely reading material.
“It’s rude to stare. It’s also rude to read over people’s shoulders.” She says in a neutral tone.
“I’m sure it is.” I say as neutrally, lifting my eyes from her magazine to her face. She’s not reading anymore. Her eyes are assessing as they roam my face, my chest and linger on the dark wet spot on my jeans. Her lips are pursed in a frown of concentration. When she looks back at my face, her expression is amused and interested.
“Do you have another change of pants? Those must feel pretty uncomfortable.” She says, her voice is low, and she’s looking up at me through her lashes.
I’m not always quick on the uptake when it comes to women and dating. My brother, Louis has accused me of being clueless. But, even I can hear the suggestion in her voice when she puts her hand on my thigh and I stiffen immediately. Her fingertips are resting right at the edge of the wet spot. My heart skips a beat and then races as my mind races to figure out what the hell is going on.
The water has seeped through the thin fabric of my jeans and briefs and I can feel the cold wet on my skin. But what my body responds to is the heat her hand is generating. I shift my leg enough to create some distance between her hand and my stirring cock. She may be coming onto me, but I’m not in the habit of getting hard and flaunting my erections in public.
I look back at her face to find her watching me closely. A small smile plays around her lips. I’m just about to ask her what she’s doing when her smile disappears.
She yanks her hand back, and turns her eyes back to her magazine. Before I have time to be confused, Tina’s standing next to our aisle again.
“Here you go sir,” she says cheerily as she hands me a thick stack of tiny cocktail napkins.
But, I’ve forgotten why I need them.
“Here you go, miss.” She says as she reaches across me to give my neighbor her drink.
“Let me get those out of the way for you.” She gestures to the stack of cups on her tray. My neighbor gives her a friendly smile as she accepts the drink. She takes a huge sip before she puts it down.
“If you need anything else, please press the call button. Otherwise, enjoy the remainder of your flight.” Tina’s bright voice says before she continues up the aisle.
I look to my left again to see her throwing back the rest of her drink. I can smell the vodka and remember the stack of cups. If all of those were alcoholic beverages, then she’s probably drunk by now.
She lets her empty cup fall to the ground, closes her magazine, and tucks her seat tray away. She reaches up to turn off the overhead light and the last thing I see before we’re plunged back into darkness is that suggestive smile. My eyes adjust to the dark quickly and I see her silhouette as she leans forward to reach underneath her seat.
When she sits up, she’s holding a dark blanket in her hand. I watch her curiously as she unfolds it and then shakes it open, over both of our legs.
“That’ll help you keep warm.” She says amiably, a smile in her voice.
I start to push it off my lap and stand, “I’m just going to go to the bathroom, I think…” She grabs my hand to stop me. I stare down at her, unable to make out the expression on her face.
“Let me help you dry off.” She whispers and takes the napkin from me. Slowly, I sit back down. She throws the blanket back over my lap. And I sit, frozen, half by disbelief and half by curiosity as her hand disappears under it and moves across my lap. I hiss at the sharp jolt of pleasure that shoots through me when she palms my cock.
My head flies backward into the head rest, my eyes closed, “Oh shit. What are you doing?”
I ask, my voice hoarse.
“I’m going to help you dry off,” she whispers. She hiccups just as I feel her hand cupping my balls through my jeans. She gives them a gentle squeeze and to my horror, I groan. Loudly.
She giggles, but her hand stops moving. My eyes fly open and I look down to see her watching me. Her lips are smiling patiently and her eyes wide with mock innocence and she asks, “Do you want me to stop?” I blink down at her. I should want her to stop.
I’ve never done anything like this, never even considered it until I laid eyes on her.
I don’t know anything about this woman. She could be married and she can’t be sure that I’m not. She’s obviously drunk, and doesn’t know what she’s doing. All of that aside, I’m pretty sure that letting her jack me off on a plane is illegal or something.
But God, her touch feels so fucking good. It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten off with anything other than my hand. My hips jut forward, my cock rubbing against her hand I groan again, low in my chest and she puts a finger to her lips and winks as she slides her hand down to cup my balls again.
“We don’t want to get caught,” she whispers. Her eyebrows are raised, her lips are smiling and slightly parted. She squeezes me again, I try to stifle my groan.
“Oh, yeah, we’re going to need to get you out of those pants,” she snickers as her fingers unsnap my jeans and slowly pulls the zipper.
My cock, apparently desperate for escape, strains against my wet briefs.
“Oh, you’re ready,” she coos as she tugs the elastic band of my underwear down and then her hand closes around the exposed skin of my cock.
A trickle of sweat runs down my back and I realize how much effort I’m exerting trying to hold back the loud groan I want to let loose. The pad of her thumb traces the slit of my cock and I hiss at the shimmer of heat that radiates from the caress. My balls tighten and my hips give an involuntary jerk, pushing more of my length into her hand.
“Want me to make you come?” She asks in a slurred voice.
I look down at her. It’s dark on the plane, but light from the illuminated aisle means I can see her face well. There’s a smile there, but it feels…off. Exaggerated.
This is wrong.
She’s drunk and even if she wasn’t this isn’t me.
Relieved to have come to my senses, I put my hand on top of hers and stop her. “You don’t have to do that,” I whisper.
She looks up at me and her smile fades as she takes in my expression. I hold my breath as her expression goes blank. She doesn’t move, just stares straight ahead as if she’s trying to decide what to do. What if she causes a scene? I glance around at the passengers across from us.
They both appear to be sleeping.
With a resigned sigh and a dismissive shrug of her shoulders, she pulls her hand away.
Her eyes are trained on her laps. I feel a ball of guilt in the pit of my stomach. “Listen, I’m sorry…I just…” I struggle to find words that will make this situation less awkward.
She waves a hand dismissively as she leans back in her seat with her eyes squeezed shut.
“You don’t have to explain,” she says quietly.
She opens her eyes again, reaches inside the seat back pocket in front of her and grabs her headphones. Once they’re settled over her ears, she starts to pull the blanket off my lap.
“Woah, one sec,” I say, making a grab for it, but she’s yanks it off before I can stop her.
I hurriedly shove my now very soft cock back inside my wet jeans and hurry to snap them closed. I glance over and see that she’s pulled her eye mask into place. She turns to her other side, and reclines her seat as far back as it will go and pulls the blanket over her shoulder and snuggles into her seat.
I feel like I’ve been hit between the eyes by a wooden plank. What the fuck just happened?
I tap her shoulder. She turns her head to face me, lifting one of the flaps of her mask. Her exposed eye regards me, rather dispassionately. “Did you need something?” She asks, her speech slow and slurred.
“What’s your name?” I whisper stupidly. I don’t know why I asked that. Not that I don’t want to know, but there are a lot of other questions I should have asked, instead. But I can’t think of any of those. She turns back around and puts her head down and I think she’s blowing me off. I hear an exasperated groan before she flips so she’s back on her side. She pulls her eyes mask up and stares up at the ceiling of the plane for a minute before she says anything. Her voice is quiet, but her words are deliberate and unaffected.
“Look, it’s no big deal. I thought you looked interested, I was wrong.” She starts to pull her eye mask down again and reach up to turn off the overhead lights “You weren’t wrong,” I say hesitantly. “I’ve just never…this is kind of…fuck!” I look down. I feel like a boy who came too fast and disappointed his lover.
She eyes me warily, but leaves her eyes mask off and drops her hands.
She doesn’t say anything and I continue. “I think you’re beautiful. In fact, when I got on the plane, I was sorry you were asleep. But I thought we’d start by talking, you know?”
Her eyes brows shoot up and her mouth quirks in confusion. “Start what?”
“Getting to know each other,” I clarify. Her golden eyes widen and then she lets out a shout of laughter. It’s my turn to look confused.
“Why in the world would we do that?” She says, her eyes completely bewildered.
“Why not?” I shoot back.
“What’s the point? We won’t see each other again. I doubt you’ll even remember me in a week’s time.” She shrugs and watches me as if she’s expecting me to nod in agreement.
I try, very hard, not to be offended by the implication that she wouldn’t remember me either. But I can’t help it.
“So, this is a regular thing for you?” I ask, not bothering to hide my judgment.
She smiles, lacking any warmth.
“Listen,” she cajoles when my expression becomes stony. “I drink on long flights. It’s the only way I can relax to get through them. And when I drink, I get horny. I don’t usually have a Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome sitting next to me, though.” She winks and gives her eyebrows a waggle. The expression is as inauthentic as her smile and my hackles rise.
“I thought we could make the flight a little interesting. But, that’s all. If you’re not down, fine.” Her dismissal and nonchalance in the face of my confusion and discomfort stings. I don’t respond, but I can’t look at that ridiculous grin – that’s really a grimace – any longer. “No offense.” She says, as if that made any of this better.
“None taken.” I say curtly.
“Whatever you say,” she quips. The amusement in her voice irks me. I turn my head to look at her and her eyes evade mine and move back to her lap. I realize, her bravado is, at least partly, an act. Suddenly, I feel sorry for her.
“Why did you do that?” I ask her.
“Do what?” She asks sullenly.
“Touch me, well any stranger, like that?” I ask, incredulous that I have to spell it out.
I don’t miss the slight flinch of her shoulders but she meets my eyes now, her chin titled up in indignation. “I told you already. I’m drunk, you’re hot. End of story.” She says, her loud hiccup ruining her forcibly calm and dignified demeanor.
“You don’t need to throw yourself at men.” I say gently.
She leans toward me, her eyes clear, her voice full of asperity when she says, “I did not throw myself at you. You were convenient. That’s all.”
That stings, but I scoff, “Is that supposed to hurt my feelings?”
“I’m not worried about your feelings.” She says dryly. “I just want you to know that your attempt at slut shaming won’t work.” She says affecting a bored tone that is betrayed by her furrowed brow and clenched hands.
This is getting out of hand.
“You’re putting words in my mouth. I just don’t understand why you’re up for it. I mean, if this what liquor does for you, maybe you should lay off when you’re in situations— “
“For God’s sake.” She exclaims, her eyes wide with exasperation. “I’m sorry I bothered you. I really am.” Her hands rake her hair and she holds her head as if it’s aching.
Instinctively, I put a hand on her shoulder, “You don’t need to apologize, I’m sure when you’re sober you’ll feel better.”
She jerks her shoulder from under my hand and hisses, “Do not fucking touch me.” I pull my hand away and lean back.
Her seat suddenly pulls up and she rummages around in the backpack on the floor at her feet and pulls a black rubber band out. She starts gathering her huge mass of hair up into a messy bun. Then she turns her angry eyes back to me.
“You have no idea how I’ll feel when I’m sober. I was not apologizing. I was just trying to get you to stop talking. I’m an adult. I own my choices. Own yours.” She says angrily.
“I own my choices.” I say.
“Good, now can I go back to sleep?”
She’s right. She’s an adult. I don’t know her. Just because I’ve never done it, doesn’t mean people hooking up on planes is a weird or even uncommon occurrence.
Her hands fidget with the corner of the blanket and the movement draws my eyes. I can still feel the heat of them on my cock. Was I too hasty? I do want to be impulsive, but not reckless. No. I know right from wrong. And this has wrong written all over it.
“Felt nice, right? Having second thoughts?” Her taunting tone pulls my eyes to her face.
She’s watching me through hooded lids. Her eyebrows are raised in mocking appraisal.
Embarrassment, sends a flush of heat up my neck and face. Her eyes widen and she claps her hands in delight as she takes in my reddening face. But it’s my anger that takes the lead as I turn and adopt the same, sarcastic smile she’s been wearing for half the night.
“I wasn’t having second thoughts,” my jaw is clenched so tight that it’s starting to give me a headache. “I was just wondering if you were going to wash my cum off your hand.” I deadpan.
Her eyes widen in horror and she looks from my lap to her hand and then back at my face.
“Did you really just say that?”
“Is your listening comprehension as compromised as your judgement?” I say, even though I think I’ve probably gone too far.
Her eyes nearly bug out of her head and “You are a –”, a gag cuts off her words. Her hand clamps over her mouth and she squeezes eyes shut. Her body jerks with another gag.
She throws the blanket off and fumbles frantically with her seat belt. She scurries past me; one hand still covering her mouth and runs down the aisle. I hear her retching before the bathroom door slides shut with a bang.
I stare at the back of the seat in front of me. I can’t believe any of this. I let a strange woman put her hands on my cock – and enjoyed it. I ogled said strange woman while she slept.
I’ve also insulted, and been insulted by, her. My mother would disown me. One glance around the first-class cabin confirms my suspicion that finding another seat wasn’t an option. So, I start formulating an apology.
After nearly twenty minutes, she stumbles back toward our row. I stand so she can slide in without having to squeeze past me.
Her face is pale, her eyes are glassy and when I start to speak, she just shakes her head miserably.
“We’ve both said enough.” She says and presses her lips together. “I’m going to try to sleep some of this off. Have a good rest of your flight.” And then she turns over, pulls that stupid eye mask down, and tucks herself in again.
I stare at her in disbelief. And then, I sit back down. The flight has less than two hours remaining. My jeans have dried a little. I’m tired, but falling asleep is out of the question. If I’m lucky, she’ll sleep until we land and I can get off the plane without having to speak to her again.
Rise (Symbols of Love #1)
As a girl, I saw my father destroy the family he claimed to love. I watched my mother waste her life dreaming of a man who left her without a second glance.
As a woman, I don’t dream, I work. I don’t fall in love, I focus. I would never let anything as frivolous as love distract me.
Until I meet Simon. A gorgeous, brilliant young architect with dark eyes, a sweet smile, and a dirty, dirty mouth. He sets me on fire, and suddenly all I can do is dream…of his hands, his lips, his body. Of a heart good enough and a love strong enough to make me believe in happily ever after.
But Simon has secrets that are even deeper than mine. Will our pasts destroy everything we’ve worked for? Or will we find the courage to rise to the challenge and fight for the love we share?
Remember (Symbols of Love #2)
Milly’s life was safe. Her plans, certain.
She doesn’t take risks because she knows what it’s like to lose everything.
But, when it all falls apart, she decides to throw caution to the wind.
Her journey to reclaim her future leads her straight into the grown up arms of the boy she left behind.
In them, she finds passion long denied and love she thought was lost.
But is the promise of a second chance worth the risk of losing herself again?
When he discovers that the girl he has loved his whole life moved on without him, Dean needs answers.
He didn’t expect to still want her.
He didn’t expect her to want him, too.
And suddenly, he finds himself in a battle for the heart of the woman he’s never stopped loving.
As they look to the past for answers, can they hold onto the future they were meant to have? Or will what they remember make them wish they could forget?