Check out an exclusive excerpt from Bad Penny by Staci Hart, available now!
About ‘Bad Penny’ by Staci Hart:
Nothing good comes after the third date.
See, date three is the crucial point when things get real, which is exactly why I bounce out the door, twiddling my fingers at whatever poor boy I’ve left behind. Because if I stick around, one of three things will happen: he’ll profess his undying love, he gets weird and stalky, or I’ll go crazy. Like, Sid and Nancy crazy. Like, chase-him-through-the-streets-begging-him-to-love-me crazy.
Seriously, it’s better for everyone this way.
So when I meet Bodie, I figure it’ll be the same as it ever was. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t put a single string on me. Doesn’t matter that he’s funny and smart and jacked and can play my body like a grand piano. Because even though I’m built for love, love has only carved me up like a Christmas ham.
Resistance is something I can only hang on to for so long, and he has persistence in spades. But my heart isn’t as safe as I want to believe, and neither is his. And the second I ignore my cardinal rule is the second I stand to lose him forever.
‘Bad Penny’ by Staci Hart exclusive excerpt:
I swear he’d gotten hotter in three days — his eyes were bluer, his hair blonder, his smile brighter as he grinned right back and put on his sunglasses.
Either that or my imagination was a sad, sad substitute for the real thing.
“Highway to Hell” came on the overhead speakers as I took a long lick of my ice cream and moaned.
Pretty sure Bodie was staring at my mouth from behind his shades.
“I’ve been thinking about you,” I started, sticking out my tongue to run my ice cream across it.
He wet his lips and smirked. “Me too.”
When he licked his ice cream and flicked his tongue at the top, I felt warm all over, and it had nothing to do with the ninety-five degree weather.
I crossed my legs, my mouth undeterred as I licked that ice cream like my future depended on it.
“It was so hard not to text you.” I closed my lips over the top of my scoop.
“How hard?” he teased me back.
I just kept watching that creamy ice cream on his tongue, squeezing my thighs together like a goddamn vise.
“It just kept getting harder and harder with no hope of release. Cruel really.”
“So why didn’t you text me?”
I shrugged, playing coy. “Didn’t want you to think I was easy.”
We both laughed for a minute.
“So how much did you think of me?” I asked innocently, fondling my cone.
“Oh, only about every minute of every day.” His feet sandwiched my foot on the ground and squeezed, shifting his sneakers up and down in slow, opposite strokes, just an inch or two’s distance.
Somehow, it drove me completely insane.
“You?” he asked.
“A time or two. Once when I was in the shower.”
“Mmm,” he hummed with his cone in his mouth.
“Another time when I was lying in bed, wishing you’d texted me. I thought about you a lot that night. Three times. Every time, I would think I’d gotten you out of my head and whoops — you’d pop up again.”
“Well, I can’t help popping up. Not when I remember you eat ice cream like that.”
I smiled and dragged my tongue around the diameter of the scoop.
“All that thinking and no doing,” he said. “I really feel like we should be doing a whole lot more than we have the last couple of days.”
I nodded. “Why didn’t you text me?” I tried to keep the uncertainty out of my voice.
If he’d heard it, he didn’t react.
He shrugged and echoed my words, “Didn’t want you to think I was easy.”
I laughed. “Maybe I like easy.”
“Well then, you’re in luck. Because when it comes to you, I’m so easy.”
Bodie’s elbows were on the table and so were mine, the two of us leaning toward each other.
“What do you say we get out of here?” he asked.
And I smiled back. “I thought you’d never fucking ask.”
About Staci Hart:
Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey.
From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.