Book & Author Details:
Better When It Hurts by Skye Warren
Genres: Adult, Romance
Genres: Adult, Romance
Five years ago we lived in the same house. He was the ultimate bad boy. And my foster brother.
Now he’s back. Tougher, harder, meaner. All of it aimed at me, because I was the one who sent him away. It’s payback time. He wants his pound of flesh, and I am helpless to say no.
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Excerpt from Better When It Hurts
I try not to scan the floor when I enter. There’s already a buzz in the air, the hunger and
desperation of a strip club on Saturday night. I’m ready to earn money, ready to move my body.
He’s nowhere in sight, and I breathe a sigh of relief. A group of men are still gathered near the
railing. They’d tipped me pretty well while I was up there, so I figure I have a good shot at a lap
dance. I saunter over, my breasts barely contained in the red bikini top, my skin coated in sweat
and glitter and the thick smoke of this place.
“Nice set,” says a low voice from behind me.
I turn to see Blue standing there, arms crossed so his muscles bulge, lids lowered in that intense
way of his. Shit. “Thanks,” I say, but the only thing I’m really thankful for is that my voice
He’s the head of security at the Grand, which should make me feel safe. Except we have a
history. And he hates my guts. So there’s no affection in his eyes when they scan me up and
down. No kindness in his voice when he adds, “You look great.”
The way he says it, it sounds like a threat. He makes me feel like the scared little girl I used to be
when I knew him before. And him? He’s like the big bad wolf, sizing me up before he swallows
I force myself to shrug at him, to toss my hair. “Thanks, sweetie.”
He circles me, surrounding me. “But then, you always look great. That’s what you like, isn’t it?
Having men panting after you? Leading us along by our dicks?”
My throat gets tight. I know that’s what people think of me. They take one look at my lipstick
and my short skirt and assume the worst. God, they’re right. But it’s worse to hear it from him.
Worse because he once believed in me. “Do you expect me to apologize for earning a living?”
His lids lower. “Not for that.”
I can’t meet his eyes. I know exactly what he wants me to apologize for. And he’ll never believe
me. Even showing weakness in this game is enough to get me killed. “I don’t apologize to
“Of course you don’t,” he says, his voice full of loathing. “But I don’t want your words.”
I can’t help but whisper, “What do you want?”
That makes him smile. It’s not a nice smile. “I think you know the answer to that.”
He wants to hurt me, to use me. He wants to fuck me. I swallow hard. “That isn’t for sale.”
“I wasn’t planning to pay you.”
This should be easy. Tell him no. Make him believe it. I’ve done this for a thousand men before.
Somehow he’s different. Maybe because I don’t really believe it myself.
I know he’s watching me. I know he’s hatching his plans. My heart speeds up every time I turn
away from him, wondering if this is the time he’ll pounce. One of these times, he’s going to dig
into me with his teeth and his claws. He’s going to hurt me, and I’m not sure I’ll survive it.
Not tonight, though. Not now.
I take a step away from him. “If you aren’t going to pay for my time, I think I’ll find someone
His eyes darken. “Your call, gorgeous.”
I hear the unspoken message beneath his words, steel under velvet. For now.
Excerpt from Better When It Hurts
The whistle of a belt coming off follows me into Blue’s bedroom. My breath stutters in my chest.
I hear the threat of the movement, the speed and power behind it. It’s more than a man getting
There’s a hundred ways a belt can be used to hurt me. I know them well.
I turn my head to the side, addressing him but showing deference too. It’s an instinct now. It’s
survival. “What are you going to do with that?”
“I’d rather show you,” he says, approaching me, prowling around me.
I don’t want him to hit me with that belt. Not because I can’t take the pain. I know I can, because
I’ve done it before. I don’t want him to hit me because I might start hating him.
“Wait,” I say.
He doesn’t wait. One hand takes my wrist. Standing behind me, he leans close. “What do you
think I’ll do with this? Make your pretty skin all red? Make you cry?”
I tense, twisting my arm. It only hurts me, and I’m still held tight. “Don’t.”
“I’m going to do both of those things before we’re done here, Lola.” He pauses, loosening his
grip slightly. “But I’m not going to whip you with this.”
There’s only a second where I can feel relieved before I feel him drawing my other hand behind
me. It’s a mistake to relax around him. Whatever I’m thinking, he’s doing something different.
However much I brace myself, it’s still going to hurt.
He wraps the soft leather around my wrists, binding them together behind my back. It pushes my
breasts out in front of me. Cool air brushes over my skin, tightening my nipples.
There’s weakness in this pose, being held, being open.
And there’s strength too, the pride of being wanted, the power of desire.
“On your knees,” he says so softly I almost don’t hear him.
I don’t know what he’s thinking. Whether he sees me as an object he can use or as an enemy he
can conquer. I’m a little off balance, lilting to the side as I sink to the carpet. His hands cup my
arms, helping me down, guiding my gently. It feels more like worship than anger, more like
At least until the sharp sound of his zipper rips through the air.
His voice follows. “Candy doesn’t think I’ll hurt you.”
I shiver at the foreboding underneath the words. “Yes.”
He undresses slowly, methodically, exposing rough skin and dark hair and a thick, jutting cock.
I have seen his cock before, but only in the dark, holding it in my fist while I jerked him off,
shadows and motion. Now I see the skin like the dark side of a peach, almost the color of a
bruise. I see the curve of a vein underneath. I see the head of his cock, fat and proud and already
glistening at the tip.
I see everything clearly because the saturated late-afternoon light still streams through his
window. Our hours are all backward and twisted. Where another woman would do this at
midnight, would expose her shame to the moon, mine comes open at five o’clock.
“She thinks you’re safe with me because I protect the other girls.” He approaches me, his cock
near my face, his eyes looking down on me. “I even protect you.”
I choke out the words. “Because only you get to touch me.”
He nods approvingly. Candy doesn’t understand, he means. I understand. He’s showing me that
we’re together on this, like some perverted joint mission where I agree to be hurt. And haven’t I?
I showed up here of my own free will. Maybe I do want what’s coming to me.
Skye Warren is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of dark romance. Her books are raw, sexual and perversely tender. For those new to her work, consider the bestseller Wanderlust, Prisoner or the Dark Nights series starting with Trust in Me.