A Little Harmless Scandal - Melissa Schroeder

A Little Harmless Scandal

Book 12 in the Harmless Series

Part of the Harmless World

Wanting two men isn’t the smart thing to do, but falling for both of them might just ruin all their lives.

After a childhood spent in front of the cameras, I am happy to be a nobody now. I was the poster child for an out of control and had more than one deranged fan. Now that I’m clean, I changed my name, and disappeared. I do everything to avoid the tabloids and that should include my two new neighbors.

Adam and Mick are a couple, but they let me know they like sharing women. I can’t resist the chemistry I have with both men, and so I let them tempt me into one night with them. It’s beyond anything I could ever imagine, and I know one time will never be enough.

Our nights spent together are magical and I find acceptance for who I am for the first time in my life. But when my former life comes back to haunt me as tabloids catch whiff of our new relationship, scandal explodes around me. And soon, we realize we must stand together or lose everything.

>>Warning: This book includes two hot bisexual men, one very interested woman, and lots of smexy scenes including all three of them. Also has much Hawaiian scenery, a trip to Rough ‘n Ready (and a scene with Micah Ross),  along with a scenes so hot, it will melt your e-reader and curl your toes. As any Harmless Addict will tell you, ice water and towels are recommended while reading. 


Reader Interests in

A Little Harmless Scandal

A Little Harmless Scandal

Book 12 in the Harmless Series
Part of the Harmless World

reader interests in this series...

  • Book 1

  • Book 2

  • Book 3

  • Book 4

  • Book 5

  • Book 6

  • Book 7

  • Book 8

  • Book 9

  • Book 10

  • Book 11

  • Book 12

  • Book 13

  • Book 14

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A Little Harmless Scandal

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This time, Serenity thought, she would start out on the right foot with her neighbors.

She took the last loaf of banana macadamia nut bread out of the oven and set it on the rack to cool just as her phone rang. When she saw Nicola McCann’s face on the screen, she answered it immediately.

“Good morning,” she said.

“Good morning to you too. How’s tricks?”

“Okay. Been working a lot. You?”

“Nothing much. We have some business trips coming up.”

“Oh, you and the very delectable Jensen Wulf are going to be jet setting again? I thought that he had said he didn’t want you going anywhere with him anymore.”

One of their more recent trips had ended with Nicola and her boss in a massive fight. They worked well together, except when they had extra time on their hands. They tended to irritate each other in enclosed spaces.

“Jensen couldn’t figure out how to get from point A to point B without me.”

“I heard that,” a male voice in the background said.

“He knows it. I know it. His mother knows it. So, did the new neighbors show up yet?”

At that moment, the rumble of a truck sounded on the path that led to the adjacent house. Set back away from Kam Highway, the only people who would be using that path would be she and her neighbors.

“Just happening right now. They’ve been busy all day.” She peeked out the window to see the now familiar truck going past her house. Three men were sitting in the cab of the pickup, so that probably meant the woman Serenity had seen earlier was at that house.

“You haven’t met them?”

“No, but they couldn’t be any worse than my last neighbors.”

“That’s true. Who would have thought you bought a house next to a couple destined to act out Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf every night?”

“Not me.”

“Did they ever finalize the divorce?”

“I have no idea. Remember, I did not engage with them. Right now, I’m trying to forget they ever lived there, please. They were horrible.”

A nasty divorce that had dragged out for two years. Neither husband nor wife would give up the house so they had lived there, together, making their lives and everyone who encountered them miserable.

“Okay. I must go now because Jensen lost his mind and scheduled breakfast with his mother; who, of course, wants me there. But, woman, please at least text me at some point if you won’t call.”

“You got it. I’ve been so busy with the book proposal, I’ve been losing track of time.”

“That’s good, but remember, I will call the HPD to check on you if I don’t hear from you at least once a week.”

With the power of Wulf Industries behind the threat, Serenity was pretty sure Nicola could make it happen.

“You got it.”

After she clicked her phone off, she glanced at the loaves of mac bread. She’d been baking all day. It wasn’t something she did all the time, but it was one of those simple joys she had discovered just a few years earlier. Baking was comfort.

It had been an odd idea for her to bake things for a neighbor. Serenity was proud of the fact that she was a tad anti-social. Avoiding people when she had spent her childhood trying to garner their attention, had been hard at first. Now it was almost second nature. Still, she wanted to be armed with information. If they were batshit crazy like her last neighbors, it was better to know now so she could avoid them.

After quickly wrapping a loaf from the earlier batch in plastic wrap, she donned her sunglasses and stepped out onto her lanai. She loved her little farmhouse, but it was nothing compared to her neighbor’s house. They were both Kelly green, built around mid-century, and that was where the similarities ended. Serenity had never been inside the neighboring house. Most of the time, she avoided it if at all possible. The one time she made the mistake and walked within ten feet, the last owner explained she was divorcing her husband because he would fuck anything that moved.

Serenity still didn’t know the woman’s name.

She pushed that memory aside and took note of the beauty around her. Five years and she still couldn’t believe she lived in Hawaii. A spur of the moment trip turned into so much more. The extra privacy in her house off the beaten path made her feel safe. The close proximity to a beach only locals usually went to made it even better. It was still kind of early in the day, so humidity hung in the air around her, holding the scent of plumeria that grew in front of her neighbors’ house.  When she walked up the steps to the front lanai, she heard the sound of paper being wadded up. She knocked on the screen door.

“Hold on,” a woman’s voice called out.

When the woman stepped into view, Serenity couldn’t help but feel kind of frumpy.

The woman was average height, with light brown skin, and braids that swayed with each step she took. The bright blue sundress showed off amazing tattoos. Also, she was hugely pregnant.

“Hello,” Serenity said. “I guess we’re going to be neighbors.”

The other woman blinked as if not understanding the words. The silence stretched as she continued to stare at her.

“I live just down the path,” Serenity said, pointing behind her.

Her eyes widened. “Oh, oh! No, I don’t live here.” She was laughing when she opened the screen door. “Come on in. Sorry about that.”

Serenity removed her slippahs and stepped into the house. She handed the woman the loaf.

“It’s macadamia nut, just in case anyone is allergic.”

“Thank you. My name is Jillian and I’m just a friend of the guys.”

“Serenity.”

“What?”

“My name is Serenity. Serenity Jones.”

“Wow, that’s a name.”

“Thank you, I picked it out myself. So, it’s just the guys moving in here?”

“Yes.” Then after a moment of silence, Jillian laughed again. “Sorry. I can barely function in the last trimester. The hormones leave holes in my brain. Come on into the kitchen. Would you like something to drink?”

Serenity fought the urge to rub her hands on her board shorts. It was a nervous tick she’d had since her first days in acting. She hesitated, then reminded herself she needed to be friendly. This was why she made the bread and brought it over.

“Yes, just some water.”

“Great, and I hope you don’t mind drinking out of one of the guys’ plastic stadium mugs. They have real things, but I am not doing that much unpacking for them.”

“Not a problem at all.”

“Great,” she said smiling, then just stood there.

“Uh, water?”

She shook her head. “Okay, I’m now realizing that my husband might have a point and he isn’t only being overly protective. He doesn’t like leaving me alone.” She motioned to the two bar stools. “Have a seat.”

“So, the guys are the couple?”

She nodded. “Been together for a while. They insisted that they needed a bigger place though.”

“Oh?”

She handed Serenity the water. “Yeah. No reason really. Knowing them, they just like things to be big. Men.” She rolled her eyes. “So, do you work?”

Again, even after a decade as a normal person, Serenity had issues with giving people her background. She nodded. “Freelance photographer.”

“Oh, do you do couples, or triples?”

“Of what?”

“People. I’m always on the lookout for a new person to bug for images.”

“Uh.”

Jillian rolled her eyes. “There I go again. They would be for my book covers. I’m an author.”

“Oh. No. Sorry, I mostly do landscapes.”

“Pity. Well, you probably have access to a lot of that here.”

“It’s what brought me here five years ago.  I wanted to get some material, then I never left.”

“I can understand that. I moved over here to hide from my family.”

“That’s a plus too.”

“Just you then?” When Serenity didn’t immediately reply, Jillian shook her head. “God, I sound like I’m pumping you for information. It’s a writer’s habit, but I’m usually more tactful than I have been today. I’ve just been stuck in here all day with no Wi-Fi. How is a chick supposed to survive without it?”

“I have no idea, especially since I need it to make a living.”

She nodded. “Exactly. But, Conner said I had to come over here since our first demon seed is having a playdate and as you saw, my brain is mush.”

Serenity smiled. “I would have gone crazy without Wi-Fi for a day. But yes, it is just me.”

“Mick and Adam were happy to know there was someone living here and you weren’t a renter.”

“That definitely is a problem these days. I’ve heard some horror stories, especially on this side of the island since Obama made it so popular. It took them forever to redo the house, but I’ll be happier with someone here.”

“Oh?”

“I’m an independent woman with a huge imagination. Living off the beaten path is great, but it gets a little dark back here sometimes. And you never know when a drunk tourist will wander into the area.”

“True.” She settled in the chair next to Serenity’s. “The guys got the house at a great price. I heard it was because of the divorce.”

“They had to redo the house from top to bottom after the war that was waged over here. More than once the police were called out.”

“By you?”

She shook her head. “They would call the police on each other.”

“Oh, god. That sounds like a nightmare.”

“I avoided them as much as I could. Shame really. Two years ago, if it had been in good shape, they would have gotten top dollar for this place. But the yard and gardens need work and the housing market is leveling out a little bit. They had offers, but since the couple hated each other, they could never agree until they were forced to.”

Jillian nodded. “The realtor said as much. I feel like we’ve met before.”

“Excuse me?”

“Sorry. Dammit. Dying brain cells in a writer’s mind is a recipe for disaster. You look familiar.”

“No. I would definitely have remembered you.”

“Oh, that’s sweet. But…” she frowned, studying Serenity’s face.

“Do you go to the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet?”

“Yes.”

“I sell there sometimes. I’m usually not there to sell, but I’ve helped the vendor from time to time.”

Once, and she felt guilty for lying. It wasn’t like she hid the fact that she acted, but she didn’t like talking about it at first. She didn’t want anyone to think she was that girl anymore.

Before she would have to answer questions, she decided to head off. “I hate to drop off mac bread and run, but I have some work I have to do. Tell the guys if they need anything to just let me know.”

“I will.”

She walked up the path knowing it was a little rude to leave like that, but Serenity couldn’t help it. She didn’t mind people knowing she was a former child star, but she liked to keep it on the down low. She didn’t need to deal with the press in her new life. It was always better to introduce her background to people slowly.

After she got back to her house, Serenity decided to worry about neighbors later. A girl had to eat, and to eat, she had to sell images.

 

End of Excerpt

A Little Harmless Scandal

is available in the following formats:

Harmless Publishing

Oct 3, 2017