Excerpt for Irresistible by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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By Sandy Lowe

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2017 Sandy Lowe

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What to do when a tiny little lie is the one thing that keeps you from winning the girl of your dreams?

Still being a virgin is Ashley’s dirty little secret. That, and the fact she’s hopelessly in love with her best friend Leah. When Leah needs help extricating herself from an awkward one-night stand, Ashley runs to the rescue. An innocent touch turns electric, and Ashley has to come clean about her charade or risk losing the woman she loves.


© 2017 By Sandy Lowe. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN 13: 978-1-62639-977-8

This Electronic book is published by

Bold Strokes Books, Inc.

P.O. Box 249

Valley Falls, NY 12185

First Edition: May 2017

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.


Editors: Radclyffe and Ruth Sternglantz

Production Design: Bold Strokes Graphics

Cover Design By Melody Pond

Chapter One

Dating in your twenties was like wading through a mosh pit of drunken orangutans, searching for Princess Kate’s doppelgänger. Ashley squeezed past a group of pubescent-looking college guys in too-tight jeans. Downing Jagerbombs, they slapped each other on the back and talked too loudly. A sandy-haired guy with more hair product than a thirteen-year-old girl was pounded so hard he stumbled, knocked over a stool, and landed on his ass on the sticky floor. A strobe light spotlighted his baby-cheeked face laughing hysterically, then again, two seconds later, puking amber-colored vomit all over the high-end sneakers of the guy standing next to him.


Ashley made her way back to the small round table near the dance floor where she’d left her purse and her best friend.

Leah waved her over. “What took you so long?”

She shrugged. “There was a serious line at the restroom.”

Sliding onto her stool, she glanced at the dark-haired woman standing by the table. Just another in a long line of girls falling all over themselves for Leah’s attention.

Still, she tried to make an effort. “Hi, I’m Ashley.”

The stranger was intense in a black tank top and skinny black jeans. With thick black eyeliner under dark brown eyes and very pale skin, she looked kind of like an Addams Family extra. Ashley bet herself the woman wore Converse. She was just the type of walking cliché who would wear expertly scuffed Converse. Black ones, obviously.

“Hey.” The woman tipped her beer bottle in Ashley’s direction, a halfhearted salute.

Ashley waited a beat for her to introduce herself.

She didn’t.

Broody, silent types were so totally not her thing. Why anyone thought monosyllables were sexy was beyond her.

She picked up her martini and took a delicate sip from the too-wide rim, careful not to spill any on the midnight blue fit-and-flare dress she’d bought at Anthropologie in a fit of budget rebellion. She didn’t even like gin really, but piña coladas were off the menu if you were over twenty-one and not sunning yourself on some tropical beach. The group of guys she’d passed were now playing an impromptu game of air hockey with cardboard coasters along the bar. Clearly, sophistication wasn’t a priority for some.

She wished she was sixteen again, stealing cans of Mike’s Hard Lemonade from Leah’s sister’s room, slurping them while sitting on the creaky back porch swing, dreaming of the glamorous lives they’d yet to live. Or, more accurately, yet to screw up. She’d dreamed of being an actress on Broadway. She took another, bigger sip of her martini. She’d changed majors so many times she’d be lucky to graduate on time.

And she was a virgin.

A virgin.

It was her dirty secret.

It really wasn’t fair. You had to navigate a constantly changing line between two negatives, fucking too much and not fucking at all. Being sexy was everything. You needed to be hot, knowledgeable and open about sex, but still be on guard against getting harassed or raped. Sex, especially in a relationship, increased your cred. But too much sex, too much desire for sex, made you a whore, made you easy. Fucking was something men did. Being fuckable was something women were.

Or weren’t.

And since she liked girls, it was so much worse. Women policed themselves and each other in ways men never even noticed. The perfect middle ground had been much easier to achieve in fiction than it had in real life. She’d lied so people thought she was experienced, but not too experienced. Her excuse was she’d been young and overwhelmed. She wasn’t proud of that.

But if people knew the truth, they’d know she was a virgin because no one wanted her. No one she had wanted had ever wanted her back, anyway.

She winced, thinking just how much she craved to touch and be touched. How most nights she couldn’t fall asleep without slipping her hand in her panties and stroking herself. Sometimes thinking only of the pleasure, of soft hands, open mouths, and pink-tipped breasts. Sometimes thinking of…She snuck a glance at Leah, who was chatting enthusiastically to the almost-silent stranger. It had been years since Leah had pushed her away, laughing. Probably laughing at her, though she couldn’t be sure. Not that she blamed her. It’s not like she’d been a good kisser.

Why did sex education have to suck? She knew she had the right to say no to sex, but no idea what she was supposed to do when she wanted to say yes. The bits and pieces she’d gotten from the girls in her sorority were just enough to give her a fuzzy picture, so she didn’t totally embarrass herself, but a college course in how to kiss, how to make a woman orgasm, sure would’ve been helpful.

She’d filled in the gaps with romance novels and an ancient copy of The Hite Report that had been misshelved in the drama section of the library. Her bones had practically melted with relief knowing there were others out there who thought about sex, who wanted sex, who thought about wanting sex. She’d cobbled together a proverbial arsenal of phrases and mental images that she used when touching herself, but she’d never had the guts to take the leap for real. No one but Leah was Leah, and Leah wasn’t into her.

Plus, whatever people said about men and sex, women talked about it constantly. Who was doing who, and how often. If they’d actually gotten off or just pretended to, and exactly what was said and done. There had even been a formal contest in her junior year. Alyson Mercury had won the points tally and been an instant celebrity. Crowned Queen of Complete and Total Hotness.

Ashley just wanted to be normal.

So she’d told a white lie. She’d made shit up. Not a lot of it. Just enough to get by and be liked. Just enough so Leah wouldn’t think she was pining for her.

Now, years later, she’d painted herself into a corner. She couldn’t admit that she’d fabricated everything. But the thought of actually having sex was mildly terrifying. Her lies had set the benchmark too damn high.

“Earth to Ashley.” Leah waved French-tipped nails in front of her face, wide hooped bangles dancing up her arm. “Tonight is supposed to be fun. No moping.”

Ashley smiled. “Sorry. No moping, I promise.” She hadn’t exactly been the life of the party recently. Hung up on her mediocre grades and terminally single status, she’d taken up residence at self-pity central. But Leah was right, tonight was for fun. She’d think about it tomorrow.

She inclined her head in Dark-and-Broody’s direction. “How can I have a good time when you’ve snagged the hottest girl in the place?” It wasn’t close to true, but she wasn’t about to be bitchy just because she was in a crappy mood and the woman wasn’t her type.

Leah rolled her eyes. “Oh, please. If you weren’t so picky, always looking for Ms. Perfect, you’d be in some dark corner making out right now. You could have any girl here. Even the straight ones.”

“So true.” Ashley winked and hated herself for it. She was never going to get laid.

Dark-and-Broody wound an arm around Leah’s waist, leaning in close and whispering in Leah’s ear, her thin pale lips touching Leah’s earlobe, fingers possessively tucked into the waist of Leah’s almost-too-tight-to-breathe burgundy leather pants. Pants Ashley had chosen for her because they complemented her loose mahogany curls and buttercream complexion.

Jeez. The as-yet-to-be-identified stranger was all over her. Making her giggle and stare up at her with eyes gone all deep and seductive.

Ashley scowled.

“Oh, I love this song,” Leah said as a dance mix of Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” started playing. “Come on, Tiffany, let’s dance.” Leah dragged her onto the packed dance floor.

Tiffany. Ashley choked on her martini. No wonder she hadn’t introduced herself. Ashley immediately felt bad, or at least she knew she should feel bad. The woman couldn’t help what her mother had called her.

She watched them together, their arms around each other, thighs touching, a nervous smile, the tentative caress of Tiffany’s hands in Leah’s dark curls, down her back, resting at her waist. They looked good together. Both dark and attractive. One butch, one femme.

That brought her up short. No one thought like that anymore. It was all, I’m unique. Your limiting patriarchal labels have no meaning to me. But it was true, wasn’t it? If gender was a spectrum, some women were more to one end or the other. And people tended to be attracted to those on the other end. Except, Ashley wasn’t. It wasn’t Rachel Maddow or Ellen Page who had sent her teenage heart into overdrive. It was Emily VanCamp and Alexis Bledel, sweet, pretty, dainty girls with long hair and soft-looking skin.

Ashley sighed. Great. Just another thing about her that wasn’t normal. She was a femme who liked femmes.

It was like she was gay twice.

She watched as Leah slipped between Tiffany’s thighs and started a slow bump and grind, their bodies plastered to each other. Dark denim and burgundy leather twining together. Stilettos and…Ashley laughed out loud despite herself.

Strategically broken-in black Converse.


“Shut the hell up,” Ashley mumbled, flailing a hand toward her nightstand. Her insistently chirping iPhone vibrated so hard it fell and hit the hardwood floor.

“Shit!” She scrambled out of bed and picked it up. She could not afford another cracked screen—the last one cost her a hundred bucks. Totally annoyed and still a little bleary she swiped to answer without looking at the caller ID. “What?”

“Ash?” The voice on the other end was a whisper.


“What’s wrong? Are you okay?”

“Yes,” Leah said. “But I need you to come over.”

“Why? What happened?” Ashley’s heart started to pound. They had all left the club together, cabbing it back to the off-campus condo complex where she and Leah lived. Tiffany had gone inside with Leah. Tiffany had…

“Oh my God, did she force you?” Ashley was on her feet and running to the door.

“No,” Leah said in her ear. But she was still whispering.

“Where are you?” She wished Leah would just tell her what the hell was going on. Twenty Questions sucked.

“I’m in the bathroom. I couldn’t…Please, just come.”

That was all Ashley needed. She was out the door in two seconds, pounding on Leah’s across the hall. Not caring if she woke up every person on the floor.

“What the…?” Tiffany stood framed in the doorway, the glow of the kitchen light casting her face in shadow. She was wearing boxers, the black tank, and an annoyed expression.

Ashley pushed past her. “Where’s Leah?”

“She had to use the bathroom.” Tiffany spoke slowly, clearly confused. “What are you doing here?”

“I need to see her.” She all but ran to the bedroom and stopped by the foot of the bed when the bathroom door opened.

Ashley blinked at Leah’s matching set of purple satin lingerie that really didn’t cover a whole hell of a lot. Something prickly and painful stabbed in her chest. She was interrupting.

Leah smiled uncertainly. “Hey, what’s up?”

Ashley blinked again. Yes, this was actually happening. She couldn’t quite focus. She barely managed not to moan out loud. Leah bore a striking resemblance to models in the underwear catalogs she’d secreted away as a teenager, images she’d used to…She pushed the thought away. Think of something else. A couple of brain cells chugged to life. Hadn’t Leah just called her?

“Um, I…” Ashley fumbled for a decent reason she’d be standing in her best friend’s bedroom in the middle of the night, in totally unsexy flannel pajamas with pepperoni pizza slices all over them. She looked around for inspiration and saw the fluffy pink handcuffs attached to one of the decorative iron swirls on Leah’s headboard and the small paddle lying on a pillow. Fuck.

“My air conditioner’s broken,” Ashley blurted out for lack of any better excuse.

Tiffany walked up beside Leah and put a possessive hand on Leah’s arm. “It’s thirty degrees outside. You don’t need air-conditioning.”

Leah’s eyes pleaded with her.

“Ah, yeah, I know. I mean, it won’t turn off. I’m freezing. I can’t call anyone for another few hours. I need somewhere to stay.”

Tiffany looked ready to argue but Leah spoke first. “Oh, that’s terrible. Of course you can stay here tonight.”

She turned to Tiffany with a bright, fake smile. “Sorry. Can we rain check? Ashley’s my best friend. I can’t just leave her to freeze.” Leah laughed and that was fake too. She picked up a wrinkled green T-shirt off the floor and slipped it on. “You don’t mind, do you?”

I sure as hell mind. You should never cover those amazing breasts. Ashley told herself to shut up. Now was not the time for hormones.

“I guess not.” Tiffany looked from Leah to Ashley, a frown creasing her forehead. “I can look at the AC if you want.”

God, why didn’t this woman just leave already.

“Thanks but the HOA won’t let us do our own repairs in case we make things worse.” That wasn’t exactly a lie. It could actually be true. There was no telling what rules were in the crazy amount of paperwork she’d been given when she moved in.

When Leah said nothing in defense of the night they’d clearly been having, Tiffany shrugged and rolled her eyes. “Fine.” She plucked her jeans off the back of a chair and yanked them on, grabbed her sneakers by the laces, and swung a backpack over her shoulder. She paused in the doorway to shoot Leah a dirty look, but finally left without another word.

“What happened?” Ashley hugged Leah and glanced meaningfully toward the bed.

“It’s not what you think. She didn’t do anything I didn’t agree to, it just…” A few tears slid down Leah’s cheeks, catching at the corners of her mouth. Ashley’s heart felt like lumpy mashed potatoes.

“Tell me,” Ashley said, her voice braver than she felt. She’d hold it together, she had to. Whatever it was, it must have been bad for Leah to need rescue in the middle of the night.

Leah just shook her head and turned around. The backs of her thighs, from the curve of her ass all the way to the backs of her knees, were a bright, ironically cheerful red.

“Oh God. I am so sorry. I’m going to kill that crazy bitch.”

Leah turned to face her and a few more tears fell. “No. I…I wanted it. I thought I wanted it, I guess.”

“You wanted to be handcuffed to the headboard and slapped with a paddle?” She knew she sounded judgy. Knew that wasn’t what Leah needed from her, but she couldn’t help it. How could Leah not have told her she was into BDSM? And if she was kinky, why was she in tears?

“Ashley!” Leah sounded like herself for the first time. “That’s not fair.”

“I know. I’m sorry. This is just kind of a surprise.”

“Yeah. For me too. Tiffany told me it was something she liked to do. Just some light kink, to keep things interesting.”

Ashley scoffed, but only on the inside, knowing better than to judge a second time. Anyone who thought having gorgeous, sexy Leah in her bed wasn’t interesting enough had no business sleeping with her in the first place.

“I thought, well, why the hell not. I could be up for some light kink.”

“But it wasn’t light kink,” Ashley said flatly.

“It was. I guess. I don’t know. Handcuffing me was okay, good even. Call me a pillow queen, but I liked the idea of being spoiled without the my turn and your turn and is this equal and respectful stuff you get with some girls.”

Ashley nodded and tried to plaster an expression on her face that said, I totally get that, because I too have had loads of sex and am not at all a giant virginal liar.

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