THIRSTY By Mia Hopkins Is Now Live!!
Series: Eastside Brewery #1
By Mia Hopkins
On Sale March 13th
A gangster hiding from his past. A single mom fighting for her future. Can she show this bad boy the man he’s meant to be?
My name is Salvador Rosas. Back in the barrio, my past is written on the walls: ESHB. Short for East Side Hollenbeck, my father’s gang—my gang. Hell, it’s a family tradition, one that sent both my brothers away. They used to call me “Ghost” because I haunted people’s dreams. Now I’ve got nothing going for me except a hipster gringo mentoring me in a new career. An ex-con making craft beer? No mames.
Still, people in this neighborhood look out for one another. That’s how I became Vanessa Velasco’s unwelcome tenant. Chiquita pero picosa. She’s little, but with curves so sweet they’re dangerous. I remember Vanessa from the old days, the straight-A student with big plans. Plans that were derailed by another kid stupid enough to think he was bulletproof. Now Vanessa knows better than to believe in empty promises. There’s fire in her . . . and if I touch her, I might get burned.
I’m trying everything I can to go straight. But when East Side Hollenbeck comes calling, I might have to risk it all to find out if there’s a future for Vanessa and me. Because she’s the only one who can quench my thirst for something real.
Early Praise For Thirsty:
“Mia Hopkins is an imaginative author who doesn’t take the easy road to a formulaic book.”—USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog
“Thirsty is a sizzling, emotionally intense story that is both gritty and heartwarming, an addictive page-turner that will stay with me for a long time to come.”—New York Times bestselling author Cathryn Fox
“Thirsty is sexy and soul-wrenching, with Sal’s irresistible voice luring you through a living, breathing Los Angeles. Vanessa and Sal’s chemistry sizzles right off the page. Five smoldering, tattooed stars!”—USA Today bestselling author Sierra Simone
“Thirsty is an amazing read! I stayed up way too late to finish and haven’t stopped thinking about the characters. Highly recommended!”—USA Today bestselling author Molly O’Keefe
EXCERPT from THIRSTY by Mia Hopkins
“So.” I kiss her temple. “Worth the wait?”
“I guess.” She shrugs.
“You guess?” I say. “Damn. Stone cold.”
We both laugh softly.
We talk about everything and nothing. Her words flow over me. I’m trying hard to listen to her, but I’m distracted by the smooth skin of her legs and the feeling of her plump round ass in my lap. I can still taste her on my tongue. Jesus. I’m getting hard again. I shift my weight beneath her, taking some of the pressure off my dick. She keeps talking. I could listen to her all night.
After a while, her voice gets drowsy. She slips from English to Spanglish to Spanish and back again. “I miss him sometimes,” she says.
And just like that, another ghost walks silently through the room. “How did it all go down?” I ask. “With Sleepy?”
She speaks entirely in Spanish. “I knew him from the neighborhood, but we didn’t get together until my cousin’s quinceañera. He asked me to dance in front of everyone.” She smiles to herself and I find myself in the weird position of being slightly jealous of a dead guy. She continues, “He was my first kiss. I was so embarrassed. Seventeen years old and I’d never been kissed. It happened right behind the church hall while they were serving the cake. I could hear my grandmother calling for me. ‘Where is Vanessa? Have you seen my granddaughter? She loves cake!’”
“Apparently she loves something more,” I say.
Vanessa laughs. “Afterward, we started texting. Soon I was sneaking out to see him. We’d drive around in cars—always a different car. I didn’t know whose cars they were. Never asked. We’d listen to music. Talk. Smoke out.”
I sit up and gasp. “Vanessa Velasco, I’m shocked.”
“Things happened. We were careless. Three months after my first kiss I missed my period. So I told him. We told my grandmother. She cried. The next day, Sleepy and I went to city hall and got married.” She sighs and shakes her head. “Did you know I got into all the colleges I applied to? Every single one offered me a huge financial aid package. But the baby was due in October. Sleepy was convinced he could get a job and make it all work. So I told all the fancy universities no. I committed to Cal State L.A. and made appointments for prenatal care.”
She grew up fast, just like I did. I stroke her hair, her cheeks, her neck.
“Sleepy and I were happy for three, maybe four months. Then we started fighting. He wasn’t looking for work. He was spending so much time with the homeboys. He started to spend nights away from the house. First one, then two, then whole weeks.” She shrugs. “I lost him, Sal. I lost him before I lost him, if you know what I mean.”
I understand her. Homeboy was out of reach, probably even to himself. “I’m sorry, baby.”
“He died in August. Brianna was born in October. She never met him.” Vanessa slides her fingers through mine. “Can I tell you a secret?”
Her voice drops to a whisper. “When I’m sad, I like to imagine them passing each other in heaven. Him, going up. Her, coming down. He’d give her a big hug and tell her he loves her. Because he would have. In his own way.”
We’re quiet for a long time. From the way she shrinks into a small ball in my arms, I can tell she hasn’t told anyone this. “You must miss him a lot,” I say.
“Sleepy? Sleepy was . . . hard to live with. He kept so many secrets, and he never let me in.” She pauses. “But I miss Brian.”
Homeboy’s real name. Brian. I hold her close and kiss the top of her head. I can feel her secret sadness wash over me. She wipes away a tear with the sleeve of her bathrobe and slips back into English. “I overshare. Sorry.” She sniffles and shakes her head again. “Oh man. So awkward.”
“Not awkward,” I say. “Just honest. Real.”
“When I went on all those dates, that was my problem. I didn’t want to chitchat about TV shows or sports or movies. I hate small talk. So I would jump right into big talk—expectations, relationship stuff, regrets—and guys would listen and be polite, but they would never call me again. I was ghosted again and again and again. I think they were scared.”
I want to tell her it’s not that they were scared. It’s that they were pieces of shit who only wanted sex without having to pretend they weren’t pieces of shit.
“Men are so frustrating,” she continues. Her shoulders tighten up a little. “You’re all hiding something.”
“I’m not hiding anything,” I say. “Everyone knows I’m a lowlife. That’s no secret.”
She laughs a little. Her warm breath brushes my throat. “Maybe that’s why this arrangement suits me so well.”
“What do you mean?”
“We can be ourselves. The expectations are clear, and there’s a two-month expiration date. We don’t have to pretend to be anything we’re not.”
I nod again, but the truth is, I’m pretending right now—pretending that I’m not fucking falling for her with every passing second. “You’re cruising for a bruising,” my father used to say, usually to warn my brothers and me we were about to get a beatdown. We used to laugh at him and his weird old-fashioned sayings, but I think of that saying now. I’m cruising for a bruising. I’m going to find a way to let her down. I’m going to disappoint her—of course I will. I’m a piece of shit.
To distract myself, I slip my hand under her robe and slide it up her thigh. I kiss her little earlobe and whisper, “So if we’re not pretending, what are we doing?”
She closes her eyes and smiles. “Playing.”
I kiss her again before moving down to her neck. Her skin is smooth against my lips. She’s so soft, it’s unreal. “Playing?” I whisper. Another kiss. “Do you like to play?”
Mia Hopkins - (Photo courtesy of Random House)
Mia Hopkins writes lush romances starring fun, sexy characters who love to get down and dirty. She’s a sucker for working class heroes, brainy heroines and wisecracking best friends. She lives in the heart of Los Angeles with her roguish husband and waggish dog.
Salvador “Ghost” Rosas is trying hard to turn his life around, he's been given a second chance of sorts, and is ready to leave gang life behind, but it's not ready to let go of him! When his former boss calls and tells him it's time to get back to doing what he is good at and expected of him all he wants is to be left alone to explore his new life. And that's not the only thing he is trying to avoid, there's a certain sexy landlord wanting his time and attention too, question is can he keep them both at bay?
Vanessa Velasco knows what it is like to be burned by love, she found it once, but sadly it was taken away from her and she found herself a single mother in the end. Now she lives a very guarded life, not only because of her broken heart, but also because of living in a gang riddled neighborhood, the same one that took the life of the man she loved. So, learning that her new tenant is mixed up with the gang leaves her more than a little hesitant about letting him get too close to her and her family, but he surprises her and shows her that he is trying to let that side of his life go, and has hopes of becoming a better man. And before long she finds herself looking at him in a new light...
Thirsty is pleasurable and wickedly erotic tale that is sure to command your attention, squeeze your heart, and spawn a few blushes!! This is a first time read for me and I'm happy to report that it left me with good vibes, the writing style was easy to follow, the characters were well drawn, and the story line was plausible, and stirred up a good case of the feels... overall I'd say it left a good first impression! I enjoyed getting a glimpse into these characters troubled lives, they both had a tough road ahead of them, and it was quite a treat to watch them maneuver through things and watch their relationship progress and flourish into something so beautiful. Highly recommend you take a chance on this one, it's a second chance story that is sure to inspire and warm your heart!
I requested an advanced copy of this title through NetGalley, and voluntarily read and reviewed.