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Authors: Emma Hart

Stripped Down

BOOK: Stripped Down
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Table of Contents

Stripped Down

Copyright Notice

About Stripped Down

Stripped Down Title Page


Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Epilogue - Beckett

Stripped Bare

Coming Soon from Emma Hart

Coming in 2017

About the Author

Books by Emma Hart



Copyright © by Emma Hart 2016

First Edition


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.



Cover Design and formatting by Emma Hart

Editing by Mickey Reed





What do you get when you mix a bottle of tequila, a single mom moonlighting as a stripper, and her sinfully sexy boss with an impulsive side?

Married. You get married.


Rich. Demanding. Hot. Crazy.

That was Beckett Cruz in a nutshell.

Not to mention wild, determined, dangerous, and forbidden.

He was my boss—and, after a drunken moment of insanity, my new husband.

An annulment was impossible... so was keeping him.

I was taking my daughter and leaving, determined to give her a quieter life.

But Beckett Cruz had never taken no for an answer.

And he wasn't about to take mine.


What happens in Vegas... might just keep you there.


(STRIPPED DOWN is a standalone, erotic romance novel. It is a companion to STRIPPED BARE, although it isn't necessary to read it first.)



There’s nothing harder, or more heartbreaking, or more insecure than being a parent. But there’s also nothing as bright, life-affirming, or downright fun as being a parent. And there’s nothing more terrifying than doing it before you turn twenty and having your entire life change in a heartbeat.


This book is for every teen mother who had to grow up quicker than you can snap your fingers. For every teen mother who was judged for her bump or her baby, who took dark looks and dirty whispers, who was made to feel like she was worthless for being a young mother.


For every teen mother who stood in the face of that and smiled anyway.


You’ve got this.





onest to god, he had the biggest cock I’ve ever seen in my life.”

I glanced away from the tittering of the other girls and picked my lipstick out of my makeup bag. My current coat had smudged in the corner, and unfortunately, it looked like I’d have to take it off before putting a new one on.

“Did you get his number?”

“No, of course not. That’s against the rules.”

“But you’re meeting him soon, right?”

Giggles. “Of course. I’m not letting ten inches pass me up!”

I will not roll my eyes. I will not roll my eyes. I will not roll my eyes.

I didn’t understand it. Maybe I was a cynic—no, in fact, I knew I was a cynic. The others would be too if they’d been left at seventeen to raise a baby by themselves. I knew they didn’t understand me, but I didn’t understand them, either.

We might all be strippers, but our priorities were at different ends of the scales.

I threw the makeup wipe in the trash below the dresser I was sitting at and touched up the foundation around my mouth before once again taking hold of the lipstick. This time, I uncapped it and slicked the deep pink across my lips. Then I reached for a tissue out of the box so I could blot it out.

The other girls were still laughing and talking. Usually, I would have joined in and faked it, but I didn’t feel like it tonight. In fact, I didn’t even want to be here anymore. I didn’t want to dance and grind and pretend to be attracted to desperate, half-drunk guys who wanted nothing more than to grab my tits, my ass, other parts.

I didn’t want it usually, but tonight, I wanted it even less.

Finding out your father potentially had only months to live would throw anyone off their game.

I ran my fingers through my dark-blond hair to fluff it up and looked at my reflection in the mirror. The makeup hid the circles that had formed under my eyes from last night’s sleepless hours, but they couldn’t hide the sadness that lingered in my eyes or the almost-permanent downturn of my lips.

That was the problem with being mom. When I was around my six-year-old daughter, Ciara, I had to be happy. I had to hide the pain to explain everything to her, but now, without her here, the pain wanted to escape.

Penelope, our manager, pushed the dressing room door open and cast her gaze over all of us. “You’ve got two minutes. Then you’re up, so get on out there.”

The other girls all stood and disappeared, but I hovered back a moment and took a deep breath. I had to beat the emotion down and pull the mask over myself before I went out there and fucked it up.

I couldn’t fuck it up. I needed the money.

“Cassie? Are you all right?”

I nodded and tried not to well up at the gentle concern in Penelope’s voice. “I’m fine. I just had some bad news I’m trying to come to terms with. Thank you for asking.” I stood up and brushed hair from my face.

She looked at me with soft, brown eyes. “Sweetie, if you need some time, head home and be with your sweet girl.”

I shook my head. “I can’t, Pen. I need the money. You know that.”

She took my hands and squeezed, sympathy flitting across her features. “I know. If you want to go, tell me, and I’ll clock you out. Okay?”

“Okay.” I forced a smile as the music changed and the dressing room door opened. “I have to go out there.”

She released my hands and stepped to the side, waving with her arm for me to proceed. With a deep breath, I walked past her and out the door.

The loud music boomed off the walls of The Landing Strip, the premier Vegas strip club I worked at. It was still a little dark as I filed in line with the other girls for the main stage, but it was also busier than it had been when I’d gone out there earlier.

I shouldn’t have been surprised. It was a Friday night—it was bound to be packed. Probably with bachelor parties and sly grooms-to-be looking to get their rocks off one final time before being tied down to monogamy.

There it was again—the cynicism. I couldn’t help it. It was a default state of mind whenever I looked at these poor, sad bastards waiting to get a hard-on from us pulling our clothes off.

I hated it. Hated the derogatory way they looked at me, like I was nothing more than meat. Hated how I could see the lust shining in their eyes every time they got to touch me to shove their money in my thong. Hated how I knew that every single one of them wanted me for nothing more than a good time.

But I still sucked in a deep breath and walked onto the stage.

I still smiled and flicked my hair, still grasped the pole like it was a lifeline, still danced around like my life depended on it. Because it
a lifeline and my life
depend on it.

I didn’t feel the usual rush as my shirt came over my head and I threw it to the floor, exposing my breasts and thin, lacy bra. I didn’t feel the tinge of excitement wriggling through my self-loathing as I danced and ran my hands over my body, deliberately hardening my own nipples so they poked through the fabric that covered them. I felt absolutely nothing as I slid my shorts down my legs, kicked them to the sides, and walked to the edge of the stage.

Except dirty. And not the good dirty. The I-need-to-shower-now dirty.

Hands reached for me and fingertips slid across my skin as dollars were tucked into the string of my hot-pink thong. I blew kisses and winked and smiled dazzling smiles, dancing my way through it.

Cheap. I felt cheap, even as I got richer.

The Frozen bike.
Soon, there’ll be enough left for it
, I reminded myself as I ran my fingers through the hair of one relatively good-looking guy. He smiled up at me and slipped ten dollars into the front of my underwear, his hand trailing down my thigh as it fell away.

I winked at him with all the strength I could muster, which wasn’t very much. Whatever I had left courtesy of the week’s emotional toll on my mind, I thrust into finishing the show. The moment the music ended changed and our show ended, I bent over, grabbed the dollars I’d been putting in a pile during it and my clothes, and tried not to run off the stage.

BOOK: Stripped Down
5.99Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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