Book & Author Details:
Illusion of Ecstasy
by Nicole Loufas
(2nd Dose in the Thizz Series)
Publication date: December 1st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
When Dani discovered the cash hidden in her attic, she had no idea the problems it would bring. With the help of the Marino’s, Dani is able to launder her father’s dirty money, but their help comes with a price. Her relationship with Matt.
Not wanting to hurt Dani’s future or freedom, Matt removes himself from the equation to keep everyone safe. But when it’s time to go home, he has to decide which is more important – watching his little sister grow up or returning to the girl of his dreams.
Nick is determined to make good on all the bad he’s caused, and has finally accepted his role as a Marino. Fate doesn’t make it easy for him. Especially, when he returns from Europe to find Dani is falling apart. With Matt out of the picture, Nick contemplates a future with the only girl he’s ever loved.
In the conclusion to Thizz, A Love Story, follow Dani, Matt, and Nick on a soul-searching journey into adulthood. The Illusion of Ecstasy explores the emotional tribulations they encounter without the help of thizz. How to deal with real emotion becomes the biggest obstacle of all on their road to maturity.
Nick and I circle each other for a few minutes. I wait for him to make the first move. He always makes the first move. To my surprise, he just keeps circling and smiling. Finally, I go for it. I lunge, and he falls against the padded headboard. Wood cracks. I keep wailing on him with the pillow. Nick grabs me around my knees and takes me down. He tries to pin me using a move I taught him. He has no chance. I arch my back and twist my body. Before Nick can take his next breath, I’ve got him flipped over. We’re both breathing heavy. I hold Nick by the neck, not too hard. I don’t want to hurt him. Not really. I’m lying on my back, my arm wrapped around his neck as he’s lying beside me, sort of in front of me. I feel his hand tap out at the same time the screen on the front door squeaks open and then slams shut.
Nick starts to laugh when Dani appears in the doorway.
She takes in the room. The comforter on the floor, the sheets askew. Nick in my arms. She’s trying really hard to keep a straight face. “Am I interrupting something?”
“Just working out some aggression,” Nick jokes and breaks free.
I want to ask what she’s doing here, but I suspect Nick had everything to do with it. The phone call, changing the sheets, it makes sense now. That thoughtful motherfucker.
“I can come back later,” she teases and breaks into a huge grin. Her face lights up. She only beams like this when she’s high. There is only one person who could’ve given her pills.
Nick jumps off the bed and wraps Dani in his arms. He pulls back and kisses her on the forehead. Her eyes flutter closed, and all I can think is—karma is a bitch.
“Are you touching my girl?” Matt asks with phony exasperation.
“I was thinking that maybe I could keep this area.” Nick swirls his free hand over my thigh. “You don’t need it, do you?”
I bite my lip to hold in the traitorous grin trying to escape. I’m not with Nick. That doesn’t mean I don’t find him attractive and I still care about him. Falling out of love with Nick has taken a lot longer than falling in love with him.
I slap Nick’s hand away and shrug Matt’s arm off my shoulders. “First of all, I’m not some piece of real estate you can divvy up for your own personal use. I’m a human. I say who gets what and when.” I cross my arms over my chest and try to look like I’m in control.
They look at each other and silently agree on something. Nick and Matt have a twin-thing. They always know what the other is thinking.
“Ok,” Matt says. “Who gets what?”
I lock the gate and pause for a second to prepare myself for whatever is about to happen. The realization that I’m going to spend the night alone with Matt slaps me across the face.
I go back upstairs and find Matt standing in front of the living room window. He turns at the sound of my footsteps on the hardwood floor. The expression on his face makes me nervous. I turn from the hallway into the kitchen to avoid the intense look in his eyes.
“There’s no food here, but we can raid my mom’s wine rack downstairs. I just need to go to my apartment and grab my toothbrush,” I ramble. Because rambling feels safe. “We can stop at Golden Boy and get a pizza on our way back.” I open the refrigerator hoping to find a bottle of courage sitting on the top shelf.
“Are you hungry?” he asks.
“Uh, not really.” I close the door and we lock eyes.
He looks sexy as hell leaning against the doorframe. Pizza and my toothbrush are the last things on my mind as he steps towards me.
“Me either,” he says.
He reaches for my hand and pulls me into his arms. I try not to think about what this means or what will happen tomorrow.
He leans in and kisses me. Even though our lips touched in the past; the emotions I’m feeling right now weren’t fueling that moment. This kiss wasn’t instigated by a dare. We have no audience. Nothing holding us back. I relax into Matt’s arms and let this thing between us finally take over.
Nicole was born and raised in California. She claims to be a San Francisco native, however she's lived in both Northern and Southern California. She credits her creativity to the fact that she attended 12 schools between kindergarten and her senior year in high school. Her nomadic childhood allowed her to reinvent herself often. Some might say she was a liar. While others see the stories she told as a coping mechanism. Twelve schools, in six cities, in twelve years - give her a break. Today she channels her storytelling ability into writing novels. Long story short - kids that lie become writers.