Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Terms of Service by Emma Nichols

Terms of Service cover

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People change. Motives change. Situations can change.

For six months, Hannah Matthews has held it together as best she can for her twin girls. On Labor Day, she returned from their vacation only to discover her husband had cleaned out the apartment and bank account, but left the bills. Over-educated and under-employed, her lease has increased, her income hasn’t, and she's forced to seek an unconventional living situation.

Affluent businessman Gavin Meyers is looking for someone to punish since his divorce has left him bitter and wounded. When his lawyer suggests he find a hobby, he can only think of one: revenge. When he spots a personal ad for a sugar daddy, he knows this woman will suffice.

Keeping it perfectly legal, he has a lawyer draft a contract, the Terms of Service for their new life together. It seems cut and dried, but love, lust, and revenge are complications that defy every perfect plan.


Gavin Meyers glared at his wife across the mediation table. “Let me get this straight,” he began in a low threatening voice. “You cheat on me with my own sister, I catch you in the act, and you expect alimony?”

Anyone else would have been cowering, but not India. They had met at Yale where after growing up in an affluent home in a wealthy country club community and years of private schools, he found her bohemian ways enthralling. As he graduated with his MBA, the final step to complete his grooming to take over the family business, he began to imagine his life with the cookie cutter, pearl wearing, demure, socialite stay-at-home wife who would then transition rather easily into stay-at-home soccer mom, and a knot had formed in his gut. He had wanted something different, wanted to stand out from the crowd. He had wanted a wife who would keep their relationship spicy, liven up his life.

Technically, he got what he wanted. India was not an easy conquest. She didn’t want to be married, not just to him, but also to anyone. She didn’t want to be tied down. She did, in fact, try to run away the night before the wedding to join an artists’ commune in New Mexico. At the time it had seemed fortunate that the buses had stopped running in Hartford for the night and her father intercepted her. He shook his head at the memory. Maybe it would have been better to suffer that humiliation than the one he currently endured.

His little sister, Elizabeth, whom everyone had called Bitty since birth, had always been the black sheep of the family. Now, however, she had transitioned into full-blown outcast. She had done the unthinkable. Her first faux pas was participating in the act which resulted in the breakup of her brother’s marriage, but… and this part was even more unforgivable as the word was whispered only behind closed doors and after glancing conspicuously around to see who might be eavesdropping… she was a lesbian. A lesbian!

No, it wasn’t losing India that had Gavin so outraged. It was losing half of his possessions, half of his wealth, and all of his pride. “Well?” He demanded an answer to his question.

“This isn’t about money,” she said quietly, her enormous blue eyes completely devoid of all emotion. “It’s about what’s fair.”

He felt the heat rise in his face and he worked to control the rage building within him. “Fair? Please. Honestly, India. The more you speak, the more I know it’s about the money.” He stared at her for a moment. “So, what? You want to be able to fund your own little starving artists’ colony? You want to be able to sculpt for sheer pleasure and never worry about a job again? Is that it? You were unfaithful, you broke our vows, I kicked you and my scheming little sister out, and now you think you deserve money?” He looked as though if he could reach across the table, throttle her and somehow get away with it despite a room full of witnesses, he would do it.

After taking a few deep breaths to manage his anger, he looked around the conference table. His lawyer, Ms. Pendergast, was sitting to his right, urging him to calm down by means of a severe look. He had hired a woman to make him appear more sympathetic. Better than how he currently felt…pathetic and completely emasculated. Shrugging he said, “I believe we are at an impasse. I refuse to give in to the incredibly high demands this woman is making of me. I refuse to accept that she can have an affair that ends our marriage and expect me to give her money. We both graduated from Yale. Let her get a job for a change.” He saw India redden and look away. “I realize that is a foreign concept to you, my dear, but I insist. I told you to take your car, your possessions. I even offered you our cottage on the Outer Banks. All of this I am willing to give you, but you want more? And not just more, but you want $20,000 a month until you remarry?” He expelled a humorless laugh.

“I know how you feel about marriage. Take my offer and run, because I refuse to fund the rest of your life.” He stood and shook hands with everyone present, save his wife. To her he simply offered a suggestion. “Think about it.”

Terms of Service teaser

Young couple in love on black background

emma face

about emma nichols

What made her decide to be an erotica author?


How else was she going to parlay her two favorite past times into a career?

Emma is single and loving it. Like her first character, Alysin, Sin for short, she doesn't believe in settling or in settling down. She loves to indulge in her passions whenever the mood strikes and enjoys keeping all of life's cliché moments spicy.

Known for her sense of humor, Emma surrounds herself with friends whose antics often become the source of book fodder. Her ideal situation would be to explore the Caribbean while writing. She pursues that dream daily.

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