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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

COVER REVEAL! MARQUITA VALENTINE'S LOVE SO HOT!

Marquita Valentine has a new series coming in early 2015! Meet the Brody Lawson in Love So Hot!


Title: Love So Hot (Lawsons #1)
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 2015
Cover Designer: Lindee Robinson Photography

Book Description:
Bank Teller and all around good girl, Sydney McKnight, is tired of being the girl all the guys want to have as a friend. Who better to help unleash her inner vixen than her best friend and secret crush, Brody Lawson? Only, Sydney has no idea how to ask him, without their friendship going up in flames, until that is, the town of Jessamine's annual Firemen's Auction gives her the perfect excuse to set her plan into motion.



Fire Captain Brody Lawson has been in love with his best friend, Sydney, for years, but he would never risk their friendship by confessing his feelings to her. So, when Sydney beats out the competition to buy his time at the annual Firemen's Auction, Brody can hardly believe his luck until she asks him to teach her how to seduce a fellow fireman.



Now, it’s up to Brody to show Sydney how perfect she already is and convince her that they only man for her is him, because if Sydney is going to seduce any man, it’s going to be him. And once he has her in his bed, he’s not letting her go.





EXCERPT
Sydney looked away, unable to withstand Brody's blue gaze. Her heart pounded in her chest so hard that it actually hurt. "Obviously, I bid on the wrong guy."
He gently lifted her chin. "I said I was shocked, not disappointed."
"Shocked and disappointed aren't too far off from each other."
He gave her an amused look as he let her go. "Really?"
She nodded, becoming more and more uncomfortable by the minute. What had she been thinking? Oh right, the three Strawberry daiquiris had thought for her. "Yeah, like when you drink milk while expecting a soda. It’s disgusting."
Instead of answering her, he dusted his thumb across her bottom lip. Her breath hitched. He dipped his head and she shrunk back a little, but he grabbed her chin again. She couldn't even close her eyes as his lips softly pressed against hers, as he teased the seam of her mouth and sucked in her top lip.
Fire raced through her, all the way to her toes, making them curl in her too-tight heels. All she could think was that Brody was kissing her. Kissing her, Sydney McKnight.
Sweet Lord.
Brody Lawson was kissing her in front of everyone who might or might not be driving by the local VFW. Wouldn't they be shocked?
Pulling away, Brody searched her face, his sexy lips wet from kissing her. She wanted to kiss him again, to learn more about what he liked, how he tasted, and if she could make his knees weak.
She blinked up at him, slowly, taking in his confident smile. "What was that for?"
He laughed low in his throat. "Sweetheart, you look mighty shocked right now. Or is that disappointed?"
Sydney felt neither. She felt... hot and bothered and all the things she assumed kissing him would do to her. It was now or never. 
He rubbed his jaw. "It can't be either of those, because you were begging to be kissed and I have never left a woman disappointed in her life."
Aggravation rose inside of her, more powerful than the temporary insanity of lust she'd just experienced. There was no way she could admit her feelings for him, not now. Maybe not ever. While she thought their kiss had been all fireworks and super novas, he was just being himself--that side of him she didn't always care for, because it was so dang cocky... and never directed at her. No one ever tried to seduce her, because in the town of Jessamine, Sydney McKnight would always be considered the girl everyone wanted as a friend. Including the men. Especially the men.
"That's really good to know, because I need an expert like you to teach me."
His brows drew together in obvious confusion. "Teach you to do what?"
"To seduce a man."

 About the author:
New York Times Bestselling Author, Marquita Valentine, writes sexy heroes that make you swoon and sassy heroines that make you laugh. She’s the author of the bestselling contemporary romance series, Holland Springs, and the new adult romance series, Boys of the South.



Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man—and if that doesn't work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.


SYNOPSIS REVEAL: MARROW BY TARRYN FISHER

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Marrow by Tarryn Fisher


In the Bone there is a house.
In the house there is a girl.
In the girl there is a darkness.

Margo is not like other girls. She lives in a derelict neighborhood called the Bone, in a cursed house, with her cursed mother, who hasn't spoken to her in over two years. She lives her days feeling invisible. It's not until she develops a friendship with her wheelchair-bound neighbor, Judah Grant, that things begin to change. When neighborhood girl, seven-year-old Neveah Anthony, goes missing, Judah sets out to help Margo uncover what happened to her.

What Margo finds changes her, and with a new perspective on life, she's determined to find evil and punish it--targeting rapists and child molesters, one by one.

But hunting evil is dangerous, and Margo risks losing everything, including her own soul.


ADD TO GOODREADS:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22253643-marrow?ac=1


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Tarryn's Bio--

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I am a real life villain, truly. I drink sick amounts of Starbucks. Most of the time my hair smells like coffee. I was born in South Africa, and lived there for most of my childhood. I moved to Seattle just for the rain. Rome is my favorite place in the world so far, Paris comes in at a close second. I read and write more than I sleep. When I was eleven, I wrote an entire novel about runaway orphans, using only purple ink. I am addicted to Florence and the Machine and will travel to see concerts. I love scary movies and giraffes. I spend way too much time on Facebook. Meet you there?…



Author website:   http://www.tarrynfisher.com/





Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The a Edge of You by Theresa DaLayne



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****Now on sale for $1.99****


The Edge of You by Theresa DaLayne 
Published by: Bloomsbury Spark
Publication date: September 25th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance


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Synopsis:

He left home to escape. She made a new life out of guilt. Neither one expected to find love—but not even the Arctic can cool this steamy romance.



Maya knows she's doing the right thing by moving to Alaska with her parents, but that doesn't mean she has to be happy about it. Forced to give up a scholarship to a prestigious art school, she relocates to a Podunk town with one college the size of her high school cafeteria, all to help hold her family together after the death of her little sister. But a fresh start can only do so much.

Jake doesn't like handouts and he certainly doesn't need any distractions. Working on a salmon boat in Kodiak, Alaska is the only way to pay for his mother's surgery back in the lower forty-eight. Juggling college courses and constant worry about his mother's health, Jake couldn't imagine anything else fitting into his life. That is, until he meets Maya, the sexy Californian artist who tints his world in technicolor.

But when Maya's family starts to crumble and Jake's mom takes a turn for the worse, will they drag each other down, or can they find what they were missing all along?

In this new adult romance, Theresa DaLayne paints a swoon-worthy story about life under the midnight sun, following your heart, and learning to live on the edge.


Purchase:




AUTHOR BIO
Theresa DaLayne is a north-south-east-western kind of girl with a quirky personality to match her nomad life. Born in California, she migrated to three different cities in Washington State, a tiny island in Alaska, North Carolina, and finally to the suburbs of Ohio where she currently lives with her husband, three kids, vegetarian cat, and her ungrateful fish.

Always on the lookout for a new story, Theresa is a shameless eavesdropper and will take anyone who provides inspiration and mold them into a character without a second thought. She enjoys writing both paranormal and contemporary stories, considering her mind wanders between worlds of fantasy while she’s forced to live in the real world, very much against her will.

Author Links:



Monday, September 29, 2014

Review - Drops of Rain by Kathryn Andrews


Drops of Rain 
Kathryn Andrews

4 Star Review 

This debut novel is absolutely wonderful. It's more than a book but a journey from heartache and pain to acceptance and love. 

Ali Rain has suffered a great loss. A couple, actually. First she lost her mother to cancer, her home because her father couldn't deal and moved them to Florida, her friends again because she moved, then she lost her dad. He didn't know how to handle being a father with her mother gone.   She's a very talented dancer and uses dance as an emotional outlet. She doesn't make friends very easily so when she bumps into the gorgeous guy swimming in the ocean one morning before school she is surprised by the attraction and the pull he has on her. 



Drew Hale is the most popular guy at school. The guys want to be him and the girls just want him.  Drew doesn't make physical or mental attachments. He's very standoffish and concentrates solely on swimming. It's his one ticket out his hometown. Imagine his surprise when he bumps into some chick on his early morning swim and all he wants to do is hold on to her. He felt like he was pulled to her and like she belonged right there with him. 

Well, it just so happens that they're both in the same senior class and neighbors on top of that. They keep running into each other and gravitating to each other's circle. They build a sort of friendship that evolves into more even though Drew fights it because he can't afford any distractions. But your heart and your mind are never on the same page are they. 


This is a very strong and powerful book. It takes you on the journey with Ali and Drew; you feel their pain, their hurt, their tears. But you also feel their happiness, their love, and their strength and resolve. Drew takes on a lot of responsibilities that aren't his to take on. He takes on the weight and guilt that because he's the oldest of the boys he thinks he has to. 



There are many things in this book that I wasn't expecting. Drew's backstory being one of them. He's a fighter. He's a survivor. He's beautiful. He truly is Ali's "one" and she's his as well. They have to learn to lean on one another and open up about their lives. Neither of them are good with that but when they both finally do open up. It's like the weight of the world is lifted off them. 


There are several secondary characters but one stands out in front. Beau, Drew's brother. I can't wait to read his story. I think I may fall even harder for him than I did for Drew. I think Beau is going to be my misunderstood hero and he's going to mess with my head. He's funny, flirty, and loyal to a fault. I can't wait for Starless Nights, Ms. Andrews. 








BLOG TOUR - SEPARATION BY STYLO FANTOME

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Synopsis



Can the Devil be Forgiven?

Everything is fun and games till someone gets hurt, and what Jameson Kane did to Tatum O'Shea goes so far beyond hurt, he is well into the realm of unforgivable. Tate says she wants him gone for good, and he quickly learns that the old saying, “you don't know what you've got till it's gone”, is most definitely true.

But Jameson has never been very good at following instructions, and when Satan decides to seek redemption, he'll go to great lengths to get it. He proposes one last game – one to end them all, if she agrees to play. He is very confident that he can win, but Tate warns him that's not possible; she will not lose again. Little does she know, Jameson is prepared to do whatever it takes. Prepared to lay the entire world at her feet. Prepared to bear his soul.

What he didn't count on, though, was handing the damn thing over.

Now he can only pray that his evil ways haven't rubbed off on Tate too much. Sometimes, it's very difficult to tell who the Devil really is …

WARNING: contains a semi-reformed devil, a woman scorned, and more Sanders than anyone has a right to witness. Also graphic sexual situations and strong language.


Meet the Author

Crazy woman living in an undisclosed location in Alaska (where the need for a creative mind is a necessity!), I have been writing since ..., forever? Yeah, that sounds about right. I have been told that I remind people of Lucille Ball - I also see shades of Jennifer Saunders, and Denis Leary. So basically, I laugh a lot, I'm clumsy a lot, and I say the F-word A LOT.

I like dogs more than I like most people, and I don't trust anyone who doesn't drink. No, I do not live in an igloo, and no, the sun does not set for six months out of the year, there's your Alaska lesson for the day. I have mermaid hair - both a curse and a blessing - and most of the time I talk so fast, even I can't understand me.

Yeah. I think that about sums me up.

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BLOG TOUR AND REVIEW: WHERE WE BELONG BY K.L. GRAYSON


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Title: Where We Belong
Author: K.L. Grayson
Genre: Adult Romance
Publish Date: September 23, 2014
Cover PhotographerTess J Photography
Cover Designer: Wicked by Design

Synopsis


Regret . . . she's a snarky little bitch.

I’ve tried several times to regret the events that took place on June 5, 2008, but for the life of me, I can’t. I'd never regret the pain, the suffering, or the heartache because they ultimately led me to the place I am now. And I can’t regret the place I am now. What I still can't figure out is this: how is it possible that the single worst day of my life inadvertently became the very best day?

Five years ago my life was irrevocably changed.

Seventeen minutes was all it took—

to lose my best friend…

to lose the love of my life…

Seventeen minutes was all it took for the seeds of hope—the seeds of my future—to be planted in the worst possible way.

My name is Harley Thompson, and this is my story.



 
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REVIEW

star review

This is a fantastic debut novel from KL Grayson. I laughed, I cried, I hurt, and I smiled. This book touched on a lot of different emotions for me. It's definitely not one you've read before. 

Harley and Tyson grew up together. Were best friends all through life up til college graduation. When he tells her he's going to Columbia with his girlfriend. After some liquid encouragement Harley told Ty exactly how she felt. She was in love with him and needs him in her life. She begs him to stay. Harley's life changes dramatically that night. 

Five years later, Ty moves back home. Harley's working in a hospital there as a nurse and Ty's working on his residency. At the same hospital, no less. Of course, they're going to have to get along. 

When Tyson comes back to her he puts it all out there. His feelings, his regret, his hurt, and his hope. He hopes to pick back up where he left her that day. But in five years people change. It's too difficult to pick right back up where you left off. Especially for Harley.  To understand you will definitely want to read this book. It is wonderfully written and it hooks you from the prologue to the epilogue. That's right - no cliffie! 

Their chemistry and magnetic pull to one another is amazing but is it enough to overcome all the hurt, pain, and tears? Will they be able to get over it all? They have an amazing support system - Levi, Quinn, Mason, and Cooper. They're friends are so strong and caring. I hope we get a book about each of those characters. Especially Levi, KL Grayson! LOL. 

This is a wonderful book and I can't wait to see more from this author!




Prologue

Harley
Holy shit that burns!”I crinkle my nose up at the fire the tequila leaves behind.
“Pussy.” Quinn laughs, handing me a lemon and popping one in her mouth.
Flipping her off, I swivel in my seat, watching all of the sweaty bodies fight for attention on the dance floor. Adam Levine’s seductive voice croons through the speakers, and I sway to the beat.
My eyes wander over to the pool table, landing on Ty. Reaching up, he runs his fingers through his shaggy, brown hair and laughs at something someone says. His dimples take root, and his smile lights up his face. I tilt my head to the side, a deep sigh rushing from my lips. Ty.
We’re friends.
Best friends.
That’s it.
Tyson and I grew up together. Literally. Our mothers have been best friends since the day my family moved in next door to his when I was the ripe age of twelve months. Not only did we learn how to walk together, we went to preschool together, learned how to drive together, we even had our first after school detention together.
Tonight, we are celebrating because this morning, we graduated from college together. Me, with a degree in nursing, and Ty with his bachelor’s in biology, Pre-Med.
Quinn nudges my shoulder. “You love him. You need to tell him or you’re going to regret it.” She thinks she’s helping, but in all reality she is only making me wish for things that I most certainly should not be wishing for.
“Quinn,” I say, raising my glass to the server with a quick nod, letting her know I want another. “It’s complicated.”
She shakes her head with a sarcastic laugh. “Only because you’re making it. Why you two are in the friend zone is beyond me.”
The server sets down another round of shots. “Shut up and drink. To friends!” Raising my glass I tap it against hers, and down the shot. My head spins, signaling the beginning of a nice buzz. I wasn’t planning on getting drunk tonight, but after the bomb Tyson dropped on me a couple of hours ago, I need this.
Tyson is standing in the doorway to my bedroom, his hands tucked deep in his pockets. He looks off to the side. “Harley, we need to talk.” His voice is pained. He hasn’t made a move to come in. I can tell I’m not going to like this. My heart drops into the pit of my stomach. I can feel it in my bones–something is off.
“Okaaaay, shoot.” I train my eyes on the suitcase in front me and pull out clothes. He reaches for me, but I turn away and stuff some T-shirts in my drawer. “Moving back home is going to take some getting used to,” I murmur.
“A lot can change when you go away to college for four years,” he says, running his hand down the back of his neck.
“Yes, it does.” Opening the closet door, I stare into the dark, empty space. “I’m definitely finding a place of my own soon. Right after I find a job.”
“Brit and I decided not to stay at Wash U for medical school,” he blurts. “She wants to be closer to her family.” Ty wipes his hands on his jeans and fidgets as he sits on my bed. I take a deep breath and close my eyes.
Ty shifts toward me, reaching for my hand. This time, I don’t pull away. “Please look at me, Harley. I want you to understand what I’m saying.”
I blow out the breath I didn’t know I was holding and stare at my suitcase for a few more seconds before I look up. “Doesn’t Brit’s family live in New York?”
“They do.” He nods. “As soon as she told me she wanted to be near them, we applied to the medical school at Columbia, and we’ve both been accepted. We, um, we leave next week.”
“What?” I gasp, jumping up, my eyes nearly popping out of my head. “You can’t be serious.” My voice rises with each word. “Just like that?” I shake my head, refusing to accept this. “You’re just going to up and leave?” I shove a drawer closed harder than I intend, causing the mirror to shake violently. “One week? That’s it?” Tears gather in my eyes and I look away, blinking rapidly to keep them at bay.
I will not cry.
I will not cry.
“I’m sorry, Harley,” Tyson’s voice cracks. “I didn’t know how to tell you.” He sighs heavily, dropping his head. “I didn’t want to tell you.” His hands shake in his lap, and some of my anger dissipates. The magnetic pull we’ve always had draws me closer to him. My fingers itch to dive into his hair and pull him against me. To comfort him. To comfort me. Something . . . anything to slow down whatever storm he’s battling . . . but I don’t.
“Wow,” I whisper, sitting on the bed next to him. “I’m not really sure what to say.” I look up, and our eyes meet in the mirror. “Is this what you want? I mean, she isn’t pressuring you to do this. Right?”
He shakes his head slowly. “No, she isn’t.” I reach over and grab his hand, entwining my fingers with his, and he squeezes his eyes shut with the contact. “She’s my future, Harley,” he says, looking up. “This is my future. Please tell me you understand.” He clutches my hand, a silent plea for me to accept the path he’s chosen.
Don’t go.
Stay.
Don’t do this.
“Of course,” I whisper, my heart breaking at the lie. Unable to hold back the tears, I let them fall silently down my cheeks. My mind yells at me to say or do something to make him stay.
“Earth to Harley,” Quinn says, nudging me out of the emotional wrecking ball that was my morning.
I glance over at the pool table again. Tyson’s arm hangs loosely around Brit’s neck. Her arms are wrapped tightly around his body.Me. That should be me.
I watch as he wraps her perfectly straight blonde hair around his hand and tugs hers beautifully sculpted face up to his. He leans down, placing a gentle kiss on her pouty lips and when she smiles, I swear, I’m blinded by her sparkling blue eyes.
I, on the other hand, was cursed with an unruly brown rat’s nest on top of my head and a pair of mossy green eyes with a tiny button nose. Side by side, we are the princess and the frog. I may be exaggerating a bit. I’m cute, or so I’ve been told, but Brit is every man’s dream. She can have any guy she wants, but she wants Tyson–my Tyson.
I sigh as he pulls her in closer. And he wants her, too.
I hate her.
My relationship with Brit is rocky at best. She’s frequently upset with the amount of time that Ty and I spend together. Despite our reassurances that we’re just friends, she doesn’t buy it. On more than one occasion, she has tried to convince him that I was harboring secret feelings for him. She went as far as to accuse me of using our friendship as an excuse to spend extra time with him.
Tyson never believed her, but she was right. I do have feelings for Ty. I’ve loved that boy since I was nine years old. The minute he punched Jimmy Tallen in the nose for calling me ugly, my heart belonged to him.
Telling him about my feelings never seemed like an option. He never seemed to be into me, and I wasn’t willing to risk losing our friendship. So I sat back, watching quietly as he dated girl after girl. I nursed his broken hearts and encouraged him to get back on the dating wagon, as any good friend would do. Then Brit literally stumbled into our lives, and everything changed. I didn’t like it at all.
Tyson used to know everything about me. He knew all of my secrets, lies, and insecurities. But that isn’t the case anymore. He doesn’t know my biggest secret. He doesn’t know that I’m in love with him.
Something happened when he told me he was moving. I’m not sure what it was, but a puzzle piece was put into place and everything became crystal clear. I had to tell him. He can’t leave without knowing the truth. I’ve always been able to predict how Tyson will react to things, but I honestly have no idea how he is going to respond to this.
“One more shot,” I say, raising my glass to Quinn.
Her lips curl in a devious smile. “Someone is getting brave.”
“I need all the liquid courage I can get.” We tap and chug.
“It’s about damn time.” She has been trying to get me to confess my undying love to Ty for the past four years.
My head spins when I move to stand, but it’s not because I’m drunk. Confrontations have never been my strong suit. Not that I’m going to confront Ty in a bad way, but still.
On unsteady legs, I make my way across the bar. Ty is playing pool with Levi and Cooper, his college roommates. This is the perfect time to approach him since Brit is standing at an adjacent table talking to some of her friends. I would prefer her to not be present for this conversation.
Levi greets my intrusion with a hug. “Hello, gorgeous.” His hand roams down the small of my back, and I smack it away playfully.
Poking his chest, I give him a firm look. “No ass grabbing tonight,” I scold.
I lean against the back wall as Cooper sweeps the table and that’s my cue. Wasting no time, I kick off the wall and approach Ty. “Hey, got a sec?”
He cocks his head to the side, giving me a lopsided grin that makes my insides melt and my knees wobble. “Anything for you, you know that.”
Taking a deep cleansing breath, I calm my nerves. “Can we step outside? Maybe somewhere a little more quiet?”
Tyson purses his lips, tilting his head to the side, but he doesn’t protest. Instead, he places his hand at the small of my back and steers me toward the side door.
“I think there are some tables outside in the back,” he says quietly.
I nod once and continue for the exit. Tyson opens the door and a warm rush of hot air greets us. I look around, not finding any tables. Ty guides me to the right and toward the back of the building where we spot some picnic tables, while I give myself a silent pep talk.
You can do it.
What’s the worse that could happen?
Don’t forget to breathe.
We come to a stop by a table and I grab Ty’s arm, preventing him from sitting. “I think you’re going to want to stand for this.”
I know him all too well and I’m sure that within the next two minutes he’ll be pacing like a bull.
“Okay. You’re starting to make me nervous, Harley. Is everything okay?” He runs his hands through his hair, giving it that I-just-had-wild-monkey-sex look, and then he shoves them both into his pockets.
I take a deep breath and blow it out slowly. It’s now or never. “I love you.”
Smiling sweetly, he replies, “I love you, too.”
I shake my head, pinning him with my stare, trying to convey just how much my feelings have morphed from friendship into something more. “No. I love you, love you, Ty.”
At first he just looks at me, and I’m not completely sure he understands what I’m saying.
But then I see it.
Acceptance, relief, and fear flash quickly through his eyes before they settle on me. Written all over his face is the one thing that makes this all worth it: love. Pure love.
My body sags with relief. This was the right move.
My small bubble of hope is quickly popped as Tyson’s expression changes. His face turns cold. His eyebrows narrow. He shakes his head slowly. He looks over at me and then stares at the ground, clenching his fists. When his eyes land back on mine, the love that I saw a second ago is gone. But it was there. I saw the adoration in his eyes.
“Don’t leave. Please don’t leave,” I beg. My voice is panicky. Desperation takes over. I cling to his arms, trying to get him to look at me, but he shrugs me away. “Stay. Please stay. Stay here with me. I love you.” My words rush out, tumbling over each other. I just can’t stop them. “I know you’re my best friend, but I love you. I’m in love with you. I want to be with you, Ty. Give me a chance…give us a chance.” I reach slowly for his hand, needing to make some sort of contact, but he pushes me away. With his fingers tightly laced together, he places his hands on his head and paces in circles.
“I know I’m asking a lot,” I say, my voice thick with emotion. “I should have told you a long time ago, but I didn’t, and I can’t change that now.”
Tyson keep walking in circles, clenching and unclenching his fists.
I take a hesitant step toward him. “I know that this is incredibly selfish of me. I know I’m asking you to give up everything but—”
“I can’t believe this is happening,” he interrupts. I don’t respond because I’m not given the chance. “How long, Harley? How long have you felt like this?”
“Years.”
“Years?” he asks incredulously, his eyebrows arched.
I nod my head, swallowing hard, suppressing the tears threatening to fall.
His head drops down. His voice is quiet but full of curiosity. “Why now, Harley? Why not a year ago, a month ago, or hell, a week ago? Why now?”
“Because I was scared. You’re too important to me, Ty. ” My voice cracks when I say his name and a fat tear streaks down my cheek. “I didn’t want to risk our friendship. I didn’t want to lose everything we have if you didn’t feel the same way.” I squeeze my eyes shut and hang my head in regret. I should have told him sooner, but I’ve come this far and I’m sure as hell not giving up now. Wiping away the wetness under my eyes, I step in Ty’s path, preventing further pacing. “Would it have mattered? If I would have told you a year ago, a month ago, or a week ago . . . would it have mattered?”
His eyes are downcast, and his lips are tilted in a frown. My chest tightens. My hand twitches, wanting to touch him, but I don’t.
“Yes,” he whispers, looking up at me. “It would have mattered.”
“Then it matters now!” I snap. “If it would have mattered then, then it matters now. We can do this, Ty. You just have to take the chance. Please take the chance. Please,” I beg.
His emotions shift once again as anger and resentment visibly overtake the sadness. Reaching for his head, Ty grips his hair tightly and a deep growl rips from his throat. “Damn it, Harley.” His voice is low and hard. My eyes widen in shock at the menacing glare he shoots at me. “What the fuck do you want me to say to that? You’re doing this because I told you I’m leaving. Do you realize what you’re asking? You’re asking me to uproot my entire life. Do you know the work it took to transfer medical schools? And what about Brit?” His mouth parts and a look of horror overcomes his features. “Brit,” he mumbles to himself. “Fuuuuuck. Brit was right.”
He begins to mumble. I’m not sure if he is talking to himself or to me, but his words are like a punch to the gut. “Brit told me you had feelings for me. I didn’t listen. I defended you. I mean . . . I had hoped you did, but I didn’t know. I told her she was wrong and that she was just jealous.” He looks up at me, eyes wide with shock. “But she was right. My god! All those times I left her to spend time with you . . .” His words drop off but quickly resume. “I told her there was no way you felt that way about me because you’re my best friend.” He stops pacing and turns to face me, but his eyes are trained on the ground.
Silence consumes us. Tension fills the air.
“Ty, say something please,” I whisper. “Please tell me what you’re thinking. You’re my best friend, and I know you feel like I’m just throwing this at—”
“But you are,” he interrupts loudly. “You are just throwing this at me, Harley!” I grip my hands tightly in front of me, wringing my fingers together in pure desperation. My heart slams in my chest. I know he feels the same way. He loves me. I saw it in his eyes. I just have to convince him that this is right.
I wait patiently for him to continue, but when his hard gaze lands on me, my hope vanishes into thin air. My heart plummets to the ground. His lips are set in a firm line, and his eyebrows are dipped low in disappointment.
“I’m with Brit,” he states firmly. “And I’m not going to hurt her; I can’t.” He shakes his head. “She hasn’t done anything to deserve that…to deserve this,” he says, waving his hand between the two of us. The pacing continues, back and forth in front of me until he finally removes his hands from his hair and places them on his hips. He turns to face me. There is a finality in his eyes that causes my resolve to crumble. I throw a hand up to my mouth, but I can’t stop the sob that slips out.
“Harley . . .” He trails off; his eyes are searching mine, for what, I’m not sure. “Harley, I can’t do this. I’m sorry, but I just can’t.” He pauses again, taking a second to sit down on the table. Placing his elbows on his knees, he bends forward and lowers his head. His voice is so soft that I almost don’t hear his final words. “We need to step back and take a break. From our friendship, Harley . . . We need to take a step back from our friendship.”
I cry, and my body trembles. “No.” My hands shake, and my mind works furiously to find a way to fix this. “No,” I repeat desperately. “We don’t need to take a step back. We need to move forward.” I crouch down in front of Ty and grip his fisted hands in mine. “Please give me a chance. I know you’re scared, but I promise, you won’t regret it; you won’t regret me.” My eyes flicker across his face, pleading with him to take this leap.
He exhales loudly and raises his face. “I can’t believe you’re doing this to me. To Brit. Now. When I’m supposed to be moving to New York in a week. A fucking week, Harley!” Standing abruptly, his eyes lock onto something over my left shoulder, but I can’t tear my eyes away from him to find out what it is. “I can’t do this. I won’t do it.” His voice is laced with decisiveness and a cold shiver of realization trembles through me. “I’m leaving next week for New York. With Brit. It’s best for my relationship with her if you and I don’t talk . . . at least not until I can sort through all of this in my head.”
His words hit me like a knife to the chest. He can’t mean that. He’s just shocked. “We can’t be friends?” I hiccup, gripping my chest where I’m sure there’s a gaping whole from his words. “Please don’t do this. Please, Ty! I’m sorry.” I grab his arm, forcing him to face me. “I’m so sorry. Please forgive me, forget I said anything. I can’t lose you, I won’t lose you.” My tears fall freely. I’ve stopped wiping them away; there’s just no point.
I startle when I hear someone behind me clear their throat. I turn slowly and find myself face-to-face with Brit. I’m not sure how long she’s been standing there, but based on the look on her face, I’d say she pretty much knows what’s going on.
Ty moves to walk around me, and I quickly grab his wrist. “Please Ty,” I whisper. Gently removing my hand, he reaches for Brit, entwining his fingers with hers. Without a glance back, they walk in the door.
Slumping down onto the picnic table, I close my eyes, praying that this was all a bad dream and I just have to wake up. Realistically, I know it’s not, but there is always that small window of time right after something horrible happens that you feel like if you hope and pray hard enough you can actually rewind time and undo the damage.
I grip my hair tightly at the scalp and watch as my tears cascade off of my face and hit the table below. I’m not sure how long I sit but eventually I get up and pace the alley behind the bar, trying to wrap my head around everything that just happened.
What on earth have I done?
He can’t seriously end our friendship.
He can’t really walk away.
There is way too much history for him to do that. Right?
A gravelly slurred voice interrupts my thoughts. “Harley? That you?” The hair on the back of my neck stands up and I squint through my tears, trying to see who the drunken voice belongs to. Relief washes over me at the familiar face. I try to respond, but a deep sob comes out instead. He moves to my side quickly. “You’re crying,” he says, putting a comforting hand to my back. “Please don’t cry.”
I normally wouldn’t get this close to someone who isn’t Tyson or Quinn, but right now I need the familiarity. I need the comfort that he offers, and in a desperate move, I wrap my arms around his middle, bury my face in his chest, and cry like I’ve never done before.
The stench of smoke deeply rooted in his shirt fills my nostrils and the stale odor of liquor makes me sick as he whispers calming words in my ear. I should be worried. I’ve heard that he’s gotten into some heavier drugs recently, but I know I’m safe.
We stand there for several minutes, neither of us saying a word. His body sways slightly to the left. I grip him tightly to steady his balance and raise my face to his. “Are you okay?”
His red-rimmed , glossy eyes lock onto mine, but he doesn’t respond. I watch his expression change. A shiver runs up my spine as goose bumps take over my body. “Are you okay?” I repeat, trying to keep the fear out of my voice. Loosening my grip, I attempt to step back, but his arms tighten around me.
“You always smelled so good,” he slurs, eyes roaming my face. His hand slides up my back and to my neck. He wraps his fingers around my hair and tugs, forcing my head to snap back. Leaning into me, he runs his nose up the side of my neck and my stomach churns. “I would have given you anything. But I wasn’t good enough for you, was I?” I don’t respond and he yanks my hair again, causing my back to arch. “Was I?” he seethes.
I’ve never been in a situation where I feel legitimately uncomfortable in the presence of another human being, but right here . . . in this second . . . I am terrified. Adrenalin courses through my body. My heart slams violently in my chest and my muscles tense as terror washes through me. I squeeze my eyes tightly shut. A sharp pain rips through my scalp. My face smacks the ground, and a metallic taste fills my mouth.
Please God. Please let me survive this.




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About the Author

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K.L. Grayson resides in a small town outside of St. Louis, Missouri. She is entertained daily by her extraordinary husband who will forever inspire every good quality she writes in a man. Her entire life rests in the palm of six dirty little hands, and when the days is over and those six little hands have been washed and tucked into bed . . . and the stars align, you can find K.L. typing away furiously on her computer. K.L. has a love for alpha males, brownies, reading, tattoos, sunglasses, and happy endings . . . and not particularly in that order.




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