Author: Alicia Renee Kline
Release date: April 7th, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
It was only supposed to be a one night thing…
Will Delaney and Gracie Alexander are little more than acquaintances when fate lands them in same place at the same time. One drunken hookup later, they decide that the best course of action for all involved is to pretend it never happened.
Will’s recently divorced. Gracie’s perennially single.
Upon first glance, they have absolutely nothing in common.
They both agree on one thing: they’re not looking for a relationship.
The only problem is that they can’t seem to stay away from each other.
Can two people who have sworn off love forever find it in the most unexpected setting?
Though my eyes were shut, I was wide awake when Will opened the door roughly half an hour later. I had anticipated him doing this, the public service duty part of him too strong to let a silly argument get in the way. It’s why I hadn’t locked myself in. I knew that he’d poke his head in to check on me.
What I didn’t prepare myself for was him coming fully into my room. Or him dragging in one of the chairs from my kitchen table and setting it between the wall and my bed. He perched on top of it, his arms crossed over his chest in indignation.
Traces of the early evening sun spilled through my sheer curtains, outlining his silhouette. I watched him, sitting there staring at me. He still hadn’t announced his presence and I wasn’t entirely sure that he knew I was aware of him.
So I took the chance to study him for the second time that day. To memorize him, so that I could close my eyes and see him before me. So I could remember what intense pleasure it had been to ever feel like I mattered to him. So I could remind myself why exactly I loved him.
And then it was too much. The car wreck, him showing up on the scene, our falling back into bed with each other, the anger. His weird bedside vigil thing that he was doing. The knowledge that this was it - he would never let me get any further than this. Sure, he could lead me on with glimmers of concern and plenty of sex, but he’d stop short of putting anything real into it.
I began to shake uncontrollably. Embarrassed, I snatched up the comforter and pulled it tightly around me, a virtual cocoon. It didn’t help; it made it harder to breathe.
“Jesus, Gracie,” Will said.
Before I understood what was happening, the chair was vacated and the mattress was dipping down underneath his weight.
“Do you need to go to the hospital?”
He cleared his throat and tried something else. “Do you want me to call Chris?”
The way his voice broke on his friend’s name spoke volumes. It also reminded me of earlier, when a look akin to jealousy had flashed across his face at the sight of us together, locked in an embrace. That he could be possessive of me while at the same time pushing me away boggled my mind. And that he would offer to call in the object of his misplaced ire to help said something even stronger.
I shook my head, knowing he could feel it. When we wanted to be, we were firmly on the same wavelength. He’d alluded to it so many times I couldn’t even count them any more. In another place, in different circumstances, we would have been made for one another. The punch line to that sick joke was that we weren’t living in either the right place or the right time for that to happen.
And maybe I also knew because he had taken the opportunity to mount me. His leg was slung over me, his arms pulled me tightly against his chest. As if he could shield me from whatever it was that I was battling. Did he realize that he wasn’t able to protect me from himself?
“You need to calm down, darling,” he whispered into my hair. “You won’t do yourself any good if you hyperventilate.”
“Hyperventilating would imply that I can breathe in the first place,” I managed.
He snorted. “You never turn the humor off, do you? I’m beginning to think it’s a defense mechanism.”
“If it is, it sucks.”
About the Author:
Alicia Renee Kline has been a writer since she was old enough to hold a pencil. This hobby has evolved from writing out everything in spiral notebooks and scribbling out her mistakes to being armed with technology so that she can hide the fact that she doesn’t get everything right the first time.
In real life, she is a wife and mother of two daughters, two cats and two hamsters. She is a lifelong resident of Northeastern Indiana and works in the insurance industry.
Official Website: http://aliciareneekline.com/
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