The next seductive, unforgettable stand-alone romance in the FIGHT FOR ME series from NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson…
Kale Bryant. Arrogant. Gorgeous. Commanding.
This ER doctor is married to his job.
His only vice is one-night stands and short-lived flings.
He learned a long time ago loving someone isn"t worth the risk.
Harley Hope Masterson.
Beautiful. Brave. Sweet.
The owner of a small coffee shop knows what it"s like to struggle.
Embroiled in a bitter divorce, she"s threatened with losing everything.
When Kale accepts a new position down the street from Hope"s shop, he begins to question every wall he"s built around his heart.
He wants her in a way he hasn"t wanted anyone.
One touch is fire.
One kiss, and he"s spinning out of control.
But taking her won"t come without consequences.
Hope is in for the fight of her life.
One neither of them saw coming.
Now Kale must decide if loving her is worth risking it all.
She will fight with everything she has.
But sometimes even hope needs a hero…Books in Series:Fight for Me Series by A.L. JacksonBooks by Author:A.L. Jackson Books
I stumbled out the sliding door and into the sunlight, which streaked like daggers through edges of the sky. It cast the last, fading moments of the day in a blaze of glittering red and blinding oranges.
Everything felt too bright. Too harsh. Too real.
Shedding the darkest light on what I"d done.
Hair fisted in my hands, I careened across the street. No destination when I no longer recognized where I belonged.
Still, a desperation took me whole, the need to get away when there would never be an escape.
With every faltering step, I felt the bond I"d thought would last forever stretching thin.
Prying and pulling until it snapped.
Until I had nothing left but the failure I held in the palm of my hands.
A mark forever left on my heart.
I"d tried with every part of me, with everything I had to give.
But it wasn"t enough.
The sun shimmered around me. A glowing, dissipating orb.
Dissolving on the horizon until it dwindled to nothing.
That was the moment my world went dim.
"Kale, congratulations! You deserve it, even if you are nothing but a pain in my ass!" Ollie shouted over the din of the busy bar, finishing his toast, which basically was a roast.
Not like it wasn"t expected.
I fought an affected grin as I lifted my glass to join the ring of shot glasses that met in the middle of the round table.
I sat surrounded by my friends, who I considered more family than anything else.
Rex and Rynna.
Lillith and Brody.
They all shouted, "To Kale!" before all those little glasses were clinking together and shots were being tossed back.
Expensive tequila burned down my throat and pooled in my stomach. It landed in a splash of flames that licked and jumped, igniting in my veins.
Head to toe, a rush of satisfaction washed through me.
Contentment seeping all the way to my bones.
Smiling wide, I blew out a gratified breath as I slammed the empty down on the table. "I have to give it to you, man. That was a fine example of what your bar has to offer."
Ollie smirked. The guy was nothing but burly muscle and tattoos. A fucking giant made up of solid stone.
"Now you can"t say I haven"t done anything for you," he tossed out. "That was the best bottle of liquor in the house, asshole. Been keeping this baby stashed in the back for a special occasion or a rainy day, whichever came first. Guess the latter won out."
"Well, it"s good to know my little accomplishment was deemed worthy of this level of praise."
Ollie held up his thumb and index finger, leaving a centimeter of space between. "Barely."
My body shook with laughter. "Always such an asshole."
His expression lost some of its mischief. "You do deserve it, man. Hope you know that."
A streak that blazed through me before it was gone.
Tucked back away where I kept it safe as a reminder of what I was living for.
I let my gaze rove over the faces of my friends, who were chatting, voices elevated so they could hear each other. It was the bar Ollie owned on Macaber Street, super cool and constantly packed. People flocked through the doors to get a taste of the most popular lounge in our small city of Gingham Lakes, Alabama.
It was located about a block down from my loft, and I"d be a liar if I said I didn"t frequent the place. If someone was looking for me and I wasn"t at work, they wouldn"t be too far off base looking for me at this bar, indulging in all the revelry it had to offer.
It was set in one of the old buildings that had been renovated during Gingham Lakes"s revival. Rex"s company, RG Construction, had been responsible for the restoration. It boasted red brick walls and atmospheric lights, and the never-ending rotation of local bands gave it the aura of somewhere you wanted to be.
But tonight wasn"t just any night that I was out looking for a reprieve from the rigorous demands of working in the ER.
Tonight, all my friends were there to celebrate this new stage in my life, which would take me in a direction I"d been feeling the call to all along. Hoping to give back. Help the most helpless and innocent among us.
Rex tilted the neck of his beer bottle my direction as his wife, Rynna, snuggled under the arm he had draped around her shoulders. "Seriously, Kale, I"m fucking proud of you. Always knew you were an amazing doctor . . . now you"ve got the office to prove it. Don"t let it go to your pretty head." The last came out with a quirk of his brow.
"You just wish you looked this good." I shot him my best grin.
"Cocky bastard," he returned, chuckling and dropping a kiss to Rynna"s temple.
Gratefulness pulsed through my chest. Rex, Ollie, and I" We"d always had each other"s backs. Together through the worst of times and the best of times. And honestly, life had dealt out some damned bitter blows.