From NYT Bestseller Corinne Michaels & USA Today Bestseller Melanie Harlow, comes a second chance standalone romance.
Ian Chase broke my heart at seventeen, and I"ve spent the last eighteen years hating him for it.
He makes it easy, with his smart mouth and playboy lifestyle"which I unfortunately have to observe since he lives behind me. Every time I see him climbing out of his pool, practically naked and unreasonably sexy, my blood boils.
I"ve always loved to loathe him.
I never planned to need him.
London Parish is my little sister"s best friend, not that it stopped me from falling for her.
Our history is complicated. The only thing we have in common is being godparents to my sister"s three adorable kids"until our lives are changed in one tragic moment.
Now we"re trying to raise the children we love, mourn an unthinkable loss, and fight an undeniable attraction.
My life is already upside-down, and the last thing I need is for old feelings to resurface.
Because I"ll never be able to keep her, no matter how hard I try to hold her close.Books by Author:Melanie Harlow BooksCorinne Michaels Books
Seventeen Years Ago
* * *
Tell me this isn"t a dream.
Tell me the memories of last night"the most unbelievable, most romantic night of my life"are real.
Carefully rolling onto my side, I prop my head in one hand and study Ian"s face as he sleeps. He"s gorgeous, even if I can"t see the bright blue of his eyes and he isn"t giving me that sexy grin, the one he gave me last night before he said, "You have no idea the things I want to do to you. You should tell me to leave."
Tell him to leave"
Why did he think we were in this hotel room all by ourselves" Did he really have no clue how long I"d loved him" Did he not know how many nights I"d spent dreaming that he"d see me as something other than his little sister"s best friend" Couldn"t he see the way I idolized him" Especially last night . . . he was my hero.
Back home after his freshman year at UNLV, Ian witnessed my tearful meltdown yesterday morning as I cried to Sabrina that my senior prom date had ditched me last minute for someone else. He offered to take me instead.
I was stunned. He"d kissed me once at a party a couple months back, but we"d hardly spoken since. I figured he"d forgotten all about it.
I"d never felt as beautiful as I did walking into the prom on his arm. Pressed against him as we danced, I"d never felt my heart pound so hard. When he kissed me on the dance floor and told me he"d had feelings for me for a while, I"d never felt so head over heels.
After the dance, he asked me if I wanted to go to the hotel with the rest of my friends. "Yes," I said, forcing myself to be brave. "But I don"t want to go to the party. I want to be alone with you." Without another word, he took my hand and we raced for his car. When we arrived at the hotel, Ian got us our own room.
On the elevator, my pulse raced with anticipation. He kept my hand in his as we ascended, and my stomach ballooned as if we were cresting the top of a rollercoaster.
Alone in our room, door locked, shades drawn, lights low, he reached for me. Pulled me against his body. Kissed me as if he knew how many nights I"d dreamed he would.
Tell him to leave"
Not in a million years.
Instead, I gave him everything. My heart, my soul, my body. He was slow and tender and sweet with me, because he knew it was my first time. I was in awe of him"of his hard muscles, of the way he moved, of the thrilling words he whispered.
God, you"re so fucking beautiful. I"ve wanted this for so long. You feel so good.
I still can"t believe he wants me. Me! I look nothing like the blond Barbie dolls he usually dates. My hair is dark, my chest is small, and my waist is not the size of my thigh. On a scale of one to ten, most days I feel like a six.
But last night he made me feel like I was the only girl in the entire world. It was magical . . . and it was only the beginning.
Light is spilling in beneath the drapes, so I know it"s morning and we should probably get up, especially since Sabrina"s graduation party is later this afternoon. I promised to help her with decorations.
But I never want this time with him to end.
He"s lying on his back, one arm flung over his head, the sheets pulled up to his waist. I resist the urge to run my hands over his taut abs and muscular chest, but it"s not easy.
His eyes open. Upon seeing me, his lips tip up. "Hey."
My heart races. "Hey."
"Did you sleep""
"I didn"t tire you out enough""
I grin. "You did. But it"s hard for me to sleep when I"m this excited."
He cocks one eyebrow. "And what has you so excited""
"You," I say guilelessly. "This. Us."
He grins too. "Come here." Hooking me with both arms, he pulls me tightly against his side, and I lay my head on his chest.
For a moment, I simply breathe him in and let pure happiness wash over me. "Did you mean all those things you said last night""
"Of course I did. Do you think I"m the kind of asshole who"d lie to you just to get you in bed""
"I don"t know."
"I"m not, London. Look, I might not be the most sensitive guy on the planet, but I"m not a total dick, and I don"t take this lightly. We"ve known each other too long."
"So . . . what happens now""
He"s quiet a moment. "What do you want to happen""
"I want us to be together." I take a deep breath. "I"m in love with you, Ian."