Release Day Blitz + Giveaway: On a Tuesday by Whitney G.

On a Tuesday by Whitney G. is now live!

On a Tuesday by Whitney G.
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: September 19th 2017
Add to Goodreads

We met on a Tuesday.
Became best friends, then lovers, on a Tuesday.
And everything fell apart on a Tuesday…

Charlotte Taylor has three automatic strikes in my book: 1) She hates me. She also claims that I’m a “domineering jerk with a huge, overbearing ego.” (I do have something huge. It’s not my ego, though.) 2) She takes our mandatory tutoring sessions way too seriously. 3) She’s sexy as hell…And a virgin.

At least, those were her strikes before our study sessions started lasting longer than they were supposed to. Until one innocent kiss became a hundred dirty ones, and until she became the first woman I ever fell hard for.

Our future together after graduation was supposed to be set:
Professional football for me. Law school for her.

But she left me at the end of the semester with no explanation, and then she completely disappeared from my life.

Until tonight.

We met on a Tuesday.
Became everything, then nothing, on a Tuesday.
And now it’s seven years later, on a Tuesday…

**This is a full length second chance romance, inspired by Adele’s “When We Were Young”**

Buy Links:
Amazon • iTunes

about the author button

Whitney G. is a twenty-eight-year-old optimist who is obsessed with travel, tea, and great coffee. She’s also a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of several contemporary novels, and the cofounder of The Indie Tea–an inspirational blog for indie romance authors.

When she’s not chatting with readers on her Facebook Page, you can find her on her website at http://www.whitneygbooks.com or on instagram: @whitneyg.author. (If she’s not in either of those places, she’s probably locked away working on another crazy story.)

Don’t forget to sign up for Whitney’s monthly newsletter here: http://bit.ly/1p9fEYF

Website • Twitter • FacebookInstagram • Goodreads

giveaway button

$25 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway


FOLLOW BOOKLOVERS FOR LIFE ON:
FACEBOOKTWITTER • INSTAGRAMGOODREADSPINTERESTBLOGLOVIN’

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Advertisements

Book Blitz + Excerpt: The Queen by Skye Warren

Happy release day to Skye Warren – The Queen is now live!

The Queen by Skye Warren
Series: Masterpiece #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: September 19th 2017
Add to Goodreads

THE FINAL BOOK IN THE MASTERPIECE DUET!

I have one chance at a new life. A college education. A future outside of Tanglewood’s dark walls. For a breathless moment it seems like I might actually escape.

Then I get a phone call from home.

Damon Scott is my own personal dragon, the fight I’ve always lost, the secret hope of my heart. And he needs my help right now. Only my mind can solve the puzzle. Only my presence can keep him sane as the city fights against him.

Only my heart can unlock a man with such a tragic past.

This is my final gamble, with everything at stake. One last game to win a future for both of us.

And a love strong enough to break the city apart.

THE QUEEN is the final novel in the bestselling Masterpiece duet, about a game of lies and loyalty, of betrayal and power, and ascension to the city’s throne.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & NobleiTunes • Kobo

Now here’s an excerpt from The Queen! ❤

excerpt button

I flinch, glad he can’t see me across two thousand miles. Even working in the kitchens most nights only covers my food, my textbooks. Not the tuition bill. “You’re the one who wanted him to work for you. You’re the one who made him the stake in our last game.”

“And you’re the one who lost,” he says lightly.

“Do you know where he is?”

“Of course. Like you said, he works for me. I would be a careless employer if I let my men go wandering off, gambling and racking up debt and questioning their loyalty to me.”

A shiver runs through me. “Then where is he?”

“He’s a grown-up, Penny. Like you are now. He’s responsible for himself. You only need to worry about your studies. I’m sure Algebraic Topology is taking up plenty of your focus.”

It’s one of my courses this semester. How does he know that?

“Stop playing with me.”

“Why should I?” he says with a soft laugh. “It’s so much fun.”

Frustration stings my eyes, hot and damp. I look up at the wide-open sky, willing myself not to cry. There are a million stars visible here, most of the land owned by Smith College or one of the other campuses. So much land, so much pride. There aren’t buildings climbing on top of other buildings, as if they might sink into the concrete ground if they don’t. There aren’t glass towers reaching to an endless black sky.

“I’m never coming back,” I say abruptly.

His laugh falls silent. “I know.”

“I hate it there. I hate Tanglewood and being powerless. And most of all I hate you.”

The last part is a lie, because I don’t hate him. I’m drawn to him; I’m repelled by him. It’s far too complex a relationship, an equation I’ve never been able to write. It makes me wonder if I’m lying about the other parts—if maybe some twisted part of me misses home.

If some twisted part of me misses being powerless, too.

“Ah, Penny,” he says, sounding infinitely weary. “I hate you too.”

The words shock me, but the hurt inside shocks me more. He shouldn’t be able to wound me. Three years away from home, growing up, growing strong. It should have been enough armor to protect against anything he could say to me. But the arrow sinks deep, proving that I’ll never be able to escape him.

“What did I do to you?” I ask, quiet, in a voice like I’m six years old again. Like I’m speaking to the wild boy I found by the lake, one I lured into my trailer like a wolf.

He answers the same way, a surly teenage boy, fierce and vulnerable at once. “You made me care. You made me want, when I needed to leave. You made me feel, when I would have preferred to die. You brought me back to life.”

And I condemned him to torture. That’s what happened when he sacrificed himself so that I could stay safe. Two children with so few choices. “I’m sorry,” I whisper.

“Don’t worry. I got my revenge, after all.”

My blood runs cold, almost subzero at the words. There’s only one person left in my sad little family. One person he could hurt. “Did you hurt him?”

“By giving him a job when he couldn’t hold one down? By paying him enough that his daughter could escape the city, could go to a fancy college instead of becoming a corner-store whore? Yes, I’ve been horrible to him. A monster.”

“Then why isn’t he answering his phone?”

In the pause I can picture him in a three-piece suit, reclining in one of his ridiculously expensive leather chairs. Some amber liquid in a crystal-cut glass. “Don’t come back,” he says, his voice grim. “You made it out of here. Let that be enough.”

A soft click ends the connection, leaving me bereft.

And more worried than before.

Something is happening in Tanglewood, something bad enough for my father not to call, something horrible enough that even Damon Scott has warned me away. I look up at the infinite stars, but they’re dimmer than before. The whole world muted. It wasn’t a new life that I found so far from home. It was a long dream, and now I’m painfully awake.

Reading Order: Masterpiece Duet series

 

#1 ~ The King: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Queen: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

Also be sure to check out the Endgame series!

Reading Order: Endgame series

  

#1 ~ The Pawn: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads
#2 ~ The Knight: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ The Castle: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads

about the author button

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance such as the Chicago Underground series. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, two sweet dogs, and one evil cat.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram • Goodreads • Youtube • Pinterest


FOLLOW BOOKLOVERS FOR LIFE ON:
FACEBOOKTWITTER • INSTAGRAMGOODREADSPINTERESTBLOGLOVIN’

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Five by J.A. Huss

Five by J.A. Huss is almost here!

Five by J.A. Huss
Series: Mister #0.5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: September 19th 2016
Add to Goodreads

Fifty million books ago I promised you a love story about Five and his Princess.
This is their story.

Five Aston has known Rory Shrike for as long as he can remember. He played with her in the sandbox. He went to every damn horse show just to be supportive. He helped her with her French, walked her home from school, and faked his test scores just to stay with her a little longer and not be sent off to college early.
But eventually he had to move on.
And so did she.
Never has a second chance meant so much to a boy who loves a girl.

A standalone book that is also a spin-off of the Rook & Ronin Series and prequel to the Mister Series. You can read it first, you can read it last. It doesn’t really matter because it’s f*cking Five.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & NobleiTunes • Kobo

Reading Order: Mister series

  
   

#0.5 ~ Five: EbookGoodreads (Sept. 19, 2017)
#1 ~ Mr. Perfect: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Mr. Romantic: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Mr. Corporate: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Mr. Mysterious: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Mr. Match: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#6 ~ Mr. & Mrs.: EbookGoodreads (Oct. 31, 2017)

about the author button

JA Huss is the USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty romances. She likes stories about family, loyalty, and extraordinary characters who struggle with basic human emotions while dealing with bigger than life problems. JA loves writing heroes who make you swoon, heroines who makes you jealous, and the perfect Happily Ever After ending.

You can chat with her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AuthorJAHuss), Twitter (@jahuss), and her blog, New Adult Addiction (www.jahuss.com).

If you’re interested in getting your hands on an advanced release copy of her upcoming books, sneak peek teasers, or information on her upcoming personal appearances, you can join her newsletter list (http://eepurl.com/JVhAr) and get those details delivered right to your inbox.

Website • Newsletter • Twitter • Pinterest • Instagram • Amazon Page

giveaway button

Signed FIVE Paperback
$50 Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway


FOLLOW BOOKLOVERS FOR LIFE ON:
FACEBOOKTWITTER • INSTAGRAMGOODREADSPINTERESTBLOGLOVIN’

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Release Week Blitz + ARC Review, Top 5 Quotes & Giveaway: Arrogant Bastard by Zara Cox

Arrogant Bastard by Zara Cox releases tomorrow! To celebrate, we have Zara Cox’s top 5 favorite quotes from this new release – also be sure to check out my review and a fantastic giveaway below!

Top 5 Quotes in ARROGANT BASTARD

  1. It’s a universally held belief that you can’t help who you fall in love with. There are a fuck-load of books expounding on that theory. I call bullshit.
  2. I could’ve stopped myself from soiling her goodness. From falling ass over feet in love. But I carried on walking. And with each step I took, I knew we were doomed. Because with each step, I glimpsed her potential, absorbed her genius and her beauty and her flaws.
  3. “But this bastard, your bastard, is going out of his mind with the need to taste you again. If fucking you is off the table, I’ll take the next best thing.”
  4. “I belong to her. It’s easier for both of us if we put it that way.”
  5. He discards the glass and steps onto the wide bed. With his gaze still pinned on me, he slowly slides down the headboard into the pile of pillows. “I’m not going to survive this, am I?” he mutters under his breath.

Arrogant Bastard by Zara Cox
Series: Dark Desires #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: September 12th 2017
Add to Goodreads

I’m known as the Black Widow because the desires I hide inside are pure poison.
I was a different person once. Faith, a young wife, hoping to become a mother. My life was pleasant. Stable. It was hell. Until Killian Knight opened my eyes to a world of espionage and intrigue. He saw something in me, something I was too afraid to acknowledge. I didn’t want to be excited by the danger. Didn’t want to crave the wicked passion only he could provide. But I did want, so now I run. And I pay.

I never meant to corrupt her, but I’m not sorry.
After all, I’m already damned.

After four years of searching and longing, I’ve finally found her. Faith, the one person in the world I breathe for. She lives beneath my skin as surely as I wear proof of our transgressions inked on my body. And like the forbidden fruit that doomed us from the beginning, our end is inevitable. We lived with no regret. We loved without inhibition. We betrayed those closest to us. We killed for that love. Now…we will burn in hell together.

Buy Links:
Amazon • B&N • BAM • Google Play • iBooks • Kobo

review button

After being surprised in the best way possible by the last book in the Dark Desires series, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next book. Black Sheep had set up the Black Widow’s story so well, I was dying for Arrogant Bastard to release, especially since I knew it would be a second chance romance. I am a huge sucker for that trope, and luckily Zara Cox delivered on the angst and intensity I was expecting to come with Black Widow/Faith and Killian’s second chance romance. There were still some parts that I wasn’t too keen on, but overall, this was a fantastically dark and delicious second chance romance I’d recommend!

I feel like I’ve desired her and lost her through several lifetimes. She wishes she’d never met me in even one of them, I know. But that matters very little now.
It happened. We happened. And this time… I don’t plan to loser her again.

Four years ago, Faith and Killian met, and against all odds fell for each other. Killian introduced her to the world of espionage and, caught up in the rush of love, lust, and adrenaline, they never looked back. That is, until one assignment breaks them, and Faith disappears completely from Killian’s life. Years later, after his unwavering search for the love of his life (it certainly helped that he had the money and brains to find her), Killian has found Faith, who now goes by Black Widow. And now that he’s found her, he’s never letting her go again.

She was everything I’d been waiting for without even knowing it.

I loved Black Widow in Black Sheep, and she’s just as badass as I knew she was in Arrogant Bastard. After learning her history with espionage with Killian, I grew to admire her all the more. Despite leaving Killian, Faith never forgot about the man who, once upon a time, was her everything. But now that’s he’s found her, her newly constructed life in New York slowly crumbles, and she’s not sure she’s tough enough to keep Killian out of her life – again.

“When are you going to get it through your head that I exist just for you?”

I loved the second chance romance. I adored the determined hero who never stopped searching for and loving the one woman he knew was meant for him. Seriously, you will swoon over how much Killian loved and cherishes Faith (even if he is arrogant and a bastard at times). I do wish we got to see more of their history though, just to get a sense of how they fell in love from the beginning.

But the main reason I didn’t love this book as much as Black Sheep was that I felt the suspenseful part of the story nearly overtook the romance. I love a good romantic suspense, but I just wasn’t expecting the book to focus so heavily on the action. Although if you love action and suspense, and are in the mood for it, then Arrogant Bastard is definitely for you. The addicting second chance romance will just be the icing on top!

I did enjoy Arrogant Bastard overall and hope that Zara Cox writes more dark romance. Her heroes are alpha, powerful, and irresistible, while her heroines are tough and independent. She writes some sizzling chemistry – the sexual tension is all-consuming and erotic. I’m very much looking forward to what the author has in store for us next!


lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.

Reading Order: Dark Desires series

   

#1 ~ Beautiful Liar: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Black Sheep: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2.5 ~ Wicked S.O.B.: Ebook • Goodreads
#3 ~ Arrogant Bastard: EbookPaperbackGoodreads (Sept. 12, 2017)

about the author button

Zara Cox has been writing for almost twenty-five years but it wasn’t until nine years ago that she decided to share her love of writing sexy, gritty stories with anyone outside her close family (the over 18s anyway!).

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Instagram • Pinterest • Goodreads

giveaway button

Fifteen (15) FREE eBook downloads of ARROGANT BASTARD

a Rafflecopter giveaway


FOLLOW BOOKLOVERS FOR LIFE ON:
FACEBOOKTWITTER • INSTAGRAMGOODREADSPINTERESTBLOGLOVIN’

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Excerpt Reveal: Exes with Benefits by Nicole Williams

Exes with Benefits by Nicole Williams
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: September 18th 2017
Add to Goodreads

***He wants a second chance. I want a divorce. To get what I want, I’ll have to give him what he does.***

From New York Times & USA Today bestselling author, Nicole Williams:

The only benefit I want from my ex is a divorce.

We got married for all the wrong reasons. The one thing we got right was our separation. I should have known better than to think I could bet on forever with a guy like Canaan Ford. Everything about him screamed impermanent, from his wild eyes to his restless soul.

When I left him and the small town I’d spent my whole life in, I swore I’d never go back. Never only turned out to be five years. Canaan claims he’s changed, but he hasn’t—same knowing smile, same rough demeanor, same body crafted from sin and sinew. And yet, something is different. He thinks this is his chance for redemption. My disagreement comes in the form of divorce papers dropped in his lap. He refuses to sign them. Unless . . .

He wants a month to prove himself to me—that’s his offer. One month to make me fall in love with him again and if I don’t, he’ll sign the papers. As much as I want to say no, I agree. I can suffer my ex for a short amount of time if that’s what it takes to be free of him once and for all. I fell for him once; I won’t make that same mistake twice.

He says we’re not over. I say we were over before we got started. Only one of us can be right, and I can’t let it be him.

Buy Links:
AmazonBarnes & NobleiTunes

Now here’s an excerpt from Exes with Benefits! ❤

excerpt button

PROLOGUE

Goodbye.

It was the one relationship guarantee we could all expect. Whether it was death or circumstance, tragedy or choice, it was the only promise we were assured. Goodbye. It had been coming since the day we met, and now it was here. Sooner than I’d hoped. Even sooner than the sensible segment of me had predicted.

Still, it was later than maybe I should have expected out of a relationship with Canaan Ford.

I’d been waiting all night for his truck to rumble up the driveway when it finally did just past two a.m.. Before his footsteps echoed up the stairs, I shouldered the couple of bags I’d packed and waited in the shadows of the hallway. My paintbrushes were sticking out of one of my oversized totes, tickling the underside of my arm. I’d packed everything that seemed important at the time, but now, I wasn’t sure that what I’d stuffed in my bags mattered at all.

It was late, dark, and Canaan would be coming home exhausted, hurting, and some degree of drunk. He wouldn’t see me, and I could just slip away without him knowing.

Maybe I should have left before he made it back, but whenever I tried, my feet froze to the floor before I could make it to the door. I needed to wait for him to get home first—to make sure he was okay before I left him. That might have been a messed up model of morality, but most of Canaan’s and my relationship was messed up, from the beginning to now, the ending.

He struggled with the key in the lock before shoving the door open and clomping straight toward the couch. He’d stopped crawling into bed beside me after a night of fighting and drinking months ago, like he thought it would spare me the pain of seeing him bloodied and plastered. It never had. The black eyes, the swollen lips, the bruised ribs; they were that much worse in the light of morning.

Canaan had barely crashed onto the sofa before his breathing evened out. Still, I waited another minute in the hallway before moving into the living room.

Don’t look, Maggie. Don’t let yourself look at him.

I looked. Of course I looked. I never listened to what was best for me—if I had, my life would have wound up so much differently.

He was already passed out, sprawled across the couch we’d bought at a yard sale the summer before . . .

Before all of this.

One arm and one leg were hanging off the end, his face tipped far enough toward me I could gauge the type of fight he’d been in tonight. A good one by Canaan’s definition—the best kind. The type where his opponent got in as many hits as he did. The type of fight that made him almost question if it would be the first one he’d lose. Canaan loved the challenge, the fight. He thrived off of chaos, seeming to wilt when life was simple. I used to admire that about him, and maybe I still did. It just wasn’t the life for me. I couldn’t live life like it was a battle—not anymore.

He was passed out hard, but I still crept slowly toward the front door, my heart thundering as the boards creaked below me. Even though I was moving toward the door, my eyes stayed on him.

Look away.

I couldn’t. Canaan was the best part of my life. And the worst. The best memories. And the worst. He was the high and the low and I was so damn tired of the sick cycle I thought would kill me one day.

As my hand cupped around the cool doorknob, my eyes burned. This was it. As resolved as I’d felt in the weeks leading up to this, I felt like I was being torn in half by walking away. I knew if I stayed, this relationship would be the end of me. But at the moment, leaving felt like the same.

Lying on that couch, he looked so vulnerable. Almost like he needed someone to protect him. From the world. From his demons. From himself. I’d tried. God, I’d been trying for what felt like forever, but the only thing I had to show for my efforts was scars and pain.

One of his eyes was swollen shut, his bottom lip three times its normal size, and he’d split the same eyebrow open again. It was going to need stitches. Six, I guessed. I’d gotten really good as estimating the number of stiches needed to seal a wound.

A sob rose from my chest, but I managed to swallow it back down. He was the only boy I’d ever loved—the only one I’d ever come close to loving. In some ways, he was perfect for me. But in more ways, especially lately, he was entirely wrong for me.

That was why I needed to leave. We might have been good together, but we weren’t good for each other. I knew that now.

I opened the door slowly, so it wouldn’t make a sound, then I let myself take one last look at the life I was leaving behind before I forced myself to walk away.

Now that I wasn’t looking at him, moving was easier. Each step down from our little apartment above the garage came quicker, so by the time I reached the ground, I was jogging.

Canaan’s truck was parked right beside my old car. Ancient was maybe a better description of how “mature” my car was. It was almost like he’d known I was going to leave tonight, because he’d parked his truck so close I could barely crack my door open half a foot. Getting my bags tossed into the backseat and managing to wiggle in through the door was a tight fit, but I made it work.

The moment I was inside, I jammed the key in the ignition and turned it over. I didn’t pause. I didn’t flinch. The hardest part was behind me, and now I needed to keep moving.

Easing my car around the truck, I noticed the one light burning inside the big house in my rearview mirror. Grandma knew what was happening tonight and was keeping her light on for me as her unique way of expressing that no matter what, she was here for me. She’d keep the light on—even when it felt like there was nothing but darkness around me.

My throat constricted as I kept backing down the long driveway. I’d tried saving him, but it had cost me almost everything. I was taking what I had left and saving myself.

As I rolled past Grandma’s front porch, my gaze shifted from the rearview mirror to that little garage apartment I’d lived the last eleven months in. The door was open, light was streaming from inside, and a dark, towering shadow loomed in the doorway.

My foot instinctively moved toward the brake. Canaan was too far away for me to determine the look on his face, but I could imagine it. It came easy since I’d known him as long as I had. Knowing his face was like second nature.

He stayed unmoving in that doorway for a moment, my car doing the same. It wasn’t until he started moving down the stairs that my foot flew back to the gas. If he got to me before I made it out of this driveway, I wouldn’t leave. I knew it. Walking away from someone I loved was hard enough, but Canaan wasn’t just someone I loved—he was someone I’d shared everything with. He’d walked with me through the hardest part of my life, and I’d walked with him through his. We’d been each other’s beacon, shelter, and compass through all of life’s shit . . .

So how had we gotten here? To this hopeless, dead end of a place?

He was charging down the stairs now, taking them two at a time. How was he able to move that nimbly when he’d just been comatose on the couch?

“Maggie!”

The windows were rolled up, but his shout broke through the glass, sounding so close it was almost like he was pressed against me, whispering it into my ear.

He sprinted the moment his feet touched the ground, his long arms pumping hard at his sides.

“Canaan, don’t,” I whispered inside the car, my lower lip trembling as I focused on the driveway behind me. “Please don’t.”

I didn’t miss the shadow that had appeared in that lit window. Grandma was watching me leave, witnessing Canaan trying to convince me to stay. Before, his attempts had been successful, but not this time. I couldn’t stay for him one more time—I had to leave for me.

“Maggie! Please!”

Canaan’s shouts were so loud, they were going to wake up the neighbors a few acres over. Each word emanated like a blast inside the car.

“Let me go,” I whispered as I swung the car onto the street.

Right before I could punch it into drive and hit the gas, Canaan swooped in front of the car. His chest was moving hard from the exertion, his snug white tee stained with fresh and dried blood. His face was so messed up it was practically unrecognizable, but I couldn’t help seeing the young boy with a clip-on tie walk up to me when I was frozen on a porch step, appraising me with those wild gold eyes before holding out a tiny box. How had that boy, who’d saved me back then, become the ruin of me now?

When I revved the engine, he didn’t move. Instead, he slid closer so his legs were pushing against the bumper. He raised his arms like he was surrendering, his unswollen eye landing on me. “I’m not letting you leave. Not without a fight.”

A breath rolled past my lips—a fight. Everything was a fight with him. He couldn’t land enough hits or take enough. His guilt wouldn’t let him.

Cranking down the window, I made myself glare at him. It was harder to achieve than it should have been. “I’m not something you win or lose in a fight.”

His jaw moved as he pressed his hands into the hood of the car. “You fight for what’s important. That’s the way life is. And you are worth every fight I have in me.”

“You’re too busy fighting everyone else—including yourself—to fight for me.” My sight blurred as I stared at him. So little of the person I’d fallen in love with remained. So little of who he’d fallen in love with remained in me as well. “I can’t wait around, watching you kill yourself one fight and drink at a time.”

He wiped at his split-open brow, leaving a streak of blood on his forearm. “I can change.”

My fingers tightened around the steering wheel. How many times had I heard those words come from his lips? Those same lips that claimed ownership of my first kiss?

“Yeah, you can.” I steeled myself against him a little more. “That’s not your problem. Your problem is that you won’t change.”

“This time I will.” His head whipped side to side. “It’s taken this, you trying to leave me, to slap some sense into me.”

I’d tried leaving so many times. This was just the furthest I’d ever made it. “I’m not trying to leave you. I am leaving you.” I made myself look at him. I made myself appear strong when I felt so very opposite. “This is it.”

He slowly came around the side of the car toward me. I rolled up the window halfway, aiming my eyes at the road in front of me.

“One more chance.” Even from a few feet back, I could smell the alcohol on his breath. I could smell the sweat and blood on him mixed with it, the trace of perfume that didn’t belong to me.

“You’ve had a thousand one more chances.” I studied him from the corners of my eyes, knowing better than to let them lock on his when he was this close. “This was your last one.”

“Maggie . . .” His hands formed around the lip of the window. His knuckles were split open and swollen, dried blood covering them. Still, I wasn’t sure I’d ever craved having them reach for me more. I wasn’t sure I’d ever needed him to pull me to his broken body and soul more than I did right then.

In that moment, I might have needed him more than I needed air, but I couldn’t give in. Kicking the habit was the only way to cure myself.

“Let me go, Canaan.” My legs were trembling as my foot moved back to the gas.

His head lowered so it was in line with mine. “You’re my wife.”

My left hand curled farther around the steering wheel, until I couldn’t see the gold band circling my finger. “No. I was your wife.”

His head dropped for half a second, his eyes flashing with defeat right before. “I love you.”

​My chest ached. The man was the boy again, and I wanted to save him the way he’d saved me. But I couldn’t. The only person who could save Canaan Ford was Canaan Ford.

“I promised to love you forever, and I will.” My foot touched the accelerator. “But I can’t spend forever with you.”

His hands braced around the window harder when I rolled forward. “I made a promise. To you, and to myself. A promise to love you forever. To look after you as long.”

When I found my mind drifting to that overcast afternoon eleven months ago, my heart wringing when I remembered the way he’d stared at me as we repeated those phrases in the courthouse, I shook my head. Good memories weren’t enough. Hope wasn’t enough. Empty promises weren’t even close to enough.

“We exchanged vows.” My eyes focused on the road in front of me, letting go of the dead end beside me. “There’s a difference between saying them and meaning them.”

When my foot pushed down on the gas, Canaan moved with the car. “I’m not letting you go. I’m not giving up.” The car moved faster, his feet pounding the asphalt as he struggled to keep up.

“I know. But I’m giving in.” Breaking my own rule, I let my eyes meet his before punching the gas pedal as far down as it would go. “Goodbye.”

That was enough. Hearing that word shocked him just enough to still him. For one second. I didn’t ease up on the gas, not even when I heard his fists pounding the trunk as he struggled to keep up.

“I can change!” His footsteps were thundering after the car. “I will change.”

With him behind me, I let the tears I’d been fighting fall. Everything I’d ever known—my whole life—was getting smaller and smaller behind me. With every tick of the odometer.

“MAGGIE!!!” His voice pierced the air one last time before I was too far away to hear whatever came next.

It was morning by the time I stopped seeing his reflection in the rearview mirror, still chasing me into my new life.

about the author button

Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USATODAY bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost & Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time.

Nicole is represented by Jane Dystel, of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Instagram


FOLLOW BOOKLOVERS FOR LIFE ON:
FACEBOOKTWITTER • INSTAGRAMGOODREADSPINTERESTBLOGLOVIN’

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.