(The Red Oak Bay Series, #1)
Publication date: February 13th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
My life is a mess.
I’m only twenty-two years old, and it’s been a mess for four years already. Every plan I had made for my future fell apart the day tragedy hit. Every dream I had found a new place in the smallest, most hidden corner of my mind. Responsibilities replaced them, and now it seems like that’s all my life is made of. And I’ve come to accept that reality. I don’t like it, but I accept it.
Until Noah drops anchor in the small town I never left and gives me a taste of what my life could be.
His smile and his intensity have my heart begging me to get closer, even though I know that I have no business wanting him. He makes me feel alive again, but I can’t let my heart lead the way if I don’t want to experience any more heartbreak. The problem is, I’m not sure that just one taste of this man will be enough.
I swore off relationships a long time ago.
The painful heartbreak brought on by the betrayal of the person you worship isn’t worth years of love, if you ask me. Especially when it turns out that that love was nothing but a lie all along. Now, I live on my boat, travel around and write my songs, and that’s all I need.
Until one of my stopovers. When I cross paths with her.
I look into Alyx’s beautiful, sapphire eyes and see the tinge of sadness despite the smiles easily brightening her face. She’s gorgeous. She’s also so sweet that I could let myself get attached without a second thought, if I didn’t know better. It’s always been easy for me to leave any town I’ve dropped anchor in, and I keep reminding myself how easy it will be to leave at the end of the summer. But it doesn’t matter how many times I repeat that thought to myself, I already know it won’t be. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting her.
I turn on the faucet, and the gush of water cascades down the burn. Alyx’s gaze is rooted on our joined hands. Mine is painfully torn between doing the same and drifting to her slightly flushed face, reddish lips, and beautiful eyes. The second one prevails over the first eventually. When Alyx returns my stare with her shining sapphires, all the torturous fighting I’ve done for the past ten days to not overstep the boundaries written in capital letters on her forehead stops right here, losing the absolute importance it seemed to have so far.
And my lips taste hers.
I finally get to find them, but only with the slightest of pressure, waiting for her to push me away. But she doesn’t, and I run my tongue along her luscious lower lip, feeling like achieving another victory when her mouth slightly opens. The faintest sigh leaves her as I push my tongue in her mouth, meeting hers.
Soft. Wet. Warm.
She still doesn’t back away. Instead, the fire I’ve often caught blazing silently, in her eyes and straight from her soul, since I met her comes alive as she kisses me back. And I’m instantly lost in a sensation as new as if it was the first time I’ve ever kissed a girl.
Since Kate left me, I’ve compared every kiss random girls gave me to hers. It didn’t seem to matter that she ripped my heart out of my chest and reduced it to a pile of shreds. Didn’t seem to matter that I swore, the very day I left my hometown, that she wouldn’t own the smallest corner of my mind ever again. Because every single time a girl’s lips brushed mine, I remembered the softness of Kate’s mouth. Their warmth. Their hunger. Her pale skin would intrude my mind, and her brown eyes would look at me through it. Every time, I wished it was Kate who was kissing me.
Not right now.
Right now, my closed eyes are seeing whose mouth is dancing with mine with clarity. The face taking shape behind my eyelids is made of full reddish lips, long dark hair, expressive blue eyes, and golden skin. I know that the lips devouring mine, the tongue exploring my mouth like there’s a treasure to find, are softer than any I’ve tasted. Warmer. Hungrier. All I’ve ever tasted before fade in a heartbeat, expunged from my memory. Only one thing remains.