Blake Bentley had a rough upbringing, never fully believing he was good enough for anything or anyone. After being left with a broken heart by his only girlfriend, Blake swore off relationships for good and turned to the only two things that made him feel sufficient – sex and firefighting.
Tessa Collins was brought up in the traditional ‘perfect’ family – loving parents, great sister, and amazing friends. After falling in love with Jared, her life was perfect – until he betrayed her. She has no idea that his betrayal could end up costing her more than just a shattered heart.
Blake and Tessa have been friends since high school. Never wanting to admit their attraction for each other, the two always remained close friends. Now, three years later, Blake and Tessa find themselves being pulled together by a force much greater than friendship.
Blake and Tessa have promised to be friends forever, but as fate pulls them together, they embark on a roller coaster ride of a lifetime. Will his self doubt and her insecurities keep them apart? Or will they be able to promise each other always?
**content is for +18yrs. **
Excerpt Tessa POV
Just then, my whole body came alive, reacting involuntarily to a presence behind me. I didn’t even need to turn around—I knew instantly, it was Blake. My body reacted to him before my mind even knew he was there. Whether he wanted me or not, he owned me, body, heart and soul. He always would.
“I’m cutting in,” Blake demanded, starting to take a step in between Shane and me. I wondered briefly if Blake had requested this song. Maybe he was trying to tell me something….maybe this was how he was going to apologize.
Shane immediately took a step forward, blocking Blake from breaking us a part. “I don’t think so, bro. Tess and I were having a nice conversation and I would prefer to finish it—alone. Now, if you don’t mind….” Shane’s voice trailed off as he looked back at me, completely ignoring Blake, and grabbed my waist lightly. He tried moving our bodies to the music, but I couldn’t move. I stood there, anchored to the floor, watching Blake’s reaction; I could feel the fury radiating off of him.
His mouth formed into a thin line and his fists balled at his sides. I could see his breathing pick up, causing me to hold mine. With his jaw clenched tight, he murmured, “I’m going to say this one more time, Shane, and if you don’t back away from her, I will make you. Do you understand? I’m cutting in.” Shane must have seen the wrath in Blake’s eyes because he instantly released his hold on me and backed away, looking defeated and annoyed.
As Shane walked away, Blake never took his eyes off of him—daring him to turn around. I was relieved that I was saved from Shane’s questioning, but a little annoyed that it was Blake that came to my rescue. I wasn’t ready to face him so soon after he spit those harsh words at me, deflating my hopes of us ever being together and breaking my heart.
“Come on. We need to talk.” He took my hand and started leading me towards the stairs.
I pulled my hand away, still angry with him. Did he really just expect me to follow him like some little puppy? “I don’t think so, Blake. You made your self pretty clear outside. I get it okay? We’re not together. Point taken,” I said, trying to reign in my emotions. “What else is there to talk about?” I crossed my arms over my chest and planted my feet. There was no way I was budging.
“Tess, please I….I need to talk to you. I need to explain a few things. If you don’t like what you hear, you can leave and I won’t stop you. Please.” He started to take a step towards me, his hand extended to touch my face, but stopped when I took a step back.
“No, thank you,” I stated. I wasn’t ready to talk. I didn’t want to face him. He was going to leave and I wasn’t ready to be let go.
“Seriously, Tess, stop acting like a child and talk to me about this. I know you’re upset and I know I acted like a dick. But please, just let me explain.” I narrowed my eyes at him. Did he really just call me a child?
“Don’t make me throw you over my shoulder and carry you upstairs,” he warned, raising his eyebrow. His features softened into a playful expression.
“You wouldn’t dare,” I sneered, lifting my chin in defiance.
Blake shrugged. “Watch me, baby girl,” he growled, picking me up and flinging me over his shoulder like I was a rag doll.
“Put me down, Blake!” I screamed, flailing my arms and hitting him in the back. I knew it was no use to struggle, but I wasn’t going to stop—I wasn’t going down without a fight.
“No, we need to talk,” he muttered, squeezing my legs a little harder with his forearm for emphasis. “If you weren’t so stubborn, you could be walking right now.” He chuckled as I repeatedly hit him in the back. “You hit like a girl, you know that?” he teased, only infuriating me further.
“I am a girl, jackass!” I yelled, still pounding his back with my fists.
I heard Lexi, Avery and Palmer all laugh from the corner by the stairs. As we passed, I shot them all dirty looks. “Some best friends you are!” I yelled from the stairs. They all just winked at me and laughed some more.
Excerpt Blake POV
Tess headed for the kitchen, so I got up and followed her. As soon as she shut the fridge from getting her beer, she rammed into my chest. She backed away looking all flustered. Color slowly crept into her cheeks as her eyes scanned the length of my body. Damn! She was hotter than I even remembered.
“Hey, baby girl. Can we talk?” I whispered in her ear.
“Sure, Blake. What’s up?”
“Not here. Come with me.” I grabbed her hand and led her out to the balcony. For some reason, I didn’t want an audience for this conversation.
Once we were outside I took her in my arms and gave her the biggest hug. I had wanted to do that since she walked in the door tonight. Fuck, she smelled just like the beach and her scent was enough to make me hard. I needed to talk before my dick got me in trouble. “Are you okay? You deserve so much better than that asshole,” I said softly into her ear.
She took a deep breath and started twirling her hair again. “I’ll be alright, Blake. Pretty sure I knew it was coming. It’s not like this is the first time he’s done this. I guess I was just stupid for thinking he really was sorry. I’m just so embarrassed. I mean, how stupid am I?”
“Tess, you’re not stupid. He’s the jackass that fucked up. If he couldn’t see how amazing you are, then that’s his loss. Please don’t think that about yourself. You are one of the smartest girls I know and you deserve someone that will treat you like a damn princess.”
With those words she threw herself into my arms and held onto me like she was drowning. She fit perfectly wrapped all around me and I couldn’t help but think back to that afternoon in my truck. I started to feel my pants getting tighter as the memories filled my mind. I pushed her back and held her at arm’s length. Her face fell a little at my gesture and I felt like an ass, but the last thing I wanted her to feel was my dick pressing against her.
I am a new adult contemporary author that is currently working on my first novel, Promise Me Always. I am a wife, mother of 2 amazing kiddos, photographer and owner at K23 Photography & Design, graphic designer and cover designer at K23 Designs, as well as an avid reader and blogger at A Book Whores Obsession! I have been married since 2004 to the most amazing man ever and together we have two amazing children.
I was born in Aurora, CO and still reside their today with my amazing family. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the world. I have become accustom to bi-polar weather living here and I absolutely love getting all four seasons (although winters could be a bit shorter.)
I have a small obsession with Starbucks and gummy bears! They make the perfect writing snack! Wine helps a lot too especially with the late night writing sessions. I love the summer and everything that goes along with it, camping, swimming, boating, hiking, etc. I love to travel and Disneyland is one of my family’s favorite places to visit together. I have a dream of visiting so many places in the world such as Italy, Greece, Australia, Fiji, Bora Bora and New Zealand (just to name a few.)
I have met so many amazing people in this journey so far and I cannot wait to see what the future holds.