Bitter. Broken. Explosive.
He should’ve known he was in trouble the moment he heard that sweet laugh. Normally, something that sweet would’ve annoyed his bitter ass. Instead, he was drawn to it—to her—like he hadn’t been drawn to anything in too long.
He should’ve run the moment he found out she was just eighteen. Normally, he steered clear of girls that young and their drama. Instead, he succumbed to the unrelenting draw.
He should’ve been relieved when she admitted she was in no way ready for anything exclusive and serious. Normally, he’d be all for that. Instead, the thought of her not being exclusively his infuriated him.
Except nothing was normal about how alarmingly fast she’d brought him to his knees. In all his twenty-five years, not a single girl had ever done that.
Not Even Close.
But she’s still just eighteen and she still isn’t exclusively his. With his past making him so cynical it’s not a matter of if he’ll eventually blow but how badly.
What readers are saying:
“I’ve been in a reading slump for the past couple of months. I’ve tried reading favorite authors’ new releases, recommendations from friends and even rereading old favorites but upsettingly nothing was working for me. Until … Not Even Close. This book pulled me right out of my slump and into a serious crush on Byron who, IMO, is a perfectly written alpha.”
“I LOVED this book ❤️ Byron has been through so much and I was beyond thrilled to see him get his happily ever after.”
“His jealousy and anger is tempered with the right amount of all-consuming love, fierce protective tendencies and endearing nerves when dealing with her family (of course I loved the Moreno connection)”.
Full Prologue to
NOT EVEN CLOSE
A New Generation series
The splatter of blood to Byron’s face jerked him out of the trance he’d entered. Barbara’s cries and the tugs at his arms from the frantic frat boys telling him that the guy he’d just beat to a pulp was out cold, barely registered. He got off his knee and stood as his previously blurred surroundings came back into view. For a moment, he considered calling Barbara a whore, considered telling her he never wanted to see or hear from her lying, cheating ass again. But despite his still breathless and enraged mien, he didn’t care about her even half as much as he knew the stunned crowd surrounding them now were thinking. This hadn’t even been about driving up and seeing Barbara making out with another dude. If the guy hadn’t gotten out of the car and called Byron out like an obnoxious asshole, Byron might’ve just driven away.
Without uttering a word, and before the cops rolled up and threw his dumb ass in the backseat of a squad car, Byron had the presence of mind to just walk away as he should’ve to begin with. He drove slowly, his eyes going from the road before him to the bloodied knuckles clenching his steering wheel. Breathing in deeply, he tried in vain to forget what his rage tonight had really been about. He did not want to sink back into that darkness.
His rage today stemmed back to the last time he’d had to nurse his bloodied knuckles. His mother’s untimely death had been the impetus for a few fists through walls and even a window. She was the reason he’d given a relationship with Barbara a shot to begin with. It’d been nine years since he’d considered doing more than just bagging random girls. His mother was the one who’d pulled him out of the darkness he’d sunk into the first time. Then she waited years to point something out that he’d never even contemplated.
When he’d slunk in one morning earlier that year from a night out with yet another might-as-well-be-nameless girl, his mother had asked, as she’d begun to do more often, about the girls he’d spent the night with. As usual, Byron couldn’t tell her much since he always made it a point not to get to know them. She’d shaken her head disapprovingly, but mostly she seemed concerned.
“I know Lizette was your first and only girlfriend, Byron.” She’d spoken with obvious caution. “I know losing her was an unexpected and tragic shock. But you two were just fifteen, and you two hadn’t even known each other that long. How profound could your connection have been?”
When he’d begun to protest that she’d been his first love, his first everything, she countered that it was because she’d been his first everything that he’d put her up on a pedestal that no other girl could ever reach now. “Honey, I don’t doubt that you loved her but only as much as a fifteen-year-old is capable of loving. At that young and impressionable age, everything feels that much more frantic. You can’t go the rest of your life hoping to replicate exactly what you felt for her because you’ll never be fifteen again. Your heart and soul are older now. While a new relationship might not be the same, trust me, it’ll still feel frenzied. Just in a different way.”
After his mother’s sudden and unexpected death just weeks after that conversation, he’d vowed for her sake to be more open to finding love again. So, when he met Barbara a few months after his mother’s death, and she showed interest in trying for more than just his usual, he decided to give it a shot.
Because of his indecision about his future after high school, he’d gotten a late start and, at twenty-four, was older than your typical college senior. But at least he was almost done. Against his better judgment, he’d decided to get a little more serious with Barbara, despite her being a nineteen-year-old sophomore. Byron knew firsthand that so many girls that age, just starting adulthood, were free spirits. It’s why it’d been so easy for so long to do the nameless bedhopping without any drama. Now he felt like an idiot about not going with his gut.
In hindsight, he knew the rage he’d felt today was more of the pent-up sorrow he’d been holding in since the loss of his mother. Not since Lizette had he allowed himself to cry. It served no purpose other than to sink him further into that dark place.
But seeing Barbara blatantly making out with another guy, when Byron had just been with her two nights ago, had been a blow to his ego. With his temperament, it hadn’t taken much to get him to react as if he really cared about her. Lesson learned. He could only imagine how much worse it might’ve felt had he felt more for her.
He flexed his aching bloodied knuckles with a frown. “Well, shit.”
As if trying to keep his vow to stay open to love hadn’t already felt like an impossibility, on top of all the emotional baggage he was carrying, trust would now be a huge issue to add to his already broody attitude.
All ya gotta do is add to your GoodReads shelf and or just share share share (if you don’t have a GoodReads account) and tell me about it either here or on one of my social media pages where I’ve shared the same graphic to get you here! I’ll give it until Monday morning. The more you share the more you’re entered to win signed copies of these babies AND an ARC of Not Even Close (When it’s ready! Happy sharing!!!