08 November 2016

Release Blitz ~ Made For You by Kelly Elliott

made-for-you-0-days

Made For You- Front FB File (1)

One decision.

Two lives ripped apart.

For Holden Warner and Emylie Sanchez, the road back to each other has been long and jagged. Each of them hiding from the truth, but unwilling to move on from the love they share.

When life no longer allows them to run from their past, they soon realize they’re two souls who will never fit anywhere except … with each other.

Made For You is a stand-alone novel.



Prologue

Emylie

Sitting on the dock, the cool breeze blew my dark brown hair around in a swirling motion over my shoulders. The clear night sky offered up an amazing show. We’d already seen two falling stars and my wish was the same for both. Keep Holden safe.

This was the last night Holden and I would spend together before he left for the University of Southern California and I left for Texas A&M. My heart slowly sank as the clock ticked on.

“Are you nervous?” I asked, my voice shaky and unsure. I could hear the nervousness in my voice.

With a grin that still caused my stomach to flutter, he responded, “Nah. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll miss you and my folks. Probably will miss Mason, too, but I’m not holding my breath on that one.”

I lightly pushed him as I let out a chuckle. “Stop it. Mason’s like a brother to you. You’re going to miss him.”

Shrugging, he nodded his head and glanced away. “I’m looking forward to playing football. I only wish my father understood.”

Closing my eyes, I silently prayed I would understand as well. Holden and I had always planned on going to Texas A&M and getting a degree in agriculture and life science. Then we would move back to our hometown of Brady and start our life together. When USC offered him a full football scholarship, he said he couldn’t pass it up and it would be a new adventure. One he would go on without me. It wasn’t like he didn’t ask me to go with him. I wanted to be with him, but I also wanted to follow my dreams and Holden realized that.

“I’ll miss you the most, Em. I hope you know that.”

Swallowing hard, I bit down on my cheek to keep my tears at bay. I had promised myself I wouldn’t cry and make this harder on Holden, even though it tore me apart. He said he needed this. It would be good for both of us in the end. I had a terrible feeling it was going to change everything.

Turning back to me, Holden’s face lit up. “I love you, Em. I’ll always love you.”

Holden Warner and I had been practically inseparable since we were five years old and he pushed Mason Frank to the ground for pulling my ponytail and saying I was cute. We had been best friends since then. When we hit high school, Holden finally started to see me differently. I was no longer his best friend who did everything with him. I was Emylie, the best friend who started growing breasts and who liked to put makeup on and wear dresses. Our friendship quickly turned into something so much more.

I tried to smile and failed big time as I pleaded, “Promise me you won’t meet some hot California bleach blonde and forget about me.”

Holden placed his hand on the side of my face, his gaze fell to my lips as his thumb left a trail of fire across my cheek. “I promise you, Em. You’ll be my best friend forever and the only woman I will ever love.”

Closing my eyes, I let the tears fall as I whispered back, “I’m scared you’ll forget me.”

“Look at me, Em.”

I stared into his blue eyes. “This will be good for us. Some time apart isn’t going to be a bad thing. It will make us stronger.”

I shook my head. “How can you say that? It’s tearing me apart. How is this not doing the same to you?”

“It is. But going out and exploring new things, new people … it will be good for me and you. This town is all we’ve ever known. Ranching is all I’ve ever done. How do I really know I want to run my father’s ranch?”

Hurt filled my chest. “Because you love it.”

“I do love it,” he answered with a soft voice.

“What about us?”

Moving his finger along my jaw line, he smiled. “I can’t imagine meeting anyone who could ever make me feel like you do, Em.”

Lifting my chin, I attempted to keep my voice steady. “I can’t imagine it either. I love you and I’m going to miss you like crazy.”

He leaned over and kissed my lips. “I love you too. More than you’ll ever know. This is going to be good for us.”

His words rattled around in my brain. We would be okay. Our love was strong enough to be tested. If this was what Holden wanted, then I’d go along with it. Really, what choice did I have.

Chapter One

Emylie

Five years later.

A Luke Bryan song played while everyone two-stepped on the dance floor of Twin Oaks Dance Hall. I quickly glanced around.

“Do you see him?” my best friend Becca asked.

Shaking my head, I answered, “Nope.”

“Good, let’s have some fun!”

I followed Becca to the bar where she ordered us each a Bud Light. Placing the bottle to my lips, I caught Mason staring at me. I flashed him a smile as he replied back with a wink then said something to the girl standing next to him.

Turning away, I checked out the dance floor. “You know,” I said, leaning over to Becca, “he could still show up.”

Shrugging her shoulders, she replied, “Let him. I’m done with him and his cheating ass. I wish I had listened to my parents. My life would be a hell of a lot better.”

Gazing down at the floor, I shook my head before glancing back at my best friend. Her strawberry blonde hair was pulled up in a ponytail that swung to the beat of the song. Her blue eyes seemed to sparkle tonight. Her divorce from her high school sweetheart was finalized today, and she planned on celebrating while my parents watched her four-year-old daughter, Sage.

“You wouldn’t have Sage if you had listened,” I contended, giving her a wink.

She simply nodded. “Only good thing that came out of that mess.”

“Evening ladies,” Mason said as he stopped in front of me. He glanced over to Becca and I couldn’t help but notice the way his eyes explored her.

“Evening, Mason,” Becca purred. She’d always had a crush on him. I’m pretty sure since the day he and Holden walked up to us on the playground in kindergarten, she was in love with Mason. Holden and Mason were best friends from the first moment they said hello to each other. Even after Holden pushed Mason to the ground for pulling my hair, the four of us did everything together. Mason had liked Becca in high school, but never went for it. Then she met her asshole of an ex and Mason lost interest. I thought for sure when I told her what happened between Mason and me she would have been angry with me, but that wasn’t Becca. She understood the reason behind why it happened.

Mason was there for me when I got the call. The moment my life changed forever. If it hadn’t been for him, I would have packed up and left college to move back home and cry myself to sleep each night. Probably would have ended up working for my parents at their bed and breakfast in the heart of Brady.

But I didn’t pack up and leave college. I cried in Mason’s arms for weeks before finally pulling myself together. Of course, the fact that I found myself in his bed also helped. He numbed the pain and made me forget how Holden had torn my heart in two.

“Want to dance, Mason?” Becca asked as she placed her hand on his broad chest. Turning away, I smiled and attempted not to laugh at my friend’s shameless flirting.

Before Mason could answer, Troy Walker came up and asked Becca to dance. Turning to me, she raised her brows and gave me a naughty smile. Her one and only goal tonight was to get laid. I was pretty sure any attention from any guy would do the trick.

As Becca wondered off with Troy, Mason watched them intently. Was that a bit of jealousy I saw? He finally motioned to sit next to me. Smiling, I nodded.

“How’s it going, Em?”

The sound of Mason’s voice caused my body to hum. I hadn’t seen him in over a week, and I longed for some … attention of my own. “It’s going. How about you?”

Lifting his beer bottle to his lips, I watched him take a drink while I bit down on my lip. Mason didn’t light my body on fire like Holden had, but he certainly knew how to make it come to life. His blonde hair and blue eyes were my weakness…and my crutch. More so my crutch, truth be told.

“It’s going. I haven’t seen you around the ranch. Where you been?” Mason asked as he kept his gaze out on the dance floor. He couldn’t stop watching Becca dance with Troy.

Taking a drink, I tilted my head and surveyed him. “Have you missed me?”

Mason peered back at me and licked his lips. The way his eyes filled with lust made my chest tighten. A moan unintentionally slipped from my lips. “I have. A lot,” He replied.

I knew it was unhealthy for the two of us to use each other like we did. Becca took every chance she had to remind me Mason and I were nothing more than fuck buddies. We were okay with that.

Quickly turning and glancing out over the dance floor, I said, “My days have been consumed with helping Sam stock the tank and making sure everything’s ready for next weekend.”

“Sounds like fun,” Mason chuckled. Mason was the ranch manager for the T-Bar Hunting Ranch, one of the largest and most premier hunting ranches in all of Texas. I also worked on the ranch as a wildlife manager. He struggled with the position for a bit, knowing it truly belonged to Holden with it being his parent’s ranch. But Holden made the decision to walk away.

I could feel the heat building between the two of us as I moved about in my seat. “Was loads of fun.”

Mason stood and reached his hand out for me. “Dance with me, Em.”

Setting my beer down on the table, I took his hand and let him lead me to the dance floor. It wouldn’t seem out of place for the two of us to dance. After all, we’d been the best of friends since anyone could remember. Little did they all know, we’d been sleeping together since our last year of college. The only person who knew was Becca.

The song changed and “Fly” by Maddie and Tae began playing. Burying my face into his chest, I closed my eyes and let him take me away from everything. It was easy to get lost in Mason. He was my safe zone.

Holding me closer, he placed his lips against my ear, “Come home with me tonight, Em.”

Pulling my head back, I looked at him. We had an arrangement. When he needed me, I would be there for him. When I needed him, he would be there for me. As much as I tried to make myself feel something more for Mason, I couldn’t and I knew he felt the same way. We made great best friends, but we’d never be good at being together. We tried and failed big time. “Okay,” I whispered as he smiled.

The song ended and a faster tune started playing. “Let’s show these assholes how you dance, Tink.” Throwing my head back, I laughed as Mason and I two-stepped around the dance floor. He’d given me the nickname Tink after I dressed up like Tinkerbell for Halloween one year. Holden had hated when Mason called me that. He stopped calling me the nickname when Holden and I began dating, but picked it back up again after the first time we slept together. Holding me in his arms as I cried over the asshole who had broken up with me over the phone, he whispered, “I’ll always take care of you, Tink. Always.”

And he has held true to that promise.

Unlike Holden.

***

Mason turned on the lights of the three bedroom, two bath ranch house. Scanning the room, I frowned as I surveyed the mess. Once Mason became the foreman of the T-Bar Ranch, Sam gave him the house to stay in. He complained at first about the house being too big for just him, but having Mason here on the ranch was important, so Sam insisted he stay.

“Holy shit, Mason. It’s a mess in here,” I commented as I walked over and picked up a pizza box off the coffee table. Lord knows how long it had been there. Glancing back to Mason, he gave me a sexy grin and opened the refrigerator and pulled out two bottles of beer.

“I’ll clean up tomorrow. Or the next day.”

Letting out a sigh, I began cleaning off the coffee table. Walking into the kitchen, I threw it all in the garbage, not before I did a quick once over on the kitchen. It was actually pretty clean for being bachelor pad.

“You need a girlfriend, Mason.” I said as I walked back into the living room and sat down next to him on the couch. Handing me my beer, Mason laughed.

“Yeah, like you need a boyfriend, Em.”

Shaking my head, I whispered, “Hell no. I’m never going down that road again.” Then I added with a smirk, “I do know someone who would love to play the part of your girlfriend though.”

He lifted his brow. “Who?”

Chewing on my lip, I replied, “Becca.”

“Yeah, fuck that,” Mason whispered.

I wasn’t sure why Mason thought the idea of Becca was wrong. I saw the way he looked at her, and he loved Sage so much. He had been crazy for her in high school. Not being in the mood to push it, I sighed and let it go.

I leaned my head back against his arm and asked, “How did we end up like this?”

Mason cleared his throat and started with his explanation. “Let’s see. It all started when Holden called you up at A&M and told you he had met a girl and he was planning on staying in California to start a new life with her … causing you to fall into a serious funk that I, as your best friend, had to pull you out of.”

“That’s right. How could I have forgotten?” I replied sarcastically.

“Then, I walked in on the woman I thought I was going to marry having sex with some computer nerd who swept her off her feet and moved her to Washington DC.”

Snarling my lip, I said with a sharp voice, “Bitch.”

“Yeah, she is. And Holden is an asshole.”

Nodding, I agreed. “Yep. Better off without the two of them.”

After Mason had walked in on his girlfriend, he came to my apartment, which was right off of campus. I’d never seen him so upset. One thing led to another and we quickly found ourselves tangled up naked as we spent the rest of the night together. With Holden breaking my heart weeks earlier, and now Mason’s girlfriend destroying his, it was only natural when the hugs turned to more.

We made a promise to each other that night that nothing would come out of our arrangement. We were simply two friends who were finding comfort in each other by having sex. A lot of sex. Hot and heavy sex that left me breathless and longing for the next time Mason would fill me. God, that made me such a slut. But it also gave me an escape. When I was with Mason, I didn’t think about Holden.

Letting out a deep breath, I stood up and headed into the kitchen. My stomach growled and I was wishing I hadn’t skipped dinner. Before I even made it halfway into the kitchen, Mason grabbed me and had my skirt lifted and my panties pushed to the side. He sunk his fingers inside of me, giving me what he knew I needed. We were soon lost in each other. It was the only time we were both able to forget the hurt caused by the very people we thought loved us.

I couldn't figure out the expression in Mason’s eyes, but I had a feeling it had to do with Becca. Guilt quickly hit me square in the chest. I was going to have to talk to him about her. About his feelings for Becca, especially now that she was divorced and single again.

Sitting on the floor attempting to catch our breath, Mason turned to me. “Tink, how long are we going to keep pretending?”

Feeling the tears build, I knew my answer was going to be a greedy one. I didn’t want to give up my vice yet and that made me feel like such a bitch. I let a tear fall and whispered, “Until we completely forget.”

Mason stood and carried me into his bedroom where we both drifted to sleep while wrapped in each other’s arms. I never stayed the night with him before, but tonight I think we both needed to not be alone.

Chapter Two

Holden

“Holden, we’re going to be late!” Daphne shouted from the living room.

Rolling my eyes, I sucked in a deep breath and prayed that I’d get through this night without fucking anything up. Daphne’s dad given strict orders to be at the restaurant at seven sharp, and with me having to work later than normal, we were already running behind by ten minutes.

When I walked into the living room I saw Daphne staring out over downtown Los Angles. She’d grown up here, the daughter of a movie producer. We’d met at USC through mutual friends. She flirted with me all the time. Everything changed my junior year, though. The first year I hadn’t gone back home over Thanksgiving break to see my high school girl friend, Emylie. Had I gone home, things would be completely different in my life. Most days, I wished like hell I had gone back home. I thought of Emylie every single day. Longed to have her in my arms. There were so many times I wanted to ask my parents or Mason about her. I knew she was working on my father’s hunting range. Fulfilling her part of our dream. The dream I messed up because of one stupid-ass mistake that I will regret the rest of my damn life.

With a shake of my head, I pushed Emylie from my mind. “Why am I thinking of Em?” I silently asked myself as I got my act together and focused back on the woman I was fixin’ to ask marry me tonight. Not that I wanted to ask her. I was forced into it. Yet again, because of one stupid fuck up. Seems like I made those often.

Turning, Daphne smiled when she saw me. “My, oh my, Mr. Warner, you look handsome.”

My gaze roamed over her body and the form fitting black cocktail dress she had on. It did nothing for me. I wasn’t the least bit attracted to her. But I forced the words from my mouth. “And you, my dear, look hot as hell.”

Frowning, she replied, “Always the romantic one you are.”

My chest tightened. I never knew the right thing to say to her anymore. If I thought I was paying her a compliment, she took the opposite way. The whole relationship was fucked up.

Countless nights I wanted to call Em and tell her everything. Beg her to forgive me. But I knew Emylie, and I knew she would doubt I had stayed true to her at all.

Fucked. Up. All of it.

Daphne reached for her clutch as we made our way to the elevator that whisked us down from the top floor of our condo to the lounge Daphne’s dad had rented out for the evening.

Making our way into the room, Daphne put her game face on. There were a few top producers here, and I knew she was hoping to catch the eye of one or two of them.

The night dragged on as Daphne and her father worked the room while I sat at the table in the corner and drank one drink after another. Taking in a deep breath, I pulled out my phone to see I had a missed text from my mother.

Mom: Holden, I really hope you’ll think about coming home for the family reunion. I’m sure your father would love to see you. I would, you know. It’s been almost three years since you’ve been home. You can’t hide forever.

“Shit,” I whispered as I searched for Daphne. She was in the middle of a conversation with her father and an actress I recognized from some hospital TV show.

Standing, I made my way out into the hall. Hitting my mother’s number, I attempted to calm my beating heart. Any time I thought about heading home, I thought of two things. My father looking at me with disappointment at my decision to stay in LA and not return to the ranch, and seeing Emylie. I had made her a promise that I had broken. I still had nightmares of hearing her cry over the phone when I told her about Daphne. I felt like a complete asshole. I didn’t even remember cheating. A part of me knew Daphne slipped me something that night, but I could never get her to admit it.

Daphne was the complete opposite of Emylie. Her endless flirting caught my attention, but I would have never acted on it. Yet, I got so wasted that night, I did act. That night changed everything. I wasn’t me. I chased some stupid ass thing I thought I needed to do to make sure I was on the right path. Prove to myself that I really did want the life we had planned together. As if my love for Emylie wasn’t enough. I was too blind to see she was all I ever needed.

“Holden! Sweetheart, how are you?” my mother said as she covered the phone and yelled, “Sam! It’s Holden!”

Knowing my father, he wouldn’t care less that I was on the phone. I cleared my throat. “Hey, Mom. How have y’all been?”

I’d worked for the last year on keeping my Texas accent at a bare minimum, but any time I talked to Mom or Mason, it came back in full swing. Daphne thought I sounded like a hick and reminded me all the time how much she hated my southern accent.

“We’re doing good. It’s been raining here a lot, but we need it, so I won’t complain.”

Nodding my head, I inhaled a deep breath through my nose and slowly blew it out of my mouth. The hallway felt like it was closing in on me. Kind of like my whole life these last few years. I deserved it though. What I put Emylie through was nothing compared to the hell I lived in. “That’s good. I know how much y’all needed to get out of that drought.”

“Darling, you sound so sad. Is everything okay?”

Glancing back toward the door, I saw Daphne throw her head back and laugh. My chest ached and I knew I should be feeling the total opposite of what I was. “Yeah. I wanted to call and let you know I’m … uh … well I’m asking Daphne to marry me tonight.”

Sucking in a sharp intake of air, my mother stammered, “W-what? You’re doing what?”

“Um … I said I was asking Daphne to marry me tonight.”

The silence that followed had me wishing I hadn’t even called.

“Holden, we’ve never even met this girl. I’ve only seen a few pictures of her. Are you sure … what about Emylie?”

My heart dropped. I wanted more than anything to have my mother’s blessings. I needed to have them. “What about Emylie?” Was Emylie still single? Was she dating someone? Mason never offered and I never asked.

“Nothing, never mind. If Daphne makes you happy and this is what you truly want, your father and I will of course give our blessing to you both.”

My eyes closed. If only she knew it was the last thing I wanted. But I had no choice. I was raised to do the right thing and that’s what I would do. Forcing myself to sound happy, I replied, “Mom, you don’t know how much that means to me. Maybe I could bring Daphne home with me for the family reunion? That way she can meet everyone.”

“Oh … um … why that sounds … ah … yes. That sounds wonderful, Holden.”

I could hear it in her voice. She didn’t want to meet Daphne. To my mother, she was the reason I never came back home. The reason I broke the heart of the only woman I had ever loved. She was the reason for the sadness in my voice when I called home.

Daphne walked to the door and motioned for me to come back inside. Lifting my finger to ask for one more minute, she raised her brow at me before she turned and walked away.

I couldn’t ignore the sick feeling in my stomach. I had tried to make things work with Daphne. I’d given up Emylie for her and the baby, thinking it was the right thing to do at the time. I had never told my parent’s about the baby and felt guilty when Daphne had miscarried. The only reason I stayed in California was because of the guilt I was riddled with. Daphne blamed me for her losing the baby, and a part of me believed her. She had fallen into such a state of depression; if I left, God knows what she would have done.

When I told Daphne a month ago I was thinking of heading back to Texas and that things weren’t working out, she started crying. What happened after that felt like a déjà vu. A fucking nightmare that was starting all over again.

“Is the reunion still held during the July Jubilee?”

Clearing her throat, my mother answered, “Yes. Can you come that soon? That’s next week, Holden.”

“Daphne and I both had planned on taking a camping trip, but I’m going to surprise her by bringing her home to meet y’all.”

What I really wanted to say was I was coming home to see Emylie. To chance seeing her one last time before I let go of that dream. A part of me wondered if I told her the truth and she forgave me, if I could walk away from Daphne and my responsibility.

“Oh, darling. Do you think that’s such a good idea? I What if she wants an advance warning or something. From the little I’ve come to know about her, I don’t see her taking this with a grain of salt.”

Daphne was now standing back at the door, this time with her hands on her hips. I didn’t really give two shits what Daphne wanted. “Nah, she’ll love it, Mom. I can’t wait to see y’all. I’m sure you’re going to love Daphne.”

“Uh-huh, I’m really excited.” I could hear the hesitation in her voice. I knew she knew something wasn’t right. I could never really hide much from her. I also knew what the risks were by bringing Daphne home. I had to take them though.

Walking toward the door, I said, “Listen, Mom, I’ve got to run. I love you. Give everyone my love.”

“Good luck tonight, Holden. I’ll have everything ready for when you come home with um … Daphne.”

“Great! Bye, Mom.” Hitting End, I pushed my phone into my pocket and opened the door.

“Damn it, Holden, you kept Daddy waiting. We’ve already missed the first few minutes of his speech.”

Feeling the excitement of heading home deflate, I kissed Daphne softly on the cheek. “I’m sorry. I was talking to my mother.” The last thing I wanted to do was upset Daphne. God forbid her world get rocked.

Walking ahead of me, she simply said, “Oh … that’s nice.” As she took her place next to her own mother, she plastered on her perfectly rehearsed happy face. The waiter walked by and I grabbed a glass of champagne. Daphne quickly pushed my hand down and shook her head. “I think you’ve had enough, don't you?”

My mouth gaped open as I attempted to push my anger aside. Tonight was special for Daphne and her family, and tonight I was going to ask her to marry me. Surely I could overlook Daphne’s need to constantly tell me what to do.

She took a glass and went to take a drink, but I leaned in and said, “Should you be drinking that, darling?”

The glass stopped at her lips. “I forgot.”

My stomach dropped. How in the hell could she forget she was pregnant? Taking the drink from her hand, I downed it.

Plastering on a fake smile to match Daphne’s, I stood and listened to her father announce the movie he had signed on to direct and that his daughter had the lead role. The entire room erupted in cheers as Daphne soaked it all up. She was in her element for sure. I was still trying to figure out how in the hell she was going to pull it off, acting in a major motion picture while pregnant. Her father didn’t seem to care either. All he told me was they would figure it out and it wasn’t for me to worry about.

Not for me to worry about. Being the father of the baby, I had a right to worry.

Cheers erupted again as Daphne took her place next to her father to talk about how excited she was for this role.

Closing my eyes, I tuned everyone out. The only thing I could hear was the sound of Emylie crying.

Everything was indeed fucked up.

***

As the party died down, I finally had a chance to dance with Daphne. Holding her close to me, I smiled and asked, “Are you happy?”

Grinning from ear-to-ear, Daphne gasped, “Oh my God, yes! I don’t think this night could get any better.”

The fact that this made her happier than when she found out she was pregnant worked my nerves.

Taking a quick glance around, I noticed a good number of people had finally left. Stopping, I reached into my pocket as I took a step away from Daphne.

“Holden? What’s wrong?”

Getting down on one knee, I opened the box and held the one-and-a-half carat diamond up and asked, “Daphne Marie Weston, would you do me the honor of becoming my wife and spending the rest of our lives together?”

Daphne quickly glanced around the room before turning back to me and covering her mouth. Tears began to roll down her cheeks as she nodded her head and dropped her hands. “Yes! Yes, I’ll marry you, Holden.”

Again, the room erupted in cheers, expect this time there were cameras surrounding us as flashes began going off. Daphne quickly turned and began posing as she held up her hand for me to slip the ring on. I had wanted this to be a private moment between us so it didn’t end up in the paper. I always worried about Emylie seeing me with Daphne. But Mr. Weston insisted it be done this evening, and in this way. He said it would be good PR for Daphne. Seeing him standing across the room smiling, I was beginning to think it was good PR for him and his new movie.

***

I was buzzing from all the alcohol I had drank tonight. I needed it to make my way through living in my own personal hell. I knew it was nothing more than Karma. Life getting me back for being unfaithful to Emylie.

What I needed to do was stop thinking about my ex and focus on the woman who carried my child. The woman I could barely stand to be around. Maybe if I tried to be more romantic, things would be better. We hadn’t had sex in weeks, which wasn’t anything new. But lately Daphne seemed to be trying to get me to fuck her at every turn. It never worked though. Either I couldn’t get it up, probably because I was thinking of Emylie, or I was working late. Something I did on purpose to stay away. Tonight would be different. I asked her to marry me, and the least I could do was be with her.

Walking into the condo, I grabbed Daphne and pushed her up against the wall. “I’m ready to peel that dress of you and—”

Giving me a push, Daphne shook her head. “Damn it, Holden! Why didn’t you ask me earlier! Right after Daddy’s speech would have been perfect. Everyone was still there then. It would have been all over the evening news.”

Standing there staring at her, I felt my chest tighten. “Are you fucking kidding me right now? You’re bitching at me because I didn’t ask you in front of total strangers? It’s bad enough your father strong-armed me into asking you at this event. This is a mistake. All of this. It’s never going to work. Clearly I don’t make you happy and you don’t make me happy. The only thing we have in common is this baby.”

Daphne’s expression softened as she walked up to me and wrapped her arms around my neck. “Oh, baby! Forgive me. It was perfect. It was amazing, and I love you!”

I pulled back and stared into her blue eyes. “Daphne, I don’t want to start out this marriage with you already bitching at me. Let’s be honest, the only reason we’re getting married is because of the baby. I was ready to move out a few months ago and head back to Texas.”

Anger moved across her face. “That’s the only reason, huh? I thought maybe you actually cared about me, Holden. You cared enough to fuck me that night in the restaurant that led us to this pregnancy.”

“That was a mistake on my part.”

“A mistake!”

I could see she was getting upset and the last thing I wanted was to cause her stress. If she lost another baby, Lord knows how badly she would handle it.

“I’m sorry. Daphne, I didn’t mean to say that. You have to admit our relationship is fucked up.”

She forced a smile. “It’s been so stressful for both of us. We haven’t been able to give each other enough attention. I know how much you like it when I give you attention.”

Guilt washed across my body. Her idea of attention was to drop to her knees and suck me off, and I wasn’t going to lie, I liked it.

“I can’t wait to go camping. Just you and me and lots and lots of sex.” Wiggling her brows, she took a step back as she motioned for me to follow her.

Sex. Yeah right. We hardly ever slept in the same bed, let alone fucked in it, which was fine by me.

Running her tongue across her lips, Daphne spoke softly. “Speaking of sex, I do believe we have an engagement to celebrate.”

Reaching up and loosening my tie, I followed Daphne into our bedroom where we celebrated Daphne-style. Me making sure she was taken care of first and her doing as little as possible to return the favor.

Reaching for the drawer, I grabbed a condom. “Why are you wearing a condom?” she demanded. The frustration was evident in her voice. “Damn it. I’m pregnant for fuck’s sakes.”

I got into this mess because I didn’t wear a condom, twice. Each time I was wasted when I fucked her without one and each time she got pregnant. It was the only thing that kept a barrier between us, as fucked up as that sounded. Every time with Daphne felt like I was cheating on Emylie. In some weird way, the condoms kept a distance I needed. That made me nothing but an asshole. If I really didn’t want to be with her, I wouldn’t. But I was a guy and jacking off in the bathroom got tiresome.

Once I came, she crawled off and said, “I’m going to sleep in the guest room. You’re snoring keeps me up. Maybe next time we can forgo the horrible rubber. It irritates me.”

The bedroom door slammed and I pulled off the condom and tossed in the trash. Cleaning up, I fell back into bed.

Staring up at the ceiling, I let out a gruff laugh.

Yep.

Karma indeed.



What The Reviewers Are Saying

I laughed, cried, swooned, blushed and even got angry. But who doesn’t love it when you can get sucked into a story that much to feel what the characters are feeling. That is what makes a 5 star read for me.  ~ Jennifer

I am so smitten after reading that I can't stop smiling. There were some rough parts of the book where the past always seems to make its way into the present but that makes the journey better. ~ The Smutbrarians

There is a great mix of emotion, romance and humour. The Drivas family, especially Thanos' mum, are hysterical. If you're looking for a real heartwarming romance then I highly recommend trying this one.  ~ Emmbooks

This is a sweet, poignant, heartwarming, sexy, funny story. There's a little bit of angst, lots of humour and plenty of sexy stuff all mixed in with some very romantic gestures. ~ Heroesinbooks

I was pulled right into this story. The story has laughs, secrets, pain, and heartbreak. ~ Renee Entress from Renee Entress's Blog

Stay With Me was yet another one of those stories that sucked me in and didn’t let go until I finished. And even then, my wind was wheeling about everything I had just read. Kelly Elliott did a great job with this story. ~ Tracy @ FMR Book Grind

We all have scars of some kind and it is how we move on and deal with those scars that make us the people that we are today. That is exactly what we see the characters in this book coming to grips with. This is a funny, sweet, heartfelt and emotional adventure worthy of 4 stars. ~ Books and Boys Book Blog

There was really something special about this book, and its one I know I will go back to read many times. If you haven't read any of Kelly's work this is a great place to start. ~ Raunchyrudereadersblog



About The Author

kellyauthorKelly Elliott is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling contemporary romance author. Since finishing her bestselling Wanted series, Kelly continues to spread her wings while remaining true to her roots and giving readers stories rich with hot protective men, strong women and beautiful surroundings.

Her bestselling works include, Wanted, Broken, Without You, and Unconditional Love, to name just a few.

Kelly has been passionate about writing since she was fifteen. After years of filling journals with stories, she finally followed her dream and published her first novel, Wanted, in November of 2012.

Kelly lives in central Texas with her husband, daughter, and two pups. When she’s not writing, Kelly enjoys reading and spending time with her family. She is down to earth and very in touch with her readers, both on social media and at signings.

To find out more about Kelly and her books, you can find her through her website.




Brought To You by:

No comments:

Post a Comment