Author: Caroline Batten
Publication Date: July 29, 2014
Getting divorced at twenty-five sucks.
Teaching over-confident rich kids instead of designing handbags for Mulberry sucks. In fact, every single aspect of Daisy Fitzgerald’s life is one big…
Enter Xander, a veritable Knight-in-Shining-Cricket-Pads, who knocks her off her wedge heels and into his world of It-girls, players and Michelin stars.
Buoyed up on cocktails & escapism
Daisy agrees to play Forfeit, the ultimate game of dares, where a simple kiss sparks her relationship with Xander. But £25,000 is up for grabs and the game’s called Forfeit for good reason.
Blackmail * Betrayal * Revenge
Move over Gatsby, there’s a new bunch of bored young things in town.
Perfect for fans of Jilly Cooper, David Nicholls, Fiona Walker and Jo Carnegie, #Forfeit’s an contemporary romance from a No.1 and ‘Most Read’ Wattpad author with over 3,000,000 online reads.
“#Forfeit will make you laugh, cry, question your sanity and wish for your very own Knight-In-Shining-Cricket-Pads.” – cosyingupwithbooks.blogspot.co.uk
I decided against reading the blurb and the reviews for Forfeit, so I went in not knowing a thing about the book. And I’m glad I did. It’s not very often I am able to know absolutely NOTHING about a character or a book in general due to social media and other blogs, but this was a breath of fresh air.
I love a British book, set in the UK and written but an actual Brit. They feel like a big comfort blanket under which I am able to snuggle down and forget about the world around me however long.
Forfeit was an engaging read with an excellent pace. I have to admit, at first Daisy annoyed me, but then I began to understand her as Batten released information bit by bit. The same with Xander. I thought he was a pretty boy player as well, but throughout the book, he proved us all wrong, and wow, did he ever.
The twists and turns this book took weren’t confusing at all, but neither were they predictable. With each reveal, I was shocked, but not always surprised, and wanted to carry on reading to find out more.
The one thing that did bug me about the book was the way Daisy and Xander constantly always thought the worst of each other. I wanted to grab the pair of them and bang their heads together, and get them to actually SPEAK to each other!
I’ll definitely read more by Caroline Batten.
Daisy rolled the Teetotum ball, praying for a pleasant dare, and when it landed on twenty-five, she smiled. Her age, surely that was fortuitous? She took the card out of the Forfeit box and read the dare.
Lust: Kiss another player for five minutes. Don’t tell anyone what you’re doing, or why.
‘This is nuts,’ Xander said, shaking his head as he rolled the ball.
Totally nuts, Daisy mentally replied. The dare was doable, absolutely doable, but who the hell was she going to kiss? The obvious answer was Xander.
He laughed as he read his dare card. The obvious answer, but should she? He’d stuck by his no shagging promise and hadn’t been even slightly flirtatious all night, but what if he got the wrong idea? Or got pissed off because he thought she had? She couldn’t ruin their new best friend relationship, or her chance to live in the dream cottage.
‘Mine’s a piece of piss,’ James said, grinning.
Maybe she could kiss James. She could walk right over and just kiss him. As if he’d read her mind, he glanced at her, his face crumpling with disdain as he checked out her chest. What the hell? They might not be enormous, but her boobs were one of her better features. Clearly, she couldn’t kiss him. He might tell her to piss off. That would be horrific. Not James.
‘Twenty-to-one,’ James said. ‘One hour. Let’s do it. Tab, give me your bra.’
‘Not wearing one. I need a bottle of Jack and a shot glass,’ Tabitha purred to James, showing him her card.
‘Unlucky.’ He laughed, already heading for an open cabinet crammed with spirits. ‘It says whisky, spelled without an e. How about a sixteen year-old single malt?’
Tabitha’s smug smile faded. ‘But you know I can’t stand scotch fucking whisky.’
‘Aren’t you doing your dare then?’ Daisy asked sweetly. Wasn’t payback a bitch?
Tabitha snatched a bottle of Jura from James. Game on. Daisy grinned, appreciating Tabitha manning up, but she couldn’t help wishing that knocking back ten shots of top-quality whisky were her dare. It’d be a lot easier than kissing one of the other players for five minutes.
What about Marcus? He grabbed a guitar that stood propped beside the piano – because what respectable bachelor pad didn’t have a Steinway to hand? Casually, he sauntered up to a pretty girl with a dark, elfin cut. Any conversation she was having with her friends dried up as Marcus took her hand, kissing it briefly, before bursting into song. And not just any song. He’d chosen One Direction’s Little Things.
Daisy would’ve giggled at the cheesiness, but Marcus knew the words and he could play the chords. Better still, despite being off-key and horrifically flat, he delivered the song as if he were Harry Styles himself. The pixie girl never dropped eye contact with him. He’d so pulled. Daisy wouldn’t be kissing him.
Which left Xander.
He’d settled back on the sofa with his eyes closed. Was his dare to go to sleep?
‘If I die, I leave everything to my cat,’ Tabitha said, lifting the first of the ten shot glasses James had lined up on the table.
It had to be Xander, but what if it all went wrong? God, she was acting like a twelve year-old over a stupid kiss-dare. Wasn’t that the point of a dare, to do something humiliating? And she had to do it – no way would she flake out in front of Tabitha bloody Doyle. Then Daisy had a brilliant idea; how to make it a lot less messy – she’d cheat.
Buoyed up on cocktails, coke and escapism, she sat astride a somewhat stunned Xander.
‘Help me?’ she whispered, surreptitiously showing him the card.
Tabitha groaned as she sank number four. She was so going to be sick, but Daisy’s stomach churned too. What if he said no?
Clearly fighting a smile, he gave a slow nod and Daisy stared at him, her nerves building. Oh God, she was about to kiss Xander. He raised his eyebrows, his eyes twinkling as he waited. She’d have to start this – it was her dare, not his. Tentatively, she brushed her lips against his, testing the water before she set the timer on her phone.
Five minutes, easy-peasy.
It all started harmlessly – even a little mechanical, but after the first minute, Xander’s hands moved up her back, his thumbs caressing her skin through the thin silk and shivers surged over her. He’d done the same on the one night stand, just before he’d undone her bra.
And I want him to do it again.
What the hell was that drumming noise inside her head? Was that her heartbeat? She wanted to pull away, desperate to breathe, to take control of her head, but her hands still held his face and his Bulgari aftershave still sent her senses reeling.
Slow, sweet, teasing, this was no teenage kiss-dare. Xander’s hands had moved up her bare shoulders, his fingers doing wicked things to her neck. How long had they been kissing for, three minutes, maybe four? Why wasn’t it thirty seconds? Then she’d have four and half minutes still to go.
Tequila body shots. Oh to lick salt off his abs again.
‘Supposed to be just friends,’ Tabitha slurred behind her. ‘That doesn’t look like friends.’
Daisy’s phone beeped. The five minutes were up, but no way was she stopping.
I want more.
‘I bet it’s her dare,’ James replied.
She dragged her lips from Xander’s, looking down, watching his chest rising and falling. It was just a stupid dare. How had she got so carried away? How had they got so carried away? Oh God, what if he wasn’t carried away? What if he thought she were some desperate cow, throwing herself at him? Mortified, she closed her eyes, her head dropping. How could she laugh it off, put on her bravest of brave faces when she’d made such a fool of herself?
Xander dropped a kiss on her neck.
Itching with a masochistic desire to read the HeatWorld article, Daisy unlocked her phone, but the first notification waiting for her was Forfeit invited you to like the page Forfeit – the Ultimate Game of Dares. Her finger shook as she clicked the link. Eighty-one Likes. What the hell? Liked by who? Who knew about it?
On Saturday 24th June, five hedonistic twenty-somethings each tossed fifty pounds into a pot, gambling on their ability to do a dare. Follow their progress as they get ready to play the final round.
Who the hell would be interested? Eighty-two people, one of them a friend of hers. Clara had liked this nonsense?
In Round One, birthday boy James Dowson-Jones collected bras…
The names were hyperlinks. Daisy clicked hers. Daisy Fitzgerald – Forfeit Player. It wasn’t her own Facebook page, but another set up by someone else. It had a shot from James’ party as the profile picture. Vague details about her. And comments. People had posted comments on her wall.
Do the dare!
Hope you play!
Do the dare #forfeit
It had a hashtag? Oh God. It did. This wasn’t real. It couldn’t be real. But over on Twitter, @ForfeitHost had almost a hundred followers, the hashtag dozens of tweets.
@polilrichgal: Daisy’s a Fugly Ho. #forfeit
@1_D_fangirl_1990: hate her too, but so want to play #forfeit
@skizzerd_love: bet they don’t turn up on NYE #forfeit
@wineinachippedmug: she’s alright, I reckon. Daisy to win.
At least someone was on her side.
Daisy scoured the tweets, the comments, the messages. Ninety percent of it was people discussing dares they’d done or forfeits they paid, but the other ten percent? Bitchy comments, mostly decrying her as totally unfit to kiss the feet of Xander or Finn.
By the time she’d chain-smoked her way through half the bottle of wine, the Facebook page had almost three hundred Likes and @ForfeitHost over five hundred followers. This crap was going viral before her eyes, not hurt by the Daisy/Finn/Brittany story.
Pay the stake, Roll the dice, Do the dare.
The tweet had come from @jellyfishmommie at 10:45. By 11:30 that quickly became a mantra tweeted and retweeted with horrific regularity. Daisy hoped the jellyfish mommy had her jellyfish babies taken away from her. Pay the stake…
‘I don’t have five thousand pounds, you stupid cow.’
She daydreams of one day owning a pair of Louboutin’s and having somewhere fabulous to wear them. Until then, she’ll be found plodding up a mountain in her trusty hiking boots.
#forfeit is Caroline’s debut novel. Her second novel, Distraction, is due for publication in February 2015.
The Black family is back in this short Christmas holiday story!
Join Connor, Ellery, Julia and Collin, as they prepare for and celebrate the holiday season with their family and closest friends.
Sandi Lynn, born and raised in the US, has always dreamed of becoming an author since she won her first young author’s award in grade school. She spends her days raising her three teenage girls and writing full-time. Sandi Lynn is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of her Forever Trilogy (Forever Black, Forever You, Forever Us). She has a severe coffee addiction and can usually be found hanging out at the local Starbucks with her laptop, sipping lattes, and working on her books. In addition to writing romance novels, she loves to write poetry.
I’m so excited to finally release the second book in the Portland Pioneers series, GETTING LUCKY.
HE MIGHT HAVE STRUCK OUT…
Noah Fox’s life is changing. Ever since he was hit in the head by a pitch, nothing has been the same. Fighting daily headaches and the growing fear that his baseball career is over, Noah goes in search of the woman who once loved and left him.
BUT HE REFUSES TO STOP SWINGING.
What he finds in the tiny town of Sand Point is nothing he could have ever expected. A trained chef and a certified “foodie,” Maggie May King has been perfectly content to devote the last three years of her life to running her baby, the Sand Point Café. Noah’s never met anyone less awed by his good looks or his celebrity, and even though she’s the last person he should be befriending, he finds himself seduced by Maggie’s sweetness and her even sweeter orange rolls.
BEHIND THE STORY:
When I published The Lucky Charm, all I had of Getting Lucky was the setup of Noah Fox’s injury and a wild, crazy idea that maybe the last person he should be interested turns out to be the ONLY person he’s interested in.
What can I say? Apparently I love making things difficult for myself.
By the way, that will totally be written on my tombstone: “Beth: making things difficult for herself since 1984.”
I also made the crazy, ambitious choice to try to write this book in four months. Yes, I know some people write like four books in four months. Unfortunately I own this whole other business and I don’t think my clients would have been very happy if I disappeared into my writing cave. I don’t think my fiance would be very happy either.
I’ve talked about some of the struggles I had writing The Lucky Charm, which in all its iterations took me about 2 and a half years to finish. So four months was pretty ambitious. My worst fear was getting to the end of the draft and realizing it all had to be different.
But guess what! You learn so much writing your first book. So many, many things to avoid. So many things you keep saying to yourself, “I wish I’d done this differently.” Getting Lucky was my opportunity to make good on the learning experience, and this book practically wrote itself.
Noah was so fun to delve into–a little bit more melancholy at first than he was in The Lucky Charm–and Maggie May was a breath of fresh air. I didn’t actually end up putting this in the book, but Maggie May’s mom is definitely a huge Rod Stewart fan, and yes, that is where she got her name!
An Excerpt from GETTING LUCKY:
Noah Fox was practically holding a press conference in her Café. Apparently word had spread overnight that a famous baseball player had arrived in Sand Point and this was apparently the most exciting thing anyone had experienced in years, because the awed expressions on everyone’s faces was just plain sickening.
Unsurprisingly, he was eating up the attention, smiling and laughing like he was just like them, but he wasn’t, Maggie inwardly raged. She stomped right up to his stupid, hot self and poked him hard in the arm. She resolutely ignored how firm and muscley his biceps felt.
“I hear you’d like to talk to me,” she said when he turned to her.
“Oh, Maggie. Just the woman I wanted to see,” he said with so much transparent delight she wanted to smack it right off that ridiculously handsome face. No man should look that good, she thought rebelliously, it was unfair to the rest of the mortal world.
“My office,” she spit out, and walked off, weaving between the tables and slack-jawed customers, not even bothering to glance behind to see if he’d followed her.
He was in Tabitha’s thrall, and Maggie was apparently the only way he could find her; of course he’d follow.
They reached the office and she gestured him inside and shut the door behind her. It was only at that moment, looking up at him, thinking, god, he’s so tall, that she realized she’d made a slight miscalculation.
The office was so small, there was barely room for her desk and a single chair, with the built-in shelves towering over her desk, but Noah was definitely not a small guy. He filled the open space so completely, Maggie pressed her back to the door and still felt nearly overwhelmed by his over-sized presence.
But she couldn’t back down now by opening the door and moving this meeting to another location. That would be tantamount to admitting he got to her and he really didn’t. She wasn’t as weak-willed and superficial as the rest of Sand Point—or her sister—was.
“You have time to talk to Tabitha last night?” Noah asked with nearly as much transparent eagerness as Hannah had displayed earlier.
Maggie shook her head sharply. She really didn’t want to go into why she’d been so distracted either. Even though this Noah Fox presented himself as everyone’s super genial friend, he was still a complete stranger.
“Oh,” Noah replied, ducking his head down low, a faint flush of embarrassment on his cheeks, and for the second time, she saw the depth of the darkness in his eyes. And didn’t it intrigue her more this time than it did before? Maggie cut off that thinking hard and sharp. She was not going to forget what Hannah had said before she’d been forced to interrupt her search for a repair.
“Don’t think I don’t know what you’re doing,” Maggie said more than a little testily. “Or what you’re saying.”
His disarming smile was practically a master class in innocent charm. When he folded those muscled arms against his firm chest, she had to remind herself yet again that he was a huge jerk.
“I don’t appreciate you going around talking about me that way,” Maggie repeated. “We’re not involved. You’re here to find Tabitha.”
His white teeth flashed against that tan skin again. “I don’t know what you mean.”
Maggie’s temper roiled. This was probably how he lived his whole stupid, privileged life—going around doing whatever the hell he wanted, and blasting women with that goddamn smile when his trail got too messy and he had to clean up a bit. “Buddy,” she bit off, “you do not want to fuck around with me today. It’s been a spectacularly awful twenty four hours, and I really can’t take your bullshit right now. So cut the crap and stop making people think I’m why you’re here.”
“What’s happened? I hope it wasn’t me that made things tough on you.” He had the nerve to look genuinely concerned.
Maggie grimaced. “Hardly. You’re not so high on my priority list that you showing up in my town ruins my life. If we want to start with this morning, my exhaust fan wouldn’t turn on and Cal, who could normally fix it in a heartbeat, won’t answer his phone because he’s probably mad at me. And now I’m going to have to spend money I don’t have on a repair.”
She hated the sympathy in his stupid face. “I could take a look at it for you,” he offered and it was such a nice thought she actually stopped herself from rolling her eyes again. She could be difficult sometimes, but she prided herself on not being an ungrateful bitch.
“That’s really not necessary. You wouldn’t know what to look for.”
Noah shoved his hands in his pockets and Maggie resolutely ignored the way the muscles and tendons of his arms flexed at the movement. “I’m actually pretty handy with stuff like that,” he said softly and so unassumingly she never would have guessed he was the same show-off who’d dealt out smiles and genial handshakes in the dining room only five minutes ago.
It was proof of just how close Maggie was to the end of her rope that she considered the idea. It wasn’t like he could do much harm, right? He’d really only be marking time until Cal decided to stop pouting.
“Sure, why not,” she finally said, leaving out her silent assumption that he couldn’t break it worse than it was already broken.
“And, for the record,” he said genially, “I never told Hannah anything. She made her own assumptions.”
Maggie suddenly remembered she was supposed to be furious with him. The ability to disarm women was probably another one of the many tricks he had up his sleeve. “Hannah isn’t prone to vast exaggeration,” Maggie insisted, “some exaggeration, yes, but not making up stories out of thin air.”
In the approximately fifteen minutes they’d spent in each other’s company, she’d never seen him look uncomfortable, but he did now. “I might have hinted a little,” he allowed. “But she was so. . .determined to flirt. And I don’t do that.”
“Anymore,” Maggie added helpfully.
He shot her a look like she was crazy, and it was a testament to how bizarre the last day had been that Maggie actually preferred that look to the panty-melting smile he usually employed.
“I mean,” she added, “that you don’t do that anymore.”
He was beginning to look downright disgruntled and Maggie was secretly—or maybe not so secretly—thrilled at this. He was cute mad. Maybe even cuter than when he was trying to be so hot all the time. “I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about,” he practically grunted.
“You said you don’t do that. But look at you.” She gestured absently in his general direction but she’d forgotten how cramped the office was, and her fingers brushed the soft fabric of his t-shirt and the firm stomach muscles beneath it. Snatching back her hand, she glanced up at him, ready to apologize for nearly groping him, but the sudden heat in his eyes caught her off-guard.
Maggie knew she should reach behind her, open the door and stop this conversation right now. She didn’t, though, and the only reason she could figure was it had been so long since a guy looked at her with that soft, almost reluctant attraction, even though she knew he was only looking because she faintly resembled her elder sister. She’d needed something all day to cleanse her palate of Cal’s ridiculous flirting, and Noah seemed made-to-order.
“Look at me?” he asked. “What about you? Are you so ugly that nobody could ever imagine you flirting?”
Maggie knew she wasn’t ugly. She also wasn’t her sister. “Hardly.”
“Hardly,” he chuckled, “Not quite how I’d put it, but I guess that works.”
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Beth Bolden lives in Portland,Oregon with one cat and one fiance. She wholly believes in Keeping Portland Weird, but wishes she didn’t have to make the yearly pilgrimage up to Seattle to watch her Boston Red Sox play baseball. After graduating from university with a degree in English, Beth unsurprisingly had no idea what to do with her life, and spent the next few years working for a medical equipment supplier, a technology company, and an accounting firm. Now Beth runs her own business as a Girl Friday for small business owners, assisting them with administration, bookkeeping and their general sanity. Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal.
Connect with Beth
It was one night.
One night of pure intimacy with a guy she knew nothing about, that couldn’t have prepared her for the next chapter in her life.
But will it be for the better, or for the worse?
Eighteen year old, Alexis Harper, is a smart, attractive, and ambitious young woman with great friends, a doting father, and a scholarship at one of Washington State’s most prestigious Performing Arts Colleges.
When the mysterious stranger makes his arrival in her life, she’s captivated by him. She’s intrigued by his past and more so by what the future could possibly hold for them.
Meet Brandon Taylor.
A damaged and confused twenty year old who is grieving for the life he once had.
He didn’t think for one moment that he could ever find happiness, and he didn’t want to. He was happy living within the high walls he’d barricaded around himself.
It felt safe.
When Alexis’ and Brandon’s worlds collide, nobody could have prepared them for the emotional rollercoaster they were about to board together.
With love, loss, deceit, and betrayal abound, it’s pretty hard to trust even those closest to you, as both Brandon and Alexis are soon to find out.
***Suitable for 18 years + due to language and sexual content***
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17970277-misjudged
“Oh, I love this one!” There she goes again. I laugh at Alyssa’s delight as she bobs her head to the rhythm. “I wish I could play!”
“I could teach you if you want,” Brandon suggests and I see her screwing her face up at the mere thought of it. I don’t know why, but I’m feeling frustrated by how they’re so friendly towards each other, and then inwardly curse myself for being overly dramatic. They don’t have any reason not to be. I guess it’s because I want to be the one having a comfortable and easygoing conversation with him. Oh, hell.
“Not with these nails, babe! Besides, I’m all fingers and thumbs when it comes to stuff like that!” She waves her hands up in the air as she wiggles her fingers out in front of her.
I seriously wish I hadn’t taken a sip of my beer at that precise moment because the amount I just spluttered out of my mouth and all over myself at her remark has gained everyone’s attention.
“Are you okay?” Ryan jumps up and grabs me a couple of tissues from the coffee table. “What? You don’t think she would be any good at it?”
“Fingers and thumbs!” Alyssa bursts out laughing as she catches onto why I reacted in that way. “’Mr. Operation Orgasm’! We still need to find out who he is!”
I notice Brandon’s head snap up and feel my cheeks warming when I see a tiny smile playing over his lips, and for a split second, a sparkle bounces around in his eyes. Why can’t he be that same guy from Friday instead of the womanizing man whore that he so obviously is?
“’Mr. Operation Orgasm’?” He’s looking at me with raised eyebrows, and I hear a trace of amusement in his tone. “This sounds interesting.”
Misplaced Trust (Book Two)
That one word was supposed to mean their love would never end, yet only twenty-four hours after he promised her forever, Brandon tore it away in a single heartbeat, leaving Alexis brokenhearted and unable to answer the simple question as to why he left.
As Alexis tries to understand his reasons for leaving, while wondering and hoping he will one day return, her life faces yet another downward spiral. She finally learns the truth about both her own and Brandon’s pasts, which in turn leaves her feeling their relationship wasn’t what she thought it had been at all.
You’re supposed to be able to trust those closest to you, but what happens when the most important people in your life turn out to be those you shouldn’t have trusted or had any faith in at all?
Love, lies, deceit, and betrayal make for another unsteady ride in the Misjudged series, with only two options left open for Alexis and Brandon.
A happily ever after, or a journey in which ends in one of the most tragic of circumstances?
“It was nice meeting you, Alexis,” I hear him call after us. Stilling for a second and glancing over my right shoulder, I see him nod once when our eyes meet, his hands now stuffed in the front of his pants pockets. “I’ll see you around.”
I don’t recall giving him my name. In fact, I’m darned sure I didn’t tell him. Did I?
Alexis. People around here call me Alex, not Alexis. The only other person who ever called me that was, well, we know who that was. I don’t know, maybe I did introduce myself without even realizing. I haven’t exactly been with it recently.
“Do you know him?” Neil asks as he ushers me towards our building.
“No,” I answer him. “At least … I don’t think I do.”
Misguided Truths: Part one (Book Three)
***To be read AFTER reading both Misjudged & Misplaced Trust***
Every story has its own beginning.
His started when he set her a simple challenge.
But, unbeknown to him at the time, this very challenge was the start to something that would change his life … forever.
Music was his life. His reason to breathe … until he fell in love.
Are you ready to hear Brandon’s side of the story?
Misguided Truths Part One:
“Hold that thought, I’ll be right back,” he places a quick kiss on my lips after checking the caller ID, and then leaves the table, summoning Corey, Gaz, and Sam to follow him as he walks out toward the sidewalk to take the call.
I take a sip of my milkshake and listen to Naomi moaning about having to babysit for her kid sister again tonight. A few minutes have passed by, and when I look up, I see the four of them walking back over to join us.
My smile falters when I see Brandon raking a hand through his hair. He looks stressed about something. He always does this when he’s upset.
He briefly makes eye contact as he takes his seat beside me, though the frown over his lips and the sorrowful look in his eyes is making my stomach churn.
“What is it?” I take a hold of his hand as I ask and peer over towards Corey, Gaz, and Sam. They’re smiling brightly and seem really happy about something, though I can’t hear exactly what they’re saying as they chat with Ryan and Neil.
“Holl’s, it was the manager from the bar we’re playing at tonight … they, um … one of the other bands cancelled and they’ve had to make some changes to the time slot …” he begins. His voice is low, and his eyes aren’t anywhere as bright as they were when he first walked in here. “They asked us to play from eight … ‘til eleven.”
“What?” I hadn’t expected my voice to be quite so loud, drawing the attention of everyone seated around our table. “Well, you told them no, right?”
He turns to look at me and his eyes are filling with regret. “What? No. We told them yes. I mean, it’s our first gig and—”
“Brandon, it’s our two month anniversary!”
“Holl’s, we couldn’t turn it down. Listen, tomorrow. We can always do something—” he stops talking when I stand up and try to squeeze by him. “Where are you going? Holly, please? Come on, be reasonable here.” He places his hands on either side of my waist, though I instantly shrug him away from me.
“Reasonable?” I practically choke out. “You think that I’m the one who’s being unreasonable here?” I shake my head as I exit the booth and make my way towards the exit.
I understand how important the gig is tonight, I really do. But, why does our relationship always have to come second? This isn’t the first time he’s put the band before me. Before us. And, I’m pretty certain that it won’t be the last.
The cold air hits me as soon as I step outside and I wrap my arms around myself to try and keep warm. The door swings open as I lean against the window, and I see Brandon walking over until he’s standing right in front of me.
“What’s goin’ on?” he lifts his hand and brushes his fingers across my cheek. I break my gaze from his searching eyes and move my head to the side. “Holly, talk to me.”
“You really have to ask what’s wrong, Brandon? Really?” he takes a step away from me and lowers his hands, now placing them in the front of his pants pockets.
“This is huge for the band, Holl’s. It’s fucking huge. What am I supposed to do? You want me to tell them no and let the guys down?” He sounds frustrated.
“But it’s okay to let me down?” My voice cracks when I ask.
“We need this gig, Holly,” he speaks quietly through his teeth without looking at me. “It’s important.”
“More important than our relationship?” I ask. I’m starting to feel hurt from his words. He shakes his head, keeping his eyes focused on the ground, and I hear him let out a sigh.
I look over my shoulder and through the window towards our friends. Neil’s turned around in his seat and is watching us, mouthing the words ‘You okay?’ over at me. I give him a small smile and nod, though I’m sure he’s still not overly convinced that I’m telling the truth from the way his eyebrows are now furrowing on the two of us.
“Right, let’s get back to it!” Corey says enthusiastically as he, Gaz, and Sam exit through the doors. “Looks like we’ve got a few more songs to perfect before tonight!” He pats Brandon on the shoulder as he walks behind him and makes his way towards the white truck.
Brandon turns to look at me, and I’m not overly sure whether he’s angry or upset, maybe even a bit of both. He leans forward and whispers in my ear, “Please don’t be mad with me, Holly.” Placing a kiss on my cheek, I don’t reciprocate. I’m finding it hard to keep myself from crying through the disappointment I’m feeling.
“If I was to tell you that I have something special planned for tonight, would that help you change your mind?” he lifts his head, but his eyes answer for him and are telling me that he’s already made his decision. “I didn’t think so.” My voice is quiet, and I inwardly curse myself when I feel my bottom lip beginning to tremble.
“Holl’s,” he steps forward, but I move away and open the door to go back inside. “I’ll call you when we’re on a break.” He says from behind me.
I pause in the doorway and turn back around. Shrugging my shoulders is the only thing I give him. He breaks his gaze from mine and turns back around, slowly making his way towards the van while shaking his head.
Misguided Truths: Part Two (Book four)
Twenty year old Brandon Taylor has experienced many things over the past eighteen months. Things that most people will never have to endure in their entire lifetime.
After spending time inside for a crime he didn’t commit, he arrives in Seattle with only one goal in mind; to find those responsible for ripping out his heart and taking away his freedom, ultimately turning his whole world upside down.
His intentions are simple, or at least they were. With fate stepping in to play a helping hand on the night of the college ball, nobody could have prepared him for the events that would follow. That one night was to change his life … forever.
It was supposed to have been one dance, but that one simple thing leads him to feel things he never thought he would again. But at what cost?
Falling in love again was never on his agenda. Breaking another person’s heart had never been a part of his plan. Unable to control his feelings for the brunette who captured his heart, he was finally able to be happy and be the person he once was. That was, until his past comes back to haunt him.
Everyone is entitled to have their happy ever after.
Will Brandon and Alexis get theirs?
Or has their relationship been destined to fail from the very beginning?
Misguided Truths Part Two:
“Hey!” she snaps, and I keep my eyes firmly on her until she turns around to face me. Is she really that naive to accept a drink from a fucking stranger? I see the guy trying to sidestep away from us, but that’s not gonna happen. He can’t seriously think for one single second that he’s gotten away with this? No. He needs to be taught a fucking lesson. Without taking my eyes off of Alexis, I reach out and grab his shirt with my right hand, and shake my head at Alexis one more time before dragging that motherfucker toward the exit doors.
“What the fuck?” Did he just what the fuck me? Huh. Then I think it’s time to give some of the fuck back. I slam him headfirst through the doors and watch as he stumbles down to the ground. He’s a lot bigger than I am, but I think I’ve got this. “You’re gonna regret—”
“I’m gonna what? I’m gonna regret kicking the shit outta you?” I growl out, grabbing him by the hair this time. When he’s just about able to stand, I pull him down a small alleyway that leads toward the back of the building. “You see, buddy. I’m not gonna regret this for one single moment.” I grind while pushing him hard up against the stone wall.
“We could’ve shared her!” Oh, he didn’t. Tell me he didn’t just fucking say that? I grab a fistful of his shirt and wrap it around one of my hands while my other fist connects with his lower abdomen. “Argh!”
An uppercut across the chin and a couple of head-butts later, he’s rolling around on the ground and clutching his face. He thinks I’m done? Not a chance. I bring my leg back, but just as I’m about to kick him hard in the stomach, I feel hands grabbing my shoulders from behind me.
“Fuck, that’s enough man! Come on, I said enough!” Rye. Enough? No. I’ve only just fucking started here. That red stuff? Yeah, that’ll be his blood. I shrug Rye’s hands off of me and go to finish what I set out to do.
The guy rolls around some more once I’ve kicked him hard, and I lean down to bring him back onto his feet. I don’t even wanna think about what he was gonna do to her if he’d have gotten her outside. Asshole. Motherfucking— “Please! Stop!” Yeah, and what are the chances he would’ve fully ignored those exact words if they’d been said by Alexis or some other unsuspecting girl? Yeah, nice guy, huh?
Another few punches to the face and I think I’ve finally managed to break his nose. That’s a shame because what I really wanna break is his fucking peni—“Shit, you’re gonna fucking kill him if you don’t stop! I think he’s got the message, now let’s go!” Four hands are on me now, dragging me out from the dark alleyway and back onto the sidewalk; restraining me. I keep my focus on the dark space ahead. They’ll let go of me soon enough, and then I’m going back in. I’m not done yet. Not by a long shot.
Mistaken Hope (Book Five)
They thought that it was over. They truly believed that they were living their forever and that nothing could ever come between them again.
But, they were wrong.
The past has come back and it’s threatening to destroy their happiness; their whole future… for good.
His love, the mother of his daughter, is snatched away, leaving Brandon with only one thing left to hold onto … hope.
He’s left with the hope that he’ll be able to end their pain and suffering once and for all, and live the promise he made to her all of those years ago.
Battles have been fought, and now it’s time for the war. It’s time for him to fight for the one he loves. It’s time to finally lay the past to rest.
He’s willing to sacrifice his life for the person who is one of his only reasons to breathe, and he vows to fight until the bitter end.
The day has finally come for him to fight for his forever, even if it means that this day will be his last.
It’s been twelve hours already. Where is she? Where the fuck is Alexis?
It feels as though the walls are closing in and my whole world is crashing down around me. That everything we’ve worked so hard for over the past few years are now just distant memories. What if that’s all I have left of her? What if we don’t get to make any more memories? What if I’ve already had all the time with her that I’m gonna have? What if I never see her again? What the fuck am I gonna do without her? I don’t wanna have to do any of this without her. I can’t do any of this without her in my life.
I run my hands roughly across my face, over and over again, trying to block out all the negative thoughts and visions that keep filtering inside my mind. I have to remain strong and believe that I’ll see her again; that yesterday wasn’t the final time that I’d see my wife alive.
About Sarah Elizabeth
Sarah Elizabeth is the author of the Misjudged Series, Bliss, and an upcoming series that is yet to be announced. Known to many of her readers as ‘The Cliff-hanger Queen,’ she strives to add mystery to the romance and leave her readers wanting more.
She was born in the small market town of Middleham, North Yorkshire, but currently resides on the Isle of Wight with her fiancé and four young children.
She has a major addiction to male models, namely Lucas Gil and Jon Kortajarena, and enjoys spending her time stalking Instagram when she hasn’t got her head stuck in a romance novel or writing one of her own.
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/ll3wzl6