Here's an excerpt to give you a little taste.
I get out of the truck and walk over towards the two of them. Maddy’s back is to me as I approach her and her date, so she doesn’t see me right away. But once the guy sees me, she spins around to look at what has caught his eye.
Her face is shocked and when our eyes lock, my heart skips a beat. There’s a pull between us. As much as I hate to admit it, she owns me. Her eyes are magical. They dance with light and passion and when she looks at me, they are filled with love.
The love and passion that are sparkling in her emerald green eyes evaporate when she realizes the scene that I’ve just stumbled upon. I can only imagine what’s going through her mind, but I’m sure the images of me kicking Logan’s ass are flashing vividly through her mind.
I’m no more than a few feet from them when the guy pushes Maddy behind him to protect her from what he perceives as a threat. He’s not very far from the truth, but she’s not the one who needs protecting.
Menacingly close now, he pipes up. “Who the fuck are you? What do you want?” Okay, I’ll give the prick a little bit of credit for trying to stand up to me, but he has no clue what he’s competing against here.
The caveman in me wants to deck this guy and drag Maddy into a bed – any bed – and claim her, repeatedly, until she understands that she’s mine and no one else’s. I’m going to do that anyway, but hopefully I can refrain from knocking this guy on his ass. I’d like to have the use of my hands tonight.
My eyes never leave Maddy’s, but my words are directed at him. “Me? I’m the boyfriend, asshole.”
Maddy’s eyes widen slightly as I say “boyfriend.” Did she really think we ever broke up?
I avert my gaze from Maddy for a minute to stare this douchebag down. “And who the fuck do you think you are?” He falters, not enough that most people would notice, but I’m in predator mode. I see his throat work hard to swallow past the newly formed fear. His pupils dilate slightly and the pulse beating in his neck picks up as adrenaline surges through him. If he thinks he’s going to win this battle, he is wrong – so fucking wrong.
He puffs out his chest as he says, “I’m Maddy’s date for tonight.” He snickers lightly as he says, “You know? She never mentioned a boyfriend when I asked her out. Must not be much of a boyfriend if she doesn’t even mention you.” He swells with pride at his snarky little quip. In the split second he looks away from me to gauge Maddy’s approval, I lay him flat on the ground as I drop my shoulder into his gut and take his legs out from underneath him with one of my own. I freaking love my takedown skills. I didn’t even have to bust up my hands. I’m definitely going to need them in a little bit.
I straddle over him and pull him up by the collar. “Whether she mentioned me or not, she’s mine, so lay the fuck off. Got it?”
Maddy still hasn’t said a word and I haven’t actually spoken directly to her. I’m pretty sure she understands my actions though. Wordlessly, I reach my hand out to her. This is her chance. If she still wants me, then she’ll come with me. This is who I am, who I’ve always been. If she can’t understand that I love her, that I want her more than anything, then it’s not because I haven’t tried as hard as I possibly could to prove it to her.
Hand still outstretched, I look her directly in the eyes, as I try to convey everything that I’m thinking, that I’m feeling. In what feels like an act of God, she understands me and laces her hand in mine.
I'm looking forward to reading this one. It's going to be released July 31. Cover design © Arijana Karčić, Cover It! Designs
I’ve always been an avid reader. Majoring in English Literature was a no brainer. Becoming a teacher and instilling my love for reading into my students was also a no brainer. I’ve spent the last ten years teaching and I’ve loved (mostly) every minute of it. When I was home on maternity leave for my third son, I discovered a new genre that sparked my creativity. My passion for writing sprang from my love of reading and once I knew I had a story to tell, I couldn’t wait to get it out there. I only hope that my readers enjoy reading my story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
If you’re lucky, you’ll fall in love – truly, madly and deeply in love. But what happens when that honest and pure love isn’t enough to erase your fears? What happens when your past rears its ugly head and threatens your future?
Maddy and Reid had that kind of love – the all-encompassing, Earth shattering, once in a lifetime kind of love. Then life happened. Old wounds that were thought to be long healed and scabbed over are ripped opened and they are forced to face the possibility that, maybe, they are not strong enough to fight their demons and embrace the light.
Together, they found out what love is, but now they will each need to heal on their own before they can ever be together again. They must face their fears and beat down their pasts in order to find their way through this crazy uphill battle called love.
They’ve let love in, but now, they need to find out how to Let Love Stay.
Links for Melissa Collins: