Ten years I trained to be the best boxer there is. I had fighters blood pumping through my veins and I was a lethal opponent. One to be feared. Twelve years I spent with my first love, we were childhood sweethearts and I was ready to make her my wife. My brother would have been my best man, his wife would have been her maid of honor.
11 minutes 13 seconds.
That was all the time it took to rip my fucking world apart.
I. Am. Broken.
And not the kind of broken that can be fucking fixed. Ever. I will always be imprisoned in a darkness I can never fully escape from. Infected with a disease that can never be cured.
Every fucking day I struggle to survive. I've not felt alive until now.
Skylar fucking Barrett.
She is an actress, a millionaire, every man’s wet dream. On the surface she has everything; wants for nothing. But I see what lies beneath her facade. She walks a fine line between the dark and the light. She’s a sinner and a savior. And she has chosen me. She needs my protection and I. Need. Her.
I know I can protect her.
I know I can destroy her.
She is my redemption. My destruction.
But she is mine.
Even if it ruins us both.
Six years ago, I would have been running in the late afternoon, when the island was alive with tourists and friends alike. I was friendly with everyone; no one feared me like they do now. Six years ago I had a much different reputation in Eastsound, the town golden boy destined to make a name for myself in the boxing game. But now things are much different. My reputation has been tarnished by my quick temper, and when I fucking snap, everything goes dark. I lose control.
And in a close-knit town like Eastsound, the gossips in it live to remember your failures over your triumphs and never forgive your past. Not that I want or need their forgiveness. I deserve their condemnatory punishment.
As I turn a corner onto Main Street, named that because it’s literally the only street in the small town of Eastsound, I feel my shoe loosen around my foot. The goddamn thing is untied.
“Fuck!” I fucking hate when my concentration is broken because all the good memories associated with those smells dissipate from my mind as the momentary lapse in concentration allows a chance for the darkness to descend.
Reluctantly I bend down to tie my shoe and hear a door creak open a short distance away. I glance up instinctively and see her. She walks out onto the balcony from a room on the second floor of The Lighthouse Inn like a living fantasy. I take a few steps forward toward the edge of the sidewalk to get a better look. Because I know. I fucking know this is a sight I would be happy to have seared into my memory from now until the day I die. My breath, which just moments ago had been hard and fast from running, halts in my chest as if time and existence has frozen around me because even the universe can sense how fucking spectacular her presence is. She’s quite simply beautiful, breathtaking, and somewhat familiar.
Shit. I know that face. I don’t even need a photographic memory to remember who she is. I just need to not live in a fucking cave. Everyone knows her. It’s Skylar Barrett. I know she’s been filming something around here, the whole island has been talking about it for months, but never thought I’d see her. My sister used to watch that stupid Mandy Mayhem every Saturday morning. It was fucking torture.
And here she is to torture me again, only this time in a very different way, because she’s all grown up. Her auburn hair drapes messily over one shoulder as she stares out at the ocean. She must have just woken up as she appears to be wearing something she slept in and there is a tranquil vibe about her, a type of calmness that comes before the day fucks you up. A pink tank top fits tightly to her petite body and a pair of white shorts hang off her hipbones.
Fuck me, she has the most perfect body I’ve seen on any woman. Ever. Trust me when I say I have seen a fucking lot. Unfortunately I’m too far away to see her facial features, more importantly her eyes. Beautiful eyes are my Achilles’ heel. That’s what drew me to her. I shut my eyes to get the image of her out of my head as quickly as fucking possible.
Once upon a time I would have made some grand gesture, like scaling the balcony and asking this girl out on a date, and she would have said yes. Most chicks do, and in less than three hours after meeting one I can have my name replacing God’s while they scream it in my bed.
Or a bar bathroom.
Or the back seat of a car.
Or the front seat of a car.
Or the hood of a car. I’m not picky.
But this chick, this woman, she is one you wife the fuck up. As quickly as possible. And yes, I can tell this just from looking at her. I’m one hundred percent certain I’m not Skylar Barrett material either. I’m not relationship material in general. I can’t go down that road again. It will hurt too much in the end, and it will end.
What a great debut from Andrea Joan! I laughed. I cried. I yelled! This book was packed full of quality writing and a great story line to keep your mind fully occupied throughout!
Liam, a quick tempered ex-boxer and Skylar, a Hollywood star, have quite the explosive chemistry. Together they make for an exciting couple as they wade through a new relationship with both their tragic pasts weaving together.
As much as Liam has his asshole tendencies, he also has that protective, sweet boyfriend quality every one of our beloved book heroines deserve. And don't even get me started with Skylar! She's incredibly funny and sweetly endearing. I absolutely adored her!
I'm pretty sure Skylar had one of the worst fathers I've ever read in a book. He was horrendously awful! I knew at some point Liam would save her from him, but OMG waiting for the outcome was torture! Well worth the wait though.
There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you flipping the pages, never wanting to stop reading until it's over and they are safely in each other's arms. It was quite the ride and I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it!
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