Losing a loved one is hard. Learning to survive in their absence? That’s even harder. For Gemma Michaels, life had become difficult following her brother’s death, but the one thing that kept her afloat was the one thing she knew she shouldn’t have desired – her best friend, Ben.
He’d made a promise to her brother – to protect her, no matter what. For Ben, that had meant that she was off limits. But then she slips and tells him the three words he’s been waiting to hear.
Love happens when you least expect it.
“If you’re trying to charm my pants off of me, it isn’t going to work, Nate.”
At least, I hoped he wouldn’t succeed. Again.
On one hand, the last thing I needed was to repeat the same mistake. On the other hand? I was single, and I did have needs. Of course, Nate’s model looks certainly didn’t help to keep my mind from considering his earlier proposal.
And this is why you don’t drink around Nate, I told myself.
“Get your mind out of the gutter, Gem, geez,” he joked. I dropped my hands from his neck and shoved him gently in his chest before he grabbed my wrists, pulling me to where he stood. “I’m serious. You have convinced yourself my idiot cousin can do better than you. You seem to think that you can’t compete with the other girls, but it’s utter bullshit.”
“It’s not bullshit; it’s called accepting the reality of the situation,” I said.
“You’re so much more than those other girls, Gemma. I only wish you could see what I see,” he said. A sincere smile spread upon his lips, and he released his hold on my wrists. “Don’t let your fear keep you from trying. Sometimes the things that scare us the most are exactly what we need.”
One phone call was all it took to disrupt the happiness Gemma Michaels had come to know. Instead of basking in the glow of her newfound romance with Ben, Gemma is forced to watch as her mother fights to overcome her grief, while struggling to deal with her own. When all hope seems lost, Gemma Michaels will find a way to move past her grief and allow herself to be happy.
In the end, love is all that matters.
Nicole Sobon is the author of The Emile Reed Chronicles (YA Science Fiction), the Outbreak duology, Collide (NA Romance), and more!
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