Here’s a short teaser from Lilly and Reed, written from Garret’s POV.
I glance back at the house and see my mom in the kitchen with Jade. They’re each holding one of the twins while the girls dance around.
“Please don’t do this,” I say to my dad. “Please don’t bring this back into our lives. I have a family. I have my mom back. I can’t risk something happening to them.”
“It won’t. I promise I will keep you and Jade and the children out of this.”
“How? I know they still want me to be part of it. Every damn day I worry they’ll come back for me.”
“They won’t. I’ll make sure of it. You just have to trust me.”
Lilly and Reed is written from the POVs of Pearce, Katherine, Lilly, and Garret, but most of the chapters are from Pearce, such as this one.
“What’s going on?” I hear Lilly’s voice behind me and turn to see her standing there. “Did something happen?”
“No,” Rachel answers, wiping her eyes.
“Then why are you crying?”
She smiles. “You know me. I cry all the time, sometimes for no reason at all.”
“Did you need something?” I ask Lilly.
“Yeah. I wondered if I could stay with Reed next weekend. There’s a concert we want to go to on Saturday and since it won’t end until late, I thought I could spent the night there.”
“Will his father be home?” Rachel asks.
“Um, no.” Lilly chews on her lip. “His dad’s going to be out of town but it’s not like—”
“No,” I tell her. “You can’t go there.”
“Why? Because his dad is gone? How is that any different than when I’m at college? Reed and I still—”
“It’s not about that, although that, too, is a concern. But no, I don’t want you going there.”
“Then can Reed come here?”
“No. I have to go to Connecticut on Friday so you and Rachel will be staying with Garret.”
“Dad, this isn’t fair! You never let me see him!”
“You see him plenty, and you will see him when you go back to school. But right now, there are bigger things to worry about than how much time you spend with your boyfriend.”
“Like what?” she yells, tears forming in her eyes. “What’s so important?”
“Lilly.” Rachel reaches out to her but she backs away, her anger focused on me.
“Dad, tell me! What’s so important that I can’t see Reed?” She’s crying now. “Why are you trying to keep him away from me?”
“I’m not. This isn’t about that.”
“Then what’s it about?”
I sigh. “This is one of those times when I don’t want you asking questions.”
She throws her hands up. “Seriously? You’re using that again? That no questions crap?”
“Lilly, I’ve told you there are people out there who are dangerous and I—”
“Don’t!” she yells, hiccuping through her tears. “Don’t even bother trying to explain. I know whatever you’re going to say is a lie. All you ever do is lie to me!” She storms off to her room.
This morning, Reed drove up to see me. He’s staying the weekend, but in the guest room. There’s no way my dad would let him stay in my room, even though I know for a fact that my dad let Jade stay in Garret’s room when they were dating.
His double standard makes me so mad. And the way he’s so overprotective? I can’t take it anymore. He barely lets me leave the house. I’m so fed up with him right now I’m about ready to stop talking to him.
He said he’s only acting this way to protect me. He claims he’s been getting threats from some guy trying to get our money, and that the guy could come after me to get to him. But I don’t buy it. I think he’s lying. My dad gets threatened all the time and has people he hires to take care of it. So why is this time any different?
“I think we should stay here,” Reed says, standing up to put his jeans on.
“There’s nothing to do here.”
“There are all kinds of things to do.” He yanks his t-shirt over his head. “We could watch a movie.”
“We do that all the time.”
“Yeah, but you guys have an actual theater room with a huge screen and surround sound.”
When Reed first saw our theater room, his jaw dropped. He’d never seen a home theater. He thought it was the coolest thing ever.
“It’s the middle of the day,” I say. “I don’t feel like watching a movie right now.”
“Then let’s go swimming. Or we could paint. You have your own studio in the back yard. You know how freaking cool that is?”
“Yeah, it’s awesome, but we can paint later.” I tug on his hand. “Let’s go out.”
“I’d rather stay here.”
“Because your dad told us not to go anywhere.”
I roll my eyes. “You’re seriously listening to my dad?”
“Your dad is huge. And a trained killer.”
I laugh. “He’s huge but not a trained killer.”
“You said he does all that martial arts training.”
“Yeah, to stay in shape, not to kill people.”
“He goes to the shooting range every week. And he showed me his gun.” Reed is totally scared of my dad, which makes me laugh.
“He was just kidding around. All dads try to scare off the boy who’s dating their daughter.”
“I’ve dated plenty of girls and not one of their fathers has brought out a gun.”
I shrug. “Maybe my dad thought you liked guns. Rachel has a gun too. She and my dad both go to the shooting range.”
“Okay, that’s just weird. Why are they both so into guns?”
“Because crazy people come after us. My parents just want to be able to protect themselves.”
“Do you have one?”
“No, but if I wanted one I’m sure my dad would get me one.”
“Has your dad ever shot anyone?”
“Not that I know of.”
And yet I keep having that dream. The one where my dad comes home late at night, covered in blood.
“Wouldn’t he tell you if he had?”
“I don’t know but I don’t like talking about this.” I stand in front of him. “Are we gonna go or what?”
He sits down on the bed. “Given that I value my life, I’m choosing to stay here.”
I sigh. “You’re seriously that worried about my dad?”
“It’s not just that. I’m trying to be respectful. He told us to stay here and I don’t want to disrespect his wishes.”
“You’re not disrespecting him.”
“Well, I disagree.” He pulls me down on his lap. “And given that I want to marry his daughter someday, I want him to like me. I want him to know I’m a good guy who’s respectful and mature and will make a good husband to his beautiful daughter.”
I smile. “You know that’s like at least ten years in the future. I’m not ready to get married. Live together, maybe. But not get married.”
“Your brother got married when he was 19.”
“Yeah, and that was crazy.”
“Why? He’s still happily married all these years later.”
I turn to face him. “Are you trying to talk me into getting married?”
“Not right away, but ten years seems like a really long time. I mean, ten years ago we were in grade school. A lot can happen in ten years.”
I kiss him. “I’ll still be in love with you in ten years, if that’s what you’re worried about.”
“How about five?” He’s not joking, his face completely serious. “Would you do it in five years?”
“You really want to get married five years from now?”
“I’d prefer three, but you wanted ten so I picked something in between.”
“Why three? What’s the rush?”
“Three years is hardly rushing it. By then, we’ll have dated for four years. And we’ll be done with school, so it’d be a good time.”
“I’ll give it some thought but I’m not making any promises.”
He kisses me. “But you promise to marry me, right? At some point?”
I smile. “You haven’t proposed yet so I’m keeping my answer to myself until you ask.”
He thinks a moment, his lips turning up. “Okay.”
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When Lilly went to college she didn’t expect to fall in love, but then she met Reed. Now, almost a year later, the two of them couldn’t be happier.
But their happiness comes at a price—a price Lilly may not be willing to pay if she knew what was really going on. For years, her family’s kept a secret from her, a secret that if told, could make Lilly question everything she’s ever believed in.
The time has come…she has to learn the truth. And with that truth comes another revelation. A plan has been set in motion that can’t be stopped.
Lilly has to make a decision. What she decides will determine her future, but also the future of her entire family. Will she make the right choice? Even if it means losing the boy she loves?
Here’s the title page to what I’m working on!
If you haven’t read Lilly, now’s the time!
Still Love You is a standalone new adult romance featuring Willow, Lilly Kensington’s friend, and Silas, the guy Willow was briefly engaged to back in high school. It’s been two years since Willow last saw Silas, and despite telling herself she’s moved on, the truth is she still loves him.
This was such a fun story to write! This couple has great chemistry, and although they have very different personalities, they work well together. It’s a sweet and happy love story. Happy Valentine’s Day!!
A scene from Still Love You, a standalone new adult romance.
“Are you decent?” I yell outside Silas’ door.
“Depends on how you define that.” He yells back.
I open the door and see him standing there in jeans, but shirtless, just like he was on the farm. His hair is wet but now it’s because he just showered. He smells good. Clean and fresh with a hint of cologne.
“You gonna put on a shirt?” I ask.
“I’m still hot from being outside so I thought I’d just leave it off.” He grins. “Is that a problem?”
He’s evil. No girl can resist a hot shirtless man fresh from the shower. Except me. I’m stronger than most. I can resist him.
“Not a problem at all, although it seems unsanitary to eat without a shirt, hence the no-shirt, no-service rule at restaurants.”
“We’re not at a restaurant. And it’s not unsanitary. I just showered. I’m even cleaner than you.”
I huff. “That’s not true! I showered this morning. I’m very clean.”
“Let me see.” He steps up to me, his hands grasping my waist as he bends his head down to my neck. His lips graze my skin as he inhales, making me shiver.
“What are you doing?”
He exhales his warm breath over my neck. “You smell good.”
“Thanks. Now will you move, please?”
I was tempted to turn my head and kiss him but I didn’t. Excellent self control. Score one for Willow.
He slowly backs away.
“I really think you should put a shirt on.” It’s a lie. I don’t want him covering up those incredible abs, but my self-control is winning out, keeping me from doing something I shouldn’t.
He gives me a smug smile, then walks over to his dresser and pulls out a white t-shirt. Damn. I’m a sucker for jeans and a white t-shirt, which he knows. He takes his time pulling the shirt over his head, the movement causing his ab muscles to flex. Holy crap, that’s hot.
“Is this better?” He stands there, his arms at his sides, looking completely irresistible.
“Sure. Whatever.” I turn away from him and get my phone out. “What kind of pizza do you want?”
“Sausage and pepperoni. I’m craving meat.”
“No green peppers? Mushrooms?”
“Add whatever you want. Just not anchovies.”
“Gross. I hate anchovies.” I call the pizza place, but get a message that the number is no longer in service. “Silas, is Pizza Village closed?”
“Yeah. It closed last month.” I feel him come up behind me, his arms going around me, brushing against my chest as he takes my phone and types in a number. “This place is good.”
I order the pizza, then turn around and face him. “You could’ve just given me the number.”
He smiles. “I could’ve.”
He’s taking this flirting up a notch. Time to give it right back.
I slip my hands under his shirt, along his abs, and give him a flirtatious smile. “So, what should we do while we wait?”
He chuckles. “I know what you’re doing.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“It’s not going to work.” He grasps me around the waist. “It’ll just make me do this all the more.”
He leans down and kisses me. A bold, assertive kiss. A kiss that buckles my knees and leaves me breathless. Then he pulls away, waits a moment, then says, “Would you like me to take the shirt off? It seems to be in your way.”
I look down and see my hands are now halfway up his shirt, my fingers splayed out over his chest. I quickly yank them away.
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to do that.”
“No problem.” That smug grin appears again. “Maybe we should eat out back. Otherwise it’ll smell like pizza in here for a week. Doesn’t make for the greatest atmosphere.”
“Why do you care about the atmosphere? Are you having people over?”
“Just one.” He kisses my cheek, then takes my hand, tugging me out of his room and down the hall.
“You’re being very strange.”
“Good. I’d hate to be normal. Normal is boring.”
I like this new Silas even better than old one, and that’s saying a lot because I really liked the old one.
Want to read more? Get your copy of Still Love You!
A scene from Still Love You…
Once we’re seated, I say, “You can go out with her. My mom could probably come pick me up.” I pluck a blade of grass from the lawn and run it between my fingers, focusing on its smooth texture to distract myself from the hurt I’m feeling right now.
“I don’t want to go out with Kristy. I told you, I had no idea she’d even be here.”
“She came with Trent. She was obviously here because of you.” I toss the blade of grass aside and lie down on the blanket, knees bent, my eyes on the bright moon above us.
“But I didn’t know that until just now. When I talked to Trent earlier, he didn’t say he was bringing Kristy here tonight. He shouldn’t have done that. He thought he was helping me, but…”
“Helping you?” I sigh. “Silas, you’ve never needed help getting a date.”
“That’s not what I meant.” He lies next to me, propped up on his side. “He was trying to make me feel better. Trying to get my mind off things.”
He looks down and pauses for so long that I think he’s not going to answer, but then says, “Today was really hard.”
“Why? What do you mean?” I think I already know why but I want to hear his answer.
“It was hard seeing you again.” He looks up at me. “It’s not that I didn’t want to see you. I did. I’ve been wanting to see you for two years. It’s just that…once I did, I wanted things to go back to how they used to be and…I know they can’t.”
I feel wetness in the corners of my eyes because I can feel the hurt in his voice and I can see it in his face. And because I feel the same way. As soon as I saw him, I wanted to go back to how things were. The moment he appeared at my door, I wanted to run up and hug him and tell him how much I missed him.
“So Trent was trying to get you to move on?” I ask.
“In his own idiotic way, yes.”
“Maybe you should. Move on.” I choke on the words because it’s not what I want. But I love Silas, and I want him to be happy, and in order to do that, he needs to move on.
A long pause lingers between us.
“Is that really what you want?” he asks. “For me to move on?”
I swallow past the lump in my throat. “Yes.”
“If you wanted me to move on, then why did you get so upset when Kristy asked me to go out with her?”
“I was angry because you invited me here and then a girl showed up. It was just a misunderstanding.”
“You know I’d never do that to you. I would never plan some elaborate scheme in order to try to make you jealous.”
“I know,” I whisper.
He brushes the back of his hand over my cheek. “Willow, I need you to be honest with me. I need you to tell me how you really feel. What you really want. I need to know if there’s any hope for us. If you’d even consider the idea of us getting back together.”
God, this is so hard. Being around him makes me want to go back to how things were, but eventually I’d have to break up with him. I already did that once and it was hard enough back then. I can’t do it again. I don’t want to have to close that door a second time.
Read more in Still Love You, a standalone New Adult Romance.