Never apologize

Hard-edged rocker Graham Allen has it all. He's flush with cash from playing bass in a band by night and restoring classic cars by day. And there are plenty of women willing to share his bed for a night, complication-free. Perfect, because if there's anything he learned from his past, it was to never get attached—to anything. So when bartender Carly Sullivan flashes her innocent smile, Graham isn't prepared for what happens next.

Never fall in love

Two rules, that's all Graham has—never apologize and never fall in love. He knows Carly is everything he should avoid. Cheerful and sweet, she has "relationship" written all over her. But Graham can't stay away from her probing questions and concerned blue eyes.
When Graham discovers Carly is hiding a crushing secret, he's prepared to risk it all. Until in one single moment, everything changes and Graham's past threatens to collide with his future. His life is crumbling down around him, and soon no apology in the world can save him.
He should've known to walk away.
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I knew something was wrong before I opened my eyes. Really wrong. I was covered in sweat and something was crushing my chest. Vicious headache, pins and needles in one of my legs, I dared opening one eye.



Her cheek on my naked chest, arm draped over my ribs, leg over mine and soft blond hair everywhere. I went from panicked to turned-on then back to panicked before I could draw a breath. I wanted to touch her, bad. In my haze I couldn’t remember if we’d had sex. I looked down, boxers on me, T-shirt on her. Wait. Was that my T-shirt? Christ, it was. Beyond her bare legs, I couldn’t tell if she had anything on underneath. Back to turned-on.

Okay, think think think. Jesus, her legs… Yeah, no, no sex. We’d come in the bedroom, I’d stripped and fallen into bed. I was probably asleep before my head hit the pillow. It’d been a rough couple of days but still, nice hospitality. Guess it didn’t matter, she’d helped herself anyway. I would’ve smiled if my head wasn’t killing me.

Christ, my head hurt. And those legs…

I closed my eyes and my hand wandered. I stroked her hair, her back. She didn’t stir. Not minding the warmth of her now, I fell back asleep.

When I opened my eyes for the second time, Carly was looking up at me. Still on my chest, hand under her chin, eyes bright, she looked too curious for this hour of the morning.

“Your eyes are green,” she whispered.

Yeah, okay. “Yours are blue.” And? Inhaling, I stretched, careful not to displace her.

“You have a lot of tattoos.” She traced the turquoise droplets of water surrounding some tribal ink on my left arm.

I didn’t say anything. Her hand on my arm, up, down, soft, it felt good. I had to concentrate on not scaring her away. She reminded me of a hummingbird. If she kept it up, she’d know what was on my mind, I wouldn’t be able hide it.

“I borrowed one of your T-shirts,” she murmured absently.

“I noticed.”

“You work out a lot.” Her eyes dipped, her hand traced my biceps and she fingered some skulls on my shoulder.

“Yeah.” I’d turned one of the bedrooms into a gym. I blamed Myles, told him it was a bitch to keep up with him but in truth, working out and sex were great releases.

She turned on her side, put her head on my shoulder and ran her hand down my stomach. “You surprise me, Graham.”

Her tiny fingers traced the Japanese characters on the side of my ribs. I didn’t say anything.
“Want to know why?” Her finger glanced across my stomach and traced the female ghost form rising from the dead that was along the other side of my ribcage.

Fuck it. “No.” I rolled on top of her, pushed her thigh with my knee and settled between her legs. Sinking my hands in her hair, I pulled her head back and brought my lips down.

Sybil Bartel Bio:

I grew up in Northern California with my head in a book and my feet in the sand. I dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew me into the world of storytelling. I love the New Adult genre, but really, any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes me swoon.

I now live in Southern Florida and while I don’t get to read as much as I like, I still bury my toes in the sand. If I’m not writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in my backyard, you can find me spending time with my handsomely tattooed husband, my brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…

But Seriously?

Here are ten things you really want to know about me.

I grew up a faculty brat. I can swear like a sailor. I love men in uniform. I hate being told what to do. I can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks me out. My favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—I can’t decide. I have a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on me for driving directions, ever. And I have a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell my husband

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