𝗡𝗼 𝗵𝗼𝗼𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘂𝗽.
This is the oath I took in solidarity with my best friend after a particularly heinous breakup left him shattered.
No problem, right?
Because lately, I’ve begun developing big, messy feelings for our best female friend who we both swore was off-limits since we were sixteen years old.
I shouldn’t notice the way her hair turns golden when it catches the light, I shouldn’t make it a goal to see her dimples when she laughs, I shouldn’t find her knowledge on current affairs so sexy.
I’m pretty sure she’s oblivious, which is a good thing, I try to convince myself.
Until one night after too many cocktails when we fall into bed together.
I’m left with an awkward morning-after, and one of the hardest choices I’ve ever had to make.
Confess how I feel, and potentially lose both of my best friends in the process, or bury my feelings and watch her move on?
How can something so wrong feel so right?
I look up at Cam and meet his eyes, brimming with secrets. I need answers, and I need them now.
No more secrets, Cam.
“What’s going on?”
The man in my arms doesn’t answer with his words. Instead, he takes hold of the edge of my towel and pulls it from my body. I gasp at the sensation of our skin pressing intimately together. I brace myself against his chiseled arms, digging my fingers into his biceps for purchase.
He isn’t done. He lifts his hands, one to my hip, one to my cheek. His thumb draws a small circle on my exposed hip bone. With the side of his knuckle, he traces the outline of my lower lip. I stay very, very still so he won’t notice the slight shudder racing down my spine.
“I can’t tell you,” he says so softly that it breaks my heart.
“Yes, you can.” I barely recognize my own voice. Cam’s eyes, dark and hurting, are locked on my lips. I want to ease that pain.
And I think I know how.
I lean in closer, pulling myself up to his level with my hands on his chest. Our breaths mingle and everything is warm, the air between us aflame.
“You’re killing me.” These are the words that fall from Cam’s lips before they meet mine.
My lips are locked against his in the softest of kisses. I catch his lower lip with my own, pressing every ounce of my feelings into him. Every thank you for being there for me. Every you’re perfect for being exactly what I need.
Can he feel how much I care for him?
He’s still for a whole Mississippi second—a second too long for me to bear.
Oh God. What have I done?
But the moment I pull away, Cam leans in. His hands are on my face, holding my lips against his. He tilts my head, digs his fingers into my hair, and opens his mouth to mine.
“Natalie . . .”
The sound of my name slipping so lustfully from the back of his throat sends a jolt all the way down. All the way down.
I pull myself even higher on my toes, clinging to him with my arms around his neck. He returns the favor, wrapping his arms around my waist and pulling me tight against him. Our mouths are magnetic, unable to separate, unwilling to stop.
My God. I’m kissing Cam.
I’m kissing my best friend.
I’m kissing him and I can’t stop.
I dart my tongue between his lips, caressing the underside of his upper lip. He growls, maddened by my bold move. His fingers blaze fiery trails down my neck and shoulders. His hands explore me, memorizing the slope of my back and the curve of my hips. Each touch is so soft, yet so electric.
Soon it’s all frantic kisses and eager moans that I’m pretty sure are coming from me. I press into his shoulders, leaving handprints on his chest. My fingers draw lines down his abdomen, then finally trace along the bulge beneath his towel.
Cam jerks back, his eyes full of questions.
But there’s no more time for questions. We’ve wasted far too much of it.
A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She’s a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she’s appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.
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