NEVER ALWAYS by Rachel Robinson
Release Date: December 6th
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In a family filled with picturesque butterflies, I’m a moth. Camouflaged. The invisible, nerdy scientist who would rather study water and save the planet than don a dress and mingle in southern society. Unfortunately, having my nose in a book and eating goals for breakfast doesn’t bode well for a social life or my cobweb covered dating sector.
Then I met Grange. He’s a tormenter—an epic bully, but he’s promised to help me in my lackluster areas. He’s been ordered to fulfill service hours at my Aquatic Lab in Cape Cod, if I allow it.
He is bad, the worst. I’m talking wearing prison garb when I met him kind of awful. We all have our demons, but Corrick Granger’s seep into everything and everyone around him. Sure, I’d love his expertise on how to land a guy, but I’m not sure any man is worth dealing with an outcast Navy SEAL who has more issues than a magazine subscription.
One hazy mistake was all it took to ruin my life. Well, one mistake coupled with a chain of bad decisions, and a side of my hot temper. The court doled out an easy community service sentence. Never anything too harsh for a “hero.” I’ll be back at the Teams in six months, easy. I need to keep my cool, put my head down, and follow the rules.
A fiery redhead with something to prove is all that stands between me and my freedom. Tennyson is a maddening combination of know-it-all and knows-nothing. The type of woman who would cut off her own nose to spite her face, and yet when my one mistake snowballs into a life altering, soul-damning error, she’s undeniably there for me.
Even though I don’t deserve it.
Even though I’ve kept secrets.
And despite the fact I have become the monster she knew I would be.
Grange watches my hands as I pull my hair over my shoulder, then his blue eyes lock with mine. “I want to stay.”
Honest. Forward. I gulp. How can I test my hypothesis? How would Sue-Ellen figure out if a man was interested? Would she just go in for a kiss? Flirt? I wish I could text her right now. Squirming under the heat of his stare, I think I might have something. “Will you tell me what to say if I call Grey right now?”
His right brow raises a fraction, but he recovers quickly. I see the flicker of amusement, and I think he knows what I’m doing, but that’s fine. I need a distraction from the path of my thoughts. “Call him up. Tell him to come over so you can finish your date.” Grange balls his fists and his knuckles crack. “Tell him what’s in store for him.”
I open my mouth to ask what exactly he means, but he holds up a hand to silence me.
“You’ll invite him in. Maybe you offer a game of chess, maybe you offer him a drink to take the edge off. He’ll want the drink because you intimidate him, looking like that. He’ll want to kiss you.” Grange stops midstride as he crosses to me. “But he won’t because he won’t be able to stop at a kiss.”
I scoff. “That’s not Grey.”
His expression grows serious. “Obviously.”
I take in a breath, his gaze lights on my mouth. “You’ll sit at the table or on the couch and talk about work. He’ll try to change the subject to something else but neither of you are comfortable talking about personal things. Dark desires, so you’ll think about them and hope he makes a move. After he’s had enough to drink, he’ll touch you.” Grange reaches out, setting a possessive, hot hand on my waist. I feel it between my legs and lose my breath. “You’ll like it.” His gaze is searing, but there’s a playful undercurrent because he knows what he’s doing and I’m crippled by it.
Grange lets his hand fall away. “He won’t have the courage to go any further and you wouldn’t dare act too forward and tell him to keep touching you. It’s against the way you were brought up.” His mouth picks up on one side. “Southern manners.” I hate that my waist feels cold, that I want him to touch me again. My mouth is dry and it seems I had every reason to be nervous about being alone with him. “Leaving you needing more and him not willing to cross that line.”
I blink several times, feeling all of a sudden lightheaded. “You know it all, don’t you?”
The man is bewildering.
Grange lifts one shoulder up and down and backs away, eyes wide and confident.
“What do I know? I’m probably wrong.” Flopping down on the sofa, he is carefree and unaffected. I, on the other hand, feel a deep pit of longing, stealing air from my lungs.
He casually grabs the remote and flips on the television. After several awkward seconds of me staring at him, standing in the same place, he glances my way. “Call him.”
I stomp my foot. “Why can’t you be normal? A good friend?”
About the Author:
Rachel grew up in a small, quiet town full of loud talkers. Her words were always only loud on paper. She has been writing stories and creating characters for as long as she can remember. CRAZY GOOD and SET IN STONE two of her Navy SEAL novels are INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLERS. After living on the west coast for many years she moved to Virginia. She resides there with her badass husband, and two children.
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