He promised to leave me alone, but that was a lie. I should have known he’d have this pull on me—seeping through my skin and into my bones, burning me from the outside in. It’s just like when we were kids, and I can no longer avoid him. I’ve accepted it, but what will it take to convince him that I am no longer his? Is that really what I want?
I told her I’d leave her alone. But who was I kidding? I’ve never been one to back away from a challenge. He stole my girl—my future—from me. I’m coming back with a vengeance. I’m taking back what he took from me. After all the secrets and lies, can we come back from this? Even if it breaks me, I’ll stop at nothing to protect what’s always been mine.
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“Keep doing that,” Sean breathes,
pulling my bottom lip into his mouth before releasing it.
I scratch my nails up and down his
back, running my other hand through his golden brown hair. He’s got it cut
really short, and I like it. “This?”
He switches to my top lip. “Yeah,
it feels good,” he says, hungrily moving back and forth over my mouth. When he
rocks against me, our tongues collide. I softly moan, enjoying the friction it
brings. He squeezes my breast then glides down my quivering stomach, meeting
the edge of my shorts. The familiar confusion settles in.
“Are you wet for me?” His voice is
husky as his fingers slip inside of my panties. Desire pools in his eyes.
all in your head, Reese. You can do this.
Meeting his gaze, he asks, “Do you
I feel conflicted, not wanting to
hurt him. He senses my hesitation and rolls off me, rubbing the space between
“It still feels like we’re rushing things. I’m
“Don’t worry,” he replies, clearly
frustrated. “Give me a minute to lose this semi, and I’ll be fine.”
“I didn’t mean to get your hopes
up.” I scoot back against the headboard and fasten my shorts. He lets out an
exaggerated breath. It’s been a few months since we’ve called our relationship
‘official.’ He’s never pressured me for sex, but it’s clear my hesitancy is
wearing on him.
“It’s your first time. You’re nervous,” he
replies, looking straight ahead. I can tell he’s thinking into it. Ever since
Luke’s return, I’ve sensed his insecurity. We haven’t spoken since the night he
came back, but it doesn’t make Sean feel any better. He knows how much Luke
meant to me.
“You’re leaving?” I ask as he
climbs out of bed.
Grabbing his light blue polo, he
pulls it over his head, and makes a weak attempt to cover his erection. “It’s
late,” he says, tapping twice on the doorframe. “I should go.” He starts down
“Wait.” I jump out of bed, meeting him in the
middle. “I love you. You know that, right?” We’ve said it before, but I want
him to know that I mean it. “I’m just protecting my heart.”
His eyes soften. I hope that means
he believes me.
“What’s up guys?” Logan calls from
the other room.
We glance toward the couch, where
he and Gia are spooning, the volume on the television set low. I purse my lips,
unaware we had an audience, then my eyes move to the fresh bouquet of Calla
lilies displayed on our table. A shot of fear bolts through me, and I try to
speed things along, lightly pushing Sean forward. “Will I see you tomorrow, or
will you be working?”
“Depends on what I get done tonight.”
“Well, you better get going then.”
I move him to the door, and he
pauses and turns to Logan.
“Dude. You’re going to have to quit
that.” He tips his head toward the flowers with a half grin on his face.
“You’re making me look bad.”
I cringe, glancing at Logan. To say
he looks confused is an understatement.
“The flowers,” Sean confirms.
Logan lifts his head. His eyes
flick from me to the lilies before he relaxes against the pillow. He focuses
back on the television. “Wish I could take the credit, man, but those aren’t
Gia silently apologizes with her
eyes. Logan doesn’t know any better. It isn’t her fault. I’m the one who chose
to lie to my boyfriend. Hurrying us out the door, I prepare for an argument.
“You lied to me,” Sean says sharply, not
wasting any time. His hair glistens under the porch light.
“It’s not what you think.”
“It’s not? Because I’m thinking
Luke sent you those flowers.”
“You’re right. He did,” I pause, sighing. “But they don’t mean anything. I just
wasn’t sure how to tell you. I knew it would upset you.”
He looks disgusted. “And that makes
I sit on the porch bench right
outside the door. “Of course it doesn’t. I should have been honest with you.
Lying was stupid.” Feeling defeated, I put my head in my hands.
“Is there anything else I need to know, while
we’re being honest with each other? Just get it all out now. I don’t want any
yeah, Luke has a wife. I
shake my head. “There’s nothing.” His jaw ticks like he doesn’t believe me.
“Stop reading into this like it’s more than it is. They’re just flowers, Sean.”
“Just flowers,” he murmurs lowly,
rubbing his hand against his forehead. “Is he the reason you won’t let me fuck
“Excuse me?” My stomach drops.
“You heard me.”
“Of course not!” I stand and look directly
into his eyes. I’ve always known this was in the back of his mind, but the way
he said it hurts. “I can’t believe you just said that!” Luke’s dog barks across
the way, and my gaze slides towards his place. “Keep your voice down! You’re
“So what if he hears me,” he spits.
“I told you. We haven’t spoken since the day
he moved back.”
“How do I know that isn’t bullshit?”
“Because it isn’t.” He only knows a
quarter of what happened that night. I left out the candlelit dinner and the
wife—a wife I’ve rarely seen around here. I assume they’re having problems
already. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least.
Two days after we’d met on the
rooftop, my heart shattered all over again, when I spotted a woman carrying
boxes into his house. I recognized her immediately and ran to the toilet to dry
heave, then silently bawled for an hour. I wasn’t prepared to have it shoved in
my face. A part of me had hoped that, if I let Luke explain like he’d asked,
we’d somehow be able to move on from this, but my logical side told me to let
him go. I didn’t want to make the same mistakes as my mother—constantly living
in denial. I refused to be that girl.
The next night I walked out my
front door and came face to face with a large German Shepard. Startled, I took
a cautious step back. He sat on his hind legs, lifting a paw like he wanted to
shake. Hesitantly, I leaned down to pet him, admiring his brindle fur coat. “Hey there, big boy. You scared me for a
minute.” I smiled, and he happily panted in return. “Good thing you’re friendly. Are you lost?”
“Chance,” called the voice of the woman from the day before, standing in
front of Luke’s place. I froze when she walked over, sizing me up with an
eyebrow raised. I’m not sure if she recognized me from the hospital. “I’m
Rachelle,” she said, reaching out her hand. It took me a second to take it. She
exuded confidence and was disgustingly fit. I wanted to throw up again.
“Reese,” I replied with a clear of
my throat, before we shook hands.
Flipping her hair over her
shoulder, her eyes fell on Chance. “Sorry. Blame it on his father. I told him
Chance had mastered opening doors.” She
tipped her head toward their house. “But Luke had other things on his mind,
if you know what I mean.” She laughed half-heartedly. “You know men. Maybe next
time he’ll put him away first, like I’d asked.” Reaching for his collar, she said, “C’mon boy. Let’s go,” dragging
him back to the house. “It was nice to meet you,” she said right as she shut the door.
That was the last time I saw her.
“For two damn months this has gone
on! You couldn’t tell him to stop?” Sean yells, snapping me out of the memory.
“I didn’t want to face him. I … I thought if I
ignored it, he’d get the hint and stop sending the flowers.”
“You’ve got ‘em in the center of
your living room!”
“At first I threw them away, even
using his garbage can, so he’d see
“You’re giving him the wrong idea,
“Stop yelling! I can hear you!” I
shout, as loud as him.
“Are you going to tell him, or am I?” His
fists clench at his sides.
“You okay, Reese?” Luke calls, standing twenty
feet away. My breath catches as he strides over. Sean pulls me in for a
possessive kiss, making things more awkward than they already are. Forcing my
eyes shut, I give in, though I’m not done being pissed. What he’d said earlier
was disrespectful, but I need to show him there’s no reason for his insecurity.
Luke and I are truly over.
“You gonna let her answer, or are
we gonna stand here all night?”
My skin responds to the familiar
voice as if it were touching me. Oh God,
he’s so close.
Sean releases me, wiping his mouth. “Mind your own business. She’s not your
Ignoring Sean completely, Luke asks
me again, “You okay Reese?” His eyes search deep, like he’s invading my soul.
Chills shoot up the back of my neck. I don’t know how he does it. He’s
shirtless and freshly showered—wearing low-slung shorts that show off his
muscular physique, and the sexy V framing his pelvic area, one I’ve been known
to stare at.
I drag my eyes away from his body,
breathing in his intoxicating scent. He’s
married, Reese. He’s a liar! Remember?
“She’ll be fine once you leave her alone. And
stop sending the flowers,” Sean growls. “She doesn’t want them.”
“You gonna buy them for her?” Luke
asks without casting him a glance. A conflict of emotions burns inside my
chest. How can he be so protective on one
hand, yet so hurtful on another?
“I said she doesn’t want you here,
man. Go back inside.”
The tension continues to thicken. I
place a hand over Sean’s chest, giving it a slight shove. “Let’s get you home.”
If he doesn’t shut up, he’s going to get
his butt kicked.
“Do you always let him speak for
Whipping around to face Luke, I
spit, “I think you know me better than that, and frankly, it’s none of your
He moves a little too close, dipping
down to meet my eyes. “You being honest with me?”
Then Sean’s up in Luke’s face. “She
can’t stand being near you, asshole! Take the fucking hint!”
Luke smirks, taunting him. “You
keep telling yourself that, buddy. Reese and I have a past. I can read her like
a book.” He straightens his shoulders. “Whether she’s hiding something, her
emotions, her truths, her lies … all of it.”
God … where is he going with this?
“That’s special. Really, I’m touched. But
where were you when her father died, huh? ‘Cause I was drying her tears,
picking up the pieces you left behind. You dumb piece of shit!”
I watch Luke’s expression change to
lethal. When he turns to me, his jaw is clenched. “If you care about him at
all, you’ll convince him to walk away.” His voice is a low growl.
I take his threat seriously,
grabbing onto Sean’s arm. “It’s late. You have work to do. Remember?” I plead,
keeping my voice as calm as I can muster, but I’m not sure that it’s helping.
He still hasn’t budged.
“Tell him what you said about the
flowers. I’ll go home once you’re inside. I’d be crazy to leave him alone with
“Luke would never hurt me.”
He snorts, then Luke rams himself
hard into his chest. “Something funny, prick?” Before I can blink, he’s bumping
him again. There isn’t a contest on who would win, if things got ugly. Luke’s
an expert, and he towers over Sean.
I work my way between them, placing
a hand on both of their chests, giving Sean a look of warning. Then I turn my
attention to Luke. “I don’t think it’s appropriate that you send me flowers.” A
lump forms in my throat. “I need you to stop.” Why do I feel sorry for him?
His hands slip deep into his
pockets, and slowly he backs away, showing no flicker of emotion. “Done,” is
all he says.
I lift my chin. Glad I’ve made it easy. Now run along to your wife, wherever she is.
When he reaches his front door, I
give Sean a glare. He’s still on my shit list. “Told you—you have nothing to
He wraps his arms around me,
kissing the side of my neck, even though I slightly protest. “Something tells
me he’s not done yet.”
“That’s what I’m afraid of.”
“See you in the morning,” Luke calls from his
doorway. His arms stretched out wide, he grips the frame.
Sean tenses, and I stare at Luke,
Every ripple of his torso is on
display under the porch light. “Work,” he replies, with his gaze fixed on Sean,
no matter that I’m who asked the question. “I’m back at the gym.”
My mouth falls open, the beat of my
heart triples its pace, and I stand there, speechless.
He’s the stereotypical fighter- 100 percent alpha male. The kind of
guy a girl should avoid at all costs. When he’s hired to privately train me,
avoiding him isn’t an option. Most girls would love to drop their panties, even
if it is just to catch a glimpse of his dimpled smile. I won’t fall victim to
his charm. That’s what I tell myself at least, though it’s torture when my
mind’s at war with my body. Something about the tattooed bad boy draws me in.
It isn’t just the broad shoulders, piercing eyes, and muscular frame that has
me entranced. Luke Ryann has a secret. And I plan to find out what it is.
Recommended for mature audiences due to language, violence and sexual
purchase RAISING RYANN:
USA Today bestselling author Alyssa Rae Taylor
amplifies the angst-filled love story that started in Raising Ryann.
What happens when the person you love becomes threatened by your very
existence? How far will you go to keep them safe?
Luke Ryann will do anything to protect the woman he loves, even if it
means shattering her heart. When the mystery of his past comes back to haunt
him, he leaves Reese behind and enters the life of crime he had worked so hard
to escape. When all is said and done, will he be able to get out of this alive,
or will he be in over his head?
She’s been in love with him since her childhood, but now she questions
everything. After Reese Johnson discovers Luke’s disappearance has nothing to do
with the MMA, she faces a difficult choice. Can she find it in her heart to
forgive him? Or will the secrets and lies be too damaging for her to trust
again? Will this couple ever have a chance? You know what they say.
Sometimes … love just isn’t enough.
Resisting Ryann is the second book in The Bad Boy Reformed
trilogy. This story isn’t just a romance. It’s filled with action, suspense,
mystery, and a touch of humor.New adult romance. Recommended for mature readers
due to situations of abuse, violence, language, and sexual content.
Where to purchase RESISTING RYANN
Perfect ending to a great series! Breaking Ryann had the right amount of drama and sexiness to it. Everyone is always so focused on the main couple in the story but sometimes the best friends also make the book. Logan and Gia made this book even better. These four together always called for a good time and sure to make you laugh! You wont be disappointed how this story ends and there is a part in the book that will make you gasp and move to the edge of your seat! I give this book 4 stars.
USA Today Bestselling author Alyssa Rae Taylor lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, their three daughters, two English bulldogs and a miniature pig. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and watching Sam & Dean Winchester fight off scary creatures on the WB. She enjoys stories that tug at her emotions and isn’t a fan of the insta-love type of romance. Her dream is to travel the world with her husband and children beside her. The first time she started writing, she couldn’t stop, which leads to now, and the publication of the Bad Boy Reformed Series,