Martinez knows of life is loss, loyalty, and family.
father became a quadriplegic after breaking his neck saving a drowning girl,
Ricky gave up his dreams of playing football at a big college to stay home and
take care of his family. His new dream? Find the girl who caused his father’s
injury and get justice.
her, his family lost everything.
Gerard knows of life is a quiet, protective love.
ever since her accident eighteen years ago, Aveline’s parents, both deaf, have
kept her safe the only way they know how—sheltered, and alone. Aveline’s
deepest desire? To experience life in all its loud and messy glory, and the
tattooed guy in her first college class is all of those things.
him, her life is finally beginning.
has a wicked sense of justice and when Ricky realizes the sweet, shy girl
in his class is the one who wrecked his family, will he be able to walk
away? Or will the bitter rage inside cause him to make the biggest mistake of
them, the pain of two families will finally collide.
circled the bike, standing in front of me, arms crossed over his chest. “What’d
you think of that lecture, mariposa?”
eyes slid to the side, the floor, the ceiling. A slow burn traveled up my neck,
settling on my cheeks. “It was… interesting, Freud, you know…” I laughed, a
weird, awkward, uncomfortable sound escaping my lips. God, I sounded like a
freak. Get it together, girl. Instead
of wringing my hands together, I pushed my glasses higher up on my nose.
looked down at me, his eyes crinkling, and lips curved. “Interesting, huh?”
hands shot out to the sides, “I’m sure you know all about that stuff… the
stages and sex and… yeah.” I blew out a breath, my cheeks puffing, in what I
was sure was the sexiest look I’d managed to pull off yet. “I’ve only done some
light reading. That was new to me and frankly, a bit uncomfortable to hear
around you because of your general hotness and all.”
threw his head back and chortled. “You are the cutest damn thing I’ve ever
seen.” His tongue darted out to lick his bottom lip. He took the paper and pen
from my hand, tossing them onto the floor. “I won’t touch you here. Although,
I’ll admit it’s probably my biggest fantasy, but you aren’t ready for that.”
down, he picked me up, his hands lifting under my ass until I wrapped my legs
around his waist. “You’re so tiny.” He smirked, his eyes focused on my lips.
took off my glasses, placing them on the metal tool shelf next to us. My body
shook, and I knew Ricky felt it when his grip on me tightened.
won’t hurt you, mariposa. You have my
word that I’ll protect you. I’m not a good man, but I’ll be good to you.” He
looked into my eyes, his warm brown orbs like melted chocolate.
are a good man. I wish you saw yourself like I see you.” My words pled, begging
him to hear me.
his eyes and shutting me out, he pressed his forehead to mine. “I need you,” he
whispered. “I’ve never needed anyone like I need you. You’re open and
vulnerable, kind and innocent. You’re unlike any girl I’ve ever met, and all I
want to do is learn more about you. Understand all the parts that make you
words sounded stricken and raw, but I absorbed them, drawing them into my
heart. I didn’t know if he meant that he needed me physically or emotionally,
but either way I was his.
need you, too.” I kissed his lips, a light sweet peck. “I’ve already learned
and grown from being near you. You’re strong and loyal. The way you take care
of your family has captivated me. And the way you make me feel is addictive.” I
kissed him again, longer, and he groaned, one hand pressing into my back and
one twisting in my hair.
mouth opened, tongue peeking out to find his. Meeting, touching, and tangling
as we moaned in unison. My hands sought his beautiful hair and I wrapped the
long strands around my fingers, hoping that I would weave myself into him, his
life, and his heart.
complicated, gorgeous man, that thought he didn’t deserve happiness or dreams
or good in his life.
had a glimpse inside, something I believed was a rarity. And Ricky deserved all
the beauty the world had to bring. I wasn’t sure I was the person who could
give that to him.
I sure wanted to try.
bestselling author, Laura Ward, writes sweet and sexy stories that will
hopefully make you look at the world in a different way. Her books include the
Not Yet series: Not Yet, Until Now, Someday Soon, and Because of
You. Her Contemporary Romance standalone is titled, Past Heaven. She is also the co-author of the College Bound series:
The Pledge, The Color of Us, and The
Sound of Your Heart (Releasing July 13, 2018.) Laura lives in Maryland with
her loud and very loving three children and husband. She married her college
sweetheart and is endlessly grateful for the support he has given her through
all their years together, and especially toward her dream of writing books.
When not picking up toy trucks, driving to lacrosse practice, or checking
spelling homework, Laura is writing or reading romance novels.