Title: Tell Me That You’re Mine
Author: Victorial De La O
Publisher: SMP Swerve
Release Date: August 29, 2017
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Series: Tell Me #3
Ryan McCallister is ready to come home and put the heartbreak of his first love behind him. But when he returns after teaching abroad, the home he once knew isn’t quite ready for him. The woman Ryan once loved is living with his brother; his friends have moved on; and his new landlady, Eva Romero, seems determined not to like him.
But Ryan likes Eva. A lot.
It doesn’t matter that Eva has a six-year-old son and a troubled ex-husband; when Ryan’s with her, everything makes sense. Eva isn’t convinced she’s ready to take another chance on love, but Ryan’s determined to show her he’s worth the risk.
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It’s feels like an eternity since I’ve been home. In reality, it’s only been a year.
My slow walk to the house is surreal. The lawn is as pristine as ever, each blade of grass shorn the same height by Jude’s meticulous mowing. The red geraniums I planted years ago are thriving. And the dent in the porch rail, caused by my foot accidentally connecting with the wood, is still visible. But I don’t remember the house being this uninspiring shade of blue, or the crack on the front stoop being this wide. This house, this city, used to be my whole world. It seemed a lot bigger then.
Discordance skitters over my spine: what should be familiar is foreign, relief mingles with anxiety. Time snaps and contracts as I knock on the front door, and suddenly it seems like an hour since I left. A nanosecond.
The door swings open, and the reason for my hasty departure is staring at me. She’s as pretty as I remember—maybe more, damn her. Green eyes that used to flutter when I kissed her, full lips that whispered confidences in my ear.
Now, her face is frozen in a hostess’ smile. Her fingers worry the bottom button of her pink cardigan and the threads begin to loosen. She doesn’t know what to do because she wasn’t expecting me. I guess it wasn’t nice showing up a day early.
“Ryan. You’re home.”
Home. Does she mean mine or hers?
I had almost forgotten what Lizzie’s voice sounded like, but its husky depth brings the memories of the six months we spent loving each other rushing back.
Well, I had been loving her. She’d been falling in love with my brother.
I wait for my heart to ache, but there’s only a small twinge. That’s a surprise. In my mind, this was all so much more dramatic and intense. Hard stares and pinched lips. A little social awkwardness seems so mundane by comparison.
And then the door swings open wider and Jude is there. My pulse stops—doesn’t slow, just ceases to exist for a second. Leave it to him to bring the fireworks.
Like the house, Jude seems smaller than I remember. Or maybe that’s because he has gone expressionless, his discomfort hard-crashing him. His hands dig into his pockets, searching for an anchor, pulling his shoulders into a hunch. It takes a lot to knock Jude off his game. Glad to see I can still have that effect on him.
When he opens his mouth, no sound comes out. It’s unusual for me to have to step up and be the better man when I’m around my big brother. But today is that day.
Copyright © 2017 Tell Me That You’re Mine by Victoria De La O
Victoria De La O is the award-winning and RITA®-nominated author of the Tell Me romance trilogy, including Tell Me How This Ends. A native of California’s Silicon Valley, she spends time hanging out with her family, arguing about films, and practicing Wonder Woman spins, She loves talking to readers, so find her at www.victoriadelao.com.