Tropes: best-freinds-to-lovers, heroine with an illness, hero has that golden retriever + daddy dom energy
Release Date: October 6, 2022
Cover Design: Jennifer Olson
The town’s most eligible bachelor just saved my life. I paid him back by puking on him.
Callan Hellman. Mr. Nice Guy paramedic. My best friend.
He buys my friends flowers when he knows they’ve had a hard day. Who does that? Callan’s the guy every girl wants to date and take home to mama. Not me though. We’re just friends. Have been since elementary school. I was the weird girl who kept him laughing with my antics, even when his father abandoned his family and Callan hid those scars behind his smile.
But due to my sudden medical diagnosis at twenty-four, Callan insists I move in with him. I accept and soon regret it. Since when did he grow all those muscles, and why is he allergic to wearing shirts? I’m getting white-picket-fences-feelings I have no business feeling, and try as I might to suppress them, Callan makes a bold move that proves he’s carried a love-shaped torch for me for years.
Turns out, best friends make the best lovers, but when Callan’s daddy issues come between us, will his well-meaning brothers be able to patch us up and get our hearts beating together again? Or have I just lost the best friend I’ll ever have?
“Say the word and I’ll back off forever, Cricket. All it takes is a simple no and I’ll never bring this up again, but I gotta tell you, I don’t want to back off. I want to taste your lips and feel your body pressed against me. Preferably with less clothing.” I leaned down and traced a kiss along her neck, seeing the way her breathing kicked up to that of a sprinter. “Tell me to stop, angel.”
She swallowed hard and every cell in my body froze, waiting for an answer. No matter how much it pained me—and good lord would it pain me for the rest of my life—but if she said no I’d honor that and never let her feel my disappointment.
That moment in the kitchen the other night had shown me a tiny morsel of hope, that maybe, just maybe, Cricket felt the same heart stopping excitement when we were together. If there was even a small window of chance, I had to take my shot. Watching my older brothers find love had taken those feelings I’d harbored for Cricket over the years and given them an urgency I could no longer stuff down.
Her blue eyes were eating me up, the flush from earlier turning into a forest fire on her cheeks. Her voice came out on a barely-there breath but I still heard it.
“I don’t want you to stop, Cal.”
Marika Ray is a USA Today bestselling author of steamy and sweet RomComs, spending her time behind a computer crafting stories, walking any beach she can find, and making healthy food for her kids and husband whether they like it or not. Prior to writing novels, Marika held various jobs in the finance industry, with private start-up companies, and then in health & fitness. Cats may have nine lives, but Marika believes everyone should have nine careers to keep things spicy. All her books come with a money-back guarantee that you’ll smile at least once with every book.