Fresh off the heels of yet another bad relationship, Tristan Brewer is taking a break from men to try to figure out where he keeps going wrong. He knows his biggest fault—he leads with his heart, not his head—and that’s never going to change. But after several introspective weeks, he’s beginning to get a handle on things. That is, until badass heartthrob Alex Wells walks into his bar… Alex has spent eight years in the army, months in a hospital bed, and far too long hiding his sexual identity. He’s guilt-ridden, damaged, pissed off, and up for a Silver Star for the incident that nearly cost him his life—and kept him from his grandmother’s funeral. But all he wants to do is live the life he’s always dreamed of and forget his stint with the institution that allows but doesn’t necessarily accept. The chemistry between Tristan and Alex ignites from the moment they meet, and the more time they spend together, the hotter the flames burn. But the closer they become, the more Alex’s walls go up, and when the two walk onto a military base, Tristan finds out Alex’s physical scars aren’t the ones that run the deepest.
“Can I ask you something? You don’t have to answer.”
Tristan shrugs. “Have at it.”
“Why were you taking a break? I get that your ex was a prick, but is there more to it?”
He looks down the street, across the street, and then his hand cruises through his hair as it has so often that I’ve already come to expect it when he’s nervous.
“Ian was a prick, but the rest is going to make me sound like a pussy,” he admits.
“I’ve only known you a day, and I already know nothing can make you sound like a pussy.”
He meets my gaze, and his jaw tightens. He lifts his chin and I recognize the struggle between feeling proud and worrying about looking weak. I fight that battle on a daily basis.
“I give away my heart too easily, and I end up getting hurt.”
His eyes never leave mine, and that trust, that confidence, is the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen.
“I was right. Nothing can make you sound like a pussy.” I slide my hand to the hard ridge of his jaw and lean in closer. “I’ve never given my heart away. That makes you braver than me.”
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary Café and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine. Melissa hosts an Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family. Visit Melissa on social media. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.