One memory can repair everything.
Lisa James’ perfect world changed with a knock on her door. A widow for several years, she struggled with the reality of her life and made bad choices in her grief. But she’s done with that now. She moves away from her once happy home to start anew, to remember who she really is.
Nikolas Nervetti isn’t going to talk about his problems. He’s not going to share that even though he’s tough as nails on the outside, his heart is more fragile than anyone would believe. He plays his parts well, never revealing his truths, but he’s sick of being on the sidelines watching everyone around him fall in love, while he remains unsatisfied.
When the beautiful new bartender at Kelly’s Pub leaves Nik short of breath, he won’t to back down from something he knows they both want. Their chemistry is undeniable, but Lisa promised not to put herself in a position to be destroyed again.
An unfortunate accident leaves Lisa with memory loss and she has to relive the excruciating pain of losing her husband. Months pass with Lisa withdrawing from her current life, including Nik. She denies the unfamiliar feelings he awakened in her, and spirals back into destruction. Nik won’t let the woman he loves torture herself anymore. Even if she doesn’t know who he is, Lisa is a target Nik refuses to let out of his sights.
I go to the storage room to grab a case of beer and as I’m walking out of the door, Nik walks in. Without saying anything, he grabs my face between his hands and crushes his lips against mine. The case of beer lands on my foot before I kick it off and stand stock still. His mouth works against mine, so soft and strong and demanding. He coaxes me, sliding his tongue against my lips and nipping at them, begging for me to let him in. Each second that I passes, my resolve begins to wear and he senses it, pulling back to look into my eyes.
“Kiss me back, baby.”
My fingers vibrate with nerves as I reach up and grab onto his arms, the warmth of his body seeping through his shirt. My eyes close as he begins his descent and I hold my breath in anticipation. His lips peck at mine and I open my mouth, allowing him in, giving him permission to annihilate me. I stroke my tongue against his and moan into him. His answering growl catches me off guard and makes my knees weak.
With little effort on my part, he backs me up into the shelves, glass bottles shake behind me. One of his hands slides down from my face and glides over my ribcage, then back up again. His thumb presses against my breast and when an involuntary shudder passes through me, he takes that as invitation and slides his hand under my shirt. When his calloused fingers rub against the silk of my bra, I pull away. “Stop, Nik. I can’t”
His breath heavy and his eyes dark, he takes his hand out from under my shirt. “Yes you can. You want it just as bad as I do.”
There’s no denying he’s right, but I’ll just continue to lie to him. “I can’t.”
“Can’t or won’t?”
“Both. I can’t sleep with you because I won’t put myself in a position to be destroyed again, and you might not know it, but you have that power already.”
Anna began writing when she thought the world would want to hear her sick lyrics through song. Since then, she’s realized her childhood dream wasn’t so far-fetched, just misguided. Now she writes romance with real emotions and happy endings. If Anna isn’t writing or reading, she can be found by a space heater drinking a ridiculous amount of Diet Dr Pepper. She also likes to hang out with her husband and two boys. If it wasn’t for them, she wouldn’t ever leave the house. Anna was born in Wisconsin but now lives in the Evergreen State.