“You’re too beautiful,” I tell her. I run my thumb along her jaw. “Too fucking beautiful.”“I’ve missed you. You’re the best man I’ve ever met.”
My stomach clenches and I shake my head. “Don’t think that. It’s a lie. It’s what I wanted you to believe. Don’t bring that lie into tonight.”
“How was it a lie?” She grins up at me, and I know a full confession would erase all the happiness from her face.
“When we were together before, I wasn’t the man you thought I was. I wasn’t good.” It’s the closest to the truth I’ve ever given anyone about my past.
“So you don’t want me believing you’re good?”
I pull her hips tightly against me as I exhale in frustration. She still thinks this is some kind of joke. “I’m different now, but then…”
She lifts onto her toes and flicks her tongue against my ear. “Don’t be so different. I like you a little bad.”
I groan and stop dancing. I don’t know how much longer I can do this without diving over the line. “Is that permission to stop being your friend?” I’m obsessed with knowing if she tastes as sweet as I remember. And if I swipe my tongue over the sensitive spot beneath her ear, will she gasp like she always did?
She shrugs and grins, and the dance floor tilts off balance. It’s crowded, and we’re surrounded by writhing bodies, cocooned in the crowd. I turn her in my arms so her back is to my front and settle my hand against the soft skin of her midriff. She arches her back and rubs against me.
I sweep her hair to the side, and when I press my lips to the long, smooth column of her neck, she trembles against me.
“Are you okay?” I ask against her ear. “Is this okay?”
“I—I’m not sure…”
“Tell me what you want. Not five years ago. Not tomorrow. What do you want right now?”
She reaches back and threads her fingers through my hair to guide my mouth back to her neck.
I don’t hesitate. I kiss and suck on that tender skin while we move to the beat.
The rest of the room fades and one song blurs into the next. A waitress comes by selling shots, and I buy two, one for each of us, and we lock eyes as we throw them back. At some point, I’m vaguely aware of Bailey checking on me, but my focus is one hundred percent on Emma, on this night that takes me back to when I was eighteen and so fucking in love it hurt. Tonight, Emma isn’t the woman who once broke my heart. She isn’t the girl who wrote me off with a simple goodbye note and apologies I didn’t want. Tonight, she’s a dream, my fantasy in the flesh, my reward for surviving the hardest year of my whole life.
When her face begins to blur, I realize I’m way more drunk than I ever intended. I need to sober up or I’m not going to remember a minute of this night. “Want to get out of here?”
She nods, takes my hand, and leads me out of the bar and down the hall to the elevators. My watch reads a quarter past two.
“Let’s get some food,” I suggest, but at the same moment, an elevator dings and the doors slide open.
Emma grabs my hand and drags me inside. “I don’t want food,” she says, punching a button.
I spin her around and press her against the wall. “What do you want, Em?” I drop my hand to her side to skim my knuckles over her skirt, and she widens her stance to part her thighs. “Fuck,” I whisper. I shouldn’t do this. Not here, not when any moment someone could join us on the elevator, not when we’re both so damn drunk it’s a wonder we can stand upright. But shouldn’t is so much weaker than want, and I want to touch her more than I want anything right now.
I’m faintly aware of the soft beeping of the passing floors as I slide my hand up her skirt and cup her between her legs. She gasps, and I rub my fingers over the damp lace of her panties, teasing her swollen flesh.
When the elevator stops and the doors slide open, she grabs my wrist and holds me still. “Please,” she whispers in my ear. “Please. Don’t stop.” Then she tilts her hips and rocks against my hand. I couldn’t refuse her if every person in the hotel was watching us.
It’s no secret that the Blackhawk Boys Series by Lexi Ryan is one of my favorite new adult, sports romance series. I have loved the three previous books in this series because of the dynamic personalities, the tight knit friendships, and the complex innovative plots. There’s so much more in the series than college football players dealing with campus life and future career prospects.
The latest release, Falling Hard, the fourth book in the series took me by complete surprise. First of all, Keegan Keller was not the kind of person I presumed him to be. The initial impressions from the previous books were somewhat misleading. Keegan Keller is probably the most complex guy within the group of friends.
Falling Hard begins after the guys have graduated college and moved onto their professional lives. Keegan never thought he would play for the NFL and pursued other career ventures by purchasing a bar. He ended up in the NFL when he was signed on after the season began. He’s now in Florida trying to manage his football career, manage his business from afar, and manage his family life. He is a single father trying to manage his shared custody of his daughter. He will do anything for his little girl. He has tried to make things work with Olivia, the baby mama, so that his daughter will have a complete family. Olivia has her own agenda and it doesn’t include Keegan as her future husband.
Mia and Asher (from Spinning Out) are hosting their engagement party in Las Vegas. While attending their celebration Keegan runs into an old girlfriend from his past. Emma Rothschild is in Vegas, in disguise, partying with friends when she is unexpectedly left alone. Keegan and his group of friends invite her to join them for the weekend.
Keegan and Emma have a shaky past that is full of secrets. Neither of them are the same people they were when they were eighteen. Both of them have survived their dark pasts and made better lives for themselves. A weekend of fun in Vegas with friends isn’t going to change either of their paths in life. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas until it doesn’t.
One weekend is going to change the course of both their lives. This time around it’s more than a teenage romance. It’s more than a relationship fueled by lies. Keegan is playing for keeps. Emma is finally finding the courage to take complete control of her life. There are still secrets to be exposed that could hurt them both. Keegan’s family life could tear them apart. When the truths come out, they will have to decide where their future lies.
I can honestly say this is the best book in the series. This book was a second chance romance. I loved how the book gave readers a look at the past and the present from both Emma’s and Keegan’s POV. The readers were able to see their growth as individuals as well as their maturity in handling their second chance at love.
Falling Hard by Lexi Ryan is the best in series to date!
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