Can’t Hold Back (Returning Home, Book Two)A love triangle gone wrong. The power to heal his pain. And a second chance for both of them.
Nate Riordan came home from war hurting—everywhere.
Alia Drake can touch him and make it all better.
Nate craves her touch, and not just the professional, physical therapist version. But he needs to keep his eyes on the prize and his feet firmly on the path he’s chosen: His buddy, J.J., died, and Nate lived, which means he has promises to keep. Plus, Alia hurt him once, and he’s afraid she’ll do it again.
Alia knows she has to ignore her feelings for Nate. Her job is to take care of him professionally, so she has to keep her hands on the parts of him she has a right to touch. Besides, when she lied to him two years ago, she forfeited any claim she could ever have to his heart.
Now she just has to find some way to stick to her guns, leave him alone, and do her job. Even—or especially—when he’s shirtless on the table in her office…
Copyright © 2019 Serena Bell
All rights reserved.
All rights reserved.
“Is this seat taken?”
From her perspective in the grass, he was a giant, with broad shoulders and a luminous smile. She’d always thought it was exaggeration when women said they lost their breath in a man’s presence, but she just had.
She got a grip and shook her head. “Pull up some turf.” She patted the lawn beside her, and he sat.
He was vivid, like a soldier in a movie: ripped, swaggering, grinning, golden-haired. He’d smiled in her direction earlier, and for a split second she’d thought, Who me? before she remembered that she was standing next to Becca. Her sister was a man magnet. All the two of them had to do was idle in a patch of sunlight admiring the garden, and sexy six-foot-plus men in butt-hugging jeans and black T-shirts materialized from nowhere—
Abracadabra! Hot guy for Becca.
In the car on the way over here, she’d told Becca that Jake’s picnics boasted not just amazing food, but other earthly delights. “We’ll get you back on your feet,” Alia had promised, sneaking a glance at her sister, slumped in the passenger seat. Ever since Becca’s boyfriend had dumped her recently, just as they were getting serious, she rarely smiled.
Becca had been super excited about the guy, and Alia was almost as disappointed as Becca was. She wanted her sister to be happy. Settled. Cared for.
Hot Guy for Becca set his plate on the grass. He sat cross-legged, and his thighs and calves, which looked like they’d been hewn from wood, were generously decked with curly golden hair.
“My sister just went to get some food,” she told him, pointing.
He cast a glance at Becca, standing by the salad table, loading her plate with potato chips. Tall, beautiful, blond, and glowing with vitality.
“You guys don’t look anything alike.”
“We don’t.” She forced a smile. It wasn’t only blindingly obvious differences, like Becca’s blond and Alia’s dark hair, but everything else, too—Becca was slim, with hourglass curves, while Alia was “athletic”; Becca had porcelain skin and Alia was generously freckled; Becca’s features were classic and even, and Alia was—well, she’d be kind to herself and say “cute.”
“Nate Riordan.” The man beside her reached out his hand for a shake.
Big hands. Warm. A moment ago, the world had smelled like summer. Like grass gone somewhere to seed, roses in bloom, and the mingled marvels of mesquite smoke and grilling meat.
Now her head was filled with a different scent entirely—soap, shampoo, the faintest whiff of some spicy male deodorant or cologne.
He was going to have no difficulty making Becca forget her romantic troubles. He could probably make any woman blank on her own name.
She retrieved her hand before she could reflect any more on that. He was Becca’s hot guy.
- Title: Can’t Hold Back
- Author: Serena Bell
- Category: Contemporary romance
- ISBN: 978-1-7328948-1-5
- Format: e-book
- Publication Date: March 26, 2019
- Pages: 229
- Price: $3.99
- Available from: Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Google Play
Serena’s books have earned many honors, including an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, Apple Books Best Book of the Month, and Amazon Best Book of the Year for Romance.
When not writing, Serena loves to spend time with her college-sweetheart husband and two hilarious kiddos—all of whom are incredibly tolerant not just of Serena’s imaginary friends but also of how often she changes her hobbies and how passionately she embraces the new ones. These days, it’s stand-up paddle boarding, board-gaming, meditation, and long walks with good friends.
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