Jared Holt believes he doesn’t deserve to love or be loved. He destroys everything he touches. Haunted by the mistake that shattered his life, he’s fled from the memory of that pain.
Jared doesn’t know why he’s compelled to return, but finds himself drawn back to the place where it all began. The exact place where it ended. When he runs into his childhood best friend, Aleena’s older brother Christopher, he agrees to share Christopher and Aleena’s apartment while he looks for a place of his own.
Aleena is no longer the little girl Jared remembers from his past and evokes feelings in him he never wanted to feel again. Terrified of destroying her, he fights to keep her away. But her touch is something he can’t resist—the touch that sealed his fate.
Their pasts are intertwined and their futures uncertain. The only truths they know are the secrets they whisper in the night.
lock. Quietly, I edged the door open to the darkened room. Muted light bled
from the kitchen. The air inside tasted thick with the unknown.
the room. I could hear him, the shallow breaths he panted into the room, this
tension that radiated through the enclosed space. For a moment I stilled.
Pictures of us playing as kids ran through my mind, the way he’d wait for me to
catch up then tug at my hair when I finally did. Hurry up, slow poke, before
your brother makes you go home. The memories of that boy drew me forward.
came into view, this unrecognizable man stretched out across the length of the
couch. Lost in sleep, his bare chest rose and fell, the motion almost labored,
as if he struggled to get his lungs to work. One arm was flung over his face.
He slept in his jeans, his feet extended at the end of the couch. The entirety
of his exposed body was marked, covered in lines and colors and indistinct
and I fought with the need to feel something familiar in the backdrop of
someone who was so entirely unfamiliar. I held my breath as I closed in on the
couch, inched forward and allowed my gaze to travel along his body.
on me. They softened minimally as he took me in, roamed and searched. Even
then, they pinned my back to the wall.
speak. “I’m sorry for waking you.”
fidgeted and dropped my face under the intensity of his gaze. Flattening myself
against the wall, I slid further down the hall and fumbled behind me to find my
door knob. I pushed it open and escaped inside because I had no idea what to do
with all the thoughts that tumbled through my mind.
my closed door. A faint glow crawled in from underneath.
pair of panties, some sleep shorts, and a matching tank. I crawled onto my bed,
flopped on my back, and stared at the ceiling.
other side of my door.
longer this veiled mystery that I’d hidden away in my heart. He breathed. He
From the New York Times bestselling author of Come to Me Quietly comes a scorching new adult romance in the Closer to You series.
A second chance at life…
A second chance at love…
Jared Holt never thought he deserved either—until he found both in the arms of Aly Moore. Aly has loved Jared for as long as she can remember, and she’s more than ready for the future they’re making together. But Jared can’t help remembering his own family. And he’ll never forgive himself for what happened to them. How can he allow himself the very happiness he once destroyed?
To live a life worthy of Aly, Jared knows he has to stop running and finally put his past to rest. But when he decides to face his demons head on, he encounters more than he bargained for: a dangerous mix of jealousy, lies, and dishonest intentions. When those intentions threaten Aly, Jared loses all control, giving into the rage that earned him his bad boy reputation years before. And he’ll fight to protect her no matter what it costs…even if he destroys himself in the process.
Under his stare, I squirmed, fisted the sheets at my sides.
When he stepped forward, he slowly he came into view. He towered over me. As he approached, my
eyes caressed the sharp angles of his face. My attention jumped along the deformed, warped story
played out on his chest and down the deep lines cut into his rugged stomach. His hips jutted out
above his tight underwear, something so tempting in the way he moved. Sinewy muscle bunched and
flexed beneath the color of his strong arms, bristled in the corded strength of his powerful legs.
A tremor rolled through me.
He was indescribable. Devastating.
So hard, every inch of him, callused from the wounds that had marred his life, this terrifying beauty
that held me captive, tying me somewhere to the darkest places of his soul.
But his eyes… they were soft. Bright. Filled my own darkness with light.