Author: Laurel Ulen Curtis
Published by Self-Published
Release Date September 29, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
More Info: Goodreads
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Blood, sweat, hard work, and a disconcerting lack of tears—my entire life—was meant to culminate in a flourish of glory and significance.
I’d thought I’d always known exactly what that meant.
But I’d had the timing wrong by about three minutes.
I knew now.
This moment wasn’t everything. The one person I found myself wanting more than anything during it was.
One preconceived notion can haunt you for the entirety of your life.
I thought I owed it to myself and to everyone who’d ever backed me to do what was expected. What was right. What I was supposed to do.
But nothing is forbidden in love. Not circumstances or propriety or the denial of the object of said affection.
I knew now.
This was it.
If I wanted it, I had to take it.
This gymnastics love story is more than grips, rips, and battered hands.
For Calia Nickleson and Nikolai Bagrov, it was everything.
These Battered Hands
Laurel Ulen Curtis
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Cover Designer: Hang Le
His eyes were like actual pools of water—moving, flowing, and changing color along with depth. Each time his focus shifted, so did mine, zeroing in on a new fleck of deep blue and trying to help it float through the much more abundant aqua. Their magnetism made it hard to focus on his words, but I wouldn’t have traded those moments spent studying their nuances for all of the words in the dictionary.
Sure, looks were shallow and words could mean everything, but in those split seconds when his eyes changed before my own, I would have sworn on my every Olympic medal it was the opposite.
And right now, I needed the comfort of that feeling. I needed it to swaddle me in its warmth and make everything feel right again.
The word wrong had never been a concept worthy of my focus, but as I tried to make sense of what was happening, denying its existence was no longer an option.
Up felt like down and left very nearly tricked me into believing it was right.
Voices called out to me constantly and on repeat, but none of them were the one I wanted. Like they were speaking through water, every pronunciation of my name seemed foreign and unwelcome, and my brain did nothing but scream another.
I tried valiantly to talk my uncooperative body into bending to my will, but for the first time in my life it wouldn’t.
Digging deep down into my gut, I found the last vestiges of my energy and willed them into one single action.
Into one single word.
Priorities shifted and silence mocked me.
My entire life had been a series of events all specifically driven toward this very moment. I’d known all of my work was meant to culminate in a flourish of glory and significance. I’d known there’d be a second in time when I knew why each part of my life had played out the way it had. Why I’d worked, why I’d sweat, why I’d fought to keep going well after most people’s journeys were done.
I’d even known it would probably happen now—on this stage, in front of all of these people.
I’d just had the timing wrong by about three minutes.
But I knew now.
This was it.
The thing I found myself wanting most during this moment—that was everything.
He was everything.