Author: Kari March
Series: Always #1
Release Date: February 11, 2014
Genre: New Adult
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
Purchase: Amazon UK
Blake Bentley had a rough upbringing, never fully believing he was good enough for anything or anyone. After being left with a broken heart by his only girlfriend, Blake swore off relationships for good and turned to the only two things that made him feel sufficient - sex and firefighting.
Tessa Collins was brought up in the traditional 'perfect' family - loving parents, great sister, and amazing friends. After falling in love with Jared, her life was perfect - until he betrayed her. She has no idea that his betrayal could end up costing her more than just a shattered heart.
Blake and Tessa have been friends since high school. Never wanting to admit their attraction for each other, the two always remained close friends. Now, three years later, Blake and Tessa find themselves being pulled together by a force much greater than friendship.
Blake and Tessa have promised to be friends forever, but as fate pulls them together, they embark on a roller coaster ride of a lifetime. Will his self doubt and her insecurities keep them apart? Or will they be able to promise each other always?
Blake led me through the ballroom and out into the hotel lobby. He pulled me into a corner before we got to the front desk, and slowly turned to look at me, his eyes searching mine. He lightly placed his hands on my shoulders, like he was trying to ensure he had my undivided attention. “Tess, are you sure you want to stay here? It is your call. We can get in the limo now and I can take you home. I’ll do whatever you want to do, baby girl. I don’t want you to do anything you’re not comfortable with.”
I tried my hardest to fight back the laughter. I know he was trying to be a gentleman, but really what did he take me for—a virgin? He knew all too well that I wasn’t. “That’s really sweet, Blake, but I am a big girl and I think I can handle sleeping in the same room with you. I promise, if I ever feel uncomfortable with anything that we are doing, I will have no problem voicing my opinion.” I gave him a sexy smile, hoping he would get the double meaning behind my statement.
“You promise?” he asked, tilting his head to the side and looking at me with that smile that made me weak in the knees. I was getting the feeling that he understood exactly what I was saying.
“Always,” I replied as I looked up at him. His dark eyes were staring at me with desire. The movement of his tongue reaching out to lick his lips drew my attention down to his perfect mouth. God, how I wanted to taste him again! But there was no way I was making the first move. Not again. I noticed his eyes shift down to my mouth and I lightly bit my bottom lip. He slid his hand from my shoulder to the back of my neck, while his other hand reached up and gently cradled my face. He slowly leaned down and placed his lips on mine. I opened my mouth slightly, allowing him to enter further. That was all he needed. He invaded my mouth with his tongue, and as he deepened the kiss, I knew in his own way he was claiming me. He was forceful and aggressive, yet slow and tender as he savored every move he made. My whole body was shaking and my sex was aching. I had never been kissed like that before.
The hand that had been cradling my face was now on my lower back, pulling my body closer to him. My arms were clutched around his neck and my hands were working their way through his dark hair. I never wanted this kiss to end.
We were in our own little world where no one else existed. As his hand moved down to my ass, my body quivered with excitement. I wanted him here and now. Then I remembered where we were—a hotel lobby with lots of people around. He must have felt me tense up a little because he slowly ended the kiss. Resting his forehead on mine, he looked down at me. We were both breathing heavy as we stared at each other.
“I have wanted to do that ever since you opened your door tonight,” he whispered.