Where do you turn when the ones who are supposed to love you most, hurt you?
When is enough, enough?
That is the exact question Chloe Evans had when she escaped her own personal hell that terrifying night. Even though the road to rebuilding her life has been tough, she’s spent the last few years trying to mend her battered soul. Doubting that all her efforts are even worth it, she begins to feel she will forever be tied to the man who took everything away from her.
Ryder Matthews is the epitome of what most girls associate with perfection. With his good looks, bad boy persona, multiple tattoos and piercings he is every girl’s fantasy; every girl except Chloe Evans that is. Ryder sees Chloe as a challenge…one that he’s more than confident he will win.
Drew Nichols is every girls dream guy. He’s sweet, sincere, trusting, and most of all patient. He’s exactly what Chloe needs in her life, but is he who she wants?
We all have things in life we’d like to forget about. Some bigger than others. When Chloe uses college as her diversion to escape the memories, will either of them be able to make her forget?
I smile, even though I think we both know that it will be a rare occurrence. I glance over to the bar where I see a group of college guys that I recognize doing shots. His eyes wander over to where I am looking. “Tequila shots,” he chuckles, then his tone turns serious, “ever do it?”“What? Tequila shots? Uh…no.” I laugh, focusing my attention back to the table.He stands up. “Come on. You’re really missing out.” He reaches for my hand, pulling me to my feet. “I’ll show you how to do it.”I stare at him, my jaw drops. “Uh…I don’t think so.”He rolls his eyes. “What are you afraid of?”Losing my way, getting drunk, making a fool out of myself, I can think of several reasons why I think this is a bad idea. “I’m not afraid but…”“Chloe, live a little.” He cocks his head. “You may like it.”I hate giving in to peer pressure, but something about the way that he is looking at me and the way that I am feeling at this moment makes me throw caution to the wind and just go with it. “Fine, but you better not leave me astray.” I finish with a laugh, as our hands connect and he pulls me to the bar.“Two please!” he orders from the bartender. “You ready for some fun, princess?” He winks. “Now pay close attention. The lesson on how to do tequila shots like a pro is about to commence.” He laughs with easiness showing how comfortable he is with this situation when I am anything but.“First step, close your hand making a fist and lick.” He balls his fist, snaking his tongue out and licking from his thumb to his knuckle. I feel my breath catch in my throat watching his tongue and that silver barbell performing something so intimate to his hand. I sigh, realizing I am entranced and wishing I was his hand. “The important thing to remember, princess, is you need to get it wet.” He raises his eyebrows suggestively leading me to believe he knows exactly what I was just thinking just now. I shake those thoughts away as he starts explaining the second step.“Second step.” He raises the saltshaker and shakes it where he’s just licked. I nod, letting him know I’m still paying attention. “Third step.” He licks the salt he’s just poured and picks up his tequila shot, throwing it back taking it like a pro. I watch as his Adam’s apple bobs when he swallows. Is it hot in here? Then he grabs the lime wedge off the saucer and sucks looking at me with lust filled hooded eyes. Oh God…I think I just experienced the most erotic thing of my life watching Ryder doing a tequila shot. “Are you ready to try one,” he asks.I nod, unable to speak since I don’t trust what I might say right now. “Good girl,” he replies huskily. Yep, I am losing my resolve and my reasoning every time he speaks. I quickly ball my fist and lick trying to remember why I agreed to do this in the first place. Right now, I think I would do anything Ryder asks of me. This is so not good. I think about what I would say if Drew were doing shots with a girl who is ‘just a friend’ and realize this is not what I should be doing.I’m about to stop this whole charade before it goes any further when Ryder grabs my hand. “I don’t think you got it wet enough, princess. Let me help you out.” He runs his tongue along my fist, and my body quakes from the excitement. What was I thinking about, again? I can’t think about anything right now except that his tongue is exquisite, and I don’t want him to stop. All too quickly he stops, much to my dismay, and grabs the salt shaker. Sprinkling it on my hand, he brings my hand to my mouth and commands me…”Lick, princess.” I do as I’m told and lick the salt before he thrusts the shot in my hand. I tip it back feeling the amber colored liquor rush down my throat. I cough and sputter a little from the harshness. He quickly grabs the lime wedge, bringing it to my lips, ordering me again to…”Suck for me.” I’m a little taken aback by his brazen choice of words, but I relent, sucking on the wedge with so much intensity and locking eyes with him as I do. I can see the heat in his gaze; he wants more…I think. I just had the most intense tequila shot lesson in the history of time and it was with none other than Ryder Matthews. I can’t help but wonder if he’s this way with all women or just me. Maybe it’s the tequila talking, but I swear I feel something for him. I’m just not sure what it is, yet.