by Lexi Ryan
Published: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Ever After LLC
**Contains sexual content and adult language and situations. Intended for mature readers.**
A sexy smile. Intense blue eyes. A goodness that makes him want to save me from these rumors when no one else would care. I didn't ask for a hero. William Bailey was never supposed to be anything more than a wish, a dream, an unrequited crush. Not for a girl like me--a girl whose fractured family has stolen her chance at a decent life.
Since the death of my parents, I've always done what’s expected of me, what's "best" for me. Until Cally. The moment her haunted eyes meet mine, the fractured pieces of my heart feel whole again. I don’t just want to save her. I need her to save me.
Stolen chances. Unbroken wishes. Two lonely souls grasping for hope in the darkness.
**This novella takes place seven years before the events in WISH I MAY and shows William and Cally falling in love for the first time. It can be read before or after WISH I MAY or on its own.**
“Hey, William,” a girl calls from the kitchen. “Why don’t you come in here and take a shot?”
I hardly have a chance to tense before Will pulls me closer. “Can’t do that, Meredith. My date’s here.”
Lizzy and Hanna both turn to us at his words, and I feel my own eyes go wide.
“I’d consider it a personal favor if you could roll with this,” he whispers into my ear. “Meredith has been trying to get me to do body shots since she got here two hours ago.”
“You don’t drink?” I ask, not that it’s my business. I’ve just never been to a party with alcohol before, and I’m not sure what to expect. From the stories I’ve heard, I half expected everyone to be wasted by the time we got here.
“It’s not the drinking that I mind. She’s just not my type.” When I frown at him, confused, his lips quirk in a half-smile. “You do know what a body shot is, don’t you?”
I shake my head.
“Want to find out?” His fingers trail over the sensitive dip in my spine as he asks, and I nod. I would probably agree to anything he asked me right now.
He takes me to the kitchen, his hot hand never leaving the small of my back.
Lizzy and Hanna step back and study us as he leads me to the island. I’d feel guilty about abandoning them tonight, but they seem to be having a great time.
“Where’s the tequila, Max?” Will calls.
Max hoists a bottle of amber liquid in the air and snags a shot glass off the counter.
“Do you know what a snakebite is?” Will asks me quietly. He’s standing close so only I can hear him when he talks.
I bite my lip. “I don’t really go to many parties.”
Next to us, Max fills the shot glass with tequila.
“A snakebite is a shot of tequila that you take with salt and lime,” Will explains to me.
“What makes it a body shot?” I ask.
His throat moves as he swallows, and his blue eyes go darker somehow, his pupils getting bigger. His lips part as he studies mine. “It’s a body shot if you take all the parts of the snakebite off someone else’s body.”
That makes my pulse kick up a notch. I’m still trying to puzzle out the logistics when Max calls, “No hands, Bailey.”
Will winks at me. “And I can’t use my hands for anything but putting the salt on you. Are you still game?”
I nod wordlessly, and I’m rewarded with one of Will’s full-out grins. I don’t need to know details to understand his mouth is going to be on me, and I like the idea of that. A lot.
Will’s hands slide to my waist and tighten, and before I realize what he’s doing, he’s hoisting me up on the counter. I squeak, and the girls cheer. All of them except Kristen and Meredith, that is. They’re leaning against the fridge, scowling at me like I killed their puppy.
Max hands me the shot glass and looks at me expectantly.
“Do I hold it?” I whisper.
“If you want,” Max says. “But I think you shouldn’t make it so easy on my boy here.”
Will shakes his head. “Whatever you’re comfortable with.”
Lizzy rushes over and cups her hand around my ear. “Slide it between your breasts. Trust me.”
I gape at her, and she shrugs innocently before joining Hanna at the edge of the kitchen.
I may be inexperienced, but I’m not naïve and I get what this game is about. My cheeks heat as I slide the glass into my cleavage. It’s cool against my hot skin, and Will’s eyes burn into me as he watches me position it.
Max offers me a lime wedge.
“Do you need your friend to tell you what to do with that too?” Kristen calls.
“Shut up, Kristen,” Will says. “You didn’t know what you were doing your first time either.”
But she’s right. Lizzy shouldn’t have to tell me what to do. I take the lime and put it between my teeth, facing out. The citrusy pulp presses against my lips, making them tingle. Or maybe the tingle is from the idea of William’s lips close to mine.
Will grins and brushes my hair off my neck. “Ready or not.”
Excerpts © Lexi Ryan, 2013
My Thoughts: Stolen Wishes takes you back to the very beginning, when Cally and William first fell in love. It is a short novella, 91 pages, but it is really a beautiful and heartbreaking story, and to me, made me appreciate the things that happen in Wish I May, and even in Unbreak Me so much more. You don't have to read it before the other two novels, but I would definitely recommend reading it, because it adds a new depth and understanding to this tragically beautiful story. In Wish I May, we see a hard and broken Cally and William, and journey with them down the heartbreaking road they travel in order to find each other and love once again. In Stolen Wishes, you get to see an innocent and pure love that develops over time and then is torn apart by circumstances beyond their control. If you love New Adult Contemporary Romance, the the New Hope Series is one you won't want to miss, and Stolen Wishes is a must read addition to this romantic, engaging, heartbreaking, and beautiful series.
Bio: A New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author, Lexi Ryan considers herself the luckiest chick she knows. Her books have been described as intense, emotional, and wickedly sexy. Lexi herself has only been described using two of those adjectives (feel free to guess but she’s not telling). When not writing, she enjoys watching football, perfecting her chocolate martini, and reading her way to the title of Biggest Romance Fangirl Evah. A former college professor, her biggest fears include faculty meetings and large stacks of ungraded freshman composition papers. She now writes full-time from her home in Indiana, where she lives with her husband and two children and their neurotic dog.
Find Lexi: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Find Lexi: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Wish I May (New Hope #2)
by Lexi Ryan
Published: October 4, 2013
Publisher: Ever After LLC
I grew up wishing
on stars. My father taught me to believe...in destiny, in magic, in happily
ever after. Dreams were my scripture and the starry night sky was my temple.
Then Mom stopped believing, left him, and took us with her. At the age of
sixteen, I cashed in my dreams to pay the rent, pawned my destiny to keep my
sisters together. Now, seven years later, I'm returning home, grieving the
death of my mother, and settling my sisters back into the life Mom threw away.
I never intended to stay. I don't want to deal with my father, who is so
invested in the spiritual world he forgets the physical. I don't want to face
William Bailey, whose eyes remind me of the girl I was, the things I've done,
and the future I lost. This would all be easier if Will hated me. As it is, I
have to hold my secrets close so they won't hurt him more than they've already
hurt me. But he wants to be in my life. He wants what I can't bring myself to
confess I sold. He wants me. I find myself looking to my stars
again...wondering if I dare one more wish.
I grew up wishing on stars. My father taught me to believe...in destiny, in magic, in happily ever after. Dreams were my scripture and the starry night sky was my temple. Then Mom stopped believing, left him, and took us with her. At the age of sixteen, I cashed in my dreams to pay the rent, pawned my destiny to keep my sisters together. Now, seven years later, I'm returning home, grieving the death of my mother, and settling my sisters back into the life Mom threw away. I never intended to stay. I don't want to deal with my father, who is so invested in the spiritual world he forgets the physical. I don't want to face William Bailey, whose eyes remind me of the girl I was, the things I've done, and the future I lost. This would all be easier if Will hated me. As it is, I have to hold my secrets close so they won't hurt him more than they've already hurt me. But he wants to be in my life. He wants what I can't bring myself to confess I sold. He wants me. I find myself looking to my stars again...wondering if I dare one more wish.
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