Cover Design: Regina Wamba at Mae I Design
Photographer: Wander Aguiar
Model: Preston Thompson
From the moment I met him, I knew he was trouble.
He was reckless, cocky, and everything I shouldn’t want.
I had a life all figured out, and Tucker Moore was not a part of the plan.
But somehow I slipped.
One moment I had it all under control.
The next I was spiraling around him, begging him for whatever he would give me.
But as quickly as I fell for him, it all crumbled around us.
Because everything I thought I knew was far from the truth.
There was only one way to fix what we had done.
So I turned my world Bottoms Up.
I hadn’t laid eyes on Tucker in three days, and it was a good thing. Obsession with my new neighbor wasn’t something I needed on my plate right now. I had too many other things to worry about instead of being concerned with what every noise was that I heard in the apartment next door.
Especially at night.
It was driving me mad hearing the noises coming from his apartment when I was lying in my own bed fantasizing about him. I was pathetic.
My job shooting Rock Bottom started in just a few days, and I was excited and anxious. I needed this job to boost my career to the place I wanted it to go, but I was so damn worried about screwing it up. My parents would just love that. It would seal the deal that I wasn’t meant to be a photographer. That I was making mistakes.
I had just finished an engagement shoot, and let me tell you, it wasn’t one of my favorite jobs of all time. The bride-to-be must have had some major pre-wedding jitters because she was a bitch. I had never been ordered around like that on one of my jobs. I felt like I was taking photos of my mom or one of her socialite girlfriends, and I made an effort to avoid anyone who even resembled them.
Their pictures would be gorgeous. She didn’t have a single hair out of place, and she also made sure that her fiancé stayed in line for the entire shoot, but there was a disconnect. I hated my photos that I didn’t feel somehow connected to the people I was shooting. It literally drained every bit of my creativity out of me.
By the time I was walking into my apartment, I was tired, irritable, and ready for a nap.
What I wasn’t prepared for was walking into my apartment and seeing Tucker sitting on my couch with his feet on the coffee table and a beer in his hand.
He looked up from the TV when I closed the door and smiled at me like he was genuinely happy that I was there. I searched the apartment for traces of Brooke or anything else that would give me a sign as to why Tucker was in my place.
With no luck, I gave up and finally just asked him. “Why are you here?”
“Welcome home, honey. It’s nice to see you too. How was your day?”
I stood in place and stared at him like he was insane because I was ninety-nine percent sure that he was.
He started laughing and rubbed his hand against the white T-shirt covering his stomach. I watched his hand and thought about the taut abs that I knew lay underneath that obstructive fabric.
“The cable company is working on our TV today so Brooke said that I could hang out here and use yours.” He leaned back against the couch and tucked his arm behind his head.
For a moment, I thought about why the hell Brooke would tell him that was okay without telling me, but that thought was overtaken by the overwhelming thoughts of straddling him and kissing that damn smirk off his face.
“You okay?” He turned his head to the side and smiled harder.
I shook my head and tried to clear the crazy thoughts that seemed to be clouding my head throughout the day and attempted to act like I wasn’t a psycho.
“Yeah. I was just surprised that you were here is all.”
I hung my bag by the door and suddenly had no clue what to do with myself. It was my house, damn it.
“You want to watch a movie with me?” he asked as he watched every move I made.
“Umm…” Watching a movie was actually my plan when I finally made it home, but I wasn’t exactly sure that I wanted to do it with him.
“You don’t have to.” He sat up and dropped his feet to the floor. “I can head home and get out of your hair.”
“No. It’s fine. Let’s watch a movie.” I walked to the kitchen and pulled out a couple beers. “I get to pick the movie, though.”
I handed him one of the beers as I sat down on the opposite end of the couch.
“Deal, but please don’t pick anything too girly.”
I huffed and held my hand over my heart.
“You clearly don’t know me very well at all.”
“And whose fault is that?” He took a sip of his beer, and I sat shocked by his question.
“What do you mean?”
“You basically avoid me any chance you get. Did you know that Liam and I have had dinner with Brooke three times since we moved in? Three.” He held up his fingers as if he was driving the point home. “You’ve only been present for one of those.”
“I’m a busy girl.” My voice showed my irritation.
I had been busy because I had been booked up with shoots, but I had also been avoiding him. When Brooke called me one night to let me know they were coming over for dinner again, I took my time finishing up my shoot.
He nodded his head in agreement, but I could tell he had more to say on the subject.
“Are you sure you’re not avoiding me?”
“Why would I be avoiding you?” How did he know I was avoiding him?
“I don’t know. It just seems like it.”
“Ego much?” I moved my feet up on the couch.
“Okay.” He grinned. “If you aren’t avoiding me, then tell me something about yourself.”
“What do you want to know?”
He was staring straight into my eyes and it was unnerving as hell.
“Okay.” I looked away from him and searched for something to tell him. My eyes focused in on one of my photos. “I took those photos.” I pointed to the photos on my wall that he asked me about the first time he was in my apartment.
He chuckled, and I turned my head back to scowl at him. “You finally going to be honest about that, huh? You lied to me about it the first time I asked you about them.”
“I didn’t lie. I was evasive.”
“Okay. Tell me something about you.” I pointed my beer toward him while digging my toes into the couch cushion.
“Let’s see here.” He tapped his fingers against his thigh. “I’m originally from Tennessee.”
“You already told me that. What made you move here?”
“Work.” He shrugged his shoulders like it was no big deal.
“And what exactly do you do for work?”
“What do you think I do?” He angled his body toward me and his perfect lips formed a grin.
“Well, my first thought would be a male escort from all the sounds I hear coming from your apartment, but I think I’m going to go with a personal trainer.”
He lifted up his shirt and ran his hand over his abs. “I can see why you would think that, but you would be wrong on both accounts. You do know that I have a roommate right? How do you know it’s only me making all that noise?”
Because I listen to your moans and fantasize that I’m the woman you’re pounding into the wall.
That statement would never come out of my mouth so I came up with the next best thing. “Liam seems a lot more wholesome than you.”
He busted out laughing and bent over clutching his stomach.
“You’re fucking with me, right?” he asked through his laughter.
“No. He seems like a sweet guy.”
“The next time you go on a date you should let me meet them first. You are a bad judge of character.” He was still laughing, but he didn’t realize how accurate his statement was.
“Don’t worry. I have no plans to start dating anytime soon.” I downed a quarter of my beer and leaned my head against the couch.
“Why not?” He arched one of his eyebrows at me and draped his arm over the back of the couch. It wasn’t until that moment that I realized how close we were sitting. His leg was only a few inches away from my toes.
“I’m just not interested in dating any douchebags right now, and you were right, it’s what I seem to attract.”
He laughed and stared down at me. His eyes trailed from mine and paused on my lips. I took a deep breath to stop me from throwing myself at him, and that one breath seemed to snap him back to his senses.
He looked back up at me and smiled that damn dimpled smile of his. “So what movie are we watching?”
I shrugged my shoulders. “It’s up to you.” I didn’t have it in me to try to choose a movie I knew he would like. I was too tired after today.
“Are you sure you trust me?” he asked with laughter in his eyes.
Not one damn bit.
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About the Author
Bookaholic, firm believer in grand gestures, and obsessed with happily ever afters.
Holly Renee was born and raised in a small town in Tennessee where she lives with her husband and three fur-babies, Luna, Dobby, and Bellatrix. (Yes. She has a slight obsession with Harry Potter.)
Holly is a contemporary romance author who released her debut novel, Letting Go (The Garage Series, Book 1) in August 2015. Her second novel, Breaking Down (The Garage Series, Book 2) was released in March 2016.
Holly’s newest release, Where Good Girls Go to Die (The Good Girls Series, Book 1) releases on April 13th. Where Good Girls Go to Die is a sexy, second chance romance novel that features a swoon-worthy tattooed bad boy and a woman he doesn’t see coming the second time around.
During the day, Holly spends her time as a nurse, but once she gets home, she falls deep into her passion of reading and writing.
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