by Jennifer Blackwood
Published by: Entangled Embrace
Publication date: October 20th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
A new adult romance from Entangled’s Embrace imprint…
Love burns hotter the second time around…
Two years ago, the medical world was shaken by scandal, and Payton Daniels’s family was at the center of it. The second she graduated, Payton left everything behind―her high school sweetheart, her family, and the controversy surrounding her mother’s death—and hid within the anonymity of college. But Payton’s ex, Blake Hiller, hasn’t forgiven her for leaving, and when he enrolls in the same medical ethics class, she panics. She can’t run the risk of him telling everyone who she really is.
As if being at the same university isn’t enough, both Blake and Payton land the same internship. Forced together, their passion for each other reignites, but when Payton is asked to testify in her father’s high-profile trial, she must choose between risking her acceptance into medical school to help her father, and losing every connection to her past—including the only guy she’s ever loved.
I cracked my knuckles and waited for Andrew to take his tongue out of my ex’s mouth.
He wiped his lips with the back of his hand, and a wide grin spread across his pretty-boy face.
“Hey, Blake! Have you met Payton Daniels?” Andrew motioned to the girl who left me broken and forgotten.
Yes. I knew her all too well. I chuckled at the irony of the halo perched atop her auburn hair, the soft curls cascading over her shoulder. How could I forget her? When I flew to Mexico for my graduation trip, she was my loving girlfriend. And when I got back… Well, I came back to nothing.
Her green eyes opened so wide they looked like they might pop out of her head. Yeah, I’m surprised to see you, too, little Miss Runaway.
Wait, Daniels? That was her mom’s last name, not her dad’s. Interesting. Stretching my neck, I decided I needed to keep cool. I couldn’t freak out on her, not here. Her hand on Andrew’s abs was all the explanation I needed, making my time spent agonizing about what I could have done differently the past two years a complete waste.
“No, I’ve never met Payton Daniels before.” Payton flinched when I emphasized her last name. Of course she did. To me, she would always be Payton Cooper. I’d go along with her charade for now. Her pleading look liquefied some of the ice that had hardened my heart the past couple years.
The ice wall solidified again when Andrew slid his arm around Payton’s waist. She leaned in to his touch, and I wanted to punch a hole through a wall.
I stuck out my hand, pretending I had never met her. She extended hers, and we shook. “Nice to meet you.” My thumb skimmed over her knuckles, and her skin, albeit a little clammy, was just as soft as I remembered.
Payton’s voice cracked. “Nice to meet you, too.” She started to pull her hand away, but I tightened my grip. Her mouth thinned into a hard, narrow line as she stared at our interlocked hands.
Seriously? What did she have to be mad about? My stomach muscles tensed like I had done ten rounds of 8 Minute Abs, and the dormant anger that lingered in every crevice of my body heated to a steady simmer, ready to erupt.
I let go of her hand, and she smiled at Andrew, batting her eyes. What a bitch. Who did she think she was, prancing in here, going googly-eyed for the fraternity’s token manwhore? The lingering warmth of her touch burned my clenched fist.
“Blake and I are fraternity brothers.” He stuck out his hand, and we did the A Sig handshake.
I figured small talk would tear her focus away from blatantly eyeing Andrew’s abs. Her hand kept sliding across his stomach like a windshield wiper set to slow-mo. “Payton, what’s your major?”
Andrew’s eyes laser focused on her cleavage, and I was two seconds away from tearing one of the cardboard clouds off the wall and beating him over the head with it. I couldn’t stand the way he looked at her, the same way he looked at every other girl he was about to—in his words—take to “pleasure town.” This also meant I’d be kicked out of our room for the night.
“I’m majoring in biology with a focus on pre-med.” Her response was robotic. This had been her answer since middle school. Right up until she did her little disappearing act. And now she had magically reappeared.