by Tracey Ward
Publication date: September 17th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance
In life and in the ring, you never dish out pain you’re not willing to take.
Kellen and Jenna have been friends for years. A boxer with a shattered past and an artist with a wealthy family, they found each other against all odds. Ever in each other’s corner, they grew up together, watched relationships rise and crumble, and the only one that’s always left standing is their own.
Bound to each other by an unwavering friendship, undeniable love, and a growing desire, timing has never been on their side. Not until now.
Now they’ll find that falling in love was the easy part. That happily ever after doesn’t come softly, and the end of their story is only the beginning.
“Yer a big one, aren’t ya?” Grania asked conversationally.
I glanced down at her. “I’m tall, yeah. From the looks of it I didn’t get that from my grandfather’s side of the family.”
“Oisin was a stout man. Built like an ox but short as a goat. Whatever height ya have ya did’na get it from him. Yer girl tells me yer a fighter.”
“A boxer,” I corrected.
“A boxer, then. Do you win?”
She grinned. “Ya did’na get that from him either.”
I sat down slowly, hesitantly. I didn’t take the stool Jenna had been perched on. I sat farther back, across from her with the fire crackling bright between us and our eyes on par.
“What did I get from him?” I asked.
She paused, looking me over again but her heart wasn’t in it. Her mind wasn’t behind it. It was somewhere else entirely.
“Ya asked her to marry ya,” she stated by way of answer.
“Because I love her.”
She hummed thoughtfully. It sounded like a song. “There are two types of men in the world. Men who want to be loved an’ men who love. Beautiful boys like yerself, like Oisin was an’ Mason is, ya want to be loved. Ya want to be looked at an’ adored, an’ that’s all well an’ fine, but it doesn’t keep a woman. If ya don’t ask yerself at the end of each night an’ the start of each day how ya can love her better, then ya have no business getting married at all.”
I chewed on that, pensively staring at her hands that sat weathered and still in her lap. I took my time, her time, probably something she didn’t have much of left, but still I took it. I considered her words and my answer carefully.
I sat forward slowly. “I don’t like people. In fact, I hate them. As far as I’ve seen the vast majority of them are liars and thieves who want one thing from you and they’ll do everything they can to get it, and they’ll leave you broken and alone once they have it. Some people are exceptions. Jenna is an exception, and still I have trouble. Still I have to work to love her every day because I’m fighting against a conditioning that tells me that she’ll ruin me in the end. But still I do it. I do it like I need it to breathe. Like I need it to live, because I do. Because when I’m not loving her, I’m not living. So you can spare me your Old World wisdom and folkish advice because there’s not a person alive or dead that’s walked this earth who could possibly begin to tell me how to love that woman better than I already do.”
“I don’t write romances, I write relationships. One is pretty and perfect and all consuming. The other is real.”
I was born in Eugene, Oregon and studied English Literature at the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!) I love writing all kinds of genres from YA Dystopian to New Adult Romance, the common themes between them all being strong character development and a good dose of humor.
My husband, son, and snuggly pitbull are my world.