Hadley Jacobs is over Machlan Gibson.
Sure, she’ll always be a little weak to the dimple in his right cheek and the way his five o’clock shadow makes him ruggedly handsome. But that’s not enough to cover every other thing about him because they all drive her nuts. Like how he’s won’t admit he’s wrong even when he knows it and how he drives his stupid car a million miles an hour on wet asphalt. As she rolls back into town and takes a seat at Crave, she won’t take the bait. She’s over him. Mostly.
Machlan isn’t over her.
It’s not because he hasn’t tried. He reminds himself over and over that she’s not the girl for him. After all, she drives him insane with her sassy attitude and the way she calls him out on everything. She beats him at poker, even though she doesn’t know the difference between a straight and a flush, and when she looks at him with her bright, blue eyes, it’s unnerving. When she climbs onto that bar stool and orders a drink, he puts it in front of her and ignores the sparkle in her eyes. He’s not over her, but she won’t know that.
But she does know that. And he knows she’s not as over him as she’s pretending to be. When life forces their hand this time, there’s more on the line than a pile of poker chips. It’s their forever.
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“You can’t help who you love. But you can help how much you let them hurt you.”
Wow. Wow. Wow. I am absolutely head over heels in love with this book. The angst, the love, the tragedy, the passion, the chemistry, everything about this book was fantastic.
Hadley Jacobs, Cross’s sister, has been in love with Machlan Gibson for as long as she has known what love is. She has loved him through her dad leaving, through his siblings finding love, through the good times at Peaches, and the bad times in Ohio. Machlan can’t love himself enough to let her love him and now she needs to move on.
Returning to Linton to put Machlan in his own little box is her plan. She wants to be able to come home and see her tribe without having to worry about seeing Machlan. She wants to be able to fall in love and have a family. She wants her happily ever after and the only way she sees this happening is if she can get over Machlan.
Machlan has more than his share of demons, but he has his good sides too. Being best friends with Cross meant being able to see Hadley. It meant being able to keep tabs on Hadley even when he shouldn’t. He could know that she was safe without having to let her know that he cared. Hadley coming home to get over him was not in his plan. If she got over him and found love with a “good” guy, she wouldn’t be his to care for. She wouldn’t be his to love from afar.
“Mom used to say blessings weren’t always pretty. That sometimes they came hidden, and you had to pluck them out of the ugly and use them.”
This story was HUGE. There was so much more the Hadley and Machlan’s story than I could have ever expected. I couldn’t have been more honored to be given the chance to read this book for review for Adriana. Very well done.
Now….bring on Peck’s story!!
“What the fuck was that?”
My words are ringing through the air as the door slams shut behind Spencer. There’s a bite to my tone, a jagged edge to each syllable that’s delivered with precision. I wait for Hadley to react. All I get is a slight roll of her eyes.
“What’s what?” she asks.
My head spins, the events of the last few minutes tumbling through my mind and clamoring against each other. I can’t make sense of any of it.
“You don’t trust me,” I say. “So what was that all about? Why did you lie for me?”
“I didn’t say I trusted you.”
“You just told Spencer he could.”
She jumps off the stool and places her hands on her narrow hips. “That’s Spencer.”
She’s inches away, close enough for me to actually hear every breath she takes. Each soft intake of air feels like an invisible arm pulling me toward her.
Everything inside me is screaming—from the elation, and relief, of getting the building. From the irritation of Hadley intervening. From the proximity of her body to mine and from the smug look she’s flipping my way.
“Did you want this or not, Mach?”
I grin. “Is that an offer?”
Her arms cross over her chest, but the posture is muted by the way her lips part. “Clearly not.” She flushes. “But thanks for going there.”
“It was your mind that went straight to the gutter.”
She drops her arms at the same time she pulls her lip between her teeth. She’s definitely not doing it for my benefit because she has no way to know how hard it is for me not to reach forward and run my thumb along her jaw and free it. There’s no way she knows this is the exact look, complete with the lust in her eyes I’m scared of never seeing again, that I replay as I lie in bed alone and get off to memories of being entangled in my sheets with her.
“You could’ve just said thank you,” she points out.
“I would’ve if you hadn’t sidetracked me.”
She tilts her head to the side. “Whatever. You’ve never thanked me for anything in your life.”
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USA Today Bestselling author Adriana Locke lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys created by other authors, Adriana has created her own.
She resides in the Midwest with her husband, sons, and two dogs. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. You can find her outside if the weather’s nice and there’s always a piece of candy in her pocket.
For sneak peeks, giveaways, and more, please join Adriana’s Facebook Group, Books by Adriana Locke, or her Goodreads group, All Locked Up.