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Saturday, February 6, 2016

#Excerpt #Giveaway Anything More than Now by @beckapaula @InkSlingerPR

Anything More Than Now Synopsis:
Reagan Landry is months away from college graduation, but instead of excitement, she’s frozen by the fear of letting go — of her ex-boyfriend, of the comfortable life she created for herself in Portland, of the years-long search for her older sister who abandoned her as a homeless teen. When she’s finally forced to decide what’s next, Reagan is met with another complication — her ex’s best friend, Noah Burke, who seems determined that she embraces what could be instead of what has been.

Drunkenly hooking up with his best friend’s ex, Reagan, is a mistake, but being secretly in love with her is so much worse when things seem one-sided. A disenchanted frat boy about to fail out of college, Noah has been living out someone else’s dream after a horrible accident five years earlier. Just when he thinks he’s lost any chance he has with Reagan, she surprises him by agreeing to spend the summer together at his family’s ranch in Montana.

And suddenly what started out as a complication between them becomes serious...until the past starts ripping apart their future.

Buy Links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1PMnu8n
Barnes & Noble: http://goo.gl/mY4P84

I pore over my senior thesis as I stand behind at the checkout counter at the library, taking another big gulp of my Americano. I should lay off the caffeine but between searching for work and pulling extra hours at Zola so I can pay Greg, sleep is more a concept than a reality for me right now.
Another bleary-eyed student waits, slowly sliding a book toward me, leaning on the counter as if he might take a nap at any minute. I print the slip and close it between the pages, already taking off for the jar of antibacterial gel at the end of the counter when I notice the body barreling toward mine through the busy lobby of the library.
The crowd cuts away to Noah striding up to me. It’s only been two days since Beau moved out but it seems like forever ago since I’ve laid eyes on Noah.
 I steel myself, straightening my spine as his eyes connect with mine. It feels as though I have a balloon expanding in my chest, close to bursting. I purposely hold my breath, refusing to allow myself to be such a girl. I shouldn’t be so happy to see him.
Noah doesn’t say anything, only grabs my hand and hauls me behind him. I try to tug away, dragging my feet.
“Stop being such a caveman, jerk.” I speak to his back because he doesn’t stop, only leads us farther back into the stacks away from the eyes of everyone else. “Use your words,” I snap, feeling myself flush as someone points to us before we take a sharp corner.
His T-shirt is wrinkled, his jeans loose. I’m hit with the smell of him, of man…of Noah. I’m so caught up in trying to put words to that that I miss we’ve stopped. Well, I do until his hands grip my face and guide my lips to his in a hungry kiss.
It doesn’t stop, this kiss, doesn’t pause. It’s one speed—more. It’s deep in its desperation and that balloon in my chest suddenly bursts and I deflate, melting back against the book stacks. I stop fighting and let my mouth follow his.
The pressure from his fingertips on my cheeks pops my eyes open. I watch him as he loses himself. My neck is tilted back and I feel a bit broken, like I’m an ill-repaired doll, my limbs bent this way and that. Maybe he senses that because he loosens his grip and slows his lips, but it’s still consistently full of want.
I try to focus on his shoulders beneath my hands, how steady they are. His body is a homestead to me, a bonfire signaling me to return. I slip my hands around his neck, skimming just below his collar to feel the burn of his skin against my cold hands. What I feel, what’s happening is so confusing. It’s so good but I can’t…I feel as if I’m being pitched up in the sky, the ground miles below.
Noah doesn’t stop and he doesn’t let me catch up to wherever his head is at. His fingers reach down and brush at the hem of my skirt, quietly moaning into my mouth as he raises them higher, bunching the fabric high up on my thighs.
“I’ve been thinking of this for the past twelve hours.” His lips leave my mouth, trail down my neck and nip at my collarbone. His lips mirror that path, making me ache for his mouth against on mine as he sears my skin with his mouth and teeth. A simple path of kisses from left to right like eclipses.
I sigh, closing my eyes. He curls his hands under my skirt, grabbing my ass and lifting me, pulling my hips to meet his. Noah traps the unnatural sound I make in another heated kiss.
“Someone is going to hear you, screamer. Be quiet.”
I pull at the nape of his hair, wanting to fight, but wanting to continue more. “We’re in Poetry, no one’s going to come around.”
His soft chuckle cuts across my jaw in a hot slice. I don’t know what he’s doing to me. I think I’m falling apart. I think my brain has stopped working.
It’s only when he teases, “Use your words, Landry,” that I realize I have lost the ability to put one word in front of another. It has a lot to do with the book spines pressing into my back, his hands roaming over my body, pushing my shirt to skirt over my ribs.
Noah’s undressing me in the library.
The thought sort of tumbles around me, pushing to make room in my head and my chest. I can’t figure out the disconnect. Why I hated him until he stormed up to me and dragged me here. Why I keep trying to build up this space between us when…
“I don’t like you,” I say, breaking away.
Noah ducks his head into my shoulder, his own moving up and down as he tries to catch his breath. “I had to go. He’s my best friend.”
 I bow my head to rest against his. Without thinking, I kiss his temple.
And that’s what unspins my lie. That brief, sweet touch of my lips. I know he knows now. For two people so obsessed with using the right words, I can’t admit that I’m lying. I can’t even admit that I missed him.
And I did. God, I did.
Noah slowly lets me down to the floor, slowly starts dressing me again, covering up my flesh like the secret between us. He tries to put me back together, but it’s too late for that. My lips are sore and swollen, my head too dizzy, and my heart is hammering against my chest. And the feeling—the one I’d rather not call it what it is—is full in my lower belly.
I would have fucked him in the stacks without caring who saw. That’s what Noah does to me. He makes me forget what it’s like to have my feet firmly on the ground. He’s possibility.
He cups my chin, pressing his thumb over my swollen lips, retracing the spot where he just branded me as his. I’m not an idiot, I felt it too. I spun into the possibility of letting Noah into my life with that kiss. I crashed into the reality that I’m already his.
“Who are you trying to fool, pretty girl?”
I dart my eyes to the floor, afraid to admit that when he walks away, he’ll be taking something with him today. Something new, like a sliver of my heart.
“I had to go. I had to bring him home.” He clears his throat, his shoulders visibly tensing. “But this isn’t about him, is it? Not really.”
I open my mouth and sputter for a few seconds, so caught up in what I want to say and what needs to be said. I still end up saying the obvious.
“He broke her heart.” My throat actually starts to close up, at least it feels as if that’s what’s happening. “He just left and she’s lost now.” I reach behind me, running my hands over the spines of old poetry books, forgotten years ago. But at least they’re comforting, at least there will always be stories in the world.
He’s quiet, studying me. “I came back though.”
My eyes snap up to his and my arms go slack. Hell, my whole body does. I’m suddenly a marionette that’s lost its strings. I fall to pieces on the floor.
Noah backs away and scratches the back of his neck. “I’ve had a long drive and I—”
“You haven’t been back to the frat house?”
He snorts and a tiny smile plays at his lips. “You never listen to me, do you?”
I look at him blankly, confused.
“I drove straight here. Couldn’t think of anything else but—” he leans in close, his mouth teasing the air around my ear, so close yet so far away,“—kissing you.”
“So you did.” I rub my hands over my lips as he heads down the aisle.
“So I did.” He pauses at the end of the aisle. “Don’t be a stranger, Reagan.”
But that’s exactly the problem. We’re not really strangers anymore. That lie has been shattered too.

Catch up on the Sutton College Series:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1PpOloG
Barnes & Noble: http://is.gd/BIZC1E

Rebecca Paula Bio:
Rebecca writes smart, emotional New Adult and historical romances featuring flawed characters struggling to find their place in the world, from Paris to Portland. She’s a lover of rainy days, an unabashed anglophile, and a devote Earl Grey tea drinker. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and their very spoiled cat, Bella. A wanderlust connoisseur, Rebecca can be caught daydreaming about her next travel adventure when not writing.

Rebecca loves hearing from readers and writers. You can follow her on Twitter @beckapaula or find out more about her and her books at www.rebeccapaula.com.

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