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With a ton of 5 star reviews, This might just be the book you are looking for!

*****

This

by C.G. Blaine

Blurb:

Bennett Ross has a list of don’t-wants. No white dress or happily ever after. She doesn’t want soul-crushing love or promises she’s too broken to keep. Most of all, she doesn’t want anyone to ask her to stay.

Dane Masters might not have a list, but he does have a house and a steady job, and he knows exactly what he wants—Bennett.

When life keeps dragging her back to him, he’s there to give her a reason not to leave again. Each time, she has more trouble walking away, and he falls a little harder when she goes.

Unless Dane can find a way to prove he’s what she’s been searching for, Bennett will always have an excuse to push him away.

And then he’ll risk becoming another broken piece she leaves behind.

Buy Links: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WTPKF53/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47555261-this

*****

Excerpt:

Our eyes lock. He straightens up from the high-top he was leaning on, and I screech to a stop, my mind in a panic before I even register the girl. Dane’s hand jerks off her arm like she grew spikes, every feature on his face confused. And … relieved? He still hasn’t looked away, the girl turning.

I charge down the sidewalk. I have no idea where I’m going anymore, just away.

“Bennett.”

Maybe I’ll walk back to San Francisco. Ten days, was it? I wonder what Patrick’s doing tonight.

“Bennett!” His arm slips around me. Not just his hand tugging on mine, but his whole damn arm snaking around my middle and spinning me to face him.

We both freeze, staring at each other for a few seconds, maybe more; he has really pretty eyes.

“What are you doing here?” he asks, his hand still on my back. The other drags off his beanie. Maroon. “I thought…” He shakes his head and looks down, jaw tensed. “You’ve been ignoring me.”

Not a question, but a fact. We both have the proof on our phones, the unread texts on mine and unanswered ones on his. I might not excel at much, but I mastered avoidance a long time ago.

His gaze comes back to mine. “If this is because—”

I step back when he tries to pull me closer. “Your date can see us.”

He doesn’t look back at the brunette on the patio where he left her, death glare lasered in on me. I thought Noah H. leveled our playing field, but it appears I have the rest of the Noah alphabet to go for that to happen.

“She’s not my date.” But he lets his hand fall away, and it hurts as much as if he’d said she was.

“Stay here,” he says.

“Dane, I—”

“Damn it, Bennett.” He reaches for me but stops and lowers his arm to his side, fist clenched. “I swear to God, if you aren’t here when I come back, I’ll tear this damn city apart to find you. Liam and Keaton’s, her parents’, everywhere you might be. So, stay here. Please.”

I glance at the dagger eyes still waiting at the table and then up at him. He licks his lips, his gaze the soft one that makes it hard for me to breathe.

“Please,” he repeats.

I cross my arms and nod.

Dane backs away, keeping me in sight like he doesn’t believe I’ll be here when he comes back.

Fair since I won’t be.

The second he turns to push open the gate to the patio, I rush up the step and into the boutique. The door hits a bell hanging overhead on open and close. I relax on the second ding, the sound of safety. For now, anyway. He could very well beat me back to the apartment, and I have no clue what will happen then.

A candle burns on the counter. The jasmine and scent of new clothes purges my nose of him while I wander the store, shopping and avoiding. The salesclerk steps out from the back. She must deem my face trustworthy and ducks right back through the opening on her phone. I should steal the candle to prove her wrong.

I find a few outfits in case I need to distract Keaton with something shiny later. An all-black jumpsuit with a tie at the middle, cutoff jean shorts and an off-the-shoulder orange top, and a short red dress she’ll purr over. Wearing the last one, I creak open the door to my dressing room and step into the larger area with angled mirrors to check the cutout in the back. She has a regrettable tattoo that I prefer not see the light of day—I regret her getting it, not her. Once I’ve assured the sunflower will stay hidden under the fabric, I face the main mirror and smooth my hands over the front.

“Buy it,” Dane says from the doorway. I suck in a breath and glance over at him, his arms crossed and gaze tracing over me in one of the mirrors. “If you don’t, I will.”

“How did you find me?”

“I watched you trip up the stair as soon as you thought I wasn’t looking.”

I brace myself when he strolls over. The jasmine candle already loses out to him.

“The dress isn’t for me,” I say as he stops behind me.

“It should be.” He slides up the strap that slipped off my shoulder. “You look fucking gorgeous.”

I recheck the price tag, pretending not to care when he drags his knuckles down my arm. “I picked it out for Keaton. She looks better in red.”

When I look up, he shakes his head at me through the mirror. “Not possible.”

*****

Author Info:

C.G. Blaine writes Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. At one time, she was cool. Now she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband and plays pillow to a forever-hangry, blind cat. She’s terrible at texting back, and if she’s overly nice to you, chances are she’s not a fan.

Reader group CG’s Cool Kids- https://www.facebook.com/groups/cgblainescoolkids/