Once, the only thing that mattered to me was football—training, playing, and earning my place on the best team at every level. I had it all, and I threw it away with a semester of drugs, alcohol, and pissing off anyone who tried to stop me. Now I’m suspended from the team, on house arrest, and forced to spend six months at home to get my shit together. The cherry on top of my fuckup sundae? Sleeping in the room next to mine is my best friend’s girl, Mia Mendez—the only woman I’ve ever loved and a reminder of everything I regret.
I’m not sure if having Mia so close will be heaven or hell. She’s off-limits—and not just because she’s working for my dad. Her heart belongs to someone else. But since the accident that killed her brother and changed everything, she walks around like a zombie, shutting out her friends and ignoring her dreams. We’re both broken, numb, and stuck in limbo.
Until I break my own rules and touch her.
Until she saves me from my nightmares by climbing into my bed.
Until the only thing I want more than having Mia for myself is to protect her from the truth.
I can’t rewrite the past, but I refuse to leave her heart in the hands of fate. For this girl, I’d climb into the sky and rearrange the stars.
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I wake to a thump and sit up in bed. It’s three in the morning and my room is dark, but there’s more thumping. Someone’s kicking the wall between my room and Arrow’s.
My heart clenches as I picture him on the other side having wild sex with some girl. Maybe some old fuck buddy came over after I went to bed. Hell, for all I know it’s Gwen visiting her stepson’s bed.
I dismiss the idea as quickly as it comes. Arrow can’t tolerate Gwen, and he may have changed, but he’s never been one to fuck girls he can’t tolerate.
There’s another thump, then I hear Arrow’s voice. “No. Don’t.” Rough, choked words. And more thrashing. “Why?”
I throw off the covers and run to his room, opening the door without a thought.
I don’t know what I expected to find. Arrow is sleeping alone, tangled in his covers.
Frozen, I stare at him. Moonlight spills in through the open curtains and casts shadows across his face. Sweat glistens on his forehead, and his face twists in a grimace.
I step closer. I could touch him, but I shouldn’t. “Arrow?”
He kicks. His arm flies out and hits the wall.
“Arrow,” I repeat, louder this time.
He grabs my hand at the wrist and flies upright in bed as his eyes pop open. He’s breathing hard, and anguish is all over his face. For a minute, I feel like I can see inside him—all the terrified, vulnerable parts he hides from the world. I can see inside him and I know exactly what I’m looking at, because my dreams make me feel the same way.
“What are you doing here?” he asks in a low whisper. The anger from earlier is gone from his voice.
“You were having a nightmare.”
His eyes rake over me—greedy, hungry, desperate. “What? No red lace nightie? Or do you save that for my dad? Like mother, like daughter?”
I gasp before I can stop myself. Why doesn’t he just punch me? His fist to my face would hurt less than those words.
I yank my hand away, spin on my heel, and walk toward the hall. As I reach for the knob, he’s behind me. He slams his palm against the door, and it closes with a violent thunk. “I’m sorry,” he whispers behind me, his breath on my neck. “I’m sorry I said that.”
I keep my gaze on his hand. Arrow has the best hands. Big, strong, beautiful. And the first time they touched me . . .
I squeeze my eyes shut at the unwelcome memory, and shrug. “I need this job,” I say slowly. “Your stepmother has made it clear that she’ll fire me if we can’t get along, and we both know your dad will fire me if you ask him to. But please don’t. Please don’t screw it up for me.”
“Mia,” he says softly, and I feel him step closer, the heat of his body against my back. The rough pads of his fingertips brush the hair from my neck, then his breath, hot and sweet, tickles against that tender skin.
I’m frozen, divided between the wish for his kiss and the fear of it. “I’m sorry,” I whisper. Hot tears roll down my cheeks, and I don’t know what I’m apologizing for. For taking this job? For going with Brogan that night when Arrow asked me not to? For entering his life to begin with?
Yes. All of that. More. “I’m so sorry.”
He drops one hand from the door and the other from my neck. My body grows cool as he steps away.
“Stop apologizing,” he says.
I turn the knob and head to my room. I don’t look back.
Arrow Woodson, a college football star, is under house arrest after a string of bad choices leads to house arrest. He arrives home to find his stepmother has hired Mia to nanny for his little sister. The problem with that is Mia was his best friend’s girl who he has been in love with since they met.
Mia Mendez has been a walking zombie since the accident that claimed the life of her brother and destroyed her boyfriend. She isn’t doing the best job at holding it together but she is trying so hard. She needs this job and she needs Arrow not to ruin it for her.
The accident haunts both of these characters for different reasons and the slow and suspenseful unfolding of events makes for a page turner. This story doesn’t have a great deal of happy moments and you wait for more information to try to understand what happened. It is clear these two have deep feelings for each other but are bogged down in the past and it is destroying both of them.
The alternating POVs between Arrow and Mia keep you on your toes and you also jump from past to present so you have to read carefully. I thought I knew what was going on but I was surprised in the end.
This was a good start to a new series and honestly, I can’t wait for some of the side characters (like Chris) to take center stage. I went into this book with no idea of what might happen and I was pleasantly surprised. I enjoy suspense and this book didn’t disappoint.
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THE BLACKHAWK BOYS, an edgy, sexy sports romance series from New York Times bestseller Lexi Ryan. Football. Secrets. Lies. Passion. These boys don’t play fair. Which Blackhawk Boy will steal your heart?
Book 1 – SPINNING OUT (Arrow’s story): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29547264-spinning-out
Book 2 – RUSHING IN – Coming August 30th (Christopher’s story): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29547285-rushing-in
Book 3 – GOING UNDER – Coming December 6th (Sebastian’s story): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29547292-going-under