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HOPE RESTORED now!
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About HOPE RESTORED
The Gallagher Brothers series from NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan concludes with the final brother who thought he had everything to look forward to, and the one woman who can handle him.
Life isn’t worth living if you don’t fight to live. That’s what Murphy Gallagher learned at a young age when cancer ravaged his body not once, but twice. Over the course of his survival, he lost his parents and his childhood, but he’s been healthy for years and has become a man he hopes his family is proud of. But when his world tilts on its axis yet again, he’ll have to learn what it means to fight not only the unknown but also his attraction to his best friend.
Tessa Stone works hard and plays harder. She’s spent her life trying to figure out who she is in the present rather than looking back. Yet when she’s forced into close proximity with Murphy, she’ll have to not only be his rock but learn how to relax enough to maybe let him be hers, as well. But seduction doesn’t stop when the world seems to, and close encounters of the naked kind might just be the first step in something much more complicated than either of them bargained for. Life, though, is for living, after all.
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“I know you told me to forget what happened after I got out of the shower, but I don't think I can.” Murphy turned toward her, and she moved her head so she looked right into his eyes. She almost gasped at the heat she saw in them, and at how dark they’d become, but she stopped just in time.
“What are you saying?”
“I can’t get you out of my head, Tessa.” Murphy raked his hands through his hair, and Tessa watched as his muscles bunched up deliciously at the action. “We’ve always flirted, but we made sure to stay on the side of friendship.”
“And that was a good choice,” Tessa said quickly, afraid of what was being said, and yet knowing there was no turning back now.
“Was it? Because I’m so happy that you’re in my life. I love that you’re my friend. But every time I look at you, I see something more. I see something that we could be.”
“Are you talking about just sex?” She wasn’t sure she wanted to hear the answer, but she needed to know. “Because I’m not going to ruin what we have. I’m not going to ruin what our friends have just for sex. I might be damn good at sex and, hell, I’m pretty sure you’re damn good at it, too, but no amount of sex is worth ruining everything else.”
Murphy snorted. “I am damn good at sex. And I have a feeling you’re even better than you think you are, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Or, at least, that’s not all I’m talking about. I like you. I think I’ve always liked you. I don’t know what’s coming for me— or anyone else for that matter. But I’m tired of standing by and doing nothing because I’m too afraid of what might happen.”
Tears filled her eyes, and Murphy reached out to wipe them away before she could. “Murphy…”
“I didn’t mean to make you cry. I don’t ever want to make you cry. I want to feel your skin beneath my fingertips. I want to know what you feel like against me when we both plan on it, and not when it’s by accident. I want to know who you are beyond the woman that I know now because I have a feeling that woman is fucking amazing.”
“Murphy… you’re going to have to explain to me exactly what you’re saying because, right now? Right now, I’m seriously confused.” Or rather, she was afraid she was reading too much into his words and getting it all wrong.
Murphy moved closer again, this time, so close that their thighs touched, and she could feel his breath on her neck. “I’m saying you only live once, Tessa. I want to know you. I want to feel you underneath me. I want to go back to your bedroom and make love to you, fuck you hard into the mattress until we are both sweaty, panting, and spent. What comes after? That’s something we’ll have to figure out as we go on, but I’m tired of holding myself back because I’m afraid. I’m tired of not doing what could be the best thing for us because I don’t want to take the chance.”
He cupped her face, and she sucked in a breath. The heat of him was unreal, and all she wanted to do was lean forward and brush her lips over his. But she couldn’t. Not yet. Tessa might have always been a risk taker, but what they had was far too important to risk. Murphy was far too important to risk.
“Are you saying all of this because you’re sick?” She asked the one question she knew he might hate her for. But it was also the question she needed the answer to most.
“Maybe. But I’ve been feeling this need for you since before I knew I was sick again. So, maybe me looking into the hourglass made me actually give in to what I’m feeling. But knowing that isn’t the reason I want you in the first place. I want you, Tessa. All of you. Not because I’m afraid of what might come, but because I don’t want to lose what we could have because of fear.”
She had no idea what to say. She had no idea what would be a good answer. She had been battling her attraction to Murphy since the beginning, and she knew he’d always been attracted to her, as well. But now, she felt as if they were both at the tipping point. So instead of talking more, instead of worrying, instead of thinking that she was possibly making a huge mistake, she just felt.
And damned the consequences in the morning.
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About Carrie Ann Ryan
Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.