Title: Bitter Sweet Love
Author: R.C. Stephens
Release Date: Jan 18, 2015
Find on Goodreads
After enduring an abusive childhood and having her heart broken by the only boy she trusts, Alexis White vows to never let anyone hurt her again. She's left her troubled past behind and starts a new life at college. For the past seven years, her social calendar has been filled with frat parties, drinking, and meaningless sexual hook-ups. Until one night she unexpectedly gets saved by a tall, dark, and handsome French foreigner, Luc Blanchard. He's charming, sophisticated, and very interested in Lexi, who has presented herself as a challenge when she tells him relationships aren't her thing.
She finds herself sucked in by his own intriguing past. But everything changes when Dylan Priestley, the gorgeous boy who broke her heart and shattered her faith in friendship and love, suddenly shows up in her life again while back home on a visit. Dylan doesn't hide his feelings for Lexi, but she can't forgive or forget being betrayed by the one person she ever truly loved.
Despite the pain Dylan's caused her, Lexi is once again drawn to the blue-eyed-boy-next-door. Will Lexi choose the man who seems perfect but hides a dark side or the boy who smashed her heart into pieces so many years ago?
Warning: this Book Ends in a cliffhanger. This is book one of a trilogy. Release dates will be held close together.
The lake looks exactly the same. Nothing has changed in the past seven years, except for me. There’s a line of cars parked along the dirt road like back in the day. There must be more friends at home visiting than I originally thought. A specific black Mercedes catches my eye and my heart sinks. It belongs to Dylan’s dad. Once I park, we follow the light along the dirt road to where the bonfire is. The cool air brushes my skin as we walk, so I get close to the fire to warm up. There are cases of beer piled up around the bonfire. My pulse races and my hands are clammy knowing that Dylan is here. I hope that I have a chance to down a few beers before I see him again. Emily and I spot each other at the same time, and she squeals loudly, running toward us.
“Alexis, look at you all grown up! I’m so glad you came, and you too, Ash. You look amazing,” Emily says in a sweet and welcoming voice. She looks great, too.
I notice her give Luc a one up, waiting for an introduction. “Sorry, Em, this is my boyfriend, Luc.”
“Hi, Luc, nice to meet you. I’m an old friend of Alexis.” Luc shakes her hand and his sexy accent slides smoothly off his tongue.
Emily’s melting, and I don’t blame her. “He’s hot,” she says, and I grin.
She moves in close, whispering in my ear, “You know Dylan’s here. I’m sorry, Alexis, but he’s the one who called me and told me you were in town. He asked me to invite you so you two could talk. I don’t think he realized that you brought someone home. Of course I’m happy he called because I’m so happy to see you. It’s been years!”
Ashley stands close by, listening to every word. She nods to Emily and gives her a little wink. Emily winks back at her, and it seems they’re on the same page about something.
Ashley walks over to Luc and says, “Hey, Luc, let me show you the lake. You can also teach me some French words so I won’t struggle so much when I get back to Montreal.”
Emily’s totally clued in to Ash and she goes along with it. “Luc, it would be great if you could teach me French, too. I’ve always wanted to learn.” She grabs on to Luc’s other arm. Luc doesn’t seem interested, and he gives me a searching look. I gesture for him to go ahead.
They walk off toward the lake and Dylan makes his way toward me. He looks so good, older, mature. His bright blue eyes and ruffled hair look even sexier with the unshaven stubble he has on his face. His body’s filled out since high school, and he’s broader and more muscular. My heart skips a beat just watching him walk toward me.
I don’t respond because despite how my heart feels, my mind knows better.
He has both hands in his front pockets, his shoulders are slightly hunched, and he seems unsure about approaching me. “I was kind of hoping we could talk. Can we go sit by the rocks or something so we have some privacy?” he asks, almost pleading with me.
My arms are wrapped around my body, holding myself to keep from getting cold, but I also need to keep it together. “I don’t think that’s a good idea. I’m here with someone, and he wouldn’t like that,” I respond coldly.
“Please, Lex, just a few minutes. You know we need to talk,” he pleads again, his blue eyes sparkling in the moonlight. I can never say no to those eyes.
I look away from him and stare back into the fire. “I really don’t think we do. It’s been seven years. There are cell phones in this day and age, and you could have picked one up at some point and dialed my number. Nothing’s changed, Dylan.” I turn around and check to see if Luc’s in the area, but he’s nowhere in sight.
“Please, Alexis, we need to talk.” He never calls me Alexis, so he means business. He grabs my arm, towing me toward the rocks, muttering under his breath about what a stubborn girl I am.
We make our way to the rocks and he’s silent, staring at me as if he’s seeing me for the first time. Then he puts his fingers through his hair and says, “Shit, you’re beautiful.”
R.C. Stephens was born in Toronto, Canada. She graduated from York University with a Master’s Degree in Political Science.
Her debut Novel Bitter Sweet Love is book one of the Twisted Trilogy. Followed by Twisted Love and Sweet Love Forever.
R.C. is an avid reader, so when she isn’t cooking for her clan or on her laptop writing, she’s snuggled tight with her Kindle devouring any romance novel she can. Okay, with the exception of Thursday nights. She makes time for Scandal and Vampire Diaries. She’s a fan of drama and suspense but she’s also a sucker for a happy ending.
Her husband was her first teenage love. They live together with their three children in Toronto. Loving Canadian winters she could never think of living anywhere else.