Release Date: April 19, 2018
Cover Design: Nicole Blanchard
Photo Credit: Lindee Robinson Photography
Models: Andrew Kruczynski and Alyse Madej
No one finds their soulmate at first glance.Dominic Torres did though. From the second he saw his best friend’s little sister, he knew she was the one for him. Fast forward three years and now she’s his best friend and she has him firmly in the friend zone. He’s convinced he’ll never have the college romance his parents had. Until the day it almost happened. Brooke Caldwell’s life fell apart two days after her tall, dark and handsome best friend almost kissed her. A split second of hesitation made her question her entire relationship with her best friend. You wouldn’t think that a kiss that didn’t even happen would make her question her feelings as much as it did. But all of Brooke’s friends had said he had a thing for her. Unrequited love or a figment of her imagination? When an argument gets out of hand, Brooke and Dom hit a breaking point that has both of them scrambling into new relationships. Even pissed off and broken, neither of them can ignore the other for long. From best friends to lovers, one night could change everything.
My head throbbed as I fought to open my eyes. The afternoon sun streamed into the car through the spiderweb design on the windshield glass. It took me a second to catch my breath. I choked back a sob as I realized the world was upside down and there was blood on the dashboard.
“Dom.” My voice was throaty and weak, and I was having a hard time staying conscious. I was trying to tell myself this was nothing more than a horrible, horrible dream, but I knew. My throbbing head and stabbing pain in my side told me it wasn’t.
What the hell happened?
“Dom,” I said again, this time a little stronger. I was careful to disguise the panic that was threatening to take over, just in case he was awake.
The smell of burnt rubber and oil assaulted me as I shifted slightly in my seat to look at Dom. He wasn’t moving and blood streamed from a nasty gash on his forehead. It looked deep.
“Dominic, please wake up,” I whispered. “I need you to wake up now, baby.”
I reached over slowly, searching around to find his hand. I gasped when his fingers threaded through mine. “Damn it, Dom. Talk to me! Tell me you’re okay!”
My chest burned where the seatbelt dug into me, but I couldn’t move enough to release it. Even if I could, there was no way I’d leave Dom in here alone if I could get out of the wreckage. Who knew if it was even safe for me to do it? I could end up fracturing my spine or something worse.
I squeezed his hand again. “It wasn’t supposed to be like this. I wanted to go to our spot. After everything that’s happened, we have to be together.” I bit down on my bottom lip before continuing. “Please be okay.”
The sound of sirens filled the late afternoon air and I prayed they were coming to us. There was no way I could reach either of our phones to call for help. I’d already checked if I could reach them, but both had flown into the floorboard when we got hit.
“Dom?” I called again.
If he’s awake I need to keep him talking.
God, I wasn’t a nurse. The only things I knew about medical shit was from Grey’s Anatomy.
“Hurts,” he groaned.
I squeezed his hand gently, sinking my teeth into my lower lip to keep the sob from breaking loose. Something dug into my side and I attempted to turn further toward him. I could barely see him from the corner of my eye. My fingers itched to touch him and reassure myself we were both going to be fine.
“I know, baby. We’re going to get help and we’ll be okay.”
“Love you,” he whispered. “Remember that. Always.”
I stilled and dread crept up my spine, my blood running cold. This was not going to be his deathbed confession.
Absolutely fucking not.
“Damn it, Dom. We had a deal. Don’t give up on us.”
We hadn’t made it through the last year for us to be ripped apart now. I wouldn’t let it happen.
“Dominic, talk to me. Tell me the story about how we first met. I want to hear you say how my purple hair was the first thing you noticed after I stole your coffee. Tell me how much you loved it again. I’ll even dye it purple if you’ll talk to me. Please squeeze my hand, baby.”
I listened and waited. His breathing was labored and from his lack of response I could tell he wasn’t conscious anymore.
“Wake up! Damn it, Dominic!” My throat burned from screaming, the smoke, and the strain of being upside down. “Wake up right now!”
The acrid scent of the wreckage was making me nauseous. Panic started to creep in and I didn’t know if I could hold it together much longer. My chest ached because each second we were there I was another second closer to losing him. We are stuck. There was nothing I could do to help either one of us. I felt so fucking helpless. I shifted again and a sharp pain shot into my side, stronger than anything I’d felt so far. My shirt was already soaked in blood, enough that I’d hopefully lose consciousness again. Because I needed to escape this nightmare.
All I could do was pray that if Dominic died I would too because living without him wasn’t an option—not anymore.
I screamed at him to wake up again, but he still didn’t move. My screams hurt my ears as I told him it wasn’t fair for him to leave me here alone. Tears scalded my cheeks and I couldn’t breathe. None of this was fair. I pleaded with God to take me instead of him. Dom deserved to live. He was the kind of man who would change the world.
And it had taken me too long to realize it.
I saw the familiar shiny shoes of a police uniform before he was down on the ground, looking into my scared hazel eyes. His deep voice was reassuring, but I could barely hear him through the rush of emotions taking place inside of me. I saw his mouth move, asking me questions, but everything sounded like I was underwater. He motioned for someone else to come help him. Blessed darkness took over as I finally lost consciousness.
One of Five ARC's for Keeping Dominic
About the AuthorRomance writer. Wife. Mother of two. Avid reader. Queen of multitasking. Originally from the south, Alyson likes to incorporate what she knows into her books. She's lived not only on the east coast, but the west coast and a few places in between. Alyson loves sharing stories about her crazy family to anyone who will listen. Her guilty pleasures consist of coffee, country music, brunch, breaking the rules, and pedicures. And she will always be a daddy's girl. When Alyson isn't chasing around her two kiddos, she's normally writing. Or reading. Her Kindle library is out of control. Alyson writes mainly contemporary novels and novellas with a bit of new adult mixed in.
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