Welcome to the blog tour for PLAN B, the second book in the new adult contemporary romance series, Lost & Found, by CL Stacey. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
About the Book
Title: PLAN B
Series: Lost and Found #3
Author: CL Stacey
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Every tick of the clock takes something away.
Aryn Andrews is a single father doing the best he can under the circumstances.
When you meet the one you love, you plan for everything but the end—especially an end that comes too soon. After losing his wife during childbirth, Aryn vowed to be the kind of father that his daughter, Ayli, could be proud of. Every decision he makes is to ensure her happiness.
Bethany Michaelson is a victim of life.
Multiple hardships endured, Bethany never fails to find the silver lining in everything. Gracious, loyal, obedient, but above all, she is strong. All she wants is to change her inevitable fate, but in order to do that she has to be the one thing she isn’t. Brave.
Aryn has learned to accept his loss.
Bethany mourns hers every day.
How do you start over with someone who fears a new beginning?
We say nothing but communicate everything through a simple look. I’m getting a strange sense of déjà vu.
He watches me intently, and I stare back blankly. His gaze intensifies as mine dulls. He’s good, but I’m better. Or I used to be. The longer his eyes bore into mine, the less in control of my body I feel.
We need each other, want each other, but at the same time, we can barely stand one another.
“How’ve you been?” he breaks first.
“Fine.” Miserable. “How much have you had to drink?”
“Did you drive yourself here?”
“You’re worried about me now?”
“So you’re still mad at me, then?”
“I missed you, Bethany. Did you miss me at all?”
“What are you doing here, Aryn?” I change the subject. Because yes, I did, and the last time I told him that, we jumped right into bed.
Running a frustrated hand through his hair, a heavy sigh passes through his lips. “How many times do you have to ask me that? You know what my answer is going to be. I came here to see you. I’m always coming to see you.”
I don’t know what to say to that. If I open my mouth now, I will reciprocate, but I’m not ready for that yet.
“Why haven’t you called me back, Beth?”
“I asked you to stop calling me, Aryn. If you have something to say, say it now, and then you’re going to have to leave.”
“What the hell was that at Caleb’s, why’d you leave like that? I thought we squashed everything.”
Of course he did. “I told you that nothing would change. I thought you understood that, I’m sorry,” I offer a pathetic apology. It’s more than what he’s offered me since this whole mess started.
“I assure you, it isn’t.”
“Why haven’t you called me back?” he repeats his question louder, angrier this time.
“I’ve been busy.”
“Don’t tell me that you’re still seeing Jai. You’re not that stupid, Bethany.”
Fighting the urge to wince at the way he speaks my name, I remain perfectly composed. “That is none of your business, and don’t call me stupid. Evidently, I attract buttholes like him all the time.”
“Can I help you?” I change the subject again. “Why did you need to see me?”
Checking me with a look of disbelief, he asks, “You serious?”
“You barged in here unannounced. I deserve to know why.”
“Barged? You opened the door,” he says in his defense.
“Because you threatened to make a scene.”
Shaking his head, he offers an actual response. “I came here to talk to you.”
“I don’t want to talk to you.” Lie.
“You’re impossible to talk to!” Truth.
Immediately taking offense, he spits out a cool, “Am not!”
I start ticking off my reasons why on my fingers as I proceed to give him a small portion of my list. “You’re a sucky listener. You talk over me. You yell when you can’t accept something I say. You walk out when you can’t handle it! Does that sound like a good conversationalist to you?”
“I made one mistake, Beth! I was pissed. People walk away when they’re pissed.”
Now I’m pissed. “Not everyone gets a warning before they do. I gave one, and you walked away anyway.” I point at the door. “BYE.”
“Oh, I’m not going anywhere. I’m not done.”
He huffs out a laugh, but his eyes regard me with thinning patience. “What an excellent example you’re setting for dumb ol’ me,” he snarls. “You’re being a bit hypocritical, don’t you think, B?”
I redirect my finger from the door to him. “You don’t deserve a conversation. You gave up your right to one when you walked out of here.”
“I’m here now.”
“That makes no difference to me. I told you, Aryn, I’m not interested.”
“Stop pushing me away, Bethany. I’m here to fix this.”
“You don’t even know— I told you—” I pause when I choke up, refusing to cry in front of him. I take a deep breath in and try again. “I told you that I don’t trust easy. You destroyed any chance you had with me. You burned that bridge.”
Done with our argument already, Aryn advances toward me, trying to fix this his way. Only I don’t want it.
I shake my head in warning and take an equal amount of steps back. “Don’t.”
Unfazed by my rejection, Aryn continues to eat the space between us with three purposeful strides. There are maybe a good two steps left between us now. I don’t know if I can stand to reject him another time.
As angry as I am, I miss him. I miss his touch, I miss his kiss, but most of all, I miss his hugs. He gave the best hugs.
“You are toxic,” I curse him, forcing him to halt.
“If only that were true.”
I blink at him, dumbfounded. “Excuse me?”
“If I were toxic, as you say, then I would have what I’ve been shamelessly prowling after all this time. Unfortunately for me, nothing can weaken your resolve. You’re fucking immune.”
“Immune?” I spit back.
“You are unobtainable and elusive, irritatingly so. I’ve come at you countless times, and all you’ve ever done was shoot me down. You may have let me have you, B, but you never let me all the way in. Never.”
We stand toe to toe now, both refusing to stand down. “Back. Up,” I warn him.
Passion and heat. Two things I can’t find anywhere else stand before me, neatly packaged in the form of Aryn, his smile the bow on top to mock me.
“Don’t push me.”
Accepting my threat as a challenge, Aryn raises a hand. He isn’t… My eyes follow it steadily. Slowly but surely, his hand closes in on the tiny gap between us. He is! Aryn presses his fingers to my shoulder, and then gives it a nudge. He DID. The force behind it is enough to knock my balance.
Rage seeps from every pore of my body. All I can think to do is tear him to shreds. “You—”
Aryn spans his arms wide. “Come at me,” he dares me.
He’d just love that.
Taking a deep breath in to calm every nerve firing off in my body, I spin on my heels and walk away. I’m mad, so mad—cursing in my head mad. He is not welcome in my home. I’m kicking his ass out.
I gasp when a biting smack lands hard against my ass. I act on instinct and spin back around to return it right back to him, landing a hard slap against his cheek. Clap! My palm meets skin, and Aryn answers with a guttural moan from deep within his throat.
It didn’t sound angry enough to qualify as a growl. No. It sounded like it came from a place of starvation, driven wild by hunger.
Holy friggin’ cow, my hand stings!
At least I’m not as angry anymore. That was oddly invigorating. The only thing ruining my moment is his unexpected reaction. I was hoping to piss him off, but judging by the hint of a smile that plays the corner of his mouth, he enjoyed that just as much as I did.
A pair of freaks, how fitting.
Get caught up on the series:
About the Author
CL Stacey is a Florida native, born and raised. She still resides in the Sunshine State with her husband and daughter. Relaxing with any good love story she can get her hands on is her favorite way to end the day.
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