Can love survive when surprises are revealed?
Chad Douglas has been in love with his younger sister's best friend for years, but he's kept his distance—their age difference, his rising rugby career, and uncertainty standing in his way. However, a drunken night together allows Chad to believe that maybe there is a chance, only for everything to come crumbling down when he wakes to find Lana gone.
After living in England for the past three years, Lana Cage moves back home to Australia. The night before she left Australia for England is a blank memory, but on her arrival home, the consequences end up being a surprise for both her and Chad.
Desperate for another chance at love, can Chad and Lana have their happily ever after once the surprise is revealed? Or will trust be lost and their lives forever changed?
Content Warning: this book contains one tough rugby player who knows exactly what he wants and is determined to get it
"This is the first non-paranormal book by Hazel Gower that I've read and she doesn't disappoint." - Romance Book Scene
Lana couldn't believe what she'd done. She'd done the stupidest thing ever. She'd had sex with a Douglas—Chad, the biggest slut of the lot. You would think she'd learned her lesson after what happened with Olivia, but no, she was an idiot. She had no idea why she'd done something so stupid.
Steph wouldn't like what had happened. Steph hated when her friends went after her brothers. Lana remembered how upset Steph had gotten when Lana had mentioned her crush on Chad. Steph was the baby of the family, a surprise child. Her mother was in her mid-forties when she got pregnant with Steph. Lana had told Steph she was over Chad, because she didn't want to lose her friendship.
Oh God, what had she done? Dropping the sheet, she shoved her clothes on as quickly as possible, just wanting to get away so she could wallow in her stupidity. To think of why she'd let herself have amazing sex with Chad and why it felt so familiar, like she'd done it before.
A magnificently naked Chad gathered her to him as she leaned down to put her shoes on. "Angel, don't go. Stay. Talk to me."
She stood and gazed up at him. He was so tall, it made her feel small and fragile against him. "Talk to you about what? How I just stuffed up my friendship with my best friend because I did the stupidest thing I've ever done in my life? What happened? I thought we were friends. I vowed after what happened with Olivia that I'd never do anything stupid like this again. Oh God, your parents have insisted I go to your family dinner on Sunday, how on earth will I face them? I can't look at your parents after what we did."
Lana felt her whole body shaking. As much as she'd fantasized about Chad, she knew it could never happen. She tried moving out of his hold, but Chad held her tighter.
She loved Chad's family. His parents had always treated her like one of their own, and she would be devastated if this changed how they treated her. Lana loved her parents, but Chad and Steph's parents were just so much fun. They had family night every Sunday, even if it was a Rugby League night. They all went and supported Chad. Lana had been invited every time but Rugby League…well, sports in general weren't her thing.
Tilting her head up, he kissed her. His lips locked to hers and his hands rubbed her body, bringing a fire burning through that before Chad she'd never felt. On a groan, Chad pulled away and picked her up, holding her by her arse, and walked to his lounge room.
"Hey, put me down." She fought to get out of his embrace, angry that a side of her wanted to relax into his hold and enjoy all he had to offer no matter how temporary it might be or what problems it would cause.
"No, Lana. We are going to talk, and you need to calm down." He sat on the sofa and moved her across his lap. "I should have done this a different way. I wasn't thinking clearly. When you said you were dating again and talked about that guy, I cracked. I have wanted you for years. I just don't want to be your rebound guy. I want to be your it guy."
Lana sat still on Chad's lap, shocked at what he was saying. She opened her mouth and knew she must be gaping at him like a fish. She shook her head and rubbed her eyes, and ears, maybe she'd heard him wrong. "Um…can you say that again? I think I'm more worked up than I thought and I'm hearing things."
Chad's fingers stroked up and down her back in a soothing motion. "Lana, being with you wasn't a mistake. I have wanted you for years. I don't know anyone I can just talk to and relax with like I can with you. When I would come and pick you and my sister up from parties or chaperon you out, I always had a blast. What I felt when I was with you I have never had with anyone else. I wanted to be ready for you. I needed to know you were ready. You weren't before."
"I'm not now. I couldn't handle the heartbreak when you leave me." She gazed into Chad's dark green eyes as they stared intently at her.
"I won't ever leave you. I want only you."