Reservation (Preservation #2) by Rachael Wade
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 6, 2013
Amazon ♥ B & N
Old Habits Die Hard.
Ryan Campbell is not only leaving his title of Professor behind to move on to bigger and better things at Simon and Warden Publishing, he’s also become Seattle’s rising literary star. Sitting on the overwhelming cusp of newfound fame, he learns soon enough that being popular has its downside.
Attracted to the buzz surrounding his new career, former lovers begin to creep back into his life, and potential ones emerge with enticing advances. While he works to juggle reserved, yet stressful, wedding plans with Kate and his new public image, he has enough to manage without worrying about Carter and Dean—Kate’s loveable albeit eccentric friends—and their latest shenanigans.
Surrounded by a lifestyle that includes temptation at every turn, Ryan finds himself immersed in a world full of scandal and lies, where his oldest weaknesses thrive and his ghosts return to haunt him. Questioning whether his life with Kate is his best path, he must discover if he’s still capable of being the man he aspired to be when she first became his, or if happily ever after is only an illusion.
Reservation Official Playlist:
Mynabirds – Disaster (Dinner at Sam’s)
Snow Patrol - Run
Will. I. Am. ft. Britney Spears – Scream and Shout
Justin Timberlake – Like I Love You
Lady Gaga - Telephone
Dido - Let Us Move On
Lady Gaga – Bad Romance (The Chateau scene)
Florence and the Machine - Kiss with a Fist (Ryan’s Ringtone, Kate and Ryan Kitchen Scene)
Elbow - Grounds for Divorce (Ryan and Kate’s road trip to the San Juans)
Nirvana – You Know You’re Right (On Ryan’s iPod)
Nirvana - Heart Shaped Box (On Ryan’s iPod)
Timbaland - The Way I Are
Brandi Carlile - Dying Day
Bush - Glycerine
Smashing Pumpkins - Disarm
The Cranberries - Zombie
Pearl Jam – Even Flow
Soundgarden - Blackhole Sun
Seether - Truth
Britney Spears – Break the Ice
Kings of Leon - Closer
Fergie - London Bridge (Carter and Dean’s appearance at the Henson Event)
Justin Timberlake - What Goes Around
Rihanna – Russian Roulette
Alex Clare (Etta James Cover) - Damn Your Eyes (Chateau VIP room scene)
Lady Gaga – Paparazzi
The Lumineers – Ho Hey (Epilogue)
A soft breeze woke me, the bed’s netted canopy drape rustling against my arm. I peeked to the left, eyeing the dim light of the sunrise. It spilled over the ocean’s horizon and onto the side of our mountain, leaking into the room. I grabbed my watch from the bedside table. Six a.m. Too damn early to be awake.
It was Monday morning, my last day in St. Lucia with Kate before I had to fly back to Seattle and resume my classes. It was mid-semester back home, and that meant a jam-packed schedule for professors and students alike. The weekend had been a blur, full of snorkeling, sailing, and lounging in the sun. Carter and Dean left for the airport late last night, leaving me and Kate to sort things out.
There was a lot to discuss since I’d proposed. Not only did we have wedding plans to figure out, but Kate needed to stay in St. Lucia to fulfill her three-month-long obligation at the school. It was March and she wouldn’t be returning to Seattle until June, when school was out, and that meant we’d be separated the next few months while I finished up my last teaching semester at the university back in Seattle.
Then I’d be embarking on my first book tour for my debut novel and beginning my new position as Bob Hall’s assistant at Simon and Warden Publishing...right around the same time Kate would be returning home.
Not exactly great timing.
How we were supposed to juggle all of that and hang on to our sanity while being separated for months was beyond me, but one way or another, we’d figure it out.
Returning my watch to the bedside table, I sank back down into the covers and shut my eyes. My attempt to fall back asleep was interrupted by a soft whimper, then another, until in morphed into a quiet barrage of sobs. Kate’s body shook next to mine, her arms tight across her abdomen and chest as she cried into the pillow. She was cradling herself, turning inward as if to curl into a shell.
I turned on my side and slid closer to her, gently pulling apart her arms and brushing onyx locks away from her tear-stained cheeks. “Hey, baby. Sssshhhh, it’s okay, I’m here.”
“No,” she murmured, her brows pulled down in distress. “Don’t. Don’t touch me.”
“Kate, wake up, you’re having—”
“Stop!” her soft plea exploded. “Ryan. Please, make them stop!”
I held her tighter and pulled her into my chest, and her body formed to mine, her trembling fingers clutching my shoulders. “You’re safe, Kate. Safe with me. They’re not here. Wake up, baby, listen to my voice.”
Her body jerked, fingers latching deeper into my bare shoulders. Lashes fluttering, her eyes finally opened and landed on my neck, then travelled up, finding mine. “Ry?” Dazed, her dark chocolate brown eyes searched my face and she sucked in sharp breaths, touching my cheeks as if to make sure I was real. Then she burrowed tighter against me, her face in the crook of my neck. My stomach twisted.
She was still having the dreams.
They started shortly after the attack and were sporadic now, but still lingering. Last I heard, she hadn’t had one in weeks.
“Yeah, I’m here,” I said, my tone assuring. “Was it the same one? Tell me.” I felt her head nod beneath me, and I reached down to tilt her chin up.
“It’s always Eric’s face,” her voice splintered, “hanging over mine. And then I can hear Mark’s laugh.”
“They’re never going to touch you again. Never. You have nothing to be afraid of anymore, I promise.”
Her bottom lip quivered. “But it feels so real. Mark laughs, and then tells me I’m all his. I can’t breathe—I can’t, I just—”
I swiftly shifted to lean up on my elbow, focusing on her with a stern gaze. “You are not his. You never were and never will be.” Slowly dropping my mouth to her neck, I kissed just below her ear, feeling the wetness from her tears. “This is yours.” Then, a kiss between her breasts. “And these, yours.” Gliding down to her navel, I kissed over the black, silky nightgown and lifted the hem to her waist, planting a gentle one on her sweet pussy. “And this. All yours.”
Her fingers found my hair and a shiver rocked her body, her sobs turning to pleased hums. That brought a smile to my face and sent the blood rushing to my cock. I exhaled against the inside of her thigh, lightly kissing the soft skin in a slow trail, and she guided my head forward, pulling me flush against her core.
“Touch me,” she whispered.
My smile widened at hearing the exact words I wanted to hear, settling in between her legs and peeling her panties off. Instead of delving with my tongue, I reached up and brought one of her hands down, pressing her fingers against her clit. “Yours,” I breathed, moving her fingers for her, hooking her thigh over my free arm. She whimpered again, and this time, it wasn’t from distress.
She began to work her fingers beneath mine, my own hand guiding and mimicking hers, encouraging each touch, working her toward release. As her breathing turned uneven, gasps causing her chest to rise and fall, I watched. Waited.
Her body stiffened and back arched off the bed. What a fucking perfect sight. She begged, and my cock throbbed at the need in her voice. Just as I felt her struggle to lift her hips to capture the friction, I knocked her hand out of the way and slammed my tongue down, bringing her home with sharp, powerful strokes. A scream erupted from her throat, her chest heaving, voice butchering my name as she cried out. She tasted so fucking incredible I didn’t want to move, but as she spiraled out of control, I couldn’t help myself from crawling up her body, bringing my mouth down on hers, and sinking inside of her. “Yours,” I growled, letting the promise melt into her mouth along with her taste. “All yours.”
She welcomed me with contented moans, wrapping her legs tight around my waist, urging me back and forth with deep, torturous motions. Our fingers tangled together in the sheets and I pulled back to watch her move beneath me. Just when I thought about picking up speed, she surprised me by forcing me onto my back, and rolling over to straddle me.
“Mine,” she murmured, staring down at me, eyes gleaming. A small smile pulled at her lips, no remnant of pain in sight, and heat swelled sharp in my chest. She tore off her nightgown and began to ride me, losing herself as she set the pace, closing her eyes, and letting her head fall back. I couldn’t pry my eyes from the curve of her neck or her beautiful, full breasts as they bobbed above me.
Fuck, she’d be the death of me.
I latched onto her hips and let her take me any way she wanted, but I knew I couldn’t hold out much longer. She was too damn sexy, and that swelling sensation in my chest was too overwhelming. I worked hard to manage it, enjoying the view and the feel of her muscles stretching around me, wetness drenching and swallowing me whole. Her hips started to roll desperately, and then she bucked against me, snapping her head forward to ensnare me with hazy eyes, her hair mussed and wild. My Kate.
“I love you,” she panted, gripping the nape of my neck. I reached for her hand and dragged it to my chest, pressing her palm against my pounding heart.
Rachael Wade is the Amazon bestselling author of The Preservation Series, The Resistance Trilogy, and the upcoming sci-fi series, The Keepers Trilogy. When she’s not writing, she’s busy learning French, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect animals and the environment.