EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
I Need You
(Starting Out Book 3)
by Jane Lark
I Need You is the third book in Jane Lark's Starting Out series. Also available: I Found You and Just You.
Guilt can eat away at you, but love can cut like a knife"…
Wanting after his best friend’s girlfriend is a cliché Billy knows well – it’s the tightrope he’s walked for years.
But now Jason and Lindy have broken up and Billy can’t help but be there for the girl he’s loved from afar for so long. She’s hurting.
Fighting to find a road to the future, Lindy’s heart hurts. She’s trying to escape the truth, but Billy keeps making her face it – and it’s ugly. How can she keep living when everything is made of glass and it keeps shattering?
Her one constant is Billy. Only, rebound isn’t his style and when Lindy starts to see him in a different light, he just can’t trust her. He’s no one’s second best.
“I can’t believe you still wear that thing.” She leaned over and flicked the leather bracelet as my hand gripped the wheel.
How the hell did she not know?
I glanced at her, giving her a twisted, guilty smile, as something hard grabbed my heart. “Yeah.”
“I made you that years ago.”
“I’m just lazy, I can’t be bothered to cut it off.” I let a fake sound of amusement slip from my throat, acting as if it was nothing––like I had every other time she’d mentioned it.
She’d made it at high school. It had been the thing all the girls were doing at the time, braiding these silly leather bracelets and threading beads into them. It was before she’d been seeing Jason. We’d been fifteen.
Yeah, I had been wearing it that long. Pining over a girl that wasn’t mine.
But shit I can still remember the feel of her gentle fingers touching me as she’d tied it off, and it had done stuff to my cock. I’d liked her before, but that was the day she’d got me. It was like her fingers had touched my heart too. I’d had this burning need for her ever since.
I should cut the thing off.
I glanced over at her. Her hands were in her lap and she stared ahead. I didn’t know what to say to her. I was too anxious to hold a meaningless conversation and I didn’t want to quiz her, ‘cause I was taking her away to forget all the stuff that made her feel bad.
I said a few things and she answered, but then I couldn’t think of anything to add. She said some things and I nodded, not knowing what to say back.
In the end we were quiet most of the drive.
I was relieved when I finally pulled up in the apartments’ parking lot on the coast.
“Wow, this is nice.”
The ocean rolled up onto the miles of beach before the parking lot. This place just calmed me. I’d come here the summer we’d left high school and it had been the best therapy. This beach and the ocean was my psychiatrist. I’d come back every summer since.
I hoped it was gonna work for her too.
I freed the door and as it opened the sound of the ocean swept into the SUV.
I looked at Lindy.
She was wide-eyed, watching the beach.
“Let’s go get our keys. I’ll get our stuff later.”
She looked at me, uncertainty creeping into her eyes, but she nodded.
I wanted to grip her hand as we walked across the parking lot. There was a whole minefield of protective energy bubbling around inside me. But it had blown up in my face before. I was steering clear of too much touching.
The thing with Lindy was she was so tiny it made me want to just put my arms around her and wrap her up. She was like a precious, breakable doll, five-two, to my six-one.
I glanced over at her. The ocean breeze flicked her wavy blonde hair against the curve of her cheek.
Her fingers tucked her hair behind her ear.
I’d wanted to do that for her. There was a hard need to touch her in my belly. But I’d spent years ignoring that instinct. That was nothing new.
She didn’t look at me. She looked ahead at the apartment block.
She’d won beauty pageants as a kid. Her Mom had been into all that shit, driving her to loads of contests and Lindy did have the look for that sort of thing, perfect symmetry.
At high school she’d been full of confidence. At college that had died for some reason.
She glanced at me, her blue eyes seeming bluer under the clear sky.
“I’ve ordered adjacent places, is that okay? I can ask them to change them if you want?”
“No, that’s okay.” She nodded.
The apartments were stacked and set out in rows spread along the edge of the beach. The guy at the desk said ours were on the top floor. The place was something between a hotel, a motel and cabins, and the rooms ‘slash’ apartments were accessed via a long hallway, with stairs at either end of the block.
When we got up there, I slid the card key through the lock, then stepped back and shoved the door open for her to go in. “You can have this one.”
It had a small kitchen and a sofa that turned into a bed. But most importantly, at the end of the room was a big window that looked out on the ocean. It had a balcony too.
“I’ll go get your stuff.” I left her in her room. But before I went back down to the SUV, I went into mine.
Shit. I combed a hand through my hair, then realized I’d fucked it up, and rubbed it so it spiked again.
It was going to be a hell of a couple of weeks.
Praise for the Series
"Dark, gritty and wholly mesmerizing, I Found You is a haunting and compelling read you will not easily forget!" ~ Bookish Jottings
"So interesting, so versatile, so exhilarating ... It kept me up all night." ~ Goodreads
"A fabulous book. Definitely not like any other romance..." ~ Goodreads
"It's a romance, but so very, very different to the norm." ~ Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews
"Emotional, romantic, and heartbreaking" ~ Imagine a World
About the Author
Jane is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult romance and author of a No.1 bestselling Historical Novel, The Illicit Love of a Courtesan, as well as a Kindle overall Top 25, bestselling author.
She began her first historical novel at sixteen, but a life full of adversity derailed her as she lives with the restrictions of Ankylosing Spondylitis.
When she finally completed a novel it was because she was determined not to reach forty still saying, "I want to write."
Now Jane is writing a Regency series as well as contemporary, new adult, stories and she is thrilled to be giving her characters life in others' imaginations at last.
You might think that Jane was inspired to write by Jane Austen, especially as she lives near Bath in the United Kingdom, but you would be wrong. Jane's favorite author is Anya Seton, and the book which drew her into the bliss of falling into historical imagination was Katherine, a story crafted from reality.
Jane has drawn on this inspiration to discover other real-life love stories, reading memoirs and letters to capture elements of the past, and she uses these to create more realistic plots.
"Basically I love history and I am sucker for a love story. I love the feeling of falling in love; it's wonderful being able to do it time and time again in fiction."
Jane is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development in the United Kingdom, and uses this specialist understanding of people to bring her characters to life.
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