Publisher: Self-Published on July 27, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Young Adult
Pages: Novel Length
Source: Blog Tour
Add to: Goodreads
“So you wanna be part of the Six, huh? You wish…”
~Jared, Ace, Mark, Josh, Aiden & Eli
Riley Clifton can’t remember a time when she wasn’t a part of the Six, a group of rowdy boys who would do just about anything for her. Growing up alongside of six guys is never easy. Especially in high school. Falling in love with one of the Six? Even harder when Ace has a hold of her heart, and he doesn’t even know it.
Jake (Ace) Aceton has loved Riley for a long time, but has kept the secret oath of the Six. Riley was off limits. At least until after graduation. When he overhears Riley admitting to her best friend, Paige how she feels about him, Ace doesn’t let his chance slip by. Riley, in his mind, has always been his.
When her college plan falls through, and her future is left to the hands of fate, Riley finds herself scrambling to keep up with all the changes. But that’s not the hardest part. The hardest part is saying good-bye, especially to Ace.
Heartache, hard lessons, and a love deeper than her Alabama roots will threaten to crumble Riley’s world as she waits for Ace’s return.
Will Riley and Ace’s love be strong enough to hold them together when life tries to tear them apart?
YOU DO REALIZE THAT NONE of us drink like that, right?” Eli pulled another bottle of rum out of the box and shook his head at Jared.
“That’s exactly why we’re doing this. And it’s like a right of passage for friends. We’re all about to go our separate ways, so why not?” Jared snatched the bottle out of Eli’s hands.
“I’m not carting your drunk ass to bed, but I’ll laugh at you when you pass out,” Aiden said as he pulled the bottle from Jared’s hands. “Can we hold off on the puke fest until we eat?”
Jared snorted. “Pus—”
“Jared!” Ace’s voice stopped Jared from finishing the word.
Jared huffed and set the bottles back inside the box. “Anyway, yabunchapansies,” he rushed his insult out so it wouldn’t get shut down, “the point is, this week is about us having fun—unsupervised, crazy-ass fun. Things we can look back at and laugh about.”
A somber mood hung in the air. Jared was just as affected by everyone moving on, and he wanted to make the most of what little time we had left.
“I think it’s a great idea, Jared,” I piped up, and they all turned to look at me. “I don’t know about you guys, but I think a little fun is in order.”
The room seemed to brighten again when they smiled.
I walked over to the fridge, pulled out a package of hamburger, and grabbed a plate. “Can one of you guys go fire up the grill?”
My question put them all in motion. Back to normal. The jokes started, and we moved around each other like we’d always done. I breathed it all in and held it close.
The kitchen cleared out except for Ace. He hadn’t moved from his position against the counter. “You’re amazing.”
I smiled at him. “Why’s that?”
“You just have this ability to make it all work out. Like you’re the center of our gravity.”
I blushed at his admission. I never felt like that. I knew I was a part of them, but a bystander of sorts. “Yeah, well, someone has to keep them in line.”
“I’ll make those if you want to go put our clothes away,” Ace said as he turned to the sink and washed his hands.
Our clothes. A shiver ran down my spine.
“Go get us settled in, Riley. I got this.” Ace leaned down and kissed me. My eyes darted to the screen door, waiting for someone to say something.
Ace saw my reaction and smirked at me. “They all know, Riley. You can see it in their faces without them saying a word.”
He was right, but it still felt weird. Like we had to sneak around behind their backs, so they didn’t find out. But that wasn’t the case. They’d seen something change between Ace and me without knowing what had happened. And I damn sure wasn’t going to hide how I felt about Ace and be miserable the entire time we were all together, only to be happy in stolen moments when no one was around. I rose up on my tiptoes and pulled him in for a melting kiss. Growling against my lips, he pulled me against him.
“Hey, grab me the… Never mind,” Aiden’s voice halted, but neither of us turned to acknowledge him.
I broke the kiss. Teasingly, Ace ran his hands down my backside and squeezed. “You’ll pay for that later.” He nipped at my lips and groaned when I backed out of his arms.
Through the kitchen window, I heard Aiden speak. “I can’t get the tinfoil right now ’cause Riley and Ace are practically sucking each other’s faces off in there.”
My hand flew up to my mouth as a laugh bubbled up. “Well, if they didn’t know, they do now.”
I left Ace in the kitchen and went to unpack our stuff.
“Hey asshole, come get the tinfoil.” I heard Ace holler as the screen door creaked open.
I waited, listening for whatever comment would come next. The screen door closed, and I heard Ace moving around in the kitchen. Maybe they wouldn’t say anything at all. The silence was shattered when Mark shouted loud enough for me to hear all the way at the back of the cabin. “Boys, we have a problem. I think Ace ate Riley ’cause she wasn’t in the kitchen.”
“I bet he did…” Jared’s reply was followed by a hoot of laughter.
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