Title - Promise Me Always
Author - Kari March
Genre - New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Release Date - Feb 11th 2014
Blake Bentley had a rough upbringing, never fully believing he was good enough for anything or anyone. After being left with a broken heart by his only girlfriend, Blake swore off relationships for good and turned to the only two things that made him feel sufficient - sex and firefighting.
Tessa Collins was brought up in the traditional 'perfect' family - loving parents, great sister, and amazing friends. After falling in love with Jared, her life was perfect - until he betrayed her. She has no idea that his betrayal could end up costing her more than just a shattered heart.
Blake and Tessa have been friends since high school. Never wanting to admit their attraction for each other, the two always remained close friends. Now, three years later, Blake and Tessa find themselves being pulled together by a force much greater than friendship.
Blake and Tessa have promised to be friends forever, but as fate pulls them together, they embark on a roller coaster ride of a lifetime. Will his self doubt and her insecurities keep them apart? Or will they be able to promise each other always?
**content is for +18yrs. **
Excerpt Tessa POV
Blake led me through the ballroom and out into the hotel lobby. He pulled me into a corner before we got to the front desk, and slowly turned to look at me, his eyes searching mine. He lightly placed his hands on my shoulders, like he was trying to ensure he had my undivided attention. “Tess, are you sure you want to stay here? It is your call. We can get in the limo now and I can take you home. I’ll do whatever you want to do, baby girl. I don’t want you to do anything you're not comfortable with.”
I tried my hardest to fight back the laughter. I know he was trying to be a gentleman, but really what did he take me for—a virgin? He knew all too well that I wasn’t. “That's really sweet, Blake, but I am a big girl and I think I can handle sleeping in the same room with you. I promise, if I ever feel uncomfortable with anything that we are doing, I will have no problem voicing my opinion.” I gave him a sexy smile, hoping he would get the double meaning behind my statement.
“You promise?” he asked, tilting his head to the side and looking at me with that smile that made me weak in the knees. I was getting the feeling that he understood exactly what I was saying.
“Always,” I replied as I looked up at him. His dark eyes were staring at me with desire. The movement of his tongue reaching out to lick his lips drew my attention down to his perfect mouth. God, how I wanted to taste him again! But there was no way I was making the first move. Not again. I noticed his eyes shift down to my mouth and I lightly bit my bottom lip. He slid his hand from my shoulder to the back of my neck, while his other hand reached up and gently cradled my face. He slowly leaned down and placed his lips on mine. I opened my mouth slightly, allowing him to enter further. That was all he needed. He invaded my mouth with his tongue, and as he deepened the kiss, I knew in his own way he was claiming me. He was forceful and aggressive, yet slow and tender as he savored every move he made. My whole body was shaking and my sex was aching. I had never been kissed like that before.
The hand that had been cradling my face was now on my lower back, pulling my body closer to him. My arms were clutched around his neck and my hands were working their way through his dark hair. I never wanted this kiss to end.
We were in our own little world where no one else existed. As his hand moved down to my ass, my body quivered with excitement. I wanted him here and now. Then I remembered where we were—a hotel lobby with lots of people around. He must have felt me tense up a little because he slowly ended the kiss. Resting his forehead on mine, he looked down at me. We were both breathing heavy as we stared at each other.
“I have wanted to do that ever since you opened your door tonight,” he whispered.
Excerpt Blake POV
When I got home, Devin was sitting on the couch in our living room watching Duck Dynasty and laughing uncontrollably. He was showered and ready for the day and it was only eleven am. I didn’t understand how he could wake up so damn early when he drank. I could sleep all fucking day after a heavy night of drinking. Devin, on the other hand, always woke up by at least seven when he drank. Even if he was up all night long, he was still awake bright and early. Personally, I thought he had been cursed.
“Hey, bro! Have a good time last night?” he asked, wiggling his eye brows at me while he reached over and muted the TV. “It sure seemed like you and Tess were getting pretty cozy last night out on the balcony. I noticed you slept in her room last night. You get any?”
“Shit, Dev, you know we are just friends. She isn’t like that, asshole!” I snapped back. I sat down on the couch and stared at him. Did he really just ask me that? I was so mad. If he wasn’t my brother, I would’ve punched him.
“Uh, yeah, okay…whatever you say, man.” Devin rolled his eyes at me. “Blake, sometimes, I swear I know you better than you know yourself. I see how you look at that girl and I see the way she looks at you. There is way more than friendship there, bro. Wake the fuck up!”
I hated the fact that my brother knew me so well. When we were little, he always used to finish my sentences and it always freaked me out. I never understood how he could do that. I spent most of my childhood believing he was fucking psychic.
“It just isn’t good timing. First of all, she just got cheated on, again, by that douchebag. And she has made it perfectly clear, on more than one occasion that she just wants to be friends.” I put my head in my hands. I was so confused. I sighed, obviously frustrated, and just looked at Devin. “I don’t know what to do. She keeps sending me these crazy mixed signals. One minute she acts like she fucking wants me and the next minute she tells me she doesn’t need any more complications in her life.”
“Dude, no offense, but it sounds like she’s just as confused as you are. Maybe you should just take things into your own hands. If you want her, then let her know. Stop being such a pussy and make a move. You’re Blake Bentley for fuck sakes; you have women eating out of your hand on a daily basis. I taught you better than this,” he said, shaking his head dramatically. “This should be a cake walk for you.” He sat up and looked at me with an, I’m sorry you’re so pathetic, look on his face.
“It isn’t like that with her, Devin. She’s different. I don’t want to just fuck her…. If I mess this up with her, if I lose her, it will destroy me.” I looked back down at the floor. I closed my eyes and memories of Tess filled my mind.
The first time I saw her, all of our drunken conversations, talking about that Bruno Mars song, the way she looked in the sunlight leaning up against my truck….. I smiled as images of her flashed like pulsing lights. The way she tasted as she kissed me for the first time, the way I fit perfectly inside her, her smile, her smart ass mouth, the way she fit like a puzzle piece in my arms when I held her, how it killed me to see her crying yesterday over that jackass……. and then it finally hit me like a ton of bricks. My heart started beating so fast it felt like it was on fire.
I fucking wanted this girl. No, I needed her and I was going to do everything in my power to fucking make her mine.
I am a new adult contemporary author that is currently working on my first novel, Promise Me Always. I am a wife, mother of 2 amazing kiddos, photographer and owner at , graphic designer and cover designer at , as well as an avid reader and blogger at! I have been married since 2004 to the most amazing man ever and together we have two amazing children.
I was born in Aurora, CO and still reside their today with my amazing family. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the world. I have become accustom to bi-polar weather living here and I absolutely love getting all four seasons (although winters could be a bit shorter.)
I have a small obsession with Starbucks and gummy bears! They make the perfect writing snack! Wine helps a lot too especially with the late night writing sessions. I love the summer and everything that goes along with it, camping, swimming, boating, hiking, etc. I love to travel and Disneyland is one of my family's favorite places to visit together. I have a dream of visiting so many places in the world such as Italy, Greece, Australia, Fiji, Bora Bora and New Zealand (just to name a few.)
I have met so many amazing people in this journey so far and I cannot wait to see what the future holds.
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