Stay by Hilary Wynne
(Alexa Reed #1)
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Set against the steamy and sultry world of South Beach, Florida, a modern romance unfolds in Stay.
Alexa is beautiful, independent and hard to resist for serially unattached Julian. Neither one is looking for a relationship, but their palpable chemistry and instant emotional connection is too strong to ignore. For the first time in years, Julian is interested in more than just sex. He wants a relationship with intoxicating Alexa, but it’s not that simple. Not only are Julian and Alexa struggling with the intensity of this new relationship, but they also have to contend with Luke, Alexa’s best friend, whose own love for her leaves him willing to do anything to convince her that Julian is not the man for her. Luke’s determination and Alexa’s secret past threaten to tear Julian and Alexa apart as she struggles to open her heart to love. Julian and Alexa embark upon a roller-coaster ride of emotional and physical passion that both pulls them apart and holds them together. Despite their affinity for each other, Alexa fears that Julian will leave when he learns about her past and Julian is unsure he can love a woman who in so many ways remains a mystery, a woman who keeps threatening to run, a woman who can’t decide if she is going to STAY.
I don’t want to admit I’m not ready for him to leave. I want to spend every second I can with him and that means walking with him to his car.
I try to mask my sadness by being funny. “Now what kind of date would I be if I didn’t at least walk you to your car after all of that?” I point and twirl my finger at my rumpled sheets, making reference to the sex we just had.
He laughs as he put his clothes back on. “A tired date. I guess you didn’t get enough of a workout. Maybe we should go again.”
“Hmm … I assure you I was worked out good, Julian. But if you think you can go again, I’m in.” I’m only half kidding. I really do want him to stay.
He walks over to me, pulls me to a standing position, and holds me close. His eyes are blazing, and I can feel him hardening against me. “I can go all night, baby. You should think about that before you challenge me.”
“I’m going to require some proof of that, maybe not tonight, but soon.”
“I’ll be happy to give you all the proof you need. As a matter of fact, I’m looking forward to it. But right now, I’m going to walk out of here before I end up back in your bed.”
Julian holds my hand tightly as we walk outside to his car. He gets inside and rolls the window down. He reaches out and pulls my face to him so he can kiss me again. I feel his tongue in my mouth, and I only let it last for a minute before I pull away.
“I’m going to drag you back to my bed and make you stay if you keep kissing me like that, Julian.” He groans but lets me pull away.
“Please don’t take this the wrong way, but you did great tonight.” I know exactly what he means, and if I’m being honest, it makes me feel good to hear him say it. I did do well. He doesn’t mean sexually either. He means emotionally. I didn’t freak out once.
I smile and answer him. “I did, didn’t I? Yeah me!” After one night of emotional honesty, I’m finding myself able to joke, out loud, about my limitations. It’s kind of overwhelming, and I feel a rush of tears spring to my eyes. Julian notices and flashes me a reassuring smile. He turns the car on and fastens his seatbelt. I exhale sharply. He really is going to leave now. My heart swells, and I realize I already miss him. I’m falling for this man, hard and fast.
Before he rolls up his window, Julian motions for me to lean in. I think he’s going to try to kiss me again, so I don’t get too close. He doesn’t try to kiss me though. “You know now that this is really going to happen, right, Alexa?” He points to himself and then to me. “And it’s going to be amazing.”
“Not just amazing, Julian. It’s going to be epic.”
Have you ever woken up one day and said, “Today’s the day I’m going to do (insert thing here)?” Well, I did, and the result is my first novel, Stay. I always thought of myself as a decent writer, and then a trip down memory lane through my ninth grade book of poetry confirmed it. I realize that I have always had a romantic side and a way with words. With support from my husband and kids (and an unspoken agreement to leave me alone for a few hours every night), I embarked on this incredible writing journey.
I’m originally from sunny Southern California and spent my summers in South Florida. I attended college at FSU and received my Masters in New Mexico. I finally settled in the Washington, DC area. My happy place has always been anywhere near the water.
When I’m not writing, I help run a business with my husband, watch an inordinate amount of sports (my kids play something 365 days a year), indulge my competitive spirit on the tennis court, and spend time with my awesome family and friends.
I am an avid reader, but find my characters feel neglected when I hang out with other author’s characters for too long. When I do read, historical fiction is my favorite genre. I love traveling and experiencing different cultures, places, and times.
I feel so blessed that my love of books inspired me to finally do something that I forgot I had always dreamed about doing.
My someday has arrived!
One (1) ebook copy of Stay. Open internationally