Authors: Franca Storm
a REVIVE ME novel
This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
Bad Impressions. A Revive Me Novel.
Copyright © Francesca Julia Gale (2015). All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of the author.
Cover Design by Francesca Julia Gale
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The sale of this book without its cover is unauthorized. If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that it was reported to the publisher as “unsold and destroyed”. Neither the author nor the publisher has received payment for the sale of this “stripped book”.
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She’s the one girl he never should’ve touched.
And the one girl he’s never been able to forget…
Having escaped a bad situation with an obsessive ex, Sophie Clinton is relieved when she returns to the safety of her hometown to lick her wounds. Until she runs into Brad, the man who took her virginity and broke her heart. The last thing she wants is to deal with him and all the drama of their past. But her older brother’s best friend isn’t easy to resist—or to avoid, in their tiny town.
When his best friend’s little sister returns to town, Brad Marsh knows he should keep his distance this time around. A year ago he crossed a major line with her. He’s been unable to shake the guilt of their drunken, misguided night of passion. He’s not about to make that same mistake again. But the fiery, all-consuming pull between them is stronger than ever. It might not be that easy for him to keep his hands off her.
I shouldn’t be here.
But my damn feet kept walking, ignoring the siren-worthy warning flashing through my mind, pumping adrenaline through my veins. I was on edge. Uncomfortable in my own skin. It wasn’t a familiar feeling to me. I wasn’t the kind of guy who felt ill at ease in any situation. Hell, I was an arrogant prick most of the time. Nothing could faze me.
The town square was packed with people. Everyone and their damn mother was out tonight. Booths were scattered throughout, offering home-made lemonade, baked goods, and a whole lot of other shit. There was even a barbecue and a bunch of kegs. Tiff was manning that area tonight. I could see her flirting with two guys as she filled a couple of clear plastic cups worth of the domestic shit we’d offered up tonight.
The two of us bartended at the local pub in town,
. Luckily for me, she’d jumped at the chance to supervise the kegs tonight. She was a social butterfly. Well, that was a bit of an understatement. She was a ball-busting, loud-mouthed woman. She never shut up. Sometimes, when we were working a shift together, I swear to God, she wouldn’t even stop to take a goddamn breath when she really got into it. Half the time, I had no idea what she was even blabbering on about. Of course, that was likely because I’d developed the ability to completely block her out, having learned how to nod and murmur something at the perfect time so she believed I was listening to whatever the hell she was spouting off about that given night. I knew of one sure-fire way to shut her up, but she’d never go there with me. Why? Because of her crush on Ollie Clinton. My best friend. And screwing the best friend was a definitive way to ensure that nothing would ever happen between them. I got it. What I didn’t get was that, for a woman known for her bubbly, no-nonsense personality, why hadn’t she ever made a move on him in all these years?
hat did I care?
But thinking about her shit was a good distraction. It took my mind off other
Marsden’s annual Fall Fair had been hijacked tonight.
The golden child had returned. The woman that everyone loved and had fawned over since she was a kid. The one person who had managed to get out of our dead-end town.
. Because now she was back. Indefinitely, according to Ollie.
Who the hell would want to come back here? What the hell had she been thinking?
Ollie’s little sister, Sophie Clinton.
The good girl.
A woman who wasn’t supposed to get mixed up with the proverbial bad-boy types in our town.
But she had got mixed up with one of them.
Once. One night.
The biggest mistake of my life.
If Ollie knew about that night, I’d be a dead man.
Sure, I wasn’t a guy who played by anyone’s rules, but crossing
line, with his fucking sister had been one step too far.
It’d happened about a year ago. I’d been drunk off my ass and fucked up dealing with the shit that’d been happening in my life at the time. She’d been home from college for the summer. I knew she’d had a thing for me since high school, but I’d ignored it. Until that night. And, hell, something had just snapped in me.
I need to stop thinking about this shit.
Just knowing she was back—somewhere in the crowd—was dredging up everything I’d worked so damn hard to put behind me.
Normally, I didn’t give the women I’d fucked a second thought once the deed was done. But with Soph, it’d taken a long time to get her out of my head. And now I finally had, I wasn’t about to go back on it.
No, I’d get it over with as quickly as possible, welcome her back and then get the hell out of here.
I made my way over to the kegs. Tiff hooked me up with a beer. Thankfully, any attempt at a long-winded conversation was cut short by former high school football hero, Roy Williams, making a move to chat her up.
Phew. Lucky break. Keep them coming.
I spotted Ollie drinking a beer on the steps of one of the gazebos. The damn thing was all doled up with flowery wreaths of some sort. The town had gone all out as usual.
“Hey, man. Great party,” I greeted him as I slumped onto the steps beside him.
“Thanks.” A light chuckle escaped him as he said, “Soph’s pissed at me.”
God, just hearing her name messed with my insides. “How come?” I asked, as casually as possible.
“You know how she hates being made a fuss of.”
Ollie rubbed his shaved head roughly and blew out a breath. “I can’t believe she’s back here.”
“Why is she?”
“She told me she needs to clear her head. Something about a bad breakup with that dick she’s been dating. They moved in together less than a couple of months ago once they graduated and it’s already over.”
Yeah, the guy she’d been seeing when she’d climbed into
She continued seeing him after that? Unbelievable. Wait, why do I care? I don’t. I don’t care. Get a grip.
Thankfully, I was saved from responding, when Ollie continued, “I know she’s not telling me the whole story. She’s been…off…since she got back last night. It makes me think I should be heading down to that damn city and fucking up that dickhead.”
Ollie was still the overprotective big brother he had been since her high school days. Well, more like a
, really. He’d taken on the role when their parents had died in that awful car accident during Ollie’s graduating year of high school.
“She’s a big girl now, Ollie.”
“She’ll always be my little sister. I’ll always reserve the right to deal with any guy who lays his hands on her.”
I swallowed hard at his words. “Yeah.”
My eyes darted through the crowded town square, searching for a distraction.
Unfortunately, the only thing I found was potential drama in the form of Crazy Claire Guildford. She was sauntering through the square, barely balancing on her insanely high hot pink heels and fiddling nervously with her matching strapless, skin tight dress. Her dyed blonde hair was primped beyond belief and her face was caked in makeup. Her bouncing, bra-less tits didn’t escape my attention and the memory of having each one in my mouth flashed in my mind. But it did shit for my dick. It turned me the fuck off, actually. Why? Because she was obsessed. Ever since we’d hooked up once,
ago, she’d been on my back wanting another go at it. Once was bad enough. She was married. Sure, her investment banker husband was never around and banging his secretary on a regular basis, but still.
It was becoming clear to me that, perhaps, I needed to start playing by the rules. Not doing so was bringing me all kinds of karmic repercussions.
I shot to my feet. “That’s my queue to relocate to somewhere less visible.”
Ollie followed my line of sight and rolled his eyes. He fixed me with that all-too-familiar judgmental look of his. He was a guy who always played by the rules. “I warned you about Crazy Claire, Brad.”
“Yeah, well. It’s a bit late for your
crap right now. It was
“She’s definitely persistent. Maybe you should file a restraining order.”
I didn’t wait to hear his response. The crazy bitch was getting closer. I heard him laughing as I took off, searching for cover.