Series: A Touch of Fate #1
Author: K.L. Grayson
Genre: Romance, New Adult
**This book contains sensitive subject matters** This book is a standalone novel.
Regret . . . she’s a snarky little bitch. I’ve tried several times to regret the events that took place on June 5, 2008, but for the life of me, I can’t. I’d never regret the pain, the suffering, or the heartache because they ultimately led me to the place I am now. And I can’t regret the place I am now. What I still can’t figure out is this: how is it possible that the single worst day of my life inadvertently became the very best day? Five years ago my life was irrevocably changed. Seventeen minutes was all it took— to lose my best friend… to lose the love of my life… Seventeen minutes was all it took for the seeds of hope—the seeds of my future—to be planted in the worst possible way.
I really wasn’t sure from the book description exactly what I was getting, but I damn glad I opened this book and took a shot with an author I was unfamiliar with. Some very serious subject matter is at the heart of this book, so be forewarned there could be triggers, but like Harley recognizes, out of her pain and suffering came something really incredible. So . . . no regrets.
Harley and Tyson have been best friends since preschool, but they’re graduating from college, Harley with a nursing degree and Tyson a BS in Biology—PreMed. With a little liquid courage, Harley finally confesses the feelings she’s always had for Tyson, but was too afraid to admit and risk their friendship. She begs him for a chance. But already tonight Tyson has told her he’s leaving with his girlfriend Brit where they’ve applied to Med school at Columbia. He refuses to change his plans and hurt Brit that way and buries his own feelings. Harley is left devastated and very vulnerable. “Seventeen minutes was all it took . . .”
With the support of some truly amazing friends, Quinn and Levi, she pulls herself out of the despair she was in and makes a life for herself. Fast forward five years and her past history has walked into her ER wearing scrubs, sporting a handsome smile and a ton of regret. But Harley is keeping secrets, even from those who stuck by her side in her darkest moments . . . and it could all be exposed, cause you never know what will come out of the mouth of babes.
I’ve got to say there were times when I wasn’t sure which direction or with whom Harley would take. Sometimes men can be so dense! And that Max character! LOL!! Loved him, his gorgeous eyes and mile-a-minute antics! It didn’t end in an HEA, but a HFN for sure, with the promise of more of this couple to come.
“Quinn’s on her way.” Walking to the stove, I hip-bump Levi and lift the lid to the saucepan. “This smells amazing! What is it?” He hands me a spoon and I stir the creamy white sauce.
“It’s a provel mushroom cheese sauce, and it’s to-die-for,” he tells me. “That’s good, don’t stir it too much.” Replacing the lid, I hop up on the counter next to the stove and grab the glass of wine next to Levi.
“It’s okay, I didn’t want that glass of wine anyway,” he says with a smirk, not taking his eyes off of the vegetables he’s chopping. A comfortable silence surrounds us and Levi loses himself in his cooking as I watch.
A loud growl echoes off the kitchen walls, and both Levi and I turn our heads simultaneously.
“No! You—” Quinn says firmly, pointing to Levi, “—turn back around. I wasn’t done admiring your derrière.” Levi smirks and turns back around before giving his butt a little shake.
“Max didn’t let you in, did he? Because he knows better—” Quinn waves her hand, effectively cutting me off. ”
No. No. No. Don’t get your panties in a bunch, Mama Bear, I let myself in. I practically live here anyway.”
Setting a bottle of wine down on the table, Quinn makes her way over to me and gives me a quick hug. Turning to the stove, she lifts the lid on the saucepan.
“Stay out of there!” Levi says, slapping her hand away. Quinn pouts her full lips at him, but he’s completely immune. “Nice try, but the answer is still ‘no.'”
Gripping my waist, Levi lifts me off the counter and guides me to a kitchen chair, pushing me into it. Without a word, he walks over to Quinn and proceeds to do the same thing to her.
Quinn looks at me, raising her eyebrows in question, and I shrug my shoulders. Levi grabs two wine glasses and uncorks Quinn’s bottle of wine, pouring each of us a glass. We watch silently as he sets a glass down in front of each of us and then gently removes his wine glass from my hand.
“Uhh…” I start to protest, but Levi quickly raises his finger to my lips and hushes me. My eyes widen and Quinn smiles in amusement.
“This is your space,” he says, waving his hands in our direction, “and this is my space.” He gestures to the opposite side of the kitchen before continuing. “This is your wine,” he says, pointing to the glasses now in front of us, “and this is my wine.” Lifting his goblet in the air, he brings the wine glass to his lips before turning and heading back to the stove.
“He’s very serious when he’s cooking,” I whisper to Quinn while keeping a close eye on Levi. “He says cooking is an art and too many distractions will disrupt the beauty of his final product.”
Quinn’s head slowly turns in my direction and a mischievous grin creeps across her face. “Let’s see if we can ruffle his feathers a little bit.” Quinn begins taunting him before I even have a chance to respond. “When did you get so damn bossy?” she shouts, her arms crossed over her chest, a smile playing at the side of her mouth. “You’re acting like someone pissed in your Cheerios this morning.” We both watch as Levi continues to stir the sauce, seemingly oblivious to Quinn’s antics.
Quinn looks at me and winks. Our heads whip back toward Levi at the sound of the stirring spoon being dropped on the counter. In three long strides, Levi has Quinn pinned in her chair. With a hand on each of her armrests, he leans in toward her, effectively caging her in.
Quinn’s eyes widen and she tilts her head back to look up at him. He stares at her intensely, his deep blue eyes boring into hers, commanding her attention. I can’t help but smirk because I’ve been on the receiving end of this side of Levi, and Quinn has no idea what he’s about to do to her.
“First,” he says, lifting up one finger. “I don’t eat cereal. I am a man, Quinn.” He grabs her hand and puts it on his chest, running it across from his left pec to his right. “I am a six-foot-one inch, two-hundred-pound man.” Quinn’s eyes are riveted to their joined hands and a small gasp leaves her mouth as Levi slowly drags her hand down his chest. “And because I am a man, I eat a man’s breakfast, which does not consist of pissed-on cereal. Second,” he says, continuing to slide Quinn’s hand down his stomach. She whimpers when her hand reaches his rock-hard abs.
I’ve felt that stomach many times so I know exactly what the fuss is all about. Levi drops her hand and she hesitates before letting it fall limp at her side. Leaning forward, his lips graze the shell of her ear. “I’ve always been bossy, sweet Quinn. I usually just save my dominating tendencies for the bedroom. And trust me when I tell you…that little scene isn’t even a tenth of what I’m capable of.” Levi gently nips Quinn’s earlobe and then turns back to the stove.
Quinn’s head sags back against the chair and she closes her eyes. “I think I need to change my panties,” she whispers, squeezing her thighs together. Levi’s boisterous laugh rings loudly and I pat Quinn’s knee in understanding.
“Yo, Max!” Levi yells. “Dinner’s ready!” I drag Quinn out of her chair and we begin setting the table as Levi puts the finishing touches on the food.
“What are we having?” Max sits down and scrunches his nose as Levi puts a helping of chicken and vegetables on his plate.
“It’s baked chicken smothered in a provel mushroom cheese sauce,” Levi explains proudly.
“Ewww, that’s disgusting,” Max says, pushing his plate away from him.
Levi straightens his back, crossing his arms over his broad chest, and glares at Max. “Max, have I ever fed you anything that’s disgusting?”
“Umm…” Max taps his chin for a moment before he smiles proudly and points at Levi. “That one time at your house. You had that tube of pink stuff, remember?” Furrowing my brows, I cock my head at Levi. What the heck is Max talking about?
Levi’s eyes widen but before he can say anything, Max keeps talking. “You remember, Uncle Levi? That gooey pink stuff that was supposed to taste like strawberries. It made my lips feel funny. Don’t you remember?”
Quinn attempts to muffle her laughter with her hand and my jaw drops open in disbelief. Levi sticks his arm out as though I’m about to attack and he could actually keep me away from him. “Max. Dude. That was our little secret,” he admonishes, taking a few steps back. Stupid man, he should turn tail and run!
“Sorry, Uncle Levi.” Max shrugs as I push his plate back in front of him.
Grabbing Levi’s arm, I yank him over to the doorway. “Really, Levi, nipple butter? You let my son eat nipple butter?” I hiss incredulously.
“It’s your fault,” he whisper-yells back.
“What?” I scoff, hands on hips. “How was that my fault?”
Levi pushes me further out of the kitchen and into the living room. “Oh God! Yes, Levi! Don’t stop!” He moans softly, throwing his head back in exaggeration. “Does that sound familiar to you?”
I stare at Levi. I have no comeback. I did. I said all of that.
His face turns triumphant and he pats me once on the butt before returning to the kitchen. Damn him!