STOLEN WISHES blurb
**Contains sexual content and adult language and situations. Intended for mature readers.**
A sexy smile. Intense blue eyes. A goodness that makes him want to save me from these rumors when no one else would care. I didn't ask for a hero. William Bailey was never supposed to be anything more than a wish, a dream, an unrequited crush. Not for a girl like me--a girl whose fractured family has stolen her chance at a decent life.
Since the death of my parents, I've always done what’s expected of me, what's "best" for me. Until Cally. The moment her haunted eyes meet mine, the fractured pieces of my heart feel whole again. I don’t just want to save her. I need her to save me.
Stolen chances. Unbroken wishes. Two lonely souls grasping for hope in the darkness.
**This novella takes place seven years before the events in WISH I MAY and shows William and Cally falling in love for the first time. It can be read before or after WISH I MAY or on its own.**
STOLEN WISHES Excerpt 1
“Hey, William,” a girl calls from the kitchen. “Why don’t you come in here and take a shot?”
I hardly have a chance to tense before Will pulls me closer. “Can’t do that, Meredith. My date’s here.”
Lizzy and Hanna both turn to us at his words, and I feel my own eyes go wide.
“I’d consider it a personal favor if you could roll with this,” he whispers into my ear. “Meredith has been trying to get me to do body shots since she got here two hours ago.”
“You don’t drink?” I ask, not that it’s my business. I’ve just never been to a party with alcohol before, and I’m not sure what to expect. From the stories I’ve heard, I half expected everyone to be wasted by the time we got here.
“It’s not the drinking that I mind. She’s just not my type.” When I frown at him, confused, his lips quirk in a half-smile. “You do know what a body shot is, don’t you?”
I shake my head.
“Want to find out?” His fingers trail over the sensitive dip in my spine as he asks, and I nod. I would probably agree to anything he asked me right now.
He takes me to the kitchen, his hot hand never leaving the small of my back.
Lizzy and Hanna step back and study us as he leads me to the island. I’d feel guilty about abandoning them tonight, but they seem to be having a great time.
“Where’s the tequila, Max?” Will calls.
Max hoists a bottle of amber liquid in the air and snags a shot glass off the counter.
“Do you know what a snakebite is?” Will asks me quietly. He’s standing close so only I can hear him when he talks.
I bite my lip. “I don’t really go to many parties.”
Next to us, Max fills the shot glass with tequila.
“A snakebite is a shot of tequila that you take with salt and lime,” Will explains to me.
“What makes it a body shot?” I ask.
His throat moves as he swallows, and his blue eyes go darker somehow, his pupils getting bigger. His lips part as he studies mine. “It’s a body shot if you take all the parts of the snakebite off someone else’s body.”
That makes my pulse kick up a notch. I’m still trying to puzzle out the logistics when Max calls, “No hands, Bailey.”
Will winks at me. “And I can’t use my hands for anything but putting the salt on you. Are you still game?”
I nod wordlessly, and I’m rewarded with one of Will’s full-out grins. I don’t need to know details to understand his mouth is going to be on me, and I like the idea of that. A lot.
Will’s hands slide to my waist and tighten, and before I realize what he’s doing, he’s hoisting me up on the counter. I squeak, and the girls cheer. All of them except Kristen and Meredith, that is. They’re leaning against the fridge, scowling at me like I killed their puppy.
Max hands me the shot glass and looks at me expectantly.
“Do I hold it?” I whisper.
“If you want,” Max says. “But I think you shouldn’t make it so easy on my boy here.”
Will shakes his head. “Whatever you’re comfortable with.”
Lizzy rushes over and cups her hand around my ear. “Slide it between your breasts. Trust me.”
I gape at her, and she shrugs innocently before joining Hanna at the edge of the kitchen.
I may be inexperienced, but I’m not naïve and I get what this game is about. My cheeks heat as I slide the glass into my cleavage. It’s cool against my hot skin, and Will’s eyes burn into me as he watches me position it.
Max offers me a lime wedge.
“Do you need your friend to tell you what to do with that too?” Kristen calls.
“Shut up, Kristen,” Will says. “You didn’t know what you were doing your first time either.”
But she’s right. Lizzy shouldn’t have to tell me what to do. I take the lime and put it between my teeth, facing out. The citrusy pulp presses against my lips, making them tingle. Or maybe the tingle is from the idea of William’s lips close to mine.
Will grins and brushes my hair off my neck. “Ready or not.”
Stolen Wishes EXCERPT 2
“Thank you for tonight,” she says. “Most guys wouldn’t have gone to such lengths because of a stupid rumor.”
“You think I wanted to date you to satisfy the rumor mill?”
She focuses on the pavement in front of us, avoiding my gaze. “Didn’t you?”
“You’re not that naïve, are you?” That gets her to look at me. Her eyes are narrow and frustrated. “Cally, I took you to dinner tonight because I wanted to. I don’t like what they’re saying about you, but my reasons for asking you out were more selfish than they were noble.”
She stops and leans one shoulder against the trunk of a thick maple as she studies me. “How were they selfish?”
“I wanted a chance to have some time alone with a pretty girl.”
She stares at me for two heartbeats. “I really like you, William Bailey.”
I tuck a lock of hair behind her ear then shove my hands in my pockets to keep myself from touching her more. “I like you too, Cally Fisher.”
Her teeth sink down into her bottom lip and her eyes drop to my mouth.
I fist my hands in my pockets and exhale slowly. “I really want to kiss you right now.”
“I really want you to,” she whispers, flicking her eyes to mine.
I take a cautious step forward and press my hands against the tree trunk on either side of her head, then slowly lower my mouth until it’s a breath above hers. “Has anyone ever kissed you before?”
Jealousy burns in my gut. It’s silly, but it’s there at the thought of another guy touching his lips to hers. “Who?”
“Davey Mills kissed me on the lips behind the school in second grade.” Her eyes flash with mischief and she bites back her smile.
“Lucky Davey,” I grumble.
Excerpts © Lexi Ryan, 2013
Links for Stolen Wishes
I grew up wishing on stars. My father taught me to believe...in destiny, in magic, in happily ever after. Dreams were my scripture and the starry night sky was my temple.
Then Mom stopped believing, left him, and took us with her. At the age of sixteen, I cashed in my dreams to pay the rent, pawned my destiny to keep my sisters together. Now, seven years later, I'm returning home, grieving the death of my mother, and settling my sisters back into the life Mom threw away.
I never intended to stay. I don't want to deal with my father, who is so invested in the spiritual world he forgets the physical.
I don't want to face William Bailey, whose eyes remind me of the girl I was, the things I've done, and the future I lost. This would all be easier if Will hated me.
As it is, I have to hold my secrets close so they won't hurt him more than they've already hurt me. But he wants to be in my life. He wants what I can't bring myself to confess I sold.
He wants me.
I find myself looking to my stars again...wondering if I dare one more wish.
5 of 5 Wish I May
Wish I May is one of those stories that grips you right from the beginning and keeps you there until the end. As I was reading I was thinking oh lord what is going on. Lexi has a way of drawing you in and having you on the edge of your seat the entire time because your thinking lord is this going to end well or is it going to be bad? I mean I was chewing on my nails because I knew this would be a hard story to read. Cally has been through so much and she has sacrificed so much for her sisters but when things started to unravel and the one person she needed was there and wanted to be I was sure something wicked was going to happen and what I got in the end was nothing short of a miracle.
Cally grew up in a fairly odd home. He mother was not always the best and she was down right rotten sometimes to Cally but Cally was determined to keep her family safe. Her father was a crazy ass man always putting the spiritual world before anyone. So it was no surprise when he mother decided she had enough of her husband and left him taking the girls. At first she was okay but then she started to check out leaving Cally to take care of her and her sisters. Man she had it so bad but she did what she had to to take care of her family.
After seven long years of doing what was right for her sisters and hanging up her dreams she goes back home and the one person she doesn't want to see is there front and center waiting for her Will. Lord Will is a white knight in shining armor. Will wants to be Cally's everything. To Will Cally is the sun, moon, and stars and he is determined to knock her walls down and let him into her life forever. Can Will accomplish the unaccomplished? Well you have to read it to find out!
A New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author, Lexi Ryan considers herself the luckiest chick she knows. Her books have been described as intense, emotional, and wickedly sexy. Lexi herself has only been described using two of those adjectives (feel free to guess but she’s not telling). When not writing, she enjoys watching football, perfecting her chocolate martini, and reading her way to the title of Biggest Romance Fangirl Evah. A former college professor, her biggest fears include faculty meetings and large stacks of ungraded freshman composition papers. She now writes full-time from her home in Indiana, where she lives with her husband and two children and their neurotic dog.