Even if it Hurts by Marni Mann
Release Date: January 28, 2020
Even if it Hurts, an emotionally charged contemporary romance from USA Today bestselling author, Marni Mann.
When I met her, I couldn’t take my eyes off her.
We were so young and so passionate.
We studied business in the day and each other’s bodies at night.
We always knew it would end with the semester, so we loved hard with no regrets.
When I met her, I couldn’t get her off my mind.
We were fresh out of college and ready to take on the world.
We fit each other like missing puzzle pieces.
And just when I thought my life was perfect, it got better. She became my wife.
I met my first love while studying abroad in London.
When I moved home, I didn’t think I’d ever fall in love again.
Until I met him. The man who became my husband.
The one I promised a lifetime to.
Then, my first love came back into my life …
And I realized that love was bigger than any one man.
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“What can I get you?” the bartender asked, his hands hovering, waiting to reach for one of the bottles.
I gripped the edge of the bar top, holding the cold leather, and said, “Prosecco, please.”
The speakeasy wasn’t too packed tonight, just a steady business crowd filling the main space and the small seating nooks that were like little dens built into the perimeter.
My eyes were falling over the row of wine, studying the labels, when I felt a piece of fabric brush across the side of my arm. I turned just in time to see a dark suit jacket leaving my skin, and with it came a scent. One that was so sharp and demanding—the smell of power if it came in a bottle.
I couldn’t believe how much I liked it.
My gaze traveled higher to the silk tie, the broad shoulders, and the full frame that was at least six-three and all suit. And I found myself holding in my breath as I took in this absolutely gorgeous man with thick black hair and a clean-shaven face, blue eyes so dark that they looked navy.
“Have you ordered?” he asked in a rich, deep voice.
“He’s making mine now.”
It was easy to see there was nothing raw about this man. He had a polished, educated demeanor with a richness that went well beyond the cost of his suit.
He smiled, and I found myself sucked into it, unable to look away. “What’s your name?”
With a stare as invasive as his, one I felt move straight through me, it seemed my name was something he should certainly know at this point.
He turned his body so he was now facing me, showing me details I hadn’t picked up before—a narrow, angular nose and tiny wrinkles at the sides of his eyes. His hand reached forward, and when it surrounded mine, he said, “Lance Hamilton.”
“Here’s your Prosecco,” the bartender said, and from the corner of my eye, I saw him set down the glass.
“Add that to my tab, and I’ll take a scotch,” Lance said with his eyes on me.
I knew my cheeks were blushing, and it wasn’t because he was paying for the drink. “You don’t have to do that.”
“I can’t let a beautiful woman like yourself pay for her own drink.” His eyes narrowed. “Unless there’s someone else here who should be buying it?”
“No.” I shook my head. “Only you.”
My hand was still in his, gripped in a shake that I felt all the way up to my shoulder, across my chest, and down to my other hand that was clenching the cold glass of champagne.
My comment seemed to make his smile grow, and he held my hand for a second longer before releasing me.
“I was just coming to find you,” Molly said, startling me, her arm then snaking around my waist. “Looks like Lance found you instead.”
I glanced at my best friend, knowing Lance could hear us. “You know him?”
“I work with Marshall,” Lance said before Molly could reply, and he leaned down and kissed her on the cheek. “Nice to see you, Molly.”
She grinned at him. “You too.”
He hadn’t been part of the group Molly and Marshall introduced me to when we first arrived, nor had I seen him at any of the parties I attended with her. If I’d met Lance before, I wouldn’t have forgotten.
“I’ll see you back at the table,” she said, her arm leaving my waist, and she gave me a look I knew well. It was one that told me she approved, and then she was gone just as the bartender handed Lance his drink.
“Thank you again,” I said as he handed the bartender his credit card. He held his glass in the air, near mine, smiling.
“To the morning and everything that happens in between.”
I laughed, clicking my Prosecco to his scotch, and it felt like a warmth had crept over me, even before I put my lips to glass and swallowed.
Best-selling Author Marni Mann knew she was going to be a writer since middle school. While other girls her age were daydreaming about teenage pop stars, Mann was fantasizing about penning her first novel. She crafts sexy, titillating stories that weave together her love of darkness, mystery, passion, and human emotion. A New Englander at heart, she now lives in Sarasota, Florida with her husband and their two dogs who subsequently have been characters in her books. When she’s not nose deep in her laptop working on her next novel, she’s scouring for chocolate, sipping wine, traveling to new locations, and devouring fabulous books.
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