Blog Tour, Excerpt & #Giveaway: ☆Again☆ by @LisaBurstein


How far would you go for a second chance?

Eleven years after flunking out of college, Kate has finally hit rock-bottom. Losing her job and boyfriend in one drunken night, she’s determined to fix her life by going back to the moment when she let partying and sex take over. And do things right this time. At twenty-nine, she heads back to freshman year of college, with a catch.

Pretending she’s nineteen with a new roommate and full class schedule is easy. When she meets her shy, sexy and seven-years-younger RA, Carter, following her self-imposed sobriety and celibacy rules is proving to be anything but.

A senior enduring years of regret, Carter is more than ready to graduate. He’s anxious to move on from the party his freshman year where he witnessed his frat brothers about to commit a sexual assault. Instead of doing the right thing and stepping in, he looked the other way and left. His guilt has made for a lonely four years.

When he meets the new freshman on his floor, spunky and confident Kate, he wonders if his time as an outcast has finally come to an end.

Kate and Carter’s growing friendship and undeniable attraction make it harder to hide the demons from their respective pasts. But when their secrets are finally revealed, will their chance at starting over together still be there?

Kate

Touching me, even in such a casual way, ignited something simmering between us the whole walk—since we’d met. The heavy air between us was suddenly on fire.

He was so sexy. The kind of guy Veronica would have said was worth ruining your panties over. The problem was, a lot of them weren’t and they got ruined anyway.

With liquid courage, liquid thought eradication, I launched myself against his chest and kissed him, his lips hard and soft and rough and smooth and wrong and right and terrible and perfect all at the same time. His hands eased under the jacket, cold shocking my warm stomach. A moan trembled from his lips, the sound like a boiling teapot about to whistle. I forced my hips against his, practically crawling on top of him. He was hard, hot against me.

What I felt swelling through his jeans was more than strong enough to break rule number two in half like it was a board and he was a karate master. I went for his fly, gasping to feel his pounding dick on the smooth skin of my hand, but he jerked back and took a deep breath.

He shook his head. Uncertainty clouded his demeanor like he’d been asleep and had awoken suddenly. He put his hands on my shoulders. “Sorry, I’m not supposed to do this.”

“Neither am I,” I said, reaching for him again, even though he could have no idea what I’d meant.

“No,” he explained, “I should not be kissing you, or doing any of the other countless naughty naked things I want to do to you right now. We need to stop.”

“Why?” Was he seriously saying no? This twenty-two year old college student was more mature than me, able to put what he should do above his base desires.

Well, was I surprised considering what I’d done at the party?

“As much as I want this to happen, I’m pretty sure it shouldn’t because you’re drunk.”

“So?” I asked, suddenly wanting to be nineteen again through Carter. Going back to make better choices was one thing, being here and able to live like I was nineteen again was a gift, something—when it came to Carter—I should not waste. I wanted him inside me, to be on top of him, licking his neck, his chest, his taut stomach, the dimple on his chin that had gotten me.

Sure he was seven years younger than me, but guys did it all the time. David had done it with me.

“So,” he said, breathing out and composing himself. “I don’t sleep with girls when they’re drunk.”

“Then you probably don’t sleep with a lot of girls,” I said, moving closer to him and reaching for the button on his pants. And you’ve probably never slept with a woman, I thought, wishing I could say it.

“I’m also your RA,” he said.

“I won’t tell if you won’t.”

His eyes were on me for seconds moving like hours. I could tell he was considering it, struggling against the chemistry between us, trying to let his body take control instead of his mind.

“I’m sorry, I wish I could,” he said as he guided my hand away and started to let us into the dorm. “You can bring my jacket back tomorrow.”

“Forget it,” I replied, starting to pull it off. “Take it now.” If he was rejecting me, whatever his reasons were, there was no way I was facing him in tomorrow’s embarrassing morning light.

He stopped me. “Sleep well, and please take care of yourself, Kate,” he said, squeezing my shoulder and walking toward the stairs. I guess he didn’t want the added temptation of being in an enclosed space as we rode to our floor in the elevator together.

Instead of going up to my room, I fell back onto the couch in the lobby, trying to switch myself off. Kissing Carter had turned me on. I was buzzing like a bee. I was ready, open for business. If another guy would have walked in, it was possible I’d jump him—no questions asked.

I saw my reflection in the huge lobby windows, Carter’s coat so big and puffy it made me look like a linebacker from the waist up, my makeup smeared from our kiss, from the party.

I’d broken both rules in one night, broken them without even trying.

He was right. I did need to take care of myself. How the hell did I do that?

Until I figured it out, starting over wouldn’t matter.

Lisa Burstein HeadshotLisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University. She is the author of Pretty Amy, The Next Forever, Dear Cassie, Sneaking Candy and The Possibility of Us. As well as a contributor to the essay collection, Break These Rules: 35 YA Authors On Speaking Up, Standing Out, and Being Yourself. Again is her self-publishing debut. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats.

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