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No one said change was easy…

Savannah Boudreaux knows what it is to hurt. To bleed. To be afraid that the man she’s promised to be true to until “death do us part” might in fact separate them far sooner than anyone had ever anticipated. But Van also knows what it is to survive. To move on. To live life to the fullest. With five brothers and sisters and a loving mother as her constant source of strength during the pain and the healing, Van realizes there is little else she needs.

But some things never change…

Benjamin Preston sat on the sidelines of the Boudreaux family for years, in love with a woman he couldn’t have. As the best friend of the Boudreaux brothers since childhood, Ben has seen both tragedies and joys in the family. And as a former MMA fighter and Krav Maga expert, Ben’s used to fighting for what he wants—and winning. His hands were tied when Savannah married her high school sweetheart not long after graduation, but now two years have passed since Ben found Savannah broken in her own home.

Sometimes what you need most has been right in front of you the whole time…

Van’s convinced that happiness isn’t in the cards for her, no matter how right it feels to be in Ben’s strong arms—and his bed. Ben is determined to win her heart and fight for her trust. He’s promised to protect her, to be her friend. But more than anything, he wants to finally make her his, and this is one fight he’s not willing to lose.


Kristen Proby

12 April 2016

Book Series: 

From New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby, comes a steamy and passionate friends-to-lovers romance—the sixth full-length standalone title in the Boudreaux series—and I have a never-seen-before excerpt for you! This is Savannah and Ben’s highly anticipated story.

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“I need your help, Ben.”


I cock a brow. “You don’t know what I need, exactly.”

“Doesn’t matter, it’s yours.”

I grin and lean over so I can pat his hand. “You’re very good to me, you know.”

“I know.” His smile is smug and happy. “What do you need, Vanny?”

“Well, I need you to stop calling me Vanny.”

“Not gonna happen.”

“And I need to know who you go to for your tattoos.”

He spits the sip of water he’s just taken and being to cough, choking.

“Whoa, are you okay?”

“That’s the last thing I expected to come out of your pretty little mouth.”

Just the way he says pretty little mouth makes me break out in a sweat.

Why, for the love of all that’s holy, am I so damn hormonal around this man? It must be a chemical response. I was never good at science, but that has to be it.

“I’m serious,” I reply and will my lady parts to stand down. “I already have a design in mind, but I don’t know where to go.”

“Is this your first tattoo?” he asks.

“No,” I reply. “But I didn’t get mine here in New Orleans.”

He leans toward me, giving me his full attention. “Where did you get it?”

“In Tennessee.”

“No, I mean, where is it on your body?”

I bite my lip and shuffle the silverware around on the table. “That’s personal.”

“Look at me.”

I comply and almost melt into a puddle at the sweet smile he’s giving me.

“You can tell me.”

“So, tramp stamps were in when I was in college.”

“You have a tramp stamp?”

“No, I just said they were all the rage when I was in college.”

He blinks slowly, as if I’m not making any sense and he’s trying to keep up. “Okay.”

“But I thought it looked painful to tattoo the low back, and while I understand that no tattoo is a walk in the park, I didn’t want to do it in that spot. Also, I didn’t want my dad to ever see it, and sometimes I wear a bikini.”

“You do?” He frowns.

“Yeah.” I nod and brush it off like it’s not a big deal.

“So where is it, Van?”

I bite my lip again. “On the back of my neck.”

“And your dad never saw it?”

“No, I’ve always had longer hair, at least long enough to cover my neck, and I just made sure I didn’t wear ponytails when I was with him.”

“You’re a rebel,” he says with a smirk.

“A respectful rebel,” I reply. “Will you give me your guy’s number?”

“I’ll do better than that. I’ll take you.”


I’m shaking my head vigorously.

“Why not?”

“I don’t want you to see me get this tattoo.”


“I just don’t.”

“Okay, I’ll text you his number.”

“Thank you.”

“What are you doing after this?”

“I’m going to get my hair cut.”

I’m so fucking excited!

He frowns again. “Why?”

“Because I’m a grown ass woman and I want to.”

“Whoa,” he says, sitting back and holding his hands up in surrender. “Do whatever you want with your hair.”

“That’s the plan. I know you like it better long.”

“I didn’t say that.”

“You did when I was fifteen,” I murmur and smile at the memory. “But it’s okay. It’s my hair.”

He tilts his head to the side, watching me. “Did that asshole make you wear your hair long?”

I will not cry today.

“He made me do a lot of things.”

His eyes flare with anger and he pushes his plate away. “He deserved much more than what I gave him that day.”

After Lance tried to kill me, the coward ran. My brothers and the police were looking for him, but Ben found him first.

And beat the fuck out of him before making him turn himself in to the police.

“He doesn’t even matter,” I reply softly.

“No. He doesn’t.” He sighs and reaches over to touch my hand. “I’m proud of you.”

“I didn’t do anything.”

His blue eyes hold mine. “Yes, you did. You didn’t just survive, Van. You thrived. You’re the strongest person I know, and I’m damn proud of you.”

I will not cry today.

I smile brilliantly at this incredibly handsome man who also happens to be the sweetest I’ve ever known.

“Thank you. That’s the second time I’ve heard that today.”

“You’re welcome. It’s fucking true.” He stands, throws some cash on the table, and holds his hand out for mine. “Let’s go.”


“I just want to walk with you for a little while.”


We don’t say much as he leads me through the Quarter and past Café du Monde, then over to the river. It’s still early enough in the season that there aren’t swarms of people everywhere.

It’s actually relatively quiet today.

“Are you okay?” I ask and slip my hand into his, enjoying the zing of electricity as it makes its way down my spine. “You’re quiet.”

He glances down at me, then out to the water, taking a deep breath.

“I’m great. I just like being here, with you.”

“Me too.” I lean my cheek against his hard bicep and watch the birds fly over the river. “Me too.”

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(standalone stories with interconnected characters)


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