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When we were eleven, Oliver Ford Pemberton dared me to jump off a barn roof. He said you couldn’t break a leg from a 12-foot-jump.

He lied.

(You can also break a collarbone, which served him right as far as I was concerned.)

I wish I could say it was the last dare I ever took from him, the last bet I ever made with him, the last time I ever trusted Oliver Ford Pemberton.

But it wasn’t.

Because he had the nerve to grow up gorgeous, charming, and sexy. And as we got older, the dares only got dirtier—and the betting stakes higher—until finally, he left me in pieces. I swore I’d never talk to him again.

But twenty years after I took that flying leap, he’s back in my life, daring me to risk everything for him: my job, my self-worth, and my heart.

How many chances does true love deserve?


Melanie Harlow


Book Series: 

An all-new standalone romance is out now from Melanie Harlow, and I have a sneak peek for you. This is the story of two childhood frenemies who are given a second chance at exploring the undeniable chemistry between them, while putting their complicated past between them, and the scene I am sharing with you is their first kiss…

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“Oliver,” she said.


“Do you ever think about me?”I wondered how the hell to answer that question without getting punched in the face. Was she looking at my crotch? “Think about you how?”

“You know how.”

I crossed my legs at the ankle and tried to keep cool. “Why are you asking me that?”

“Because I want to know.”

I laughed. “I’m not sure you do.”

“Is that a yes?”

“Yes,” I admitted. “But it’s not really my fault. I’m an eighteen-year-old guy and we don’t think about much else.”

“Girls think about sex too, you know.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah. A lot.”

Hope, and my erection, rose higher. “So you’ve thought about melike that?”

She laughed. “Not even for a minute.”

“Fuck off,” I said, heat rushing to my face.

“Sorry. Just being honest. I’ve really never thought about having sex with you.”

I said nothing because I was too busy being mad that she’d tricked me. I should have known better than to be honest with her.

“I’m still a virgin,” she went on. “I’m saving myself for the perfect guy.”

I snorted.

“But I was thinking about kissing you just now.”

I looked over at her and found her head turned toward me. She was serious, as far as I could tell.

“Why now?” I asked.

“I don’t know.”

“Are you still thinking about it?”

Another nod.

“Then I dare you to come over here.” I said it, but I didn’t actually think she’d do it, so I was shocked when she got off her chair.

Moving over on mine so she could lie next to me, I thought my dick was going to bust out of my swimsuit. Was this for real?

Without saying anything, she stretched out alongside me, her head propped on one hand, the other still clutching that towel between her breasts. For the time being, I kept my hands locked behind my head—I didn’t trust them.

“So?” she said after a moment.

“So what?”

“So I dare you to kiss me.”

With my pulse hammering, I reached for the back of her head and pulled her lips to mine. They were soft and cotton-candy sweet. I kissed her lightly for maybe ten seconds and pulled back. “How was that?”

“Nice. Too nice.”

“Too nice?”

“Well, Jesus, Oliver, if you’re gonna take the dare to kiss me, do it like you mean it.”

God, she drove me nuts. I didn’t even know if she was flirting with me or insulting me, but if she wanted me to kiss her for real, I’d do it. I fisted my hand in her wet hair and brought her lips back to mine—this time, I opened my mouth and slanted my head, kissing her harder and deeper. I shoved my tongue in her mouth. I bit her bottom lip. I hauled her on top of me so her body covered mine. I knew she could feel how hard I was, but I didn’t care—she’d asked for this. I kissed her until she could hardly breathe and she put a hand on my chest as she gasped for air.

“Oliver,” she whispered. “We should stop.”


“Because people can see.”


“So that’s enough.” She got off me and stood up.

“Wait a minute, that’s it?” I braced myself on my elbows. “You dare me to kiss you and now you’re leaving me here like this?”

She hoisted the towel up, rewrapping it around herself. “Pretty much. I’m ready to go whenever you are. I’m going to put dry clothes on.”

Fuming, I watched her wander away, my hands clenching into fists. I knew I didn’t really have the right to be angry with her, but I was. This was entrapment! Why’d she make me kiss her like that? Now I was going to be all blue-balled and tortured for the rest of the night, maybe even for the rest of the summer, if Caitlyn didn’t take me back.

Girls. They were so fucking aggravating. Especially Chloe Sawyer.

I vowed I’d never take a dare like that from her again. But I did.

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(standalone stories with interconnected characters)

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