Rough Love (Tannen Boys #1) by Lauren Landish
Second chances aren’t always easy.
Sometimes, it takes some Rough Love.
Bruce Tannen is better known by his nickname, Brutal, because once upon a time, he was a monster on the football field.
Now, he’s a farmhand on what used to be his family’s land, and change is all around him.
A new family, new expectations, and even new friends. It’s all just fine by him until he runs into the one woman to ever hold his heart. The past comes back with a wallop of a tackle that even he can’t take.
Allyson left him a lifetime ago, but she’s the only thing that’s ever felt right… in his arms, in his heart, in his life.
Something’s different, though. She’s a shadow of her former self, and he wonders what could’ve dulled her shine.
He can help fight her demons to bring back that sunny smile he used to bask in, but should he?
Allyson Meyers knew who she was and where she was going, but a wrong turn years ago took her on a journey she never imagined. Not even in her worst nightmares.
It was ugly, but she’s stronger now for the one person who matters… her son, Cooper.
Being a single mother is a burden she’s grateful to bear alone until she sees a pair of all-too-familiar broad shoulders and dark, knowing eyes that remind her of who she once was.
Bruce was the one she’d left behind, the path she should’ve taken. It’s too bad you can’t rewrite history. But if she’s brave enough, maybe they could create a new future?
Can Bruce open his heart to the one who shattered it?
And can Allyson blend who she is now with who she used to be and live the happily ever after she should’ve had?
Excerpt Rough Love (Tannen Boys #1) by Lauren Landish
(Flashback of High School Senior Year)
“I’m going to miss you. Miss this.”
Her voice is quiet and sad, and I don’t want her to leave like that. She deserves to step into this new phase with all the excitement in the world. She’s earned it, she deserves it.
So I lighten the mood intentionally for her sake, even as it pains me to do it. I thrust up into her, pulling her down tight and grinding her hips against mine.
“You gonna miss this dick, baby? He’s definitely gonna miss you.” I soften the crudeness with a low laugh.
She giggles and I can feel her inner muscles squeezing me. I groan at how good she feels and wonder if we have time for another round before curfew. It’s not as if her parents can ground her anyways. She’ll be gone.
She’ll be gone.
Her palm smacks against my bare chest, teasing, “You’re awful, you know that? I’m trying to have a moment here and you’re making light of it.” She’s smiling, or trying to, but I can see the worry beneath.
I can always read her like a book, have been since we talked for the first time. She was the quintessential blonde, blue-eyed cheerleader, but instead of being a mean-girl, she was kind and good-hearted. She gave a speech about baby ducks once and I’d been done for.
Okay, it wasn’t actually about ducks, but about pollution and its effects on the environment, but all I’d seen were the fluffy little yellow ducks she’d been flashing slides of. Her impassioned plea for us to do something had stirred something in me beyond just my dick, which she’d already been starring in fantasies for since the first time I laid eyes on her.
“I’m not, Al,” I tell her soberly, stroking her cheek. “I swear. Tomorrow, I’m gonna be bawling like a fucking baby that you’re gone. But I want you to go start our life together. I’ll be there soon and we’ll make good on all those plans we have. I promise. I love you, baby.”
She wiggles and I slide out of her. I almost mourn the loss, but she turns, sitting sideways on my lap. I wrap my arms around her, cradling her as she lays her head on my shoulder.
“You promise-promise?” she asks.
I nod, touching my chin to the top of her head. The words pour out of her in one big run. “I’m just scared, you know? College is this big, new thing and I’m not going to know anyone. I’m probably going to get lost and never find my way to classes or back to the dorm. I’ll end up sleeping in the quad under a tree and flunking out. And you’re going to be back here, the literal big man on campus. Rock of the defense, and so damn sexy that every girl is going to try to hop on your dick. And I won’t be here to fight them off. Don’t forget about me, okay?”
I lift her chin with my thick finger and then cup her cheeks in my big, meaty paws. I’m not known for my grace and gentleness, on or off the field, but for this girl, I could brush a butterfly’s wings and not hurt it. That’s how gentle I am with her. I meet her eyes, blue on near-black.
“Listen to me, Al. You’re going to take that campus by storm and make it your bitch.” So I’m not exactly a romantic poet or a good pep-talker, but I’m trying. “As for us, it’s you and me forever, baby. There ain’t a girl here that can touch what you give me.” I see the flare in her eyes and clarify. “Not my dick… my heart. And there ain’t a single guy at that school that’s gonna love you like I do.”
She presses her lips to mine, and it feels like a promise, a vow, sealing my words between us as truth. She tastes like love. Like the future. Like the sweet dreams only two stupid kids can have.