You know what they say…
All’s fair in the game of love and war—especially the heartbreaks.
Landon & Shay: Part One, an all-new second chance romance by Brittainy C. Cherry, is available now!
Shay Gable hated my guts, and I hated hers, too.
We went out of our way to avoid one another at all times. When she came my direction, I went the other. When we locked eyes, she’d turn and walk away.
All of that changed the day I was presented with a challenge. It started out as a stupid bet: make Shay fall in love with me before I fell in love with her first.
That was an easy bet for me to win.
I didn’t love, I hardly liked.
Yet slowly the game started to shift. Shay made me crave things I never knew I wanted like love, happiness, and her.
The closer we grew, the more she challenged my darkness, and the parts I kept locked away.
The game between us became too real, our feelings intermixed, and the risks of hurting one another grew higher.
But you know what they say…
All’s fair in the game of love and war—especially the heartbreaks.
Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/LandonShay1
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2khPhFv
Pre-order the emotional conclusion, Landon and Shay: Part Two, releasing on December 4th!
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/landonshay2
Be notified FIRST when Landon & Shay: Part Two goes live: http://bit.ly/2oK1voU
Spin Seven was a mixture of spin the bottle and seven minutes in heaven. When it was my turn, I reached out to the bottle with no concern about whether or not it would land exactly where I wanted it to go. At fourteen years old, I’d learned how to perfect my spin-seven skills in order to kiss the girl I wanted.
Though, this time, I knew there wasn’t going to be a lot of kissing going on. More like yelling.
The bottle spun and spun, around and around. Shay’s eyes stayed glued to the glass beer bottle. The moment it started to slow down, I watched her lips part as she quietly muttered, “No, no, no,” before it stopped directly in front of her.
The circle began oohing and aahing at the idea that the two sworn enemies were on their way to the closet together for seven minutes straight. They were all here for that show, and I knew the moment we stepped into that closet, the door would be surrounded with people whispering and pressing their ear against it from the outside, trying to catch a snippet of what was going on behind closed doors.
I stood from the circle and gestured toward Shay. “Please,” I offered. “Chickens first.”
She grimaced, her thick, full eyebrows lowering a hair before she pushed herself up from the floor and headed toward the closet in haste. We both stepped inside and stood nose to nose.
“Okay, friends, you know the rules,” Eric said, grabbing the handle of the door. “Seven minutes in heaven—or, in your case, hell. Have fun!” He slammed the door shut, and the moment it happened, Shay whined with irritation.
“I can’t believe I’m locked in here with you for seven minutes. I could think of a million things I’d rather be doing,” she grumbled, probably with a pout.
“Oh, I don’t know…watching paint dry.”
“Well, since we’re here, we should probably spend our time wisely,” I joked, moving to unbuckle my jeans, knowing it would bother her. I wished I could see the annoyance on her face. I loved when I got under her skin enough to make her nostrils flare.
“Oh my gosh, remove that idea from your mind, Landon, and stop messing with your belt, because there’s no way in hell I’m touching you.”
“I’ve thought about it before,” I said, my voice low and tame.
“Thought about what?”
She huffed sarcastically. “I’m sure that’s not true.”
“You’re right, it’s not.”
It was true, though. It’d happened once—and only once—after Lance’s funeral. I had spent a lot of weeks being out of it, using alcohol to cope with the shitstorm raging inside my head, and I was a bit unstable. If my friends hadn’t been looking out for me, I would’ve probably gone overboard. I remembered walking into school one day and seeing Shay standing there at her locker with a few of her friends. She was laughing and tossing her head back in such a genuine way, and I couldn’t take my eyes off her.
I kept thinking about how she’d held me weeks prior and stayed with me during the lowest point of my life. She had been there—my enemy—taking care of my scars. And as I’d stared at her in the hallway, I’d thought about thanking her—walking over to her, parting my lips, and giving her my gratitude. I wasn’t used to people doing shit for me with no hope of anything in return, and Shay had done it without any expectations.
I remembered looking at her eyes, and then moving down to her slender nose, and then her cheeks, then those juicy lips.
I wondered how those lips would taste if I used mine against them to thank her. I wondered if she tasted like the candy she was always popping into her mouth. I wondered if she dripped of the angelic sin I always claimed her to be. I wondered for a split second…considered it for a blink in time…and then she slammed her locker, walked away, and I sobered up.
Still, I had considered it.
We both went quiet for a few moments before I cleared my throat again. I didn’t like silence. Silence and I didn’t get along too well. “Just one kiss, Chick. I can keep it a secret.”
“You keep secrets the same way you keep girls. AKA, you don’t—other than Monica.”
“Monica’s not mine.”
“That doesn’t change the fact that she thinks you’re hers.”
I smirked a little. “You jealous of her?”
“Jealous of her having to deal with a guy like you? Never in my life.”
“Whatever you say, Chick.”
“I wish you’d stop calling me Chick,” she snapped. “I hate it.”
“You want a new nickname, sweet cheeks? I can give you a new nickname, sweet cheeks.”
She shivered in disgust. Good. There was nothing I enjoyed more than getting on her nerves. “Not that either.”
“I’ll keep working on it.”
“Or you could just call me by my name.”
“Nah, Shay’s too ugly a name to leave my lips.”
“I hate you.”
“I hate you more.”
“Yeah, but I hate you the most.”
I snickered. “You really think you can get a guy like me to fall in love with you?”
“Yes. I’m positive, actually. People are the easiest to read, and that includes you.”
“You can’t read me, Shay.”
“I can, like an open book.”
“Okay.” I reached into my pocket, pulled out my cell phone, and turned on the flashlight, lighting up the small space. “Read me.”
She raised an eyebrow. “You sure you want me to do this? Reading people is kind of my gift, and you might not like what I have to say.”
“I never like what you have to say, so this time shouldn’t be any different. Go for it.”
She rolled her shoulders back and stretched out her arms as if she was about to deadlift me. “Okay. You’re fake, Landon.”
That was it? That was the big reveal? “What the hell do you mean I’m fake?”
“I mean exactly that. You. Are. Fake. F-A-K-E. Fake. There is nothing real about you. You’re a walking lie.”
I laughed. No joke, I actually laughed out loud, which didn’t happen often for me. It was a deep-rooted, belly laugh.
“What the hell are you talking about?” I questioned. “Everything about me is real. I’m the realist damn person you’ll come across in our town.”
“No,” she disagreed with a shake of her head. “You are the fakest. You’re even faker than the new boobs Carly Patrick got for her eighteenth birthday.”
“What?!” I breathed out, stunned by her words. “I’m not fake, Shay.”
“It’s not a big deal, Landon.” She shrugged her shoulders and went to picking at her nails. “People seem to love your fakeness.”
“I’m not fake,” I argued again, my blood boiling at this point. “Plus, I’ve seen Carly’s boobs up close and personal. Those are straight in-your-face, nips-don’t-flick fake. There is no way in this world I’m more fake than those silicone watermelons. I’m a lot of shitty things, but fake isn’t one of them.”
“Okay then, can you answer a question for me?”
“How many people know you’re sad?”
“The hell kind of question is that?” I barked.
“A very straightforward one,” she replied. She seemed so cool, calm, and collected—one of the many things I despised about her. It was as if her life was always so solid. I wished for that kind of stable structure, and seeing that she had it annoyed the living hell out of me.
“How long have you been sad, Landon?”
I glanced at my watch. “About a solid three minutes now, because being trapped inside this closet with you is complete hell.”
“Aren’t you the one who wanted to come in here with me?”
“Bad call. A lapse in judgment. I forgot how annoying you are.”
She smiled. She freaking smiled at me, pleased by my annoyance. “Are you going to answer me about your sadness?”
“Are you going to suck my dick?” I replied.
“Do you always do that?” she asked, tilting her head to the left as she studied my expressions. She was doing that thing she did—reading me. Taking note of my movements and the tightness of my jaw, taking in every inch of me.
Don’t let her read your pages, Landon. She couldn’t have even handled my prologue.
All my walls were up, and I wasn’t going to let her knock them down.
“Do what?” I questioned.
“Use sarcasm to shield your hurting.”
“There’s nothing hurting here. Look at this life. I have money, badass parties, and girls throwing themselves at me—why would I have anything to hurt about?”
“Maybe because money, girls, and parties don’t make a person happy. I see how miserable you are in your eyes.”
I grimaced and whisper-hissed, “You don’t know shit about me, Shay.”
“Then how am I able to get under your skin so easily? If that wasn’t true, if you weren’t sad, why would my saying that bother you so much?”
“You don’t,” I calmly replied.
She was pushing me, making me uncomfortable with the fact that she did seem able to see the parts of me no one else could. Anger was building in my chest, and I needed to defuse it before it became too big.
“Maybe it’s best if we shut up for the rest of the time,” I told her.
“For the second time in my life, I agree with you.”
Shay sat down on the floor of the closet, and I did the same, leaning back against some coats that were hanging. How did seven minutes feel like seventy? Was time moving at all? This was hell.
Then came the silence. The silence that brought out heavy thoughts. Shay could read my mind somehow, and so, when the silence became too much, I cleared my throat and tried to make small talk in hopes of shutting my own brain up. “A chicken and Satan walk into a closet—stop me if you’ve heard this one.”
She laughed a little.
It was quiet and low, and dammit, I’d never heard Shay laugh at anything I’d ever said before, so that was new. What was also new was the small part of me that enjoyed hearing her sound.
“Landon?” she whispered.
“Just shut up, all right?”
“One more minute, you horny hatebirds!” Eric called out.
We both stood, and I took a step closer toward her. “I get you not wanting to kiss. That’s intimate and personal, but if you want, this is your last chance to touch my cock while no one’s looking. I won’t stop you.”
“No thanks. I’m allergic to peanuts,” she said so effortlessly and loudly, causing the crowd on the other side of the door to burst into laughter.
Shay smirked again, feeling proud of her little dig at me. That beautiful, annoying smirk I loved to hate.
I wasn’t worried, though. The game was just getting started. She might’ve scored one point, but I wasn’t going to let it happen again. We were playing on my field, and Shay didn’t know what she was up against.
I get so excited every time Brittainy C. Cherry releases a new book. I know I am in for a reading experience that will play on all of my emotions while being thoroughly entertained. Brittainy takes her readers along on the life journey of all her characters. Her characters become our friends, our family, and a part of our hearts. As readers we identify with all aspects of their lives including the struggles, failures, and victories. We celebrate their growth as individuals. Most of all we celebrate their ability to love unconditionally and accept it without reservation.
Readers met Landon and Shay in Brittainy’s previous novel, Eleanor & Grey. They were the devoted friends and family that always offered their support, strength, wisdom, and unconditional friendship. They were both very strong people who could weather any storm. Never in a million years could I have predicted what was going to be unleashed in their story!
Landon was the life of the party, the one to always bring a sense of joy, and light heartedness. Beneath the surface he’s anything but lighthearted. He suffers from severe depression which goes beyond circumstantial causes. It’s an inherited genetic disorder that needs more than wild parties, wild sexcapades, and recreational drugs can provide. Although his best friend Grey sees some of his pain, he doesn’t know how deep it runs and is deflected by Landon’s ability to hide his pain. There is one person who sees the darkness that lurks beneath the surface. He hates that she can see his demons, he hates that she can see him. He doesn’t want her to see that part of him but at the same time that part of him needs her to help him through the darkness. Shay is the only person who sees his pain. She sees Satan lurking beneath his sexy good looks and irresistible charm. His darkness is desperately reaching out for her even though he despises that need.
Shay has a gift of seeing people for who they are beneath the surface. She has trained herself to look beyond what the world sees. The amazing thing about her gift is her ability to be empathetic, compassionate, patient, kind, and loving. She leaves judgement out of the equation. Landon is the one person she hates because of how careless he is with other people’s feelings, how he uses girls like a revolving door, and how dismissive he is to those who try to help him. She purposely steers clear of him until the day she sees his undeniable pain at his darkest moment. She can’t turn her back on him when he is hurting so badly. She can’t allow him to push her away. Landon isn’t easy and he can push harder because it is easier than reaching out. She’s going to keep pulling him in until he can no longer push back.
Landon & Shay: Part One is only the beginning of this difficult life journey. Somehow I know they are both going to be okay because I saw glimpses of it in Eleanor & Grey. What Brittainy has in store for these two characters is going to take them to hell and back. Without a doubt they are both going to survive the in between and come out stronger people. Together they are going to learn to embrace every side of the human spirit and validate every emotion and feeling they have. They are going to learn to deal with their darkness and reach for the light. They are going to learn the real definition of love and hope. They are going to learn to use these emotions as their coping mechanisms.
In a sense I can’t wait to see what comes next for Landon & Shay but I am preparing myself to experience all aspects of human emotions. Brittainy C. Cherry can take her readers on a beautiful journey no matter what is in store because she has a gift of showing the beauty of the human spirit. That is what makes a great love story!
Author Brittainy C. Cherry is an Amazon #1 bestselling author.
She has been in love with words since the day she took her first breath. She graduated from Carroll University with a Bachelor Degree in Theatre Arts and a minor in Creative Writing.
Her novels have been published in 18+ countries around the world. Brittainy lives in Brookfield, Wisconsin with her fur babies.
Connect with Brittainy
Join Brittainy’s Golden Girls (And Boys) Reader Group: http://bit.ly/2Y4WEir
Stay up to date with Brittainy by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2oK1voU