At twenty-two-years-old, Mia Holloway’s life is up in the air. Her graduation from UCF is looming over her head like a bad hangover. Her long-term boyfriend has up and left her for some Tinder fling, and when sudden chest pains send her straight to the ER – that’s just icing on the cake.
At thirty-two-years-old, Cardiologist Dr. Alex Greene has what most would call a perfect life: respect, money, and a sleek high-rise loft in the city. But since the departure of his unfaithful Ice Queen of an ex-fiancée, Alex also secretly longs for the one thing he’s been missing – connection.
When Dr. Greene and Mia meet, as patient and doctor, something undeniable clicks. Forbidden, dangerous, foreboding. The kind of uncontrollable lust that threatens to tear both their worlds apart.
Pulses will rise. Hearts will be broken.
Because an affair like this doesn’t happen in real life.
Until it does.
Read an Excerpt
It started with a pulse, a secret, and a bad breakup.Incidentally, breaking up with Evan was the best decision that I’d ever made in my short span of twenty-two years. If I had never kicked him out of my bed, and out my life, I would have never met Dr. Alex Greene.
Looking back, I’m glad I got Evan’s scraps.
“Mia,” he told me. We were lying in my bedroom, on top of the sheets, with our skin still damp with that post-sex glimmer – faces flush, limbs heavy. “I need to tell you something. It’s important.”
I knew right then, to be honest. Though it was kind of hard not to. When somebody tells you: I need to tell you something, and you have half a working brain-cell, you can piece together the puzzle pretty quickly. It’s either a) I’m fucking someone else, or b) I have an inoperable form of ___ cancer, and this is actually a Nicholas Sparks novel, and didn’t you know?
I already knew. But I still indulged him. I indulged him because even though my brain was telling me: Mia, kick him out now. Don’t even give him the chance to hurt you, I was silently begging for different words to tumble out of his mouth.
“What is it?” I asked.
I could feel my heart clench as I yanked the sheets over my chest, instinctively covering myself. In the back of my head, like a distant record on repeat, was that bit of sage advice we kids always get: you’re young, and young love doesn’t last, and there’s a billion fish in the sea and so forth. When you’re older, you’ll learn what real love is – so why let one broken heart leave shards for you to step on?
Had I loved him in a real sort of way? Of course I had. At least, I thought so. We’d been together for two years, shared the same bed in my tiny, cramped apartment, and spent countless hours messing around and laughing and behaving like wild, college-aged kids together.
So yeah, I loved him. In that young, first-time kind of way.
As I clutched the sheets, I added, barely audible: “Uh-oh.”
Evan sat up, reaching for his boxers that lay in a crumpled heap on the floor. He slid them on, combed his hands through his hair, and looked at me.
“I love you,” he said. “You know I love you.”
“Okay,” I said. I was vaguely incredulous. “What do you need to tell me, then?”
Another sigh. He broke eye contact, glancing down at his hands.
“You’re so beautiful,” he said quietly. “I’m so sorry.”
“Sorry about what?”
Why was I doing this? I knew why. It was the same reason we all drag things out: because spitting them out, like a bitter venom, is hard. It’s never easy to say the things that we know will hurt people. It’s never easy to let the ax drop.
Evan knew he was about to hurt me. I knew he was about to hurt me. I suppose dragging it out with stupid little words seemed to soften the hit.
“There’s someone else,” he said. “Another girl that I’ve been seeing.”
Outside, a car alarm went off. The afternoon sunlight sliced through my window shades, making the room feel like a prison.
“Mia,” he said.
“How long?” I asked. I felt bolder, then. Stronger. “How long have you been lying to me?”
Evan covered his face with his hands; large hands, maybe too large for his small wrists. He was such a boy.
“Three months,” he confessed. “In February.”
“When in February?”
He shook his head, stood, and faced the window. I could see the sunlight almost seep through him. I could still smell his shampoo and sweat on the sheets. He was already gone, but still everywhere.
“Valentine’s Day,” he wasn’t even going to lie for the sake of sparing my feelings. “I didn’t mean for this to happen.”
Evan turned to me, and he looked almost as if he wanted to care, but couldn’t bring himself to.
“I wanted this to work,” he explained. “It’s just, I can’t fake it anymore.”
“Then why did you just fuck me?”
“I’m sorry, Mia.”
I’d had enough then. I was done.
“Get out,” I said. “Pack your shit and leave. Now.”
“Mia,” he said. “Listen, let’s not do this. Let’s not end it like this.”
I threw the covers off and grabbed by bathrobe from the floor, needing to clothe myself in something. I didn’t even want him to look at me. To see me. I felt like a dirty, broken fool.
“You said you didn’t want this,” I said coldly. “But you let us fall apart.”
Evan slid into his jeans, stumbling and catching himself. He was tall, but lanky, and he was always stumbling. It was one of the first things that had made me fall in love with him – but now, it just made me sick.
“We’ve been together for two years,” he said. “Things happen.”
“Things happen when you let them happen,” I said, looking down at the floor. I could feel my heart breaking, and really, why bother with the theatrics of a break up? It was over, anyhow. Just let it end. “Get out.”
“Mia,” he said.
“I’ll pack up your stuff. Come back when I’m not around to pick it up,” I told him. “In the meantime, you can go back to bunking with Lewis. I assume that’s where you were fucking this new girl.”
Before moving in together, Evan had lived in the dorms with his roommate, Lewis. When I got this apartment, during the last semester of my final year at UCF, Evan eventually became my unofficial live-in boyfriend. Clothes turned into boxes, and boxes turned into posters, and all of it melded into a mesh of Hers and His, mine and ours. Our home.
Now here we were.
About the Author
Liv Hayes is voracious reader and lover of words. When not immersed in pages, she’s usually writing them.