Anna lives every day the best she can while struggling against the demons that threaten to consume her and drag her back into the darkness of her very troubled past. The last thing she needs right now is a guy, especially one as sweet and sexy as Jed. When the attraction becomes too strong to resist, she gives into it. Even when she knows it’ll only end in disaster and leave her even more her scared and broken than she was before.
Jed wants to find the right woman and he’s drawn to Anna by carnal magnetism, but she also brings out an Alpha side of him that he’s never known. When his alpha rears its head, it triggers memories in Anna and her carefully crafted wall of protection begins to show cracks.
When fate and misunderstandings threaten the already delicate relationship, can they survive? When Anna’s demons threaten to be unearthed and Jed’s inner alpha only seem to make them worse, can they overcome?
Is it even worth it?
Warning: This book contains graphic violence, sex, and adult language
I don’t want anyone to know how damaged and worthless I am. – Anna
Anna has been through so much in her life and is so broken. Her mother is there but is completely absent. He father is an alcoholic and doesn’t know her. Her step-father is a closed book and her first boyfriend beat the crap out of her, verbally abused her and raped her. She has no self-worth and no self-esteem. She hates herself and thinks that she deserves all of the bad things that happened to her.
I sob harder and harder with the feeling of worthlessness. I have nothing, and no one loves me. I’m falling deeper and deeper into a hole of blackness…
Jed is tired of the dating scene and is ready to find a good women the settle down with. When he sees Anna the first thing he thinks is that she is beautiful. So when his uncle tells him that she is the girl that he wants to introduce the two of them, Jed excited to meet her. But when he does she is very shy and doesn’t go for his normal pick-up tactics, he is not sure how to approach her. When fate steps in and she needs a ride home from work, he is more than happy to help her out.
I’m so fucking confused. I don’t know what it is about this chick that makes me want her so bad. I get that she’s hot, really hot, but there’s something else. Maybe her shyness is a challenge for me to get her to open up? I don’t know what the fuck is going on in her head. She’s hot and then cold. She’s shy, I get that, but I don’t think that’s it. There’s something about her that makes me want to find out what it is. – Jed
Anna doesn’t understand why someone as hot as Jed would want anything to do with her. Her abusive ex-boyfriend told her that she was a worthless piece of shit for so long that she believes it as true. So when he wants to spend time with her she is a little bit freaked out.
“Why do you want to take me out? I don’t get it.”
“What don’t you get?”
“I don’t get why you’re so interested in me.”
He seems to struggle with his words for a moment. He glances at me with narrowed eyes, like he’s trying to figure me out. “I don’t know, Anna. I like you. You’re beautiful and funny. Something about you draws me in.”
I can’t do this to myself. I don’t understand his game. There’s no way hereally wants to be with me, so I know his words can’t be sincere. The idea that he just wants to fuck me crosses my mind….
This book is so good! It is hard to believe that this is Nicki’s first novel! The pain that Anna is in of much of the book is heartbreaking. The self-hate is hard to read sometimes. Jed is the best medicine for her. He heals her and helps put her back together. He encourages her to get help and helps her through her pain. He is defiantly on my top best book boyfriends list because he is beyond yummy in every way imaginable.
“You want to know what I see? I see a beautiful woman with a big heart. I see a hard worker who has a passion for her dreams. I see a woman who’s smart and funny. I see a woman who I want to know.” I run a hand through my hair, struggling for words. I’m not good at this shit. I’ve only known this woman for a few hours, but even I can see how awesome she is. I take a deep breath as I step closer to her. In a softer voice, I say, “We didn’t even order dinner for half an hour because we kept talking. That’s a connection, baby. You’re so different from any woman I’ve ever known.” I reach up to stroke her cheek, and I see her body relax a little. “Do you get me?”
After I close up shop with the spare key because Asshole Alex never came back, I make my way out of the pizza shop and to my car. As I drive the green beast to Jed’s, I’m half-tempted to call and tell him I’ll catch him tomorrow. I’m fucking exhausted from my nightmare last night, and since I’ve been spreading myself so thin with school, work, and Jed, I’m dead on my feet. Of course, the stress from Sam isn’t helping either. But my need to see my sexy man overrides my exhaustion.
Despite trying to guard my heart, I know I care about him more than I should. I want to find love and a happily ever after in theory, but in practice, it’s terrifying. I want his heart to beat for me and mine for him, but the further I fall, the more panic grips my lungs.
My thinking is warped.
My thoughts are interrupted when my cell rings. When I pick it up and look at the ID, I roll my eyes. It’s Sam. This is getting ridiculous. After tossing the phone back into my purse, I pull into the parking lot of Jed’s apartment and take a deep breath once I shut off my car. Ever since we watched that stupid movie, I need to prep myself for the walk from the car to his front door. Fucking super zombies. Those things scare the fucking piss out of me, and I know it’s stupid. Give me a crazy serial killer or stalker movie, and I’m fine, but anything with creatures that don’t exist, I turn into a sniveling crybaby. Even the brief visual snippets I did actually see are going to take a while to purge from my head.
After I step out of my car, I sprint to the door of the apartment, like a…well, like a girl being chased by man-eating fucking zombies. When I reach the door, I take a minute to catch my breath and calm my heart before I knock, but suddenly, the door swings open to reveal a laughing Jed.
“What?” I ask even though I’m pretty sure I know what he is laughing about.
He moves aside to let me in, and after I set my coat and purse down on the table, he sweeps me into his arms.
“Why were you running to the door like a crazed woman?” he asks.
I blush and duck my head, but he puts his finger under my chin to make me look up at him. Two weeks ago, that action made me wince, but the more I get to know him and the more he does it, the less I associate the action with pain. He raises his eyebrow, willing me to respond to his question.
I sigh. “The images from the zombie movie we saw a couple of weeks ago are seared into my brain, and the parking lot is surrounded by trees. It’s a prime spot for a zombie ambush.”
He steps away from me and laughs like that was the funniest thing he’s ever heard. “You were running away from the scary zombies in the trees?” He continues to roar with laughter.
I try to give him an angry glare, but that only makes him laugh harder. I forgot about my cute angry face. Seriously, how am I supposed to give him my fuck-you glare if he thinks it’s adorable?
“Come here.” He grins and wraps me in his arms, and then he leans down to kiss me deeply. He opens his mouth and slides his tongue against mine.
My breathing picks up, and I feel the familiar pulse start to grow between my legs. As our tongues dance, he grabs me by the back of the neck and deepens the kiss. I fist one hand in his hair, and with the other, I clutch his hard bicep. My heart rate speeds up, and my breathing turns ragged. When his thumb skims my hip bone, my blood begins to boil.
He devours me with his lips. I love being devoured by him.
He breaks the kiss abruptly and leans his forehead against mine. Both of us are breathing heavily.
He groans, “God, you’re amazing.”
He smiles down at me, and I smile back. I feel a blush creep across my cheeks. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to him complimenting me. He steps back, and I fight my pout. I liked him where he was.
“Do you want something to drink?” he asks.
“Water would be great, thanks.”
“Sure. Go ahead and have a seat, and I’ll get it for you.” He steps away from me. “Hope you don’t mind football,” he calls from the kitchen.
He’s back quickly, and I respond, “Actually, I love football. I’m a big Packers fan.”
“Cheesehead, huh?” Grinning, he plops down next to me and curls me against him.
“A proud one, too.” I smirk up at him.
He smiles and dips his head to kiss me. “At least you’re not a Pats fan.”
“You’re not?” I ask, a little shocked. “That’s almost as bad as being a Yankees fan around here.”
Now, his grin turns teasing. “Do I have a Sox fan in my presence?”
Oh, hells no. “I sure hope I don’t have a Yankees fan in my presence.”
He bursts out laughing.
Oh right, the cute angry face. That’s going to get old quick.
He composes himself. “Not exactly. I’m just not a fan of Sox fans—present company excluded, of course. They’re douche bags.”
I huff and cross my arms as I turn my attention toward the TV. I know I’m pouting like a child, but seriously, the Yankees are evil. “We might be a little crazy with our team pride, but the Yankees suck.”
“They don’t suck. They have twenty-seven World Series wins. That’s almost three times more wins than the Sox, who have eleven.”
“Technicalities.” I roll my eyes. “They still suck.”
He chuckles and pulls me closer to kiss the top of my head. “Baby, your angry face is so damn cute.”
“Whatever.” I roll my eyes again.
He laughs softly. “And no, I’m not a Pats fan. I’m a Bledsoe fan.”
“Ah, so you must hate my Packers because of 1996, huh?”
He looks at me, surprised. “What were you then? Nine?”
I smirk and shrug.
His lips twitch. “That was a long time ago, but I can’t say they’re my favorite team.”
“At least we both hate the Pats.” I grin.
“This is true. As much as we have in common, there was bound to be something, right?” He leans forward to place a soft, sweet kiss on my lips.
“Right,” I mumble against his mouth.
He slips his tongue past my lips to tangle with mine. He cradles my head gently as our tongues move in a slow waltz. My breathing picks up when he slides his free hand under my shirt and up my side. His fingers trace the underside of my bra, and goose bumps erupt over my skin. His lips move with more urgency as he lowers me onto the couch, and then he moves his hips between my parted legs. I pant loudly when his mouth move across my jawline and to my earlobe.
“God, you’re so beautiful, Anna,” he breathes into my ear.
I honestly can’t believe my luck.
Lately, I’ve been getting nervous about Anna’s relationship with Jed and my standing in her life. Jed actually seems like a decent guy, one that takes care of Anna and makes her happy.
I hate him.
When she showed up tonight sans the lucky fucker, I wanted to jump with joy. Maybe add a helping of happy tears. I finally have courage and opportunity to tell Anna how I’ve felt about her since I laid eyes on her in junior high. She is so beautiful that my chest aches every time my eyes land on her. So sweet and good, my gut warms every time I talk to her. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve stroked my dick thinking about her, then I’d be a billionaire.
The sound of her laugh draws my attention, and, as usual, my heart squeezes in my chest. I clench my hands against the nerves running through my veins, making them sweat. I have to talk to her tonight.
An hour later, my knee starts bouncing. It’s getting close to that time when we take smoke and bathroom breaks. I’m gonna have to make my move then, so I’ll have privacy when I spill my guts. The anxiety climbs higher and higher. I clasp my shaking hands together and pray that no one sees them trembling.
I should have told her a long time ago. I shouldn’t have wasted any time on those other chicks. I should have manned up instead of acting like a chicken shit. I thought I’ve dropped enough hints, and at one point I thought she liked me too, but as time passes, she slips through my fingers. She accepts my more-than-friendly gestures and my nickname for her, beautiful, as nothing out of the ordinary. So now I’ve found myself planted firmly in the friend zone, and I worry I’m too late.
Please God, don’t be too late.
“All right, I need a smoke,” Chad announces after we finish Behind Blue Eyes by Limp Bizkit.
My heart stops.
My heart kick start double time, pounding like Tommy Lee from Motley Crue on the drums.
“Oh, good. I need to pee.” Anna puts down the game mic and stands.
As she passes between me and the coffee table, I reach up to ‘steady’ her. Honestly, I just want the excuse to touch her. My cock jumps when my hands make contact with her hips. I smirk inwardly when I remember the death glare Jed shot me when I touched her like this around him.
She smiles a thanks before heading to the bathroom. Shannon, Jared, and Aaron head outside for a smoke, and I take the opportunity to gather my courage.
I shake out my hands, trying to relieve the anxiety speeding through my system. As I take a few relaxing breathes, I will the fortitude to come.
I have to do this.
We’ve known each other forever. There’s no way she and Jed have formed a bond yet—not one stronger than me and Anna’s. Hope that I can finally have this girl fuels me into action. Time to quit putting this conversation off and hoping that something between us will just happen.
With a tight jaw and determination blazing in my eyes, I stand and make my way over to the bathroom door and psych myself up to tell the girl of my dreams how much I love her.
When the door swings open to reveal a surprised Anna, I say, “I need to talk to you.”
Nicki DeStasi was raised in a small town in Massachusetts. She attended Fitchburg State College and studied Early Childhood Education. As a child, she enjoyed reading, but only recently began doing it again. She has always had an inventive imagination and finally decided to put those ideas on paper for others to enjoy. Worth It will be Nicki’s first self-published book. A few personal facts: Sloth from The Goonies is her third cousin, she acted and stared in several plays throughout high school and college, and she can play four different instruments. Nicki’s philosophy is to appreciate the good things in life. If we didn’t make mistakes and have bad things happen then we wouldn’t know how truly wonderful the good things are. No matter how difficult life is sometimes, if we look to the people that love us, then we can get through them and on to the good stuff.