Constructing Us by C.J. Lake
Publication date: July 18th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance
*Contains explicit/steamy scenes that are intended for mature readers.
When Andy takes over the lease on her friend Ethan’s apartment, he warns her about his roommate, Tragan. According to Ethan, Tragan Barrett is self-centered and often inconsiderate, caring more about hanging out with his friends and hitting the local casino than straightening the living room or keeping up with his laundry. Andy isn’t too concerned, though, because she isn’t moving in to make a friend.
Intended as a short-term living arrangement, the apartment is close to the hospital where Andy is participating in a drug study for a rare disorder she was diagnosed with when she was twenty. Now, fresh out of college, she is trying to figure out her life–and also how to live with the uncertainty of her condition. Figuring she’ll go one way and he’ll go another, Andy is surprised to learn that Tragan is not exactly the way Ethan painted him. In fact, there’s a whole other side to the darkly sexy construction worker…especially when it comes to Andy.
Can an unlikely friendship turn into something much more?
Tragan was watching baseball the following evening when he was surprised by a knock at the door. Andy had been in her room with the door closed since he’d gotten home from work. When she didn’t emerge, he muted the game and rose to answer it.
A blonde guy stood on the other side, wearing a v-neck sweater with a stiff-collared shirt underneath. He’d been in the middle of scrolling on his phone when Tragan swung the door open.
“Yeah?” Tragan said.
Obviously finishing a text, the blonde guy finally glanced up. “Hi,” he said, offering a brief smile. “I’m here to see Andy.”
Tragan stepped back, opening the door wider so he could enter. Was this her boyfriend? Maybe he was just a friend, like Ethan. For some reason Tragan hoped that was the case, but didn’t really believe it. This guy was tall, probably around 6’2”, and looked kind of like a mannequin. His face was almost too smooth, his expression blank. Was this what Andy went for? This pretty boy?
Just then Tragan heard Andy’s door open. When he saw her step out, he felt an instant pull of attraction and couldn’t help staring for a moment. She looked especially pretty tonight. Her hair was almost shiny and looked like soft gold, hanging loosely past her shoulders. She wore a light blue stretchy top that curved around her breasts and lit up her eyes in the sexiest way. God, what’s with me? Tragan thought, irritated, trying to ignore his reaction to her.
Her black pants were form-fitting enough that for an instant he flashed an erotic image of those lean, shapely legs wrapping around him.
Now her face beamed into a smile–a smile for Brad.
“Hi! I’m ready,” she told him breezily.
“Hi, gorgeous,” Brad said, leaned over and gave her a peck on the cheek. “I was just meeting your roommate here.”
“Right, hi. Tragan,” Tragan said, introducing himself.
The blonde guy shook his hand. “Dr. Brad Trewell. Nice to meet you. So, Tragan, Andy says you’ve been very easy to live with. I have to thank you for that.” He spoke affably enough so Tragan didn’t want to dislike him. Still, he found himself sort of bothered by the guy. Maybe it pissed him off that he felt the need to introduce himself as “Dr. Brad.” That seemed pretentious as hell. Or maybe–more likely–Tragan felt a stab of envy. Everyone knew doctors were rich and beating off the ladies with their stethoscopes. And this one got Andy.
For some reason, Brad felt the need to add, “I’m a resident at St. Catherine’s Hospital–vascular surgery. What do you do?”
Andy interrupted. “Brad, I told you, Tragan works in construction. He builds things, right?” she said, smiling warmly at Tragan.
“Oh, that’s right,” Brad said, touching his forehead with reproach, then giving a smooth smile. “I must have forgotten.”
Bullshit he forgot. Tragan figured that Brad just wanted to call the cards on the table, right here, right now. To lay it out in front of Andy how the two men measured up. Asking about Tragan’s job was certainly a subtler way to go about it than asking what kind of car he drove or how much he banked last year.
Brad’s phone chimed; he held up a finger. “Just a second.” He read, scrolled and typed–then read, scrolled and typed. Finally he slid the phone back into his pocket. “Sorry about that. Well, Andy we should get going. I have eight o’clock reservations at La Vie En Rose.” Amiably he asked Tragan, “Ever been?”
“Oh, it’s terrific. On Newbury Street. The duck is phenomenal.”
“Great,” Tragan replied flatly.
“Okay, we should go,” Andy spoke up.
Brad nodded, taking her hand. “And the movie starts at ten.”
As Brad led her to the door, Andy glanced back at Tragan, gave a short wave. “See you later. Have a good night.”
“I’ll get the door.” He followed close behind and caught a trace of her scent as she reached up for her coat. Her perfume was so enticing and feminine, it almost made him hard.
Just great, Tragan thought, shaking his head as he turned the lock and went back around to the couch. Now he was getting horny over his female roommate who already had a boyfriend. Just effing great. He shook the feeling off, picked up the remote and un-muted the game. ~
*50$ Amazon Gift Card (US only – will be mailed out physically)*
C.J. Lake is a storyteller who is passionate about art, surfing, and skiing/snowboarding. Residing near the coast of Massachusetts, C.J. is working on a new book that will feature Tragan Barrett’s friend, Matt Winter. Readers can get in touch via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or follow C.J. on Twitter @brightbluesurf.
Book Blitz organised by Xpresso Book Tours.