Read Online Books/Novels:

Longing to Hold – Hard to Love

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Willow Winters

W Winters

Book Information:

Prelude to Hard to Love

From USA Today bestselling author Willow Winters comes the prelude to the heart-wrenching, edge-of-your-seat gripping, romantic suspense Hard to Love.

There’s a moment when I forget he’s not mine. This small spell of time, when I let my thoughts carry me away.

He holds me. He kisses me. He makes all of this better.

That moment when I’m his and everything is all right, is gone in an instant. It’s quick and fleeting, moving so fast that it slips through my grasp. If I could catch it, I’d hold on to it forever.

I always thought this thing between us would only ever be just that. A passing moment, a pleasant dream that helped lull me to sleep at night.

If I’d known what was to come, maybe I would have thought twice.

I couldn’t have prepared for this.

Longing to Hold is a short prelude to the Hard to Love series.

Books by Author:

Willow Winters Books

W Winters Books


Our eyes met for a fraction of a second. If that. It was in passing.

Him on one end of the cafeteria, and I at the other.

The clatter of trays hitting the tables in our high school cafeteria and the even louder chatter and laughter of everyone else faded into the background. The sounds weren’t worthy of white noise. It all disappeared.

Despite being across the room I felt him then, his hands on me; I knew they’d be rough and possessive. His lips hit mine, hot and full of hunger, as if he’d been deprived of my touch. I could feel the hard cinder blocks scraping my back as he pushed me against the wall. I could hear the soft moans and heavy breathing I’d give to him the second his lips left mine and he stared deeply into my eyes.

Peering down at my tray, I can only hope my cheeks aren’t as red as they are hot. It’s hard to swallow, but I do. The perfectly red apple with no bruises or nicks holds absolutely no desire for me to eat any longer, but I bite into it again, not tasting a damn thing while I keep my head down.

I could look up to see if he noticed, but Seth King’s table is full of other students, his crew as I’ve dubbed them, and mine is empty. One look and someone would see me staring at him; there’s no one else here at my table to hide me or my sordid thoughts.

So I keep my head down and avoid the curious gazes of anyone watching. Just like I’ve been doing for weeks now. Ever since my dad died.

My throat’s tight. It gets like that whenever I think of my father, and I nearly choke on the small piece of fruit in my mouth. Apple juice goes down the wrong way and I pretend that’s why my eyes sting.

I’m dealing poorly with the loss and everything that happened just before it. I’m certain that’s why everyone avoids me now.

It didn’t used to be like this. I was never one of the popular girls, but I wasn’t a pariah either. That must be it. I’ve become an emotional wreck, so now everyone keeps their distance. It seems fitting enough.

It’s been weeks and only Cami talks to me since the car crash. Everyone else lets me be. I don’t blame them. The simplest of questions or even a friendly wave—it’s all met with a delayed response because my mind was elsewhere, or worse. I’ve cried out of nowhere more times than I can count. So now they leave me alone. I’m grateful, because it’s embarrassing and I hate it. I hate how weak mourning has made me.

Everyone lets me be… everyone except for Seth King.

That has to be why I’m thinking of him like I am. Of all the thoughts of what he’d do to me.

He doesn’t talk to me, not really. He doesn’t do anything but walk me home. I didn’t ask him to and at first I didn’t want him there. I don’t need an audience for my grieving and no one owes me anything, whether he knew my father or not. I told him just that, but it didn’t deter him and to be honest, a piece of me was grateful that someone was there with me.

When the school bell rings and all my textbooks are swept up and safely zippered into my backpack, I know he’ll be there. Waiting for me as if he’s supposed to be there. He doesn’t even know me; not like that.

He doesn’t tell me he’ll be there, but I know when I walk out the double doors at the back of the gym, feeling the cool autumn air sweep my hair behind my neck, Seth will be standing at the edge of the parked cars. Which is directly in my path to walk home.

Seth’s friends have been there as well lately, surrounding him when I get out.

I know the crowd of his friends, although I had no idea they even knew my name until recently. Everyone knows about them. They have a certain reputation.

They’re the boys who are trouble. I know Derrick and all the things people say he does. Seth is their ringleader. That’s a good way to put it.

Before I’ve even taken a step out of the building, I can hear Seth’s voice. Most times, he glances through the people around him and sees me before anyone else does.

They usually disperse before I get there, but sometimes they’re still talking. Especially Derrick; he doesn’t seem to get the hint like the others do.

I’m not the kind of girl to allow a man to tell me to do anything. Certainly not Seth. I listened though. Not a piece of me wanted to be alone on the way home. All the evidence of how low my life had gotten was waiting for me. So I let him. He stands right at the entrance to the field, where anyone heading for the north side of town can walk right through a gap in the fence . Students like me.

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