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The Difference

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Kaylee Ryan

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I’ve kissed a lot of frogs, just to be covered in warts. I’ve been lied to, cheated on, and used more times than I can count. I don’t have it in me to keep going. I need a break from it all. I need time for the wounds to heal, and the scars to fade.

Wouldn’t you know it’s my luck, to meet a gorgeous man, after declaring my self-imposed break? He’s charming, sexy, and determined to change my mind.

I wasn’t looking for her, but when I overheard her conversation, I had to add my two cents. Within minutes of talking to her, I knew she was unlike anyone I’d ever met. Bruised from past relationships, she’s built a fort around her heart. Doesn’t she know the prince always rescues the princess?

I think about her all the time. The more I’m around her, the more I want to be. I’ve made my choice. It’s her. Now, all I have to do is prove to her that I’m the difference.

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Kaylee Ryan Books

Chapter One


* * *

“What about that one?” My best friend, Harper, points her finger over my shoulder. I don’t need to look to know that I’m not interested. I do it anyway to appease her.

“Which one?” I turn to look over my shoulder at the group of guys playing darts.

“The one with the black tank top.”

“Negative.” We’re sitting at Stagger, a local bar, having drinks for our weekly girls’ night. “I told you, Harp. I’m swearing off men. I’m over the drama.”

“Oh, come on. You can’t let a few bad dates and relationships take you out of the game.”

“That’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m tired of the games. I want something normal, and from my history, that’s not possible, so I’m sitting the bench.” I’m not exaggerating. Bad luck should have been my middle name when it comes to the opposite sex. I’m not saying I’m benched forever, but I’m definitely on the injured reserve for the foreseeable future.

“It’s not that bad.” This time she says and points her cheese stick at me before taking a bite.

“Right,” I say dramatically. “What about Anthony?”

“Pfft, he was a dick. He cheated on you. That doesn’t mean you fail at relationships.”

“I didn’t say that I failed. I said I have bad luck. Okay, what about Tommy?”

She shrugs. “You can’t help that he was batting for the other team.”

“Harper, he was using me as a cover. Do you know how humiliating that is? To think you are in a committed, loving relationship to find out your man likes men?” I really liked Tommy. In fact, we still keep in touch. Just random “how are you” messages. He and his boyfriend, Josh, are happy and finally have the acceptance of Tommy’s parents. I guess when they figured out how far he was willing to go to make them happy, they changed their way of thinking.

“He cared about you.”

“That’s not the point,” I argue. I know he cared about me, but he also deceived me. That’s a hard pill to swallow.

“Still not an excuse to take yourself out of the game,” she counters.

“Okay, fine. What about Jared?” I raise an eyebrow in question.

“He was a douche.”

I smirk. “You think? He was so hot for you. I should have caught on since he was always asking if you were going to be there when we went out.” Hindsight and all that. I thought it was great the new guy in my life was supportive of how close Harper and I are. We’ve been friends since preschool and share an unbreakable bond.

“He got what was coming to him.” She grins.

“That he did.” I can’t help but smile as I raise my glass to hers, and we tap them together. Jared and I dated for about two months. It ended the night he cornered Harper at the club we were at. He told her he was only with me to get to know her, that he loved her. She kneed him in the balls, bringing him to his knees. She left him there to come and find me. I haven’t seen or heard from him since.

“You can’t let any of those encounters keep you from moving forward.” She signals to the waitress and holds up two fingers and her empty glass.

“Really? Shall we talk about Fletcher?”

She immediately laughs, covering her mouth with her hand to keep from spewing the drink of beer she just took all over me. “I’m sorry,” she says, removing her hand. “I’m not laughing at you, but with you.”

“You think it’s funny that I spent three months with a man who couldn’t get me off?” I ask incredulously. Fletcher was my last adventure with dating, and that was over six months ago. Harper has been on me to get back out there. I have no desire. Well, I have desire, but that’s nothing that I can’t handle on my own. Sure, I’d like to feel the strength of a man hovering over me, holding me after, but sacrifices and all that. In my present state of thinking, it’s well worth it.

“It’s not that. It’s the way you would tell the story. You tried to coach him and everything.” She giggles.

She’s not wrong. I tried giving him pointers, but nothing seemed to help. To top it off, he was surprised when I ended things between us. He was convinced I was the one. I’m not sure why he thinks that any woman is okay with him getting his and not repaying the favor. Like I said, I’m better off handling things on my own. This is what my life has become. Sitting at a bar with my best friend while she giggles like a teenager over my lack of orgasms.

Just living my best life.

“I’m telling you. I had to break it off for fear of getting carpal tunnel.” I hold up my right hand and wiggle my wrist around, and she laughs even harder.