I Can’t Even (Carter Brothers #2) Read Online Lani Lynn Vale

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Contemporary, Erotic, Mafia, Suspense Tags Authors: Series: Carter Brothers Series by Lani Lynn Vale

Total pages in book: 68
Estimated words: 67000 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 335(@200wpm)___ 268(@250wpm)___ 223(@300wpm)

Ellodie Cassandra Solaire made a single, solitary New Year’s resolution.

That resolution was set in stone, and she wouldn’t be breaking it, no matter what.

It was simple: Say yes to every person who asks her out on a date until she finds a boyfriend.

Easy, right?


She breaks that New Year’s resolution three months into the year after a guy gives her serial killer vibes.

Fast forward three months, and she’s unhappily saying yes to any man who asks.

Until one day, there she is, eating a chicken burrito waiting for traffic to clear, and he appears like a knight in shining armor.

One second, she’s counting down the seconds until the parade dissipates so she can go home, and the next, a car is flying through the air directly beside her, courtesy of a hot cop performing a PIT maneuver.

It’s during the middle of the arrest when Quaid Carter’s eyes find hers.

From that moment on, she’s lost to anyone else but him.

The only problem is that serial killer vibe she got off of her potential date a few months ago isn’t just a vibe. It’s a full-blown obsession. And the serial killer decides that she won’t be the one to get away.

Quaid Carter has different ideas, though.

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I need to lose weight. I know how to lose weight, but I don’t want to do the things I need to do to lose the weight, but I still want to lose weight. You know what I mean?

—Text from Ellodie to her mom


I groaned, let my head fall back to rest against the very well-worn fabric of my headrest, and contemplated parking and walking the rest of the way home.

But then, the thought of having to make the hike back to my car at five in the morning sounded even less appealing.

I narrowed my eyes, glaring hard at the orange and white blockade in front of me.

A freakin’ parade.

Of all things.

In the middle of the damn evening rush hour traffic.

Sure, I’d seen the signs for the parade all over the neighborhood. Knew that roads would be blocked off for a majority of the evening, but I’d forgotten.

I mean, I had zero time to be thinking about blockades and how I was going to get home when I was struggling to keep my head above water.

The one and only good thing about going back to school to get my nurse anesthetist license was this time around, I wasn’t eating Ramen Noodles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Now, I had money in the bank.

But also, I was working a full-time job at the hospital while going back to school, doing clinicals where needed, and ultimately running myself ragged.

So yeah, remembering that a freakin’ parade, of all things, was going to be blocking every single way home was really the last thing on my mind.

I looked over at the seat next to me where I had a textbook denting the cushion. I considered picking up the massive beast, but ultimately decided against it.

I needed a break.

I’d been studying on and off throughout my shift, and to be completely honest, I was freakin’ tired.

The last thing I wanted to do was pick it up and continue to go through it.

I felt like my head was about to explode.

Picking up my phone instead, I started to mindlessly search through Facebook, then Instagram, followed by TikTok. It was thirty-five minutes later when I realized that not only did I have to eat something before I died, but I also had to pee.

And since I wasn’t at work, I didn’t tend to deny that urge if I felt it.

Glancing around the neighborhood I’d been parked outside of for the last hour as I watched parade floats pass between buildings in the distance, I spotted a Crispy Chicken sign, and felt my heartrate pick up.

Growing up in a small, middle of nowhere town, not far from the Arkansas/Louisiana/Texas line, there was one singular place that had food. The gas station, that happened to have a fast-food chain, Crispy Chicken, in it.

Crispy Chicken was a delicacy for the Solaire family.

My dad, Harvey, and my mom, Hall, were both fifth generation farmers. My dad grew up farming soybean, sunflowers, and peanuts, while my mom harvested corn, cotton, and feed grains.

Together, they’d joined two of the biggest farms in the area and formed one huge conglomerate that lived, breathed, and died agriculture.

Truthfully, I could count on two hands the number of times we went out to a fancy restaurant.

But Crispy Chicken?

Man, that was my jam when I was a kid.

And a crispito did sound good…

Getting out of my car, I locked the doors, then hurried toward the gas station. I noticed that the line of cars beside me didn’t look any happier than I did to be stuck out here waiting on a parade to finish.

Getting to the gas station, I went inside, and immediately was taken back ten years to my childhood.

Crispy Chicken sandwiches, crispitos, the sweet butter biscuits… Yum!

I ordered two crispitos, four biscuits, and a hunk of pizza, then grabbed a chicken sandwich for good measure. While she was taking care of that, I hit up the bathroom.

It was as I was walking back to my waiting food that I spotted my guilty pleasure—Baja Blast Mountain Dew—and snatched that up, too.

The cashier rang me up, and I was heading back to my car not long after.

And, because it was hot as balls in my car, and I didn’t have enough gas to be running it for more than another ten minutes—because Jesus, I hated getting gas—I sat on the hood of my car and ate.

Simultaneously, I went back to my social media hopping.

When the sweat from the backs of my thighs forced me to slide down the hood of my car, I got a better purchase, then pushed myself backward until I was leaning on the glass of the windshield.

I looked around, noticing that others were doing much the same, and went back to eating and scrolling.

It was just as I was about to take a bite of my last crispito when something caused me to pause.