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Falling For My Brother's Best Friend by Piper Rayne


Falling For My Brother's Best Friend

by Piper Rayne

Self-Published

Book 4 in The Bailey's Series


Let’s say you’re an independent, self-sufficient woman who runs the family company and you find yourself falling for your little brother’s best friend.


Now, more than ever, you need to count all the reasons why you need to abandon falling.


Abandon Falling #1 – He’s a womanizer. Hasn’t had a serious relationship a day in his life and changes women more often than he changes his sheets.


Abandon Falling #2 – He’s never serious. He cracks one-liners, mostly at your expense.


Abandon Falling #3 – When things go wrong, he seems unfazed and always remains in control. It’s so annoying.


Abandon Falling #4 – He has tattoos. Lots of them. Everywhere. Not to mention, he owns a tattoo parlor. (Damn it! Why doesn’t that sound like a bad thing anymore?)


Abandon Falling #5 – There’s a growing list of how different you two are. You can’t get along for fifteen minutes—a lifetime together would land one of you in prison.


Keep repeating those reasons and drown yourself in work. Pretend you don’t notice his good qualities or how enticing he looks without a shirt, and do not, I repeat, do not agree to live with the man while your place is being repaired from flood damage.


Trust me, even the strongest of us can only forego temptation for so long.

Genre:

 

I loved Savannah and Liam's story.

First of all, brother's best friend is one of the hottest tropes. So I knew I was going to love this.

Opposites attract? Also hot.

Liam is a tattoo artist. SUPER HOT!

But the story is what got me.

Liam and Savannah are a great balance. Savannah, as an analytical, and pessimist, just paired well with Liam's optimism, and laid back personality. The steam is great, the banter and chemistry even better. Overall, Liam and Savannah's romance is light hearted.

There was only one thing I didn't like, and it bothered me enough that I took a while star away from my rating.

A. Whole. Star.

And I'm pretty generous in my rating's usually.

Without spoiling those of you who have not read the book (which what are you doing, this series is great!), Savannah does something towards the end of the book that is SO out of character for her, that I actually put my book down and asked "what the fuck?!?!"

I am not one of those readers where I usually nitpick something like that, but this felt so out of left field, it took me out of the story. I love conflict in a romance, but it's got to make sense with the character. Savannah is a type A personality ... and I refuse to believe she would have done what she did without consenting the creator. She is a business woman!

Anyways.

Aside from that, I loved this book. Liam is just goals, and Liam and Savannah together are great. This series is great. Read it :)




Marlene: “Finally. Is she, like, an ex or something? Because she totally wanted you. I mean, have some respect, I saw you first.”

Marlene gets me against the brick wall, her hand already over the bulge in my pants. But that bulge isn’t because of or for her. I put my hand over hers to stop her. I’m not going to lead this girl on, no matter what I’ll let Savannah believe.

Liam: “No. She saw me first.”

Truth is, I saw her first—so many years ago. Liam: “You got drunk.”

Savannah: “And how did I end up in your bed?”

I ask with no shortage of attitude. He stops at the door to the kitchen and turns around, almost making me run right into him.

Liam: “You put yourself there.”

Savannah: “I did?”

My eyes dip down to look at the perfectly lined bricks that Liam most likely laid himself.

Savannah: “I don’t remember that.”

Liam: “Probably because if you were sober, the last place you would’ve put yourself is in my bed.”

He stuffs his hands into his pockets. I want to ask if he joined me. How I ended up half naked. But it’s too embarrassing. I’d rather fly blind than get the answers from him.

Savannah: “Thank you. I apologize if I inconvenienced you last night.”

I slide by him, having to step on the grass to dodge the chance of my body touching his. He grabs my arm lightly, stopping me. I shift my weight, trying to slide out of his grasp, but he won’t let go, so I stop, staring into his blue eyes.

Liam: “I slept on the couch.”

He moves a few inches closer.

Liam: “You stripped yourself down.”

Closer still.

Liam: “And you never inconvenience me.” When she opens the door, Gizmo jets out of the house and leaps off the first step, thinking he’s a German Shepherd. He’s a husky and Corgi mix, so his short legs don’t go far, and he falls down each step like a ball, but before he drops to the gravel driveway, Liam swoops him up in his arms.

Brooklyn: “I think my ovaries just exploded,”

Brooklyn whispers. Wyatt cocks an eyebrow at her.

Wyatt: “Ease up.”

Brooklyn: “What? Come on, he caught our little guy.” Savannah: “Can’t wait to meet him.”

I swivel back around, but he’s right there and my hands land on his biceps. His eyes dip down and I retract my hands.

Liam: “Too hot to touch?”

Anger and annoyance hijack my body.

Savannah: “Just worry about the tent.”

Liam: “You forget how good I am with my hands already?”

He brushes his knuckles down my arm and shivers follow his touch.

Liam: “Maybe you need a reminder?”

I pluck his hand off my skin.

Savannah: “Just stay out of the way.”

Liam: “I once told your dad I’d always look out for you Bailey girls.”

Savannah: “Well, I release you of any obligation when it comes to this Bailey girl.”

I point at my chest.

Savannah: “I can handle myself.”

I stomp up the stairs, grab my bag, and swing open the door.

Liam: “I’m not sure you know what kind of man is good for you, so I’ll be quick. A quick hello and a handshake with the guy in question won’t hurt.”

I give him a death glare that should keep him away, but his laughter says he’s going to ambush this date. I wish I cared a bit more. I growl and slam the door. Brooklyn: “So how does Liam know you and I don’t?”

Wyatt shakes his head, walking past me to the fridge. Brent’s challenging eyes land on me first before returning to Brooklyn.

Brent: “It was the state championship in our senior year. Kelly choked and I didn’t. Head over to Sunrise Bay High School and you’ll find the state trophy.”

I roll my eyes. Wyatt stands next to me, cracking open his beer and eyeing me to say, what a fucking douche.’ Yeah, he is.

Wyatt: “You act like it’s a defining moment in your life,”

Brent: “My high school still looks at me like I’m a god. Can’t say the same about Kelly.”

Brooklyn glances over her shoulder, her eyes narrowing in question. I say nothing.

Brooklyn: “Everyone loves Liam. I don’t remember this. Why don’t I remember this?”

Liam: “You were in college.”

Her gaze falls back to Brent.

Brooklyn: “That was high school. What do you do now?”

Wyatt: “Polish the state trophy every week?” Savannah stops at the door with Brent. The idiot doesn’t even take the clue to open the door for her. Wanting to piss her off a little more, I slide by them and open the door for the two of them with a dramatic wave as though she’s the queen and I’m the noble attendant.

Savannah: “Thanks,”

she grinds out and steps onto the porch. I take my time committing to memory how she looks.

Brent: “Yeah, thanks.”

Brent sneers, and I release the screen door. It hits the entitled fucker right in the nose. Whoops.

Brent: “Asshole,”

Savannah: “Liam!”

Savannah’s scathing gaze flies to mine. I hold up my hands and cringe.

Liam: “It slipped.” Liam: “I almost forgot, Wyatt.”

Savannah is one stair down and stops when I do. God forbid her body touch mine. I strip off the T-shirt and toss it to Wyatt. Savannah’s gaze follows the planes of my abdomen, her eyes filling with desire.

Liam: “Thanks for the T-shirt.”

This could be the stupidest move ever. Get her horny and send her on a date with someone who isn’t me, but I trust that I know Savannah better than anyone.

Liam: “Sav?”

Her gaze shoots up from where my jeans hang low on my hips after a hard day’s work.

Savannah: “Yeah?”

Liam: “I’ll wait up for you.”

Her face flushes and she swallows so loudly. I’m positive they can hear her in downtown Lake Starlight.

Savannah: “Okay,” Savannah: “Maybe you’ll find a new girl in town, like Austin did.”

He’s shaking his head before I finish my thought.

Denver: “No, that was one of those damn once-in-a-millennium Hallmark movie moments.”

I don’t argue with him, though I’m not sure Hallmark starts their movies with a bang in a Jeep behind a bar. Dori: “The deejay has nothing prepared. He said he only has the songs Brooklyn okay’d. I told him I wanted to do the chicken dance and he said that the bride said no. I told him my granddaughter wouldn’t say no because she knows I love that song.”

I bet Brooklyn did indeed tell the deejay no chicken dance. At Austin’s wedding, Dori wiggled her ass down into a crouched position and it took all four Bailey brothers to get her back up. I inhale a deep breath. I will not make a scene and ruin my sister’s reception.

Savannah: “My niece wants ‘Baby Shark’ played.”

He’s already shaking his head before I finish speaking.

DJ: “No can do.”

Savannah: “Excuse me?”

My forehead wrinkles in confusion.

Liam: “I hope you have ‘Baby Shark.’ Today is not the day to mess with her,” Juno: “Oh, give me the baby.”

Juno puts her champagne glass on the deejay’s table and holds out her hands. Rome shifts his gaze to her.

Rome: “Sorry, lush, maybe tomorrow.”

Juno: “What? I’m not a lush.”

Her words slur a bit, proving that Rome is making the right decision. Savannah: “I’ve got this handled.”

I put my hand in front of his face. He lowers my hand from in front of him.

Liam: “Then why is ‘Baby Shark’ not playing?” Liam: “Is this all because I don’t wear a suit to work every day or have some fancy desk job?”

Savannah: “What? No. Why would you even say that?”

Liam: “Is that the type of man you want? Because a man like that can’t take care of your needs. The man who can is standing right in front of you.” Dori: “Why would you leave Liam’s? You’re already settled there. Plus, this is my excuse to teach Juno how to keep an orderly house.”

Grandma Dori picks up the stack of torn-out magazine pages and heads toward the kitchen. Juno flings the blanket off her lap and stands from the couch.

Juno: “Grandma, what are you doing?”

She watches in horror while Grandma Dori throws them in the trash can.

Juno: “There were instructions on how to build a bookcase in there.”

Grandma Dori looks at me with a “yeah right” expression.

Dori: “That’s sweet, Juno, but you were never going to finish it.”

Juno: “Thanks for the encouragement,”

Juno mumbles, opening the trash and taking out the magazine pages. She opens a kitchen drawer to shove them in, but it’s filled to the max. So is drawer two. After going through three more, she opens her oven and throws them inside. Savannah: “Why would they be upset?”

Liam: “Because I’m your brothers’ best friend. I always felt you were off-limits.”

Savannah: “Until recently?”

I shrug, finishing my second beer.

Liam: “I guess it finally felt like maybe you saw me as more than just that.”

Her eyes lock with mine, and my heart races as I anticipate what she’ll say.

Savannah: “Liam, I’ve been seeing you for a while.”

I slide my tongue over my bottom lip. Damn, that’s the last thing she should’ve admitted. Savannah: “Are we having a seance or are we masking the smell of burned popcorn?”

He laughs.

Liam: “Look at the magic of scent. Your funny self is already returning.”

I admire the way the lounge pants hug his ass as he walks over to the kitchen counter, picks up a bag, and hands it to me.

Liam: “Go upstairs and put these on.”

Savannah: “Please?”

Liam: “Please.”

He smiles warmly. I peek inside the bag, thinking there will be some sort of skimpy lingerie inside, but all I see is gray.

Savannah: “So this is step one?”

He grins.

Liam: “It is.”

Savannah: “If you’re going to put me in the middle of a circle of people and chant, hoping to pull my soul out of my body, I have to say now, I’m not cool with it.” Liam: "Want to go on a ride with me today?”

Savannah: “As in?”

She puts the tissue paper and journal back in the box and secures it with the lid, bunching the ribbon in her hand.

Liam: “A ride on my Harley. I’m doing it for a charity, and I thought you’d like to join me.”

She raises her chin slightly. I can see I’m going to be shot down.

Savannah: “And I’d have to ride?”

I try to fight back a smile, but it breaks through.

Liam: “On the back of my bike.”

Her body sinks down on her stool, but not in a way that indicates she thinks that’s the worst option available.

Savannah: “Um…”

Liam: “Well, you can think about it. I have to go shower. I’m leaving in about an hour.”

I head to the staircase.

Savannah: “Liam?”

I circle back around, raising my eyebrows in question.

Savannah: “What is the charity for?”

My lips desperately want to turn up.

Liam: “It’s for this bar I go to. The waitresses need new tube tops.”

Her nostrils flare until she catches on that I’m joking. Savannah: “No monkey business.”

Liam: “Okay.”

I hold up my hand.

Liam: “I promise not to swing from limb to limb and throw poop.” With that smirk, the dark sunglasses, and the bike behind him, I think my ovaries just made a ruling that only Liam’s sperm can meet my eggs, otherwise pregnancy is off the table. I can’t even argue with them. Liam: “The men’s long sleeve shirt looks nice and comfy. You must be cold.”

Savannah thumbs in my direction.

Savannah: “He’s trying to cover me up.”

The woman leans across the counter.

Woman: “Men. Always trying to keep us down.” Liam: “This is step three. You take a piece of paper out of this jar every day and you have to do the task.”

Savannah: “And if I don’t do it?”

Liam: “I’ll spank you.”

He waits for my reaction. Truth is, my body is red hot at the prospect and I’m sure my face gives away that I find the notion a little exciting.

Liam: “Jesus, don’t look like that.”

Savannah: “Like what?”

He blows out a breath.

Liam: “Like you’re about to turn over and ask me to get started.”

Savannah: “I was not.”

He shoots me an expression as if to say, Yeah, yeah, you were. Savannah: “You enjoy your life, right?”

I peek through my eyelashes to see his reaction.

Denver: “I fucking love my life. Yeah.”

Savannah: “I hate mine,”

I admit. Every muscle in his face droops at the same time.

Denver: “No, you don’t. It’s just stress that has you saying this. It does crazy things to people.”

I shake my head.

Savannah: “I hate my life. I hate who I’ve become.”

Denver looks around.

Denver: “I’m not equipped to handle this, Sav. I’m not the fix-it one of the Baileys. I’m the make-you-laugh-at-your-problems guy, not the serious one. Want me to get Liam? You guys have some weird connection. He’ll probably know what to say.”

Savannah: “No. I don’t want anyone to know. I shouldn’t even be telling you this. I’m just having a bad day. Tired after a long weekend. I’m sure that’s it.”

I know I shouldn’t have admitted that anything is wrong. No one can handle it if I lose my shit. I have to squash this before he calls someone else in the family and says something to them.

Savannah: “Plus, it’s my time of the month. Probably hormones.”

Denver leans back.

Denver: “Well shit. That’s it. Women murder men on their period. Thank God, you scared the shit out of me.” Denver: “You know that it’s okay to want more, right? That if you really want to change yourself or your life, you can? You just have to give it a go.” Liam: How’s it going? I’m between clients.

Me: Better than I could have imagined.

Liam: Please tell me you’re not getting an orgasm from the blueberry pie?

I laugh, and the waitress glances over.

Me: Well, it HAS been awhile.

Liam: We could solve that problem tonight. ;)

Me: I thought you weren’t supposed to flirt with me.

Liam: I may have to take that back and call myself a liar. It’s too hard not to.

Me: LIAM.

Liam: SAVANNAH.

Me: Thanks for making me do this.

Liam: You’re welcome. <3 Her face lights up as if she just remembered something.

Juno: “Grandma Dori is finally moving out!”

I’m surprised. I would’ve thought she’d be there until my place was fixed and she lost her leverage to keep me at Liam’s.

Savannah: “What made that happen?”

Juno: “She started the oven and the magazine articles I’d tossed in there filled my place with smoke. She said she can’t fix me and she’s out.” Liam: Why do I feel oddly competitive with pie tonight?

I laugh.

Me: Not sure how to respond to that.

Liam: Are you dodging my question? I’m not going to be able to concentrate. Tell me you didn’t orgasm from pie.

Me: I didn’t orgasm from pie.

Liam: Phew. That’s good to hear. My last client canceled so I’ll be home a little earlier. You know in case you wanted to greet me naked on my bed. No complaints here.

The waitress brings the pie over, and my phone vibrates in my hand.

Liam: That was a joke. Kind of. I mean I’ll fully support you naked on my bed if you feel strongly about it, but I know we’re supposed to have this line drawn in the sand so you can wear lingerie in my bed, too. Your choice. ;)

I laugh again. The waitress catches my eye.

Waitress: “The ones who make you laugh are always the keepers.” Savannah: “Come on. It’s funny.”

Liam: “You never find anything funny, but you finally give me the green light and your grandma ends up cockblocking me. I don’t see the humor.” He brushes my hair off my forehead and tucks it behind my ear while his thumb makes lazy circles along my hipbone.

Liam: “Do you know how long I’ve waited to kiss your tattoo?”

My palms are plastered to the door as shyness swells inside me. I haven’t been with anyone for a while, which Liam probably knows. Even though I’m five years older, his experience outweighs mine by a ton. His chest remains inches from mine, but all I can think about is having the weight of his body on top of me. How nice it will feel.

Liam: “I’ve been waiting since I gave it to you. That night sealed my fate—I’ll never get you out of my system. I thought it was a typical crush on my friends’ older sister. But that night, the trust you had in me… a trust I know doesn’t come easy to you. I knew then that no other woman would ever satisfy me the way you would.” I march over to Denver, grab the back of his T-shirt, and drag him out of the fridge.

Denver: “Whoa. What’s going on?”

He barely manages to set the open container of orange juice he just drank down on the counter as I push him forward.

Denver: “What’s with this?”

He tries to look over his shoulder as we pass a laughing Liam still sitting on the floor. Finally, Denver uses his considerable strength to screech to a stop. When he does, my bare feet slide on the hardwood and I end up on my ass. Liam shifts to get up, but I give him my palm. I stand, then open the front door and use all my muscle to turn Denver around and push him out the door.

Denver: “What the hell?”

he says, whipping around once he’s on the porch.

Savannah: “The Kelly house has no vacancies tonight. Go couch surf.”

I slam the door. Liam barely hides his laughter as he points at the side window. Denver is peering in with a confused expression. I open the door.

Savannah: “What didn’t you understand?”

Denver: “Are you two, like, really… doing it? I was kidding. Thought maybe I’d walked in on you strangling him.”

I glance over my shoulder at Liam and he shrugs, leaving the ball in my court. At this point, if I don’t sleep with him, my lady parts are going to revolt and close up shop.

Savannah: “We were about to until you barged in.”

I grab Denver by his T-shirt—which I’m fully aware is overkill, but Denver has to be threatened within an inch of his life to keep any kind of secret.

Savannah: “If you tell anyone what you saw or anything that has Liam’s and my names in the same sentence, I promise you, Denver, I will put you on every dating app with a sappy post about how you’re looking for monogamy and leave your cell phone number in your profile.”

He rears back, eyes wide.

Denver: “You would not.”

Savannah: “Try me.”

I release his T-shirt and he stumbles back a step.

Denver: “Fine. Jeez.”

He smooths the front of his T-shirt.

Denver: “I’m going.”

Savannah: “Don’t come back until one of us texts you, and remember.”

I act as though I’m zipping my lips shut. He nods and rolls his eyes.

Denver: “You didn’t have to be so mean about it. I would’ve understood.”

He wouldn’t have.

Savannah: “Have a good night, Denver.”

I shut the door, flick the lock, and turn off the porch light.

Denver: “Nice, Savannah!”

Denver yells as I hear him stumble. Savannah: “You make me sound like an unattainable jewel or something.”

I’d never admit that I like it.

Liam: “You are. To me, you are. I wrap my arm around her, and although she steps away, I bring her to my side because it’s just Denver.

Denver: “Yeah, well, I’m surprised each time I run into the two of you on the cusp of doing ‘that which shall not be named.’ I’m still not a hundred percent comfortable with this yet.”

He waves his finger between us.

Liam: “Sorry not sorry.”

I kiss the top of his sister’s head then slide my hand down to her ass and slap it.

Denver: “Fuck, Liam.”

Denver shuts his eyes and turns around.

Denver: “Go do that somewhere else.” Austin: “I ran into Denver in town. We took Calista and Dion their souvenirs.”

I cross my legs and keep my phone tucked into my lap just in case Liam messages me. How can one twin be a vault and the other the exact opposite?

Savannah: “I told him if he told anyone that I’d put him on every dating site, saying he’s desperate for monogamy.”

He leans back and spreads his arms across the backs of the cushions.

Austin: “Then I’d start downloading dating apps to your phone.” Savannah: “Why don’t you share these? People would buy these, they’re that good. I’m sure Rome would love the one of him and Calista. Your mom would love that one of our moms laughing with coffee mugs in their hands. You should be proud of your talent.”

I shake my head.

Liam: “I’m not ready for that step. I’m not sure I ever will be. I’m sharing this with you because you need to know that when I’m in here, I’m not watching porn or, like you thought, playing with my beetles.” Savannah: “Maybe you could paint me like in Titanic?”

Liam: “I’m not sure I have Jack’s self-control.” Dori: “Don’t mind Phoenix. She’s in a mood.”

Phoenix: “Yeah, because you fired me this morning but gave me two weeks’ notice. The two-weeks thing is supposed to be the other way around.” Dori: “I want you to know, you’re a Bailey. Maybe not by blood, but I’ve always thought of you as my grandchild. Which makes it slightly incest with you and Savannah.”

Liam: “Um. No, no it doesn’t.”

Dori: “Kind of,”

Liam: “No. Not at all.”

She shrugs.

Dori: “You loved Tim and Beth like parents. Didn’t you?”

Liam: “Yeah, but that doesn’t make Savannah my sister.” Liam: “I can drop you off at Northern Lights.”

She shoos me with her hand.

Dori: “I like to watch the making up.”

Liam: “No offense, Dori, but that sounds creepy.” Liam: “What are all those keys for?”

We climb out of my car and walk up the path to the front door.

Dori: “All the houses, but that’s a little secret between you and me.”

Liam: “As long as my key isn’t on that ring, your secret is safe.”

She mocks offense.

Dori: “Sure, let’s pretend it’s not.”

For some reason, it warms my heart that she actually might, but I’ll still be changing my locks come tomorrow. Dori: “You’re a good egg.”

I chuckle.

Liam: “Thanks?”

Dori: “Like when you crack one open and you get double yolk. That kind of an egg.”

I nod a few times.

Liam: “Thanks, Dori.” I grab my cell phone from the table. Terra and Mare isn’t open, but I have to do this before I let him carry me upstairs and make us both forget this fight.

Rome: “Sav?”

Rome answers groggily.

Savannah: “I need a reservation tomorrow, by the window, for two.”

Rome: “Go to hell. You just woke Dion.”

Crying rings out through the receiver as Harley groans.

Savannah: “Thank you. See you tomorrow at six-thirty.”

Rome: “Dumbass, we’re closed on Sunday nights.”

Click. The line dies.

 


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