Don't Let Go by Nona Raines
Publication Date: November 5, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Novella, Romance
SynopsisAnnalee wants a no-strings fling. Eric's all about the strings. Twelve years ago, when Eric Sorenson's date dumped him right before the Senior Prom, his older sister’s best friend stepped in to save him from total humiliation. He never forgot Annalee or what she did for him that night…or the kiss they shared. He wants Annalee, and if he has his way, they'll take up where they left off. And this time, he won't let go. After a messy divorce, Annalee's not looking forward to her high school reunion. She's shocked when Eric appears at her door ready to return the favor and play escort. Gone is the inexperienced boy with a severe stutter—he's a striking, confident man. The memory of the kiss they shared rekindles an attraction that never died, and she's been on her own for a year. Isn't she entitled to kick loose and have a let's-go-crazy night?
Eric’s voice pulled her from thoughts of her past. Of her failed marriage. “Dee says you don’t go by Donovan anymore.”
She gave him a tight little smile. “That’s right .I’m Annalee Mondello again. Right back where I started.”
“No, you’re not. You’re light years away from the girl I took to my senior prom.”
“Oh.” She could hardly recall the girl who’d been so sure her life would unfold perfectly, complete with a romance novel ending. She’d have the right job, the right man, the ideal life. How silly and naïve she’d been.
“She was a pretty young girl,” he said. “Who’s become a beautiful woman.” His words were simple, matter of fact. He wasn’t trying to shine her on or butter her up. She turned her head to hide her trembling lips. Of course he didn’t mean the compliment literally. But too few men understood what those words meant to a woman. What a balm they were to a bruised soul.
They’d reached the park’s playground area, which was deserted this morning. Seizing the chance to change the topic, she gestured to the swing set. “I used to love the swings.”
“When was the last time you were on one?”
She laughed. “Not since I was a kid.”
“Sit down,” he urged. “I’ll push you.”
It was ridiculous. “I’m too big.”
“No, you’re not. Those seats look plenty strong enough to hold an adult.”
Rolling her eyes, she plunked down on an empty swing. Eric tied Bobo’s leash to the slat of a nearby bench.
Eric stood behind her. “Ready?”
She stifled a giggle and gripped the chains. Was she really doing this? “Ready.”
He started out slow, with a solid push, but quickly built up steam. Soon, Annalee was flying, her toes pointed toward the clouds. Eric knew what he was doing, pushing the seat.
Together they achieved a perfect rhythm that was almost hypnotizing. No matter how high she sailed, he was at her back. He’d never let her go too far.
But they fumbled when a child’s voice piped up. “Hey, mister, can you push me, too?”