Impressions of me impres.., p.1

Impressions of Me (Impressions Series Book 2), page 1

 

Impressions of Me (Impressions Series Book 2)
 


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Impressions of Me (Impressions Series Book 2)


  Impressions of Me

  Also by Christopher Harlan

  Impressions of You

  Book 1: The Impressions Series

  Wesley Marsden is the heir to the successful company, Marsden, Inc. From the outside he seems to have it all: wealth, good looks, and a genius level IQ, but these qualities hide the depths of his complexity. While he’s a man who’s strong, confident, and in control, he’s also a man obsessed with solving a family mystery that has left him with a sometimes crippling case of social anxiety, and plagued his personal relationships for years.

  Mia Careri is a stunningly beautiful special needs elementary teacher; a woman who’s devoted her life to the care and education of other people’s children. Funny, beautiful, and intelligent, she has a job she loves and close friends who are like her family. The only elusive aspect of her life has been finding a man who understands who she is at her core, and appreciates the sacrifices she makes on a daily basis. Plagued by insecurities and a slew of failed relationships, she yearns for the missing facet of her life so far – the perfect man to have a future with.

  Soon both of their fates will collide over the course of a fateful few months, and neither of them will ever be the same again.

  Praise for Impressions of You

  “Christopher Harlan didn't just step in the literary world; he busted the damn door down. He knows how to write a story that will keep you engaged… His characters are well thought out with a depth that surprised me. The romance is beautiful, heartwarming and poignant.”

  -Amanda, Tears & Lipstick Smears Book Blog

  “Impressions of You, starring Mia Careri and Wesley Marsden, is the love story not only of these two characters, but also of a man's deep love for his family…this is a great story and I can't wait to see what the author does with the extra characters. Great things will come from this author, I have no doubt!”

  -Corrie, Goodreads.com reader

  “Impressions of You is a debut book by Christopher Harlan that simply told a beautiful story of love, pain and letting go. It was a memorable and a beautiful written story that I simply could not get enough of. I enjoyed reading it immensely… I did not expect at all the situations in this book to be so profound but I was left with a sense of contentment while I was reading this story. Christopher Harlan wrote a book that had real issues which made it so captivating to me. In a way, it gave the story such a different edge.”

  -Tanaka, The Romantic Angel Blog

  “This book will make you see the highs and lows, and it will turn you inside out and then right you. I loved this read and am seriously looking forward to more from this Author.

  Get writing Mr. Harlan.”

  -Julie, Goodreads.com reader

  Amazon Reviews of Impressions of You

  “…Not only is he super interactive with his readers he is also attentive and caring… He kept in touch with me at all times to check if I had any concerns in regards to what I was reading… To me that speaks wonders of an author…

  I definitely recommend Impressions of You to any reader willing to give a male author a chance in this romance genre… I will be placing Christopher Harlan in my list of authors to follow… Thank you for an amazing read!!”

  - Dianela’s Details

  “…Everything about this book, from the HOT and incredibly sexy cover to the captivating and engaging storyline was pure perfection and I am so happy that I decided to purchase this book and give it a chance. A rare gem in the Indie world of books, Christopher Harlan has knocked it out of the park with Impressions of You and I can’t wait for the second installment from this incredible author.”

  -Tamara B.

  “Sensual, beautiful, heartwarming. Those were some of my thoughts while reading Christopher Harlan’s debut novel, Impressions of You. I immediately became addicted to his beautiful words. Like a poet he melding the story into something breathtaking.”

  ---Harlow Kane

  Impressions of Me

  Book 2: The Impressions Series

  Cover design by Freya at Rebel Edit & Design

  Cover image provided by Shauna Kruse of Kruse Images & Photography

  Cover models: BT Urruela & Elaine Monville

  Formatting by Cassy at Pink Ink Designs

  Proofreading by Marla at Proofing with Style

  This e-book may not be re-sold or given away to anyone who did not purchase the book. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, otherwise) without the written permission of the above author of this book.

  This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is entirely coincidental. All people, places, and events contained herein are a product of the author’s imagination and are completely fictitious.

  Warning:

  Content contains explicit sexual content and adult content. It is intended for mature, adult audiences. Parental/reader discretion is advised.

  Dedication

  To my wife and two wonderful children, and to the real Jordan.

  PICTURE HERE

  She calls me from the cold

  Just when I was low, feeling short of stable

  All that she intends and all she keeps inside

  Isn't on the label...

  ---Fuel, Shimmer

  And I would be the one to hold you down,

  Kiss you so hard,

  I'll take your breath away.

  And after I'll wipe away the tears,

  Just close your eyes dear.

  ---Sarah McLachlan, Possession

  I am a man, a man I'll give ya something that ya won't forget

  I said you shouldn't have worn that dress

  I said you shouldn't have worn that dress, worn that dress

  I know you want what's on my mind

  I know you like what's on my mind

  I know it eats you up inside

  I know you know, you know, you know

  ---Stone Temple Pilots, Sex Type Thing

  Author’s Note

  Stalking and domestic abuse issues are a serious issue facing women in the United States. Although those elements which I’ve included in this fictional story aren’t real, thousands of women in the U.S. face these issues on a daily basis, with much greater severity than any character in this story. If you or anyone you know is dealing with these matters please see the following resources to get help.

  The National Center for Victims of Crime

  Blurb

  Prologue

  Touch me just one more time.

  Not like the first time we met, and not like the time after that; touch me like you just did, and never stop. The feeling you give to me in here is reverberating through my entire body. It starts at my fingertips that dance over the curvature of your chest and it continues through my arm, and down my entire body, until my toes hurt from curling. When I think that sensation is unlike anything I've ever felt before, you prove me wrong by laying your hands on me. You're so strong, yet it's strength that that allows me to feel your vulnerability at the same time.

  Your touch is confusing like that, but that confusion keeps me on curled toes, awaiting the grip of your arms as you pull me into your embrace. And it's in that embrace I want to remain - with the heat of your naked body warming me, the feeling of your arousal turning me on, and the knowledge of what's about to happen making my heart beat like a drum in my chest.

  You contradict with everything that you are, and you have since the first time we met. Do you remember? You were arrogant; you were aloof; and
yes, you were so rude. I believed it all that night because I didn't know you, but now I know. I see you for all that you are.

  Touch me again, Kane.

  Touch me just like you just did, and never stop. Touch me as you lie on top of me, with your muscular frame pressing down on me, exciting every inch of my body, and reminding me what it feels like to be truly alive. I'm so turned on that all I want is for you to be inside of me, with your lips pressing into mine, the reality of life fading into complete oblivion, as the arousal of our bodies becoming my new reality. What's happening in the real world is lost on me as you look into my eyes; how could I think of anything else? How could I think at all? Your face leaves me no choice but to feel, and I want to feel you forever.

  Just as I'm lost in your eyes you stand up over me, and I can finally take all of you in at once: the sharp, muscular curvature of your body, the chisel of your jawline; the clarity of your deep green eyes - all of it. I can't believe that we're here, and I can't believe it took so long.

  The rise of you standing over me is replaced by the fall of you pouring over me. And it's when you do that that I have to scream out your name, Kane, in the loudest voice my lungs will allow. Touch me, Kane. Touch me like you just did and never, ever stop.

  Chapter 1

  Why don't people come with labels?

  I mean, seriously, everything else in our society has to be advertised honestly, right? Think about it; even that disgusting piece of beef jerky sticking out of the beef jerky display (eww, why does such a thing exist) at the counter of every 711 in America is more honest about its contents than some people are. Calorie count, sugar content, percentage of my daily fiber requirements - I'd say that I have more info on any of the forty thousand items in my grocery store than I have of my last three boyfriends.

  Maybe I just make bad choices in guys. No, forget the 'maybe', I definitely make bad choices in guys, but how can it be all my fault when none of them come as advertised. Imagine if I walk into a shoe store and every box was just labeled "shoes" with no size and no display picture, and then imagine I picked one at random, what are the odds it would be the exact pair I need for that important job interview? Right, about 1,000:1 (or more...or less, Jesus I should have paid attention during high school math), but you get my point. So why do women get all the blame for choosing the wrong guys; they say we have daddy issues, or we were abused, or some other dumb thing, but is it really our faults?

  When I'm Queen-of-the-World (and based on how everything in my life is going perfectly, my crown should be arriving any day now) my first order of business will be to institute the mandatory labeling of all people based on how they really are, not how they pretend to be. Follow me here, I think it might be the best idea a future leader has ever proposed. Think about the people in your life, and how you wish that you knew more about them; that you could see underneath the masks they wear. How would that have changed the decisions you made?

  Imagine if the guy you meet at the bar on Saturday is labeled "married cheating asshole...sixty-two percent; emotionally unavailable. . . eighteen percent.” How much more informed all of our choices would be. But people don't have labels, and we don't have the info we need to make good choices; we get to find out everything about the people in our lives after we've chosen them. I guess for some people, like my best friend Mia, that works out just fine. For my other best friend, Kevin, and I, not so much. Kevin's with some new girl he met recently, and I’m pretty sure that if she had a label right on the front of her low cut dress that read "crazy-ass obsessive clinger", Kev would have looked past her fake hair and tits and moved on to the next girl in the room.

  As for me, I can definitely benefit from some accurate people-labels. I wish that when I was a kid my biological mom could have been labeled "damaged teen-mom who never wanted a kid", or that any one of her parade of deadbeat boyfriends through the years could have had shirts that read, "using her to score drugs", or "low key pedophile", or any of the other winning qualities they all had.

  But people don't come labeled, they come in a big generic-looking box, like a Christmas present that you can't tell what's inside. I always hope that when I unwrap them that they're like those Jimmy Cho shoes I dream about, but usually they're just a big lump of coal. I’m so fucked up.

  Speaking of which, is it weird that weddings make me sad? Not like happy-sad, either, sad-sad. Maybe I'm being a little dramatic, but I've never liked going to or being part of weddings. The whole ceremony always seems so...rehearsed. I'm probably bitter because it's never been me up there, wearing that beautiful white, expensive gown, and having a room full of friends and family tell me how beautiful I am. But still, I just count the minutes until the love play is over - some appetizers, too many pictures you'll never look at again, bad dancing and a few too many shots of whatever, it's always the same story.

  Leave it to Wesley Marsden to screw up my bitter, unmarried expectations. Wesley did it the right way. Everything at their wedding was out of a fairy tale, and I enjoyed the entire thing. The place was gorgeous, the food was delicious, and Mia looked every bit of a princess in a fairy tale. Wesley didn't look bad either! It's weird, though. I got to see my best friend married off to the perfect guy for her - and a billionaire too- but all I really remember from that day was seeing Kane Marsden, Wesley’s brother.

  If someone would like to tell me why all I can think of when I think about my best friend's wedding is the grooms bratty younger brother, I'd be more than happy to listen. I literally can't get him out of my head, and if you had told me that I ever would have felt this way about Kane Marsden I would have called you crazy. Maybe I'm the crazy one. Kane and I had the beginnings of something, we both felt it, but it never got past some heavy flirting and a few texts. We had all been hanging out a lot leading up to the wedding: Mia, Wesley, Kane and I had become this strange kind of foursome, only Kane and I weren't really a couple. We might have been, maybe we should have been, but just as quickly as our flirtation began, it fizzled out. I'm still not sure why, but he seemed to have just retreated into his little rich boy world, and all of a sudden he was distant. I'm not one to chase guys for attention; the way I see it, if he didn't chase after me with everything he had, then maybe it isn't meant to be. But still, seeing him at the wedding brought back some feelings unexpectedly, and now I see him when I close my eyes. What is it about these Marsden boys, anyhow?

  A diner is where we're meeting. No, not Kane and I, but me and my best friend, Mia. The wedding was a few days ago, and Wesley had to delay the honeymoon to finish some business with his company - actually I should say their company, Kane owns a share of it also. They're leaving tomorrow, and I want to grab every chance I have to hang out with my girl like it's the old days. Well, maybe not exactly like that, but a lunch between best friends is always a good way to start off the week.

  Strangely I'm the one whose one time for once, and I text Mia to see what the hell's taking her so long. I've never been great just sitting alone with my thoughts - they're never good thoughts - so I can only take about thirty seconds of staring around the room before I'm stir crazy. I hear the vibration of my phone against the table and see that it's her. She's stuck in traffic. Great, more time by myself to think. There's been too much alone time for my liking recently, but that's what happens when friends grown up and find the hot Prince Charming they've always dreamed of. Maybe one day it'll be my turn.

  Her text must have been delayed getting to me because she walks through the door about a minute later, still carrying that I-Just-Got-Married glow all over her. "Blonde Mia, really," I say sarcastically, "trying to keep me in suspense?"

  "Please," she says back without missing a beat, "if I had a dime for every time you were three times as late as I am, I'd be a rich...oh wait, I guess I kind of am now. That's weird to think about, actually."

  "What?" I ask, “you being the late one, or you being the wife of a guy who could buy and sell Bill Gates?"

  "Both, now that you mention it,
but seriously who are you to talk? I'm sorry I don't drive like Danica Patrick on amphetamines like you."

  "Look at you," I joke, "late and feisty. Tell me, did I ever drive us into a ditch?" She just looks back at me and smiles. "Exactly. Now quit complaining and let's get to ordering waffles or something."

  "Why didn't we go to Sally's if we were gonna get waffles. They can't possibly be as good here." She's right about that, but meeting at Sally's isn't happening right now.

  "Yeah, about that," I begin.

  "What did you do?"

  "I don't think I like the implication in your tone. Not one bit."

  "You've never been able to lie to me, you realize that? Even when you thought you were getting things past me I always knew."

  "No way."

  "Uh-huh," she says, "trust me, I always know."

  "Oh yeah," I ask, challenging her, "like what?"

  "Don't make me say it, just trust your best friend. I don't want to embarrass you this early in the day, it sets a bad tone for the rest of the afternoon."

  "You're so full of shit."

  "Don't make me..."

  "Go ahead," I say, feeling feisty myself at this point.

  "I want it noted on the record that I didn't wanna go here."

  "What record?" I ask.

  "The friendship record." She says, "All best friends have them, if you didn't know."

  "I was unaware, but go on."

 
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