Book Title: Alexa Crushed & Alexa Loved
Author: T.R. Cupak
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: 02/16/15 & 10/06/15
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
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Alexa Morgan lost her mother when she was two. At eighteen, her father and stepmother died when a devastating earthquake hit the Bay Area. Only one person has remained a constant in her life: Devin.
Devin has been Alexa’s best friend since childhood. The two are inseparable—or they were until Devin declared his love for her at sixteen. When Alexa can offer him only friendship in return, Devin retreats, brokenhearted.
Alexa, on the other hand, longs for Ethan, the boy next door. Four years older than her, and with an ever-changing roster of girlfriends, Ethan is everything Devin isn’t: wild, sensual, and unpredictable.
In the aftermath of the deadly earthquake, Ethan makes his move on Alexa, who reciprocates in a confused whirl of grief and desire. When Ethan leaves town the next day, Devin comes back into Alexa’s life, offering support and expecting nothing in return.
Alexa begins to see the advantages of Devin’s quiet, stable love. Can she get past the friendship hang-up while trying to forget bad boy Ethan? It’s a choice that will change her life forever.
After her parents died during her senior year of high school, Alexa Morgan is completely alone in the world—except for her best-friend-turned-boyfriend Devin, identical twins Becca and Jessa, and Sebastian, a mysterious associate of her father’s.
Upon graduation, Alexa wants nothing more than to move on with her life, go to college, and forget all the hard and hurtful things from her tragic past. But when her first love, Ethan, shows up at her graduation—it kicks off a whirlwind of events that threatens the good and stable things she’s worked so hard to achieve.
Ethan and Alexa shared one night of passion before he disappeared, leaving her bewildered and confused. But now he’s back, declaring that he loves her and that the only reason he left was to protect her from his malicious stepmother, Olivia.
In her heart, Alexa knows she loves Devin, but her attraction to Ethan is so strong she can’t help but be drawn in by their shared chemistry. Meanwhile, the threat of Olivia lurks around the edges, casting a menacing shadow over everything and everyone Alexa loves.
“That smells good,” he says as he leans over my shoulder, his breath warm by my ear.
“Well, duh. It’s our staple popcorn for marathon movie watching,” I say in an effort to not sound affected by his close proximity and where his hands flex at my hips.
I’m not exactly sure how it happens, because it happens so quickly, but one second I’m making popcorn, and the next second I’m spun around, Jiffy Pop flying out of my hand, and I’m in Devin’s arms, held tight against his body. His left hand fists into my hair at the nape of my neck as his right hand presses firmly at the small of my back. His lips smash into mine as he tries to coax them to part with subtle licks of his tongue. My lips concede and part slightly. The tip of his soft tongue swiftly touches mine, taking advantage of my invite. For a brief moment, I actually find myself lost in his kiss. Because my first kiss was horrendous, I find myself enjoying Devin’s. His full lips are soft, his mouth is warm, and our tongues move effortlessly together. The hand that Devin had at the small of my back slides lower, resting on my backside. I can feel his erection pressing against my stomach. Just as his mouth leaves mine to trail light kisses down my neck, my mind snaps back to reality, and that reality is that I’m making out with my best friend.
I shove Devin back a step. “What in the hell are you doing, Dev?” My voice is shaky.
“What does it look like, Lexi? I’m kissing you because I like you. I’ve always liked you. You’re beautiful, funny, and smart. We’re good together. I figured if there was any time to see if we have something more than friendship, that time was right now,” he answers unapologetically.
“How can you do this to me, to our friendship?” I’m near tears at this point.
“You just kissed me back, Lex! You can’t deny you felt something more in that one kiss,” he snaps.
“Dev, you’re my best friend. Of course I’m going to feel something. Please don’t ruin this for us,” I plead.
“Ruin us? I’m trying to make us better!” He’s shouting now as anger vibrates off his tensed body.
“Stop, Lexi! Just stop. I get it. You would rather have Mr. Joe College next door,” he says, sounding defeated.
“Wait…what? Where in the hell is that coming from? He has nothing to do with what just freaking happened here.” I’m completely shaking at this point. My vision is blurred from the tears that are now trickling down my flushed cheeks.
“I saw the way you looked at him today. I’ve only dreamed of having you look at me that way. I had to kiss you, Lexi. I had to at least try,” he says, before he turns to leave.
Time is standing still as I bring my fingers to my lips, swollen from Devin’s passionate kiss. My thoughts are scattered. I’m trying to think of what to say to save this friendship, but nothing is coming to mind. I hear his car start, snapping me from my thoughts. My feet finally move as I run out the front door, yelling, “Devin, stop! Wait, dammit!” But I’m too late. He can’t hear me over the roar of his engine, and I’m sure he’s not looking in the rearview mirror to see me standing there.
Although it feels like time has completely stopped it most definitely has not. I am completely oblivious to how long Ethan and I have been standing outside my hotel room when we are startled apart by the sound of a very pissed off, deep, familiar voice.
“What the fuck is going on, Lexi?” Devin’s heated voice booms through the open hallway making me cringe and my body turn to stone at the sound. I’m still partially wrapped up in Ethan’s arms but when I finally detangle myself completely out of his hold, I step to the side of him so I can see Devin. I get a pretty good view of him too since he’s standing only a few feet behind Ethan with hate evident in his normally kind eyes. I know shock is all over my face as I stare at Devin as if he’s just a figment of my imagination. Ethan hasn’t moved a muscle. His back is to his enemy yet he chooses to stay facing me. It takes another few seconds before I finally take notice to what Devin is wearing. He has on running shorts and running shoes. His body is glistening with sweat and his face is red as if he was actually outside running in the Miami heat.
What the hell? My emotions are all over the place. Confused, scared, hurt, happy. I swear on my parent’s urns that Devin was just in bed with the twins. How is he standing here like he was actually out for a run and why can’t I find my damned voice to ask that very question? Suddenly I hear the twins’ door to their room open. I turn my attention behind me just as a random guy, who looks like he could be Devin’s fraternal twin brother or doppelganger, exits the twins’ room. My mind automatically fishes for the memory of my conversation with Jesse. Once I replay what he had said privately plus all of the banter with his buddies, I can see how a drunken person could mistake Mr. Random for Devin. The twins’ guest is wearing gray boardshorts and flips flops and steps out carrying his black T-shirt in his hand. He stops when he sees the three of us standing here. I’m sure we’re quite the sight to see. Me, with red watery eyes and airplane stale clothes, Ethan who has not moved but his irritation is quite evident, and Devin who looks as if he is ready to kill Ethan. The stranger who appears to be very much hung over but oozes sexual satisfaction gives us a half smile, says “Hey” to Devin, and inches past the soon-to-be war zone towards the elevator. It’s usually females you see doing the walk of shame but this morning it’s this wonderful guy, this wonderful guy who isn’t Devin. Shit. Devin.
“Answer me, Alexa.” Devin’s voice is seething and it makes me snap my head back around to face him. I glance briefly at Ethan and I see his eyes are screwed shut, jaw tense, the vein in his neck is pulsing, and his fists are clenched at his sides. Well shit. I can’t explain this because I don’t fully understand it all myself. I look back to Devin who is staring at me with so much anger and hurt that it takes my breath away.
Devin takes two steps closer and Ethan’s eyes snap open. Before either one can do anything I step between both of them. I’ve been in this position once before and just like the last time I have no idea what I could or would do if these two decided to throw down. I take another step towards Devin. He just stares down at me waiting for his answer.
My voice is quiet when I finally speak to him. “Devin, I can explain part of this but I can’t explain Ethan being here because I don’t have that answer-yet.”
“Do you think I’m fucking stupid, Lexi?” There is so much pain evident in his voice that my tears start to spill again.
“No, Devin. I don’t think you’re stupid. Can we please go into our room and talk privately?” I know I sound pathetic but that’s probably because I am. I just want to be alone with Devin and figure out this craziness.
Just when I think Devin is going to concede and go into our room with me I feel one of Ethan’s hands settle on my hip and that one tiny gesture sends Devin flying over the proverbial edge. Everything happens so fast that all I feel is my body being shoved out of the way like I’m a ragdoll. I trip over my bags and my head slams against a solid surface and everything goes black.
T. R. Cupak was born and raised in the California Bay Area. She now lives in a quiet town south of where she grew up with her husband and their shih tzu Harley. She is obsessed with cars, especially fast ones, and enjoys her music louder than anyone should. When she's not at work or busy writing, you can find her curled up, reading and enjoying a fabulous glass of wine or a Dirty Shirley.
Despite her lifelong love of literature, Cupak lost touch with her creative side in her early twenties. Her passion for reading was rekindled six years ago, however, and in 2013 she started journaling. This practice helped Cupak hone her creative aspirations, and soon she saw her characters come to life. She has rediscovered her passion for storytelling and wants to share her words with everyone who wants to read them.