We're less than a week away until the release of PASSION RESTORED by Carrie Ann Ryan (!!!), but we couldn't wait. So we revealed the first chapter! Find out more about PASSION RESTORED and dive into the first chapter below!
About PASSION RESTORED
The Gallagher Brothers series from NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan continues with the one brother who thinks he can handle it all and the one woman who could change that.
Owen Gallagher likes everything in its place and is organized to a fault. While his brothers have each dealt with their own personal tragedies and stresses, Owen figures he’s had it pretty easy. That is until his perfectly ordered world is rocked at its foundation and he’s forced to rely on others. Now, he must heal his body and his soul while trying to ignore his delectable and utterly off-limits neighbor.
Liz McKinley is stressed out, exhausted, and not in the mood for a bearded and growly man in her ER. When she patches him up to the best of his ability, she’s prepared to push him firmly from her thoughts. Of course, that would be easier if she and her best friend hadn’t bought the house next to his. Now their paths seem to cross daily, and she is finding it harder and harder to say no to the injured and angry man next door. But she’s been scarred one too many times in her life, and even though this Gallagher looks good enough to eat, she knows that sometimes, sating that craving is the worst thing she can do.
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PASSION RESTORED releases February 28th - preorder now!
Read the Third Part of Chapter One:
“Hi, boys,” the brunette said with a slight drunken slur. “Liz is making me leave, but I wanted to say hi. I’m Tessa.” She held out her hand, looked down, and laughed before pulling her arm back. “Sorry. Not at work. I guess handshakes in bars are weird, right?”
Blondie—Liz, he corrected himself—closed her eyes, and he assumed counted to ten. He couldn’t help but feel for her right then. Picking up inebriated friends from bars when you were clearly not in the mood wasn’t the easiest thing in the world.
“We’re all friends here,” Murphy said softly. “I’m Murphy, this is my brother, Owen.”
Owen nodded at them both, though his eyes were still on Liz. “Hey.”
“Hey,” Liz said with a soft scowl. “Now that we’ve said hello, Tessa, we’re going home. I’m exhausted and not in the mood to deal with bars and the grabby hands of the dudes that frequent them.” She winced and looked over at Owen and Murphy. “Sorry. No offense.”
Murphy snorted and held up his hands. “No offense taken, and no grabby hands here. Nice to meet you both.”
Owen tilted his head and studied the shadows beneath Liz’s eyes. She may be exhausted, but he had a feeling it wasn’t just lack of sleep that gave her that look.
And why did he care?
He’d literally just met her and her friend and had said all of one word so far. He should just let them go and head home himself. He wasn’t in the mood for a bar night either it seemed.
“Get some sleep, ladies,” Owen said after a moment. “Nice to meet you both.”
Tessa pouted but winked as she did it, completely ruining the effect. “Nighty-night, boys.”
Liz rolled her eyes, a small smile playing on her lips even as she tried to frown. “Good night.” She pulled at Tessa’s arm, and the two of them made their way out of the bar, most of the eyes of the men in the building following them. Owen couldn’t blame the guys as he was one of them, but he still felt a little bad about it.
A guy tripped his way up to Owen’s side and snorted. “Looks good coming and going. I’d fuck either one of them, but that blonde one seems a bit stiff. Maybe she just needs a little D to get over whatever stick is up her ass.”
Owen looked over at the idiot and narrowed his eyes. “Watch it,” he growled softly. “She was just picking up her friend.”
The guy raised a brow. “What the fuck ever. She needs to get over herself.”
The asshole’s friend cupped himself, rocking into his hand. “She just needs to be stuffed with something other than that stick.”
Murphy put his hand on Owen’s shoulder, and that’s when Owen realized he’d moved forward ever so slightly toward the other two men. And now that Owen got a good look at them, he recognized them as the group Tessa had been talking to before in the corner.
Owen might have had fantasies about Liz—and now felt like an asshole about them—but in the daydreams, she’d been a willing participant, not something to fuck and get over like these guys insinuated. And hell, he was glad Liz had gotten Tessa out of there because a woman drinking alone with these guys would only lead to bad things.
“Let’s go,” Owen growled. “I’m done.”
Murphy squeezed his shoulder and pulled him back again. “I’m with you.”
The other guys ignored them, going back to whatever crude and mundane conversation they’d been having before, and Owen was grateful for it. He didn’t want to get in a fight tonight. Didn’t want to deal with the inevitable injuries to his hands—even though he and Murphy would have won for sure against these drunk idiots—and, hell, he definitely didn’t want to deal with the cops.
Liz and Tessa hadn’t asked for their help and weren’t even there any longer, but Owen still had the desire to teach the guys a lesson.
And because there was nothing he could do other than show them how to treat women, he slung back the rest of his club soda so he had a bit of pep thanks to the bubbles for the drive home and headed out of the bar with Murphy.
The parking lot wasn’t that full since it was the middle of the week, but since he and Murphy had gotten there at different times, they hadn’t been able to park next to one another.
“See you in the morning,” Owen grumbled.
“Nine, right?” Murphy asked, his eyes too innocent.
“Seven, and you know that.” Though Murphy would probably stroll in bleary-eyed and in need of caffeine at seven-fifteen or so. Their little brother was not a morning person and usually worked later than all of them to make up for it.
“God, why are there two sevens in the day? I mean, hell, isn’t seven in the evening enough for us?” Murphy clutched his chest and took a couple of steps back, and Owen shook his head.
“You’ll be fine.” And, thankfully, they were calling it an early night tonight since they did, in fact, have a very early morning. Owen would probably set out at six or so to pick up something to eat for the crew and coffee for his brothers. They never asked it of him, but he always did it. Anyone could have picked it up, but then Owen wouldn’t be able to make sure it was done correctly and on time.
So he was a little anal-retentive.
What of it?
He said goodbye to Murphy and headed back to his car, aware that others were filing out of the bar, as well, their voices carrying on the wind. Owen rolled his head on his shoulders and stuffed his hands into his pockets as he crossed the long lot to where he’d parked under a street lamp.
At the sound of a shout, he turned, the hairs on the back of his neck standing on end. Lights filled his vision, and he took a staggering step back, throwing his hands up to shield his face.
The sound of an engine filled his ears, and he only had a moment to realize what it was he saw until he couldn’t see anything else. The truck—it had to be a truck with the size of those lights—clipped him in the side, and Owen flew.
He felt weightless and yet too heavy all at the same time.
His body went numb before it felt as if he’d caught on fire.
He hit the pavement hard enough to crack bones—maybe a few ribs—and he tried to scream, only he couldn’t get enough air. His body skidded across the parking lot for far too long, his head scraping the gravel along the way.
Then he stopped.
His body shaking.
His mind whirling.
And yet he couldn’t focus.
The sound of tires burning rubber as they skidded away made him want to wince, but he couldn’t pull his arms up to cover his face. Rapid footsteps sounded as someone came near and others shouted for help.
But Owen didn’t do anything.
When he finally opened his eyes and saw Murphy above him, his brother’s eyes wide, tears running down his pale cheeks, the streetlight hovering above him like a halo, Owen figured this might be the end.
Because no Gallagher looked like an angel, not even his baby brother.
Owen tried to reach out, to say something.
But the darkness came, and then there was nothing.