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ANYTHING BETWEEN US
Starving Artists Book 3
BY SARAH FINE
Bestselling author Sarah Fine presents a powerful standalone romance sure to thrill new adult readers everywhere.
What if falling in love is the biggest risk of all?
Sasha decided a long time ago that she would only allow herself a single night each year to go out and be wild. The rest of her time is spent at her pottery wheel or taking care of her father, who has early-onset Alzheimer’s. She has plenty of reasons to avoid anything more than this: one guy, one night, and no names exchanged. But this year, the long and lean stranger she chooses turns out to be more than she bargained for. He makes her feel alive—when it doesn’t seem safe to feel that way at all.
Discharged from the army after a traumatic deployment, Nate returns to his hometown riddled with guilt and unable to envision a future. Everything starts to change during a night out with friends, when a beautiful stranger offers him a no-strings-attached encounter against the wall in the back room of the bar. He knows the deal, but when they run into each other again at the local artists’ co-op where his older brother works, he can’t help but crave more. She makes him feel alive—but he’s still trying to decide if he wants to live at all.
She’s not willing. He’s not ready. But with an unrelenting attraction that weakens their resolve with every passing minute, Sasha and Nate embark on a friendship. One that makes them both stronger. One that makes them wonder if the future might be brighter than either of them ever imagined—until a devastating turn forces them to decide: Is risking everything for love worth the pain of losing it long before they’re ready?
**WARNING: This is a new adult novel and contains material which is sexual in nature. Content may not be suitable for readers under the age of 18.**
About the Book
Anything Between Us
by Sarah Fine
Starving Artists Book Three; Standalone Story
New Adult Contemporary Romance
July 31, 2019
ANYTHING BETWEEN US
Starving Artists Book 3
© 2019 SARAH FINE
Editorial Note: Edited for language
I know alcohol is inadvisable after getting new ink, but tonight I’m not in a rule-following mood. As I walk into the bar and look around for my buddies, I feel Sam’s initials on my arm; the sharp, hot reminder they’re meant to be. SLP. Never forget.
He should be here. And I probably shouldn’t.
I’m fifteen minutes late, but Brent and Aidan aren’t here yet. It kind of pisses me off—I drove all the way out here to Grand Rapids to meet up with them, nearly an hour from the lakeshore town where we all grew up. They both moved here while I was gone.
It’s approaching midnight and the place is already starting to empty out, so I snag a seat at the bar—facing the door—and raise a finger to get the bartender’s attention. He smirks as he saunters over. “Got some ID on you?”
He doesn’t look that much older than I am, maybe late twenties, but his cheeks are pocked with acne scars and he’s already balding on top. I slide my ID from my wallet and hand it over. His expression smooths out like I knew it would. “Thank you for your service,” he says as he hands it back to me. “First one’s on me.”
I thank him and order a beer, wondering if coming out tonight was a mistake. I don’t exactly feel public-facing. But I haven’t seen Brent or Aidan since before this last deployment, the last one I’ll ever have, as it turns out, and I figured reconnecting with them would be another way to slide into civilian life. That’s what the adjustment counselor at the VA said, anyway. He issued the advice like a prescription, right after he asked me if I had access to firearms. He seemed relieved when I said no, which was the truth.
I didn’t mention that I got my ten-day handgun purchase permit eight days ago.
The bartender hands over a pint, and I down half of it in one long swallow. “Looks like you needed that pretty badly,” he comments.
“You have no idea,” I mutter, glancing at the door and wishing my friends would arrive. My body jitters with a restless energy that I need to drown before it ignites. I’d check my phone, but Jen’s message from earlier is right there, waiting like a buried IED. And I can’t answer her yet. I just can’t.
I down the rest of the pint and raise my head. That’s when I see her. Black hair, dark eyes, and a green dress over some very dangerous curves. She’s at the other end of the bar, nursing brown liquor in a rocks glass, rolling that thing between her palms as if the heat from her skin could change its shape.
When she sees me watching her, she arches one eyebrow and raises her glass.
My heart picks up a hungry, urgent rhythm as I silently toast with my empty glass. She looks like she’s alone there, just her and that drink, but she’s made up like she wasn’t planning to be. And there’s something deep and sad in those eyes, despite the playful smile she’s aiming at me. Did her date bail on her? Maybe she’d like some company?
I’m considering offering her mine when a heavy hand claps me so hard on the back that I nearly face-plant on the bar. My muscles go rigid with the unexpected blow, but the familiar voice booming in my ear keeps me from reflexively throwing a punch. “Back on the home front,” says Brent, grinning as I turn to him. “Great to see you, man.”
Aidan stands next to him, and they make a funny pair. Brent is built like a bear and is a few inches taller than me—he has to be about six-five—with shaggy hair and a beard to match. Aidan is lean like me, only about five inches shorter than I am.
“How long have you been back?” Aidan asks.
I glance over at the woman in the green dress, but she’s lost interest in me and is deep in conversation with the bartender. “Back from deployment for about six weeks, but I’ve only been home since last Wednesday.”
“And already sporting a new tat?” Brent gestures at my arm as he settles on the stool next to mine.
I move my hand to my lap, tilting my arm so that the bandage is concealed. “Just a small one.”
“Want to show it off?” Aidan asks as he takes the seat on my other side. “I remember when you got that one.” He tilts his head toward the tribal pattern that encircles my right biceps, a souvenir from one wild night with my older brother right before I deployed for the first time. “You kept flexing like a total idiot, trying to show it off.”
I suck a breath through my teeth. “This one’s still raw.” In so many ways. “I’ll show you once it heals.” Which it never will. “I need another drink,” I add, glaring at the bartender’s back.
“Hey! Buddy!” Brent’s voice fills up the whole place, despite the loud music. The sound turns a few heads, including the bartender’s. “Can we have a round here?” Brent’s meaty hand swirls around us, drawing invisible boundaries.
The bartender holds up a finger, signaling for us to wait as he finishes his conversation with the woman in green. Brent rolls his eyes. “He’s too busy trying to get laid, apparently,” he says, eyeing her. “Not that I blame him. I kinda wish I’d spotted her first.”
For some stupid reason, I don’t want Brent looking at her. “How’s Anna?” I ask.
The smile drops from his face. “She told me she’s thinking of buying another wedding dress.”
Aidan snorts. “And she has two already.”
With a groan, Brent says, “She’s turned into one of those bridezillas. I never thought she’d be like that. She always seemed so normal.”
I laugh. “Serves you right for settling down.”
Aidan clears his throat. “I guess I’m in for it, too, then.”
I whip around. “Seriously?”
“He popped the question a few weeks ago, and Lizzy actually said yes,” Brent tells me, sounding incredulous. “No accounting for taste.”
“You guys are killing me. I’m gone for a few years, and suddenly you’re old men?”
“She graduated from Calvin in May and was deciding whether to take a job here or in Lansing.” Aidan shrugs. “I figured this would seal the deal. Seemed as good a time as any.”
“You’re twenty-three,” I say in a flat voice.
“Twenty-four,” he replies. “I’m six months older than you are.”
“You’re both insane,” I say. I’ve known them since elementary school, but now they seem like strangers to me. From another planet. Except maybe I’m the alien.
Brent bumps me with his shoulder. “If we’re crazy, it looks like your brother might need to be committed soon, too. Have you met his girlfriend yet?”
I shake my head. “Daniel’s a player. He never lets anyone hang on for too long.” Even as I say it, I’m thinking this time might be different. My parents are both nuts over this girl, and Daniel … I’ve only hung out with him once since I got back, but he could barely wipe the woozy, shit-eating grin off his face when he talked about her. “Maybe he’ll come to his senses.”
“Still bitter about Carrie, huh?” Aidan says this cautiously, like he knows he’s on dangerous ground.
“Please.” It’s been nearly two years since she got bored of having a boyfriend in the military—the letters slowed, and Facetiming was hit or miss. Fourteen months since Aidan broke the news—he’d seen her and Cameron Bakker making out in the balcony of the movie theater on Main, like they didn’t give a shit who saw them. And almost exactly a year since I confronted her about it and broke up with her—while I was home on leave and about to deploy, for f**k’s sake. “She did me a favor.”
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the blog tour for ONLY BETWEEN US and the upcoming release of ANYTHING BETWEEN US, we’re giving away four paperback sets of the Starving Artists series!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS Open to internationally. Four winners will each receive a paperback set of Only Between Us, Everything Between Us, and Anything Between Us by Sarah Fine. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Sarah Fine. Giveaway ends 7/27/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About Sarah Fine…
SARAH FINE is the author of several books for teens, including Of Metal and Wishes (McElderry/Simon & Schuster) and its sequel, Of Dreams and Rust, the bestselling Guards of the Shadowlands YA urban fantasy series (Skyscape/Amazon Children’s Publishing), and The Impostor Queen (McElderry, January 2016).
She is also the co-author (with Walter Jury) of two YA sci-fi thrillers published by Putnam/Penguin: Scan and its sequel Burn. Her bestselling adult urban fantasy romance series, Servants of Fate, includes Marked, Claimed, and Fated, and was published by 47North in 2015, and her second adult UF series —Reliquary (and its sequels Splinter and Mosaic) was published 2016. When she’s not writing, she’s psychologizing. Sometimes she does both at the same time. The results are unpredictable.