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Spring Hill Blues Duet

Spring Hill Blues Duet

★★★★★ "This book!!! It grabbed me right by the heart in the first couple paragraphs!" ★★★★★

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TROPES

  • Sports Romance
  • Older Brother's Best Friend
  • Enemies-to-Lovers

★★★★★ "This book!!! It grabbed me right by the heart in the first couple paragraphs!" ★★★★★

Put your feet up, sports romance fans: Reid Parker is the swooniest brother's best friend! 

He vowed to stay away from her, but one moment changes everything.

Find out why people are saying, the Spring Hill Blues duet is "One of the best series I have ever read!!" and add one of these beautiful editions to your bookshelf!

About Book

My brother’s best friend thinks he owns me…

Mr. All-Star Quarterback won’t let me heal in peace. His perfectly chiseled features are always there, suffocating me, refusing to let me wallow in my own misery.

Reid is the epitome of “hard-headed jock”…and he has his sights set on me.

If he wasn’t so stubborn…

If he wasn’t so captivatingly handsome…

Maybe then I’d be able to keep my defenses up.

Will these new feelings taint my brother’s memory? Will we cross a line that will ruin everything?

Chapter One LOOK INSIDE

Chapter One

 

My brother had the Spring Hill blues.

I don’t know that I ever did. I was content living my life here, even if Spring Hill is a small town by anyone’s standards and we don’t have the greatest variety of things to do. I was the best in my class. I had great friends. My family was amazing.

I didn’t see that I was missing something.

Now, I do. Now, I’m definitely missing something, and the hole is greater than I ever imagined. Made worse because I know I’m never getting back that void no matter what.

So, yeah, my brother had the Spring Hill blues, and when he died, he passed them on to me.

I blink up at the school. The flags wave high out front above the main entrance door. The wind whips at them while I stare. Underneath, kids I’ve known all my life are walking through those doors, hurrying to get to their first class before the bell rings. I had no intention of being back at Spring Hill High for my junior year. In fact, my only plan was that I wasn’t going to be here. Maybe I would drive up the West Coast, the sea air tangling my hair. Maybe I’d hitchhike to Arizona and see the cool rock formations. Maybe I’d check out the East Coast for once. I didn’t care where I ended up as long as I wasn’t here—in Spring Hill. The place Brady couldn’t wait to leave.

I guess those blues are why I’m in trouble now.

I sense Jules next to me. I don’t even need to look up to know it’s her. First, because I’m barely on speaking terms with anyone else right now. And second, her sad vibes are as familiar as my own.

Jules is Brady’s girlfriend. Was Brady’s girlfriend.

“Hey,” she says softly.

“Hey,” I say back, mustering up all the excitement I can, which isn’t a whole hell of a lot. I sound like a fifty-something year old on his birthday while he’s going through a mid-life crisis.

It’s not a lot, but it’s all I’ve got.

“You ready for this?” she asks.

I can handle the walk into school, but what I can’t handle is living the rest of my life without my big brother. That’s the scary part. That’s the part that seems so wrong that nothing will ever be right again.

Jules nudges me. “Come on, Briar. You know he wouldn’t want this.”

I’m not going to be the petulant one and say something like, Yeah, well, he doesn’t really have a say anymore, does he? Even though those same words are on the tip of my tongue. I don’t know why it seems like I’m mad at him sometimes. I think I’m just mad at the world.

“I know,” I tell her. The thing is, I just can’t get my feet to move. I’m telling them to start forward, to take one step followed by the next and the next, but they aren’t cooperating. Jules nudges me again, giving me the momentum I need to finally take a step. Then, we start our slow, steady walk toward the main doors. There aren’t very many people in the parking lot anymore, so I’ve successfully avoided pretty much everybody at this point. Yes, school hasn’t even technically started, but this feels like a win to me.

But that’s where my day stops winning.

As soon as I walk through those doors, it feels like I get punched in the face. Jules runs into me from behind after I stop abruptly. I’m sure she’ll have the same reaction as me, but there’s no way for me to stop her from looking up, from seeing the banner already announcing Spring Hill football games. This is Spring Hill after all. This town is football through and through.

Jules grabs my arm, and for a moment, we hold each other upright, our gazes locked straight ahead. One step, the next, and the next. Eventually, we get to my locker, and I lean against it as if I’ve just run a marathon. My forehead rests on the cold steel. I try to slow my heartbeat, but I can feel my pulse right through my palm as it quivers on my neighbor’s locker.

“They’ve been up for a week,” Jules says. Her voice is still quiet. She’s so quiet now, sometimes it’s as if she doesn’t even know how to talk anymore.

“Hey, Jules,” someone says, calling out to her.

I’m still turned the other way, so I don’t know if she greeted the person with a wave or not, but I know she didn’t answer them. Believe it or not, Jules used to be a lot of fun. She wasn’t loud for the sake of being loud, but she was happy and didn’t mind sharing that with the world.

“I got to get to my locker,” she says finally after I don’t move.

I nod against the steel. “See you at lunch,” I manage to choke out.

With that, she’s gone. The air in here still feels stifling though. Maybe even moreso now that I’m by myself. There are shouts and laughter and just a thick tension layered in the air. People are excited. There isn’t much to be excited about in Spring Hill, but this is one of them. New school year. New football season. That about sums Spring Hill up.

“Miss Page?”

I carefully remove my forehead from the locker and look up at the school counselor. She’s young. She graduated out of Spring Hill exactly seven years ago. Just enough time to go get her degrees and then get hired back here. I envied her once for that. For applying herself, going to school, and then coming back to our perfect little town. Now, I think she’s an idiot. She had a way out. Hell, she was out of here. She had her chance, but she blew it.

I try on a smile, but those things are as foreign to me now as pastel colors.

Ms. Lyons appraises me. She looks me up and down, taking in my appearance, which even I admit has drastically changed from last year to this year. There’s no hint of disapproval in her eyes or dissatisfaction in her face or next words, but I still feel the weight of her gaze. “You remember you’re to come see me during your study hall period, right?”

“Yes, Ms. Lyons, I’ll be there.”

She gives me a small smile, but then turns on her short heels and walks away. A few of the male students turn around to check her ass out as she turns down the next hall toward her office. It makes me roll my eyes, but at least it spurs me into motion. I finally unlock my locker and put the books I won’t need until later in the day there just in time for the bell to ring. Oh goody. I’m late for homeroom. The old me would die before she was tardy to anything, but this new me couldn’t care less. There are too many other thoughts swimming around in my brain to make room for worry over being late to an arbitrary class that means nothing in the grand scheme of things.

The first few periods drag by at the speed of a snail in a race for last place. Everywhere I go, people stare at me. It might be the drastic black-as-night hair I dyed just recently or the fact that I think everyone can smell my sorrow, but I wish they would stop. I want to blend into the background. I want to slip by unnoticed.

This is why I did what I did.

When I walk into the lunchroom, it’s loud and overcrowded. The deafening hum of hundreds of conversations taking place right this very second only serves to remind me that I’m more alone than I’ve ever been. I scan the crowd for Jules, but I don’t see her. I carefully avoid the table my brother would be sitting at and go all the way to the back corner, setting my tray down on the far end of a table, away from another group that’s taking solace here. I accidentally look up at them and when I do, their eyes widen, and they immediately turn to look at one another and hide their lips with their hands while they talk.

Real subtle. I wonder if they’re defining me to one another as the girl whose brother died? Or the girl who couldn’t stand it here, so she had to run away?

 Maybe I should ask them…

It doesn’t matter. I sit, take out my cell phone, and type out a text to Jules, telling her I’m in the back corner of the room so she knows where to go when she gets in here. Who knows with Juliet though? She could’ve stayed after class to get direction on homework or any number of things. My brother’s death had somewhat of the opposite effect on her than it did me. Instead of wanting to “throw her life away”, she flipped a switch to good girl gone great in everything she does. Trust me, I’m a bit of a connoisseur on grief now, and I’ve heard—in many different forms recently—that we all heal differently.

Just not like me, apparently.

I push around the chicken on my plate after eating a few mouthfuls of the carrots that came with it. I set my fork down and stare at my plate. The buzz of electricity that’s coming from my back is almost impossible to ignore even though I’m trying like hell to block it out. The football table is too loud though, too alive. Just last year, my brother would’ve been in the thick of things. He would’ve been right in his glory, eating and talking with his teammates, strategizing, and dreaming.

“It’s okay, I’ll get her,” a familiar voice says, breaking into my thoughts.

My back tightens, and I sit up straighter.

“Oh, come on,” another voice says. I’d know it as well as the back of my own hand.

I recognize it like I recognize my own. I squeeze my eyes shut to block it out, but it only keeps getting closer.

Moving to my feet, I pull my bookbag toward me and step away from the table. I turn in the opposite direction, but then I hear my name called by that same voice and it makes me want to vomit.

“It’s okay, Cade,” I hear Jules say. She’s trying to intercept, and I kind of love her in that moment. The last thing I want is to come face-to-face with my brother’s best friends.

“What the hell?” Cade says. Strong fingers grip my arm as I try to make my escape. The fingers tighten and pull back until I’m forced to look up at Cade, to see his face. His brows are pulled together as his stare peruses me. He cocks his head. “I didn’t even know it was you at first. What the hell are you wearing, Briar?” His stare moves up, and his eyes widen at my now raven black hair. “What did you do?”

“Shut up, Cade,” Jules says, giving me an apologetic look.

Cade barks out a laugh as he does another once-over of my clothes, hair, and makeup like he’s a judge of a modeling show. To be fair, if he wasn’t the best tight end Spring Hill High has ever seen, he could probably judge a modeling contest. He sure seems to get the prettiest girls in school without even trying.

I don’t know if it’s the way he’s looking at me, the humor dancing in his eyes, or because he seems so familiar, but my hackles rise. “Screw you, Farmer,” I say, hugging my backpack tightly to my chest, his last name rolls off my lips like it would have if I were my brother. He never called him Cade, always preferring to use his last name.

Cade’s gaze narrows. After a beat, he says, “Reid says you should come sit with us.”

Reid, Reid, Reid… I’m not even going to look back at their table. I know what I’ll find. Reid Parker, quarterback of the Spring Hill High Varsity football team, reigning over his table with his girlfriend by his side.

“No,” I say simply.

His expression tightens. I’m sure he thinks they’re doing me a huge favor, but I don’t want to be coddled, and I certainly don’t want to be treated differently just because my brother died and they have some sort of misplaced integrity to treat the little sister of their late best friend with sympathy. Fuck that shit.

“Get your ass to the table, Briar,” Cade says through clenched teeth.

The nerve of him. The nerve of them all. “I’m sorry, I don’t think you heard me the first time. I said fuck you.” I smile. “Actually, I said, no, but I meant fuck you.”

He shakes his head, his lips pulling up in an incredulous smirk. “You think you’re all grown up now, huh? Because you went to the big city by yourself for a whole week?”

I swallow bile rising up my throat. “No, I know I’m all grown up now, and I don’t need to sit with you or Reid or Lex, okay?”

He frowns down at me, but it’s all just for show. I’m dead to them. The thing connecting us is gone, so I’m gone too. “Grown up, but can’t even wash your hair for your first day of school or put on decent clothes?”

I flinch, but it’s to be expected.

“Just leave her alone, Cade,” Jules says, trying to intervene on my behalf.

Ignoring her, Cade grabs my arm. “Come on, Briar, get your smelly ass to our table. Juliet’s already sitting there.”

I snap my head back at Jules. She lifts her shoulders as if she’s asking, What did you want me to do?

I thought we were sticking together. That’s what I imagined would happen. My brother’s friends have never known boundaries, but it’s gotten worse since Brady died. Now they try to stick their nose into every aspect of my life when I just want to be free of them. Instead, Cade drags me to the middle of the lunchroom right before the football table. There are various players sitting there along with their girlfriends. Surrounding the main table are little satellite tables. If you’re good, you’re expected at the main table, which is why all my brother’s friends are there and why he sat there once upon a time too.

My throat closes as the world swims in front of me. This is exactly what I didn’t want to happen.

“Cade,” Jules says behind us, but she’s too quiet now. No one is going to take her seriously with how mousy she is. That’s why I dyed my hair and picked out new clothes. I don’t care that I stick out at Spring Hill like a sore thumb. I don’t even belong here, so why try to fit in?

“What the fuck?”

Reid’s voice sends a shiver down my spine. It makes me want to cower, to bow my head and submit, but I lift my chin anyway. Sasha snickers next to him as she looks me over with distaste.

Reid rises from his seat. He draws the attention of everyone. It’s been like that since we were little kids. He just has that aura, a phenomenon about him that makes people want to sit up and take notice. He’s staring down at my clothes with contempt. I don’t need to look at the oversized sweatshirt and baggy sweatpants I put on that morning. The old me wouldn’t have been caught wearing this outside ever let alone for my first day of school, but I know now how ridiculous all this high school posturing is. Who cares? None of it matters.

“Go home and change,” Reid says, dismissing me with a flick of his hands.

“E-excuse me?” I sputter.

Reid turns his head, catching on me again. Then, he moves closer. His chestnut brown hair shines underneath the fluorescent lights in the cafeteria and with each step, my heart thunders louder and louder. “You heard me,” he says.

I feel the weight of everyone’s stares on me. Not just the football tables, but everyone in the cafeteria. Talking has stopped. At most, there are low murmurs as everyone watches what’s going on.

I grind my teeth together. “I’m not going home to change,” I tell him, making sure my voice has just the right amount of bite that’s hopefully telling him to fuck off without saying the actual words.

The tips of his shoes hit mine. My eye level only hits his upper chest, so I have to tweak my neck back to look into his eyes. He’s glaring down at me like I’m an inconvenience to him. It’s okay. I’ve been used to that look lately. His Adam’s apple bobs up and down once. “Go home, wash your hair out, and get new fucking clothes on. Now.”

I just smirk and shake my head at him. I swear he thinks he’s God or some shit.

The thought makes me laugh. God is a lot more frightening than Reid fucking Parker.

The green of his eyes pop against the deepening crimson blush of anger stretching out over his cheeks. He lowers his voice until it’s barely above a whisper. All the hostility is there, though, stealing away any calming vibes I had for the day. “You’re disgracing your brother’s memory.”

A gasp ricochets out of me. My stomach clenches painfully at his words. I don’t even think. I raise my hand and slap him. It happens so quickly I don’t even realize I’ve done it, but the collective surprise that ripples through the cafeteria brings me back to the present.

“Bitch!” Sasha yells. She jumps to her feet and comes at me, but Lex gets in her way, holding her easily back while she shouts hurtful things at me that my mind just erases as soon as it recognizes them.

All the while, Reid just stares at me, his jaw ticking. He hasn’t moved an inch. His green eyes molten as he stares at me like he’s burning up from the inside out.

“Miss Page,” a voice says. “My office. Now.”

The last thing I see when I turn away from Reid is the growing red patch on his cheek. I know I didn’t even hurt him. He’s a big, tough football guy, and I’m just little old me. What I did do was awaken a beast. Reid doesn’t let anyone get away with shit like that, even if I am the little sister of his dead best friend.

What he doesn’t realize is that I’d already declared war on them.

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My brother's best friend thinks he owns me.

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Customer Reviews

Based on 16 reviews
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T
Tasha
Amazing

I could not put this book down!! I can't wait to read the next book to see what happens!!! ??

T
Tasha
Amazing

I could not put this book down!! I can't wait to read the next book to see what happens!!! ??

B
Bre J.
Touchdown!

This is a slow (ish) burn that I wish was an RH, but is a M/F. Its brutal with the emotions the characters are going through, that life goes on after tragedy, and still having to survive high school madness. Does leave on a cliffhanger, has steamy scenes, and the cliche hateful female antagonist.

B
Bre J.
Touchdown!

This is a slow (ish) burn that I wish was an RH, but is a M/F. Its brutal with the emotions the characters are going through, that life goes on after tragedy, and still having to survive high school madness. Does leave on a cliffhanger, has steamy scenes, and the cliche hateful female antagonist.

J
Jillian Pruiett Locke
omg sooo good!

I found this book by chance and I am so glad that I did! It was such an amazing enemies to lovers romance that I didnt know I needed until I got sucked into it from the very beginning. You can help but love and hate the characters and then love them more. The storyline is on point and sad and addicting. Highly recommend and cant wait to dive into the next book!!