Experience the heartbreakingly beautiful journey of Ollie & Reid inâ¦
Forget Me Not, the first all-new contemporary MM Romance in The Unforgettable Duet, from Brooke Blaine is available NOW!
Three sugars, two creamers.
Thatâs how you took your coffee every morning at Joeâs Grab âN Go.
But you donât remember that.
You donât remember anything.
Anything, that is, except meâ¦
And the tragedy that catapulted us together.
CHAPTER ONEâITâS MONDAY, AND you know what that means,â Mike said as he cut off Big Berthaâs engine and looked over at me expectantly. I patted my pants pocket to make sure Iâd shoved my wallet inside before weâd headed out this morning, and when I felt the outline of the trifold, I nodded. âYep. Extra-bold coffee cominâ up.â As I popped open the passenger-side door, Mikeâs hand landed firmly on my arm, halting me before I could get out of the ambulance, and I looked back at him over my shoulder. âIt means donât be a chickenshit, Ollie, thatâs what it means.â Lifting my eyebrows, I glanced around, searching for whoever it was Mike thought he was talking to, and when he read my quizzical expression, he snorted. âYeah, that means you,â he said. âYou callinâ me out?â âDamn right I am.â I shook my head. âIâm not a chickenshit, and you know it.â Mike shrugged and let go of my arm. âFine. Prove it.â âI canât do that.â âYou can. You just wonât.â Yeah, whatever, he had me there. Something always held me back from saying much more than hello to the guy in the fitted chinos and starched collared shirt and tie that I saw most mornings in the coffee aisle at Joeâs Grab âN Go, and Mike never could resist an opportunity to rib me for it. I never shouldâve told him about my crush in the first damn place, but being my best friend as well as my work partner meant we tended to overshare in the time between calls. âHeâs straight, Mike. Leave it alone, huh?â âYou donât know that for sure.â I picked up a container of mints and shook a couple into my mouth before tossing it back in the console. âTrust me. I know.â âYou ask him since the last time I saw you?â Rolling my eyes, I ignored his question and pushed open my door. âYou want that coffee or not?â âMhmm. The date for you, too.â âJesus,â I muttered, slamming the door before he could make any other requests. I could hear him chuckling behind me as he got out to pump the gas. And out of the corner of my eye, a flash of red pulling into a parking spot had my heart beating a bit faster. It was ridiculous that Iâd even wonder for a second if Iâd see him, since hardly a weekday had gone by in four months when I hadnât. But that flutter of anticipation still sent a thrill through me, the handful of minutes seeing him every morning the highlight of my day. Thatâs it. I need to get my damn life back. Working all these overtime shifts to pick up some extra cash over the holidaysâand giving the guys with families some time offâhad sent my extracurricular activities into a tailspin. If I didnât get laid soon, Iâd crash and burn. Or, worse, hit on the straight guy. âHey, Ollie,â Mike called out, and I paused with my hand on the door to the Grab âN Go before moving aside to let the woman behind me pass through. When I turned around, a mischievous grin played on his lips as he inserted the gas pump into Big Berthaâs tank and began to hip-thrust. Oh for the love ofâ âAnd while youâre at it, maybe grab me one of those apple fritters, would ya? And a soda for later?â So much for New Yearâs resolutions, I thought. That had lasted less than a week. Not that I could blame him when it came to the tempting basket of freshly baked goods that sat by Joeâs register every morningâeven I had a hard time passing on those. Still, Mike had wanted to lose the twenty pounds that had crept up since Halloween and made me swear Iâd keep him in check. âYou sure you wanna do that?â I asked. Mike looked pointedly over at the red Mazda3 and his smile grew. âLifeâs too short to pass on the good stuff, wouldnât you say?â That fucker. I shook my head and shot a glare his way, and then I went inside, determined now to buy out the apple fritters and personally stuff âem down his meddling throat. âMorning, Oliver,â Joe greeted me from behind the counter where he was ringing up a customer, and I smiled his way before grabbing a handheld basket and heading down the aisle for Mikeâs Sprite. I took the third bottle from the frontâyeah, I never took the first one of anythingâand laid it in the basket as the freezer door slapped shut behind me. I kept a tight grip on the handle as I took my time walking toward the far aisle, the anticipation building in my gut. Finally, I rounded the corner, and just as he was every day, Bluebird stood in front of the coffee station, refillable mug in hand and somehow looking more gorgeous than I remembered. My memory never did him justice. I didnât move as he placed his mug beneath the machineâs spout and hit a button, and I knew exactly what heâd get, the same as every morning: a latte with light foam and three sugars, two creamers. Today he was dressed in a pair of black slacks, with a white button-down shirt and a midnight-blue tieâalways so well put together, from his stylishly tousled dark brown hair, so dark it was almost black, down to his black loafers. A couple of days of stubble covered his usual freshly shaven jaw, and I imagined how itâd feel under my hands as I took either side of his face and pulled him toward mineâ âDammit!â Bluebirdâs curse shook me out of my stupor as my feet managed to move again, and as I got closer, I saw that the usual brown liquid coming out of the machine was a cloudy white instead. He let out a frustrated sigh. âHey, Joe,â he called out to the owner. âLatte machineâs down.â âAgain?â Joe scratched his jaw and then said, âSorry about that, Reid. Iâll get someone out to fix it today.â âNo problem,â Reid replied, dumping out the hot water from his mug into the tray, and hello, I finally had a name to go with the face: Reid. How was it Iâd gone so long without knowing? I pulled out a couple of large disposable cups from the rack and reached for the coffee pot at the same time as Reid, our fingers brushing each other ever so slightly before we both jerked back. His touch shot through me like an electric jolt to my heart, and the surprise that lit his eyes told me I wasnât the only one affected. âSorry,â he said, and then cleared his throat. âDamn static.â That wasnât static, I thought, but I wasnât about to enlighten him, so instead I gestured to the almost empty coffee pot. âNo problem. Go for it.â âOhâ¦uhâ¦â He glanced at how little was left and shook his head. âThatâs okay. You were first.â âNah, go ahead. Something tells me you need it more than I do.â âYou sure?â Reid asked, his forehead creased like he didnât want to impose, but I wouldnât have minded him taking the last of the coffee every day, so long as those dark chocolate eyes of his stayed on me. âI insist,â I said, and then leaned in to whisper conspiratorially, âBesides, I know where Joe keeps the spares. Iâll just make another pot.â A grateful smile lifted his lips. âThanks.â Then he poured himself a full mug of coffee and scratched his jaw as he said, âEver have one of those mornings?â âAll the time.â Reid looked up at me, and then his eyes shifted down to my name and title patched in on my uniform. Oliver McFadden. Paramedic. âYeah, of course you do. Paramedic, huh? I donât know how you do it.â âHelps that we can filter caffeine through IVs for a quicker hit on bad days.â He laughed as he ripped open three sugar packets and dumped them into his drink. âI think Iâm in the wrong field.â âWhat is it you do?â âI teach music education at Castle Hill.â âMiddle schoolers?â I whistled. âI think Iâll stick with my job.â âI wouldnât blame you some days. Theyâre mostly a good group, but man, thereâs a few whose mission is to run off the new teachers.â âAnd youâre one of the new ones?â âFour months running.â He tossed the empty packets into the trash and then held his hand out to me. âIâm Reid, by the way.â I stared at his hand for a couple of heartbeats before taking it in mine. His long fingers were cool to the touch, unlike my perpetually hot ones. It could be negative fifty outside, and my hands would still be warm. âOllie,â I said, and then shook my head slightly. âWell, Oliver, but everyone calls me Ollie.â âOllie,â Reid repeated, still shaking my hand. âIâve never met an Ollie before.â âMom was a big fan of Laurel and Hardy. Iâm just glad she didnât go with Stan.â As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I realized that was an unnecessary reference because he probably had no idea who the hell Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were, but Reid surprised the hell out of me by laughing. âYour mom has good taste. I used to watch their stuff at my nanâs,â he said, and then let go of my hand. I missed the contact immediately. Before I could respond, Joeâs gnarled fingers clamped down on my arm as he hobbled in between us and hit the side of the latte machine with his cane. âI donât think itâll respond to a beat-down, Joe,â Reid said, as he stirred two creamers into his coffee. âWorked once before. By George, Iâll do it again.â As Joe whacked at the machine, Reid shook his head at the stubborn man. Then he capped his mug and smiled at me. âThanks again, Ollie. I owe you one.â âAnytime,â I said, and meant it. âHope your morning improves.â âIâm counting on it. Bye, Joe. Iâll leave the money on the counter.â Joe grumbled what sounded like a goodbye and kept fiddling with the latte machine as I rinsed out the coffee pot and started up a fresh brew. Two steaming mugs and a bag full of apple fritters later and I was climbing back into Big Bertha, still reeling from my run-in with Reid. It was so unlike me to moon over a guy, for fuckâs sake, but there was something about him that had caught my attention from day one and never let go. Todayâs encounter had only served to pique my curiosity. Iâd always thought him older, maybe mid- to late twenties, but he said heâd only been at Castle Hill for four months. Maybe that meant he was fresh out of college? Or could be heâd relocated from somewhere. Definitely somewhere still in the South, since he seemed to have the manner of someone whoâd grown up with parents who drilled in the Yes, sirs and No, thank you, maâams so telling of this part of the country, though his accent didnât betray much of a twang. âThat has got to be the biggest, dumbest grin Iâve ever seen on your ugly mug,â Mike said, staring at me like Iâd grown two heads. âDid you finally do it? Did you ask him out?â I tossed the bag of fritters and soda into Mikeâs lap. âFeel free to choke on those.â âAhh, Iâm gonna take that as a yes, then. He shoot you down?â After setting the coffees in the console, I fastened my seatbelt and waited for Mike to get the hint we needed to get moving. âThe hell, man?â he said. âYou gonna leave me hanginâ?â I arched my brow in his direction, and when I didnât say anything, he gave a grunt and started up the rig. âOne of these days, Ollie,â he grumbled, pulling out of the gas station. âYou know all my personal shit. See if I spill my guts anymore.â âYou wouldnât know what to do if you couldnât talk about Deb twenty-four seven.â âHey, itâs not my fault I scored a good one. Just letting everyone know what theyâre missing out on.â As Mike slowed down behind traffic, he glanced over at me and waggled his black eyebrows. âMake sure to do us a favor and hand out barf bags the next time you get started.â I nodded at the bag of pastries in his lap. âAnd donât tell Deb Iâm doinâ a horrible job of keeping you accountable.â âNah, she likes my love handles.â âBullshit.â He laughed and tore into the bag of fritters with one hand, while keeping his other on the wheel. When heâd made me swear last week that Iâd keep him on track while he âcut the crap,â Iâd thought he was nuts. Even with an extra twenty pounds on his strong six-foot build, Mike was as attractive as ever. Black, close-cropped curls, a permanent tan, and dimples that only seemed to have deepened the past few months. The hot ones are always straight. At least they are in Floyd Hills, Georgia, I thought, my mind drifting back to the man I always made sure to run into during the workweek. And yeah, I got that straight vibe from Reid too, though even he couldnât deny the spark that had ignited when our hands had brushed against each other. That wasnât enough to hang any hope on, though, much as I wanted to. âHis nameâs Reid,â I said, breaking up the quiet in the cab, and when Mikeâs head jerked in my direction, a fritter half shoved in his mouth, I was unable to keep the smirk off my face anymore. âTeaches music at the middle school.â As I casually sipped my coffee, Mikeâs jaw practically hit the ground. âNo shit.â A horn sounded from behind us, and Mike stepped on the gas, shaking his head. âAbout damn time. What else did you talk about?â âNothing. Joe came over to give the coffee machine a concussion, and that was the end of that.â âDammit, Joe. Way to cock-block.â âNah, he didnât know.â âWell, you have an opening now,â Mike said, winking at me. âAnd that was only a pun if you want it to be.â âOh, Jesus. Iâve done it now.â âWhat?â âCreated a monster who uses puns against me.â Mike laughed as I flipped on the radio to drown out any other comments his sugar high wanted to lob out, but when Bing Crosby began to croon about a winter wonderland, Mike groaned and jabbed at the buttons to change the channel. âI canât believe theyâre still blasting Christmas music in January. Didnât they get the memo that Santa Claus already came to town, and all he brought me was a damn snow blower? When the hell am I gonna use a snow blower around here? I think my in-laws called in a favor.â Chuckling, I brought my coffee up to my lips and blew softly, while Mike continued to flip through the stations until a country song began to play. He started to sing along, something about naming babies and dogs, which would normally have me eye-rolling him to death. But since his mouth was now otherwise occupied and he wasnât digging for more information out of me, I didnât bother putting up a fight to change the channel. Let him belt out âBoot Scootinâ Boogieâ for all I cared. Until a call came in, my mind would be preoccupied byâ¦other things. A quick tone alert came through the radio, and I punched the music off as a call came through from dispatch. âUnit 110, please respond Code 3 to the intersection of Mercer and Thomas on a multi-vehicle accident with injuries. Fire responding for possible extrication.â I picked up the receiver. âTen-four, Unit 110 en route. ETA less than two minutes,â I said, as Mike dropped the plastic bag on the ground at my feet and flipped on the lights and siren. âNot how Iâd want my day starting out,â he said, cutting through an intersection to make a left on Mercer. âSaddle up,â I said. âI have a feeling itâs gonna be a long one.â Traffic going east was already beginning to back up, the roads congested at the height of morning rush hour. Now with the accident up ahead and the cars unable to move to the side, Mike had to pull us into the suicide lane to get by. From the opposite direction, a backup unit, along with two police cars and a fire truck, veered toward the intersection, though it looked like weâd get there first. I could see the smoke rising up ahead, and as we got closer, it seemed to be coming from beneath the hood of a black four-by-four truck that had smashed into aâ âOh shitâ¦ Ollieâ¦â Mikeâs voice trailed off as we both caught sight of the crushed passenger side of the car that had been T-boned. The crumpled car had been no match for the bigger vehicle; it looked like theyâd skidded into the middle of the intersection during impact. The carâs hood punched up at an awkward angle with the truck half inside, and broken glass littered the road. Iâd seen the sight so many times before, but never had the breath left my lungs in a rush, never had a faint ringing sound filled my ears, and never had a wild sense of panic seized my chest like it did right then. Because the mangled car, the one I was responding to, was none other than Reidâs bright red Mazda3.
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Book two, Remember Me When, will be released on February 26th, 2018.
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About BrookeBrooke Blaine is a USA Today Bestselling Author of contemporary romance that ranges from comedy to suspense to erotic. The latter has scarred her conservative Southern family for life, bless their hearts. If youâd like to get in touch with her, sheâs easy to find - just keep an ear out for the Rick Astley ringtone thatâs dominated her cell phone for years. Or you can reach her atwww.BrookeBlaine.com. 45091443655140300_n.jpg" alt="24301089_1620625364671333_4845091443655140300_n.jpg" width="800" height="800" />
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Forget Me Not by Brooke Blaine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My heart.... oh gosh my heart. Itâs weeping.... breaking. These two, Ollie and Reid are everything you want in characters and their story will break you in two. Iâm in love, with them and their story. Iâm routing for these two. This does end in a cliffhanger but no worries the second part of this beautiful duet is only a couple of weeks away. And I for one canât wait as for now Iâll go back to rocking in my corner... patiently waiting.
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