More Than Exes by Elizabeth Briggs
(Chasing the Dream 0.5)
Publication date: October 28th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Keyboardist Kyle Cross may look like a bad boy with his tattoos and piercings, but he’s really the good guy who’s always stuck fixing his band’s problems and never gets the girl. His band is competing in a college Battle of the Bands, but when their bassist doesn’t show, Kyle must track her down with the help of the person he least expects: his ex-girlfriend Alexis Monroe.
Kyle hasn’t seen Alexis since she dumped him in high school, and she’s dropped her preppy image for fiery red hair and a bold new attitude to match. With only hours before his band goes on stage, Kyle has to be a little bad if he wants to win both the Battle and the girl he’s never gotten over. But when their old problems resurface, the good guy might just get his heart broken all over again.
Alexis stood alone in front of the bar, watching the band on stage. Her leather jacket had been left in her car, and in her tight jeans and tiny, V-necked top, she radiated a cool, sexy confidence I found irresistible. She’d had that same confidence when we were younger, too, but now it had an edge, like she wasn’t afraid to be herself. It made me want her even more.
I moved behind her, fitting myself against her back, and whispered her name in her ear. I didn’t need to say anything else. She turned her head and met my eyes with a look of desire that matched my own. Her hand reached up to circle my neck, drawing my head down to hers, and I gave in to her siren call.
Our lips touched for the first time in three years. It was everything I remembered and more. Like waking from a long coma. A bright sunrise over a dark sky. The first hint of spring after a long winter. I was truly living again, in the way I normally only felt when I was on stage.
The kiss started slow, an awakening, an exploration, a forgiveness of our past mistakes. I teased at her mouth with my own, opening her wider, wanting more, wanting everything. Her lips were amazingly soft and sweet, like candy I’d tasted long ago and had finally rediscovered. I wrapped my arms around her hips, holding her flush against me. She groaned and dug her fingers into the back of my hair, pulling me even closer.
She turned in my arms to face me. “I guess this means you’re giving me a second chance.”
“I guess it does.” I lowered my lips to hers again.
Our bodies fit together perfectly, like when we’d hugged except this time we didn’t hold back. I slid my hands down to cup her butt, pressing her against the front of my jeans. Our kiss deepened, mouths hungry for each other, bodies desperate to be together again. We couldn’t get close enough, couldn’t get enough of each other. She clung to me like I was her savior, and I kissed her harder, flicking my tongue across hers, nibbling at her lower lip. Her fingers gripped the top of my jeans and tugged on them, like she wanted them gone. If she kept this up, I would rip her clothes off and take her right there on the bar counter.
This was all moving so fast, but I didn’t care. This was exactly the kind of thing my brother did, and after being apart from Alexis for so long, I didn’t want to go slow.
“Let’s go to my car,” she said, breathless. “The backseat…”
“My thoughts exactly.”
We broke apart, and the rest of the club came into focus again. The crowd pressing around us in the dark. The clink of bottles behind the bar. The music blasting from the speakers. The lights illuminating the band on stage. I checked the time. About an hour before our set. No one would miss me if I slipped out for a few minutes.
I took Alexis’s hand, the action so familiar I could almost believe we’d never broken up. She gave me a knowing smile and let me lead her through the club, weaving between other couples and head-banging fans. I couldn’t get us out of there fast enough. My brain had shut off and my body had taken over, with only lust and primal urges controlling me now.
This might only last one night. I didn’t care. I’d take one night with Alexis. As long as I reminded myself it was just sex and nothing more, I’d be fine. If Jared could do it, so could I.àInterviewß
àWhere did you get the idea for More Than Exes?ß
In More Than Music, which is about Kyle’s friend, Maddie, and his brother, Jared, there’s a part where Maddie thinks about how it must be difficult to be Jared’s brother sometimes. That made me wonder about how Kyle sees his brother, and I quickly jotted down what would become the first chapter of More Than Exes. Right then I knew I had to tell Kyle’s story, too. I also had many fans of More Than Music tell me they loved Kyle and wanted a book about him, so that sealed the deal!
àDo you need to read More Than Music to read More Than Exes? ß
No, definitely not. More Than Exes is a novella set about a month before More Than Music and can be read as a standalone. There’s nothing in it that would be confusing if you haven’t read More Than Music – but if you have, it will also shed light on a few things in that book. You can read them in any order, even though More Than Exes is a prequel.
àWhat is your favorite thing about More Than Exes? ß
There are so many things I love about this book – the fact that it takes place over a few hours, the sarcastic humor in it, and the love story of two high school sweethearts getting back together… but my absolute favorite part is the close sibling relationship between Kyle and Jared. I loved showing Jared from Kyle’s point of view – Kyle views his brother very differently from how Maddie does in More Than Music, but still loves him and would do anything for him.
àWhat was the hardest part about writing More Than Exes?ß
More Than Exes is the first book I’ve ever written from a guy’s point of view, and that was a lot of fun but also challenging at times. I had to make sure that Kyle would be sympathetic to romance readers but also feel like a realistic 21 year old male. I don’t think there are many romances told from only a male perspective, but I hope people will give this one a chance!
àIf you weren’t a writer, what would you do?ß
A rock star, of course! I play the guitar, though I don’t have time to practice as much as I’d like. I’ve always wanted to be in a famous rock band, but now I just write about them instead.
àWhat’s next in the Chasing the Dream series?ß
I’m currently working on More Than Comics, a novella about the drummer of the band, Hector, set at Comic-Con about a week after More Than Music ends. After that, I’ll be writing books about Maddie’s best friends, Julie and Carla, who both go on their own reality TV shows!
àAbout the Authorß
Elizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She plays the guitar, mentors at-risk teens, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of small, fluffy dogs.
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