Larissa C. Moyer spent her early adult life bouncing around different cities as a musical theater actor and making lattes behind too many espresso bars to count. When she isn’t snuggling with her dog or driving her sweet husband completely bananas, she can usually be found reading a romance novel with some sort of beverage or snack close by. Amazingly, though, sometimes she can do all of those things at the same time! Her plan is write epic love stories in each of the cities she lived and loved.
“E-V-E-L-Y-N.” She spelled her name with her hand.
Otis was immediately intrigued by the beautiful girl who seemed to know at least enough sign language to introduce herself to him. Little did he know, shortly after that night, that the beautiful girl would end up in a relationship with his brother, Dean.
Until Dean left.
Left Chicago, left Evelyn and left Otis to clean up the mess.
Seven years later, Evelyn owns a coffee shop where Otis, a writer, spends his days writing fluff articles for a local paper. They have a steady, dependable friendship and they’ve come to rely on each other like family.
But after one harrowing night, their comfortable, easy relationship is catapulted into new territory. And for as close as they’ve always been, they’ve also shielded each other from the heaviest pieces of their pasts.
This is a story about two people finding a way to let go and believe that even when we feel like the things we want are beyond our reach—the power to change our path is always in our hands.
Trigger Warning: Mention of sexual assault, anxiety/PTSD, violence
It’s so dark in here, I can barely see her.
As if reading my mind, she leans over me to flick the light on, putting me face to face with her cleavage peeking through the top of her shirt.
She settles on the sliver of couch to my side and looks at me in a way that makes my heart ache.
That fucking dream . . .
“I’m having them too,” she signs.
Pulling her tightly to my chest, she gently wraps her arms around my torso. It hurts but I need to feel her right now. That nightmare was so vivid. It feels like that might be real life, and this is the dream.
Please, God, I hope this isn’t the dream.
I pull back, but keep my face close to hers, running my thumb along her jaw and staring deep into her eyes.
This is real, right?
I’m a man possessed. My hands clutch each side of her face, pulling her mouth to mine—just a gentle brush to each other’s lips before I swallow hard, my grip tightens, and I crash my lips against hers. Her fingers immediately dig through the sides of my hair, grabbing the unruly strands for leverage, deepening the contact.
My tongue slides to the seam of her lips and she opens for me, pulling me closer, our tongues tangling desperately.
A low groan rumbles through my chest, working my mouth against hers just as the vibration of a small whimper escapes her mouth and flows into mine.
And holy fucking God, it’s my undoing.
Losing control, one of my hands slides to the small of her back pulling her closer—I need her closer. But the pull shoots a sharp pain through me, forcing me to jerk and break our fused lips.
We pull apart, foreheads pressed, our heavy breathing mixing be¬tween us. Her hands remain in my hair, while one of mine cups her face, and the other one balls the fabric on the back of her shirt, like we’re both holding on for dear life. Finally, opening my eyes, I see that hers are still closed.
Another second passes before her big hazel eyes flutter open and immediately widen. She pulls her hands from my hair, and I drop my hands as we stare at each other.
We just sit and stare.
Now that I know I’m not dreaming, my heart starts to race. We’ve been friends for almost a decade and never navigated through anything like this. I never thought anything like this would ever hap¬pen between us.
I’m trying to reason with myself: It’s late, I just dreamt a reimag¬ined version of our attack where she was murdered, and then she shoved her beautiful boobs in my face. That’s it. I just got carried away.
But she kissed me back.
“We should get some sleep,” she signs after another long minute then readjusts her shirt.
Good. She blames her boobs, too.
I live in the suburbs of Atlanta with my husband, Drew. We have a dog named Rue and two cats named Charlie and Wheels. I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania but I’ve lived all over the country – Boston, Chicago, LA and now Georgia. I spent the first part of adult life as an actor so I think the transition to writer really comes from a genuine interest in creating people.
I nearly always start with characters. I think of people that I find interesting and then tend to create narratives around them. I wish I was an outline person but I feel like finding the people that the story happens to is the most interesting part for me.
I’m a certified homebody. My husband and I started a fun little tradition called “Snackurday” which really just involves us making our favorite food and watching movies all day.
I sleep! Haha. I’m only partially kidding. When I’m in the thick of a writing project it really can be all consuming so when I’m not in it I really do just enjoy relaxing and catching up on my ever-growing TBR.
I’ll go out to dinner or treat myself to a new book. Sometimes I’ll take a drive to a coffee shop I’ve been eyeing.
This story literally poured out of me. It sounds like such a “writer” thing to say, but sometimes I feel like it wrote itself. Evelyn is so much of me. The way she processes things, her mannerisms. But I also found this deep love for ASL a few years back. I got my Advanced Certificate from UGA and I still take classes when I can. When I had an idea for a book, I immediately knew I wanted to represent the language. It’s something I hope to weave in to most, if not all of my books.
Reggie is pretty similar to one of my best friends from college. There are some vast differences but his relationship with Evelyn is very similar. And Mary is loosely based off of someone I used to work with at a coffee shop I helped run.
Knowing that it was done, haha. I wrote the first draft of it in two months. And it made the editing process incredibly long because I always thought something could be better. I thought something was missing because of how quickly the story came together for me.
Falling in love with Evelyn and Otis. Their love really is the kind of love I wish for everyone.
I’m a big CoHo fan. I really love Jennifer Hartmann and I dabble in some Penelope Douglas and Kate Stewart as well.
It’s not a quote, it’s a moment. It’s when Otis takes Evelyn to his favorite library. It’s based off a badass library in Chicago and I just love the scene so much. I love why he takes her there. It just gives me all the warm and fuzzies – and it ends a little spicy! It’s a scene with a little bit of everything.
I’d want to meet Gloria Roberts. Otis’s mom. I’d hug her and tell her, “Good job.”