We are so excited to be sharing the cover for UNWRITTEN by Alex Rosa! Check out the gorgeous cover, read an excerpt and be sure to pre-order your copy of this new contemporary romance today!
Hailey Elwood always knew three things: she wanted to be a writer, she didn’t want to run her family diner, and she was madly and unconditionally in love with Caiden Anderson.
When Hailey came to the conclusion that her family would never understand her dream to write, she decided to take her future into her own hands, but what she didn’t expect was Caiden’s ultimatum.
Falling in love with Caiden was easy. Saying goodbye to him was not.
Five years later, Hailey’s debut novel becomes an international bestseller, skyrocketing her to fame, but when her mother passes away, she’s forced to return to her hometown to confront the memories and the man that shaped her first book. She’ll argue it’s fiction, but Caiden knows better.
Hailey wasn’t the only one who was left battered and bruised, and Caiden makes it a point to make her accountable chapter by chapter.
Now with her publisher suddenly pushing her for a sequel, she isn’t sure how to write it when her future is still unwritten.
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This is too much, but then CeeCee shouts, “To Hailey! Welcome back to our daydreamer, our go-getter, and our friend!”
I shake my head back and forth, trying to fight their kindness, feeling my face go red, but I can’t stop smiling. Everyone clinks their glasses with mine clumsily, and I can’t help but laugh. CeeCee winks at me as she brings her shot glass to her lips, and I follow suit.
A chilled caramel flavor slides smoothly down my throat, and I’m greeted with the goofiest smiles from every one of my friends. My heart feels full, and my face feels warm. For a second, I feel like I belong again. Almost like I never left.
I like that we’re older now. The memories I have of when we drank before were always us sneaking bottles out of our parents’ liquor cabinets and avoiding the cops.
Times have changed, but we’re still intact… kind of.
I sigh, realizing that something is missing. We’re not complete. Especially since we all have our other halves. You could assume CeeCee would be mine, but it’s obvious she has Brandon as her other half, and Caiden was technically mine. He always had a place right under my skin, whether I wanted him there or not. He had that effect on me since we were kids. It’s a shame he’s being such a coward about—
“Well, I’ll be dammed,” I hear sputter from Brandon’s lips.
I look at him first, but all my friends are already staring at the door to the bar behind me. I’m terrified to turn around.
Brandon and the boys disperse with secret smiles back to the pool table, beers in hand.
I swallow my nerves. They must be looking at Caiden, right? What else would spark such drama?
I turn around slowly.
My eyes lock on to a guy—I’m almost not sure if it’s him—but my body knows. A vibrating hum starts in my gut and ripples like waves over the surface of my skin.
He walks into the bar with what seems like frantic determination. His eyebrows furrow, seeking out something, eyes darting from one side of the room to the other. My chest constricts, and I clench my fists while trying to fight for air. Five years has done him good, and I decide that maybe I should be mad at him for it. I hate that he fills out his jeans and his simple maroon thermal to near perfection. He drags his hands through his sandy-brown hair that’s been visibly kissed by the sun, and I know it’s only a matter of time until he finds what he’s looking for.
“Leave it to Caiden to say no and then do it anyway,” whispers CeeCee beside me.
I don’t think I’m supposed to hear her, but she’s right. It does sound like him. So much so that it makes his adult appearance a tiny bit more bearable.
CeeCee’s elbow jabs into my side, forcing me to look away.
“What?” I gasp.
She smiles. “You didn’t want me to talk about him before, but he’s taken, you know?”
CeeCee’s smile only grows. “But it doesn’t matter.”
I squint. So, this is how she’s going to get me to talk. “You’re right. It doesn’t. He can date whoever he wants.”
She rolls her eyes, realizing her plan to pry information has failed. She retaliates by swiftly walking back to the pool table without another word, leaving me out in the open like a defenseless gazelle. Damn her.
I think I need fresh air. I’m not running; I just need oxygen and space… and whatever. I take a large pull of liquor from my straw, slurping the last bit from beneath the ice, and set it down with a clank.
When I turn back around, Caiden is already standing there a mere five feet away. His eyes are still the color of lush trees in the middle of spring, and all I can do is stare.
He’s not smiling, but he’s not frowning either. Do I know this Caiden anymore?
He’s more like an actual man than I remember. His jaw is more pronounced, accentuating his striking features even under a layer of dark scruff.
His arms are crossed over his broad chest. I’d remember that chest; it’s not anywhere near the slimmer stature it was when we were eighteen. In the darkness, I can make out tattoos on his right arm peeking out from his long sleeve. The sight has my heart winding up like a propeller to a helicopter. The only thing I recognize are his eyes. With each second of silence, his eyes seem to chip away at me, like they always have. He’d win arguments by doing this exact thing. My lips twitch, and so do his, as if he remembers, too.
“Hi, Hailey,” he says in a dark-chocolate tone that I surely don’t remember, but my heart seems to as it jumps to my throat. “It’s been a while.”
I nod. He nods. We nod, like utter, complete strangers. It’s painful.
“I think I need another drink,” flies out of my mouth, and I move past him.
About the Author
Alex Rosa lives in Los Angeles, California. By day she’s a Digital Marketing Manager and by night a writer of swoon-worthy books. With nearly ten years of writing experience, she has published five novels, including the Tryst Series with Intermix, Penguin Random House’s digital imprint.
She finds her home amongst words, whether it be in books or in film. A pop culture fanatic, cemetery creeper, and self-proclaimed nerd, she’s always following her favorite fandoms, the latest foodie finds, or picking her next city excursion or outdoor undertaking.
Her obsessions are on the brink of bizarre, but that’s just the way she likes it.