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About Fight for You
Some men deserve redemption. Some men are worthy of salvation. I'm not one of them. My name is Michael Kincaid, and I've got so much blood on my hands, I'll never wash clean.
For ten years, I've tried to outrun my gangbanger past by burying myself in my work with the DEA. I've tried like hell to forget the day I damned my soul and lost everything…my family, my home, and the only girl I've ever loved.
I still can't outrun it.
No matter how far I go, January James haunts me.
Now one of my enemies—a local gang member—has it out for her. He isn't going to stop until she gives him the territory I left her all those years ago.
She deserves better than me, but she's mine anyway. It's time to stop running and fight for her.
She's an angel. I'm the devil on her shoulder. And this is my swan song.
When it's over, I'll either be the monster at the end of this book…or I'll be the man she deserves.
WARNING: Fight for You is an angsty and emotional friends-to-lovers, second chance romance and is not suitable for all readers. It is the first book in a series of interconnected full-length standalone novels featuring law enforcement officers willing to do whatever it takes to protect the women who need them most. Each book has no cheating, and a guaranteed HEA.
"I'm sorry about last night," I whisper, my heart pounding. Now that the moment's here, I'm not even sure where to begin unburdening myself. There's so much between us…so much I never got to tell him. So many things I've regretted for a long damn time.
"There is no other woman," he says. He fidgets, rocking on his heels and then running a hand through his hair. He looks out into the yard and then down at his feet. "Little Mama is like a sister to me. Her husband, Tristan, is probably the only real friend I've had since…well, in a long time. I had to come back. The guy who took her wanted to do some seriously fucked up shit. Letting that happen wasn't an option."
"Oh." I swallow and then lick my lips, feeling guilty for being jealous. It's such a petty, destructive emotion, one I promised myself I would never give into. But I did yesterday. That shames me.
"Is…is she okay?"
"Not really, but she will be. She's got Tristan. He'll make sure she's straight."
"That's good then."
We drift off, both peering everywhere but at each other. I stare out into the yard. The flowerbeds will need to be weeded soon. Dandelions keep popping up all over the place.
"Are you staying for long?" I ask to fill the silence and then peek up at him.
He's watching me this time, a furrow between his brows.
"Didn't plan on it, but who knows?" He shrugs, that furrow growing deeper. His face is so much more severe than it used to be. There's a darkness there, a wildness that I only ever saw once—the day he got into a fight with Cody Love in the park because Cody was talking shit about me. There was murder in his eyes that day, and I see it there again now.
He's not the same boy he used to be. He's all man now, with ten years' worth of history I know nothing about. It weighs heavily on him. The haunted weariness in his eyes leaves me with the distinct impression that he carries the weight of the whole world on his broad shoulders and has for a long time.
"I never hated you," I whisper to him, my heart hurting at the evidence that life hasn't been easy for him. It kills me a little to know I put some of that weight there. That he carries it because of me…because I was a selfish little girl who lashed out just so I didn't have to hurt alone. "I was hurt and angry, and I wanted you to hurt too. But I never hated you, Cade. I never wanted you to leave."
"You should have hated me," he whispers back, his expression so solemn and serious it sends tears slipping down my cheeks. "You should still hate me. I took everything from you."
"It wasn't your fault," I argue, shaking my head. "I never blamed you. You shouldn't blame yourself either."
He gives me a sad smile. "You always saw more in me than was there. I never deserved you." The self-loathing in his voice breaks me.
"You're wrong. I was the one who didn't deserve you." I dash away the tears blurring my vision and give him a watery smile. "You were always larger than life to me, my own personal hero. And now look at you. You're an honest to God hero."
Cade chuckles, the deep sound hitting me low in my stomach. Heat floods through me in a warm rush. "I'm no one's hero, sweetheart."
"I bet your friend's girl would tell you different," I argue, though I'm not sure why. Clearly, he doesn't see himself the way I always have. Back then, I never would have envisioned him as a cop, but it fits him. He was born to save lives and take down criminals. I'm proud of him.
"T saved his girl, January. I was just there to keep him from destroying himself to do it." His expression twists and he holds his hands up, palms facing me. He hits me with a look of such intense self-hatred it pins me to my chair and steals my breath. "I'm not the hero of this story or any other. I've got so much blood on my hands I'll never wash clean."
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Reviewers are saying
"Raw. Gritty. Amazing! As always, Ayden blows us away with her cutting edge, honest, emotion-driven novel." ★★★★★ Jeanne McDonald, Author of the Truth in Lies Saga
"I cried, I laughed, and I loved with the characters! Romance and tragedy, Oh. My. Gosh!" Mary (★★★★★ Goodreads Review)
"You will not regret time spent on this novel and this author deserves a standing ovation." Shontell (★★★★★ Goodreads Review)
"The way this book made me feel is indescribable. I felt like I was watching this whole book play out on a movie. I could not put it down." Grace (★★★★★ Bookbub Review)
"I loved this book and could not put it down. It's a page-turner, for sure. From the very beginning, Morgen draws you into the world of January and Michael." Gillian (★★★★★ Goodreads Review)
"Five stars says it all - what an amazing read, the characters are so well fleshed out and the storyline amazing." Angie (★★★★★ Goodreads Review)