DEFINING US by Karen Deen.

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by Karen Deen

Cover & Excerpt Reveal

Release Date: January 30, 2022

Cover Design: Opium House Creatives
Photographer: Wander Aguiar Photography
Model: Brady Ervin
Genre: Sports Romance
Trope: Friends to lovers, best friends sister, angsty, secret relationship


I chose for you to live your dream life.
Even if it would never include me!
Yet the universe had other ideas.
A steamy night, and the muttering of the words,
Just this one time’.

We try walking away,
but the attraction keeps drawing us back.
Time and time again,
it’s the dance we keep performing.

Until that one night, discovering your truth,
of the life you’ve been living.
And finally, everything comes crumbling down.
Promises broken, lips colliding, and the heat
that can no longer be denied.

Will the universe finally win?
Or is this the end of the sensual dance,
with our words echoing ‘one last time’.

Add to your TBR List!



Nat has her back to me as she’s admiring all the trophies on the shelving above my desk. Reaching to place one back up on the shelf that is taller than she is, the jersey rising up, showing me her pert little ass. Oh yeah, she’s still got it.

“Here let me help you with that.” Coming up behind her I take it from her and rest it on my shelf, easily.

The hitch in her breath alerting me to how close I am to her body. Trapping her between me and the desk. I want to walk away but my feet are ignoring my thoughts.

The words just fall from my lips on a whisper.

“Why are you here Nat?”

The shock of my breath on her neck, making her shudder and spin to face me. Meer inches between us.

“Xavier told me too.” She mutters to me.

“Bullshit.” Taking a moment. “Why are you really here?” I need to know. Before I do anything else, I must know where I stand.

Her mouth opening and closing, but nothing seems to be coming out.

“You can say it. Tell me the truth.” My hand tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.

“I don’t know.” Her breathy whisper sends the shivers down my spine. Then she musters a little more confidence.

“I missed you and it was time to stop ignoring it.” A whole world of emotions bottling up in her as a single tear is rolling down her cheek.

“Then don’t.” I hope I won’t be regretting this, as my lips are lowering onto the perfect soft ones below me. “Because I fucking miss you like crazy.”

The world tilts and our bodies go crazy. My mouth is tasting the sweetest honey that is Nat and both our hands are holding on like we only have this one minute to take what we are longing for.

Fuck the party, the way this is going, we won’t be leaving this room.

Hunger is pouring from both of us.

Just as I’m about to let my hands start to wander and gauge her reaction, my phone starts ringing with Xaviers ring tone. Nat pulls back with fright and the panic on her face tells me this is not good.

“It’s your brother, I better answer it.” Stepping back reluctantly and picking up my phone where I threw it on my bed when we walked in.

“Where are you, bro? This place is going off and I need you here to be my wingman. Tell Nat to stop being a hog. I want to spend time with you, too.” I can see Nat is hearing everything he is saying, which is probably because he is yelling over the sound of the pumping music in the background.

“I just had to change, and we are on our way now. See you soon.” Not taking my eyes off Nat, trying to let her know it’s okay.

Ending the call with Xavier, trying to step up to Nat again, her hands are up in front of her.

“No, no. We can’t go down that path again. We both know it’s not going to end well for either of us.”

For fuck sake, here we go again. I’m not letting myself get kicked in the guts another time. It fucking hurt like a bitch last time, having to walk away. So, I’m backing up now, before it gets that far.

“Okay, whatever! Let’s go to the party then. Maybe you will find another guy that will be more your style. I’ll help you pick if you like.”

I’m pissed. One minute she is shoving her tongue down my throat, and her hands are planted tightly on my ass as she’s rubbing her body against me. Which felt so amazing and had me reacting instantly. But within seconds her walls are up again.

Standing holding my door open, waiting for her to follow me, and I can see that my comment has pissed her off too.

“Good idea, the last guy is such an asshole. Lead the way.” Oh, two can play at this game Nat.

You are forgetting this is my campus.

My team and just to sound like the asshole you think I am, my cheer leaders too. Who will be more than happy to see their quarterback after tonight’s win and openly and unashamedly show their appreciation for the that.

“Fine. You asked for it.” Slamming the door hard enough that every door down the hallway is rattling too.

We both storm down to the truck and not another word is spoken until we arrive at the party and we’re standing next to the truck, surveying the crowd.

Nat let’s out a small whisper which I don’t think is meant for me but it’s enough to get my attention.

“I’m such an idiot. Why am I here?”

My mind is wondering the very same thing.


One of Five eARC’s for Defining Us
a Rafflecopter Giveaway

About the Author

Karen Deen has been a lover of romance novels and happily-ever-after stories for as long as she can remember. Reaching a point in her life ready to explore her own dreams, Karen decided now was the time to finally write some of her own stories. For years, all of her characters have been forming story lines in her head, just waiting for the right time to bust free.

Sitting up in the early hours of the morning with her cups of tea, chocolate and music she gets lost in a world of sexy, alpha men who are challenged by some funny, sassy and strong-willed women. Bringing you unexpected laughs, suspense and a little bit of naughty.Karen is married to her loving husband and high school sweetheart. Together, they live the crazy life of parents to three children. She is balancing her life between a career as an accountant by day and writer of romance novels by night. Living in a beautiful coastal town two hours south of Sydney, Australia, Karen loves to enjoy time with her family and friends in her beautiful surroundings. Of course, when she is not shut in her writing cave bringing you more words to devour.

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