BTS Book Reviews Issue 18 - Page 34

| The Flower and the Flame By Lexi Adair | Sara giggled softly from behind him, and as he turned about, he met her in the doorway. “Need anything else?” “No,” Madison murmured, trembling beneath the onslaught of chilled air that wafted over her naked body. “Just throw it away.” “I think I got it from here,” she smiled, resting her hand on his arm. “Thanks.” “You sure?” “You sure? Might need some help peeling that thing off her now.” A slow smile crept over his lips. He wouldn’t have admitted it to anyone, but he would have been more than happy to see Madison out of that sweatshirt. Not just because he longed to see those pale curves hidden beneath, although there was that. But because he couldn’t stand the reminder that she had given her heart to someone else. It had once belonged to him, so long ago. She had forgotten that now. He tucked all that inside, like he tucked away everything else, masking his own heartache beneath the cocky bite of his words. “I’m thinking it might take a crowbar and a blow torch.” Sara gave him a playful shove out the door. “Oh, I think we can handle it. Now scoot.” *** Madison dropped her hands angrily into the water. “You are so dead to me.” Sara simply smiled as she pulled a towel off the rack and held it out for her. Madison shook her head and looked down at the sweatshirt. She sucked in a shaky breath and turned her watery gaze on her friend. It was as much the heartache as the humiliation that brought tears to her eyes. “Help me out of this, will ya?” Sara helped her peel the heavy fabric from her body. She pulled the dripping sweatshirt away, water cascading off of it to flood Madison’s bathroom floor. “I’ll hang it up to dry.” 34 | “Yeah,” she whispered then pulled the shower curtain shut. No, she wasn’t sure, so she hoped Sara was quick about it before she changed her mind. Though she knew she should put it behind her, it was the last tangible memory she had of her affair with Jeff, and she wasn’t sure she could bear to see it go. She slipped back down into the tub and closed her eyes as the warm water chased away the chill. If she couldn’t wish the humiliation away, maybe she could wash it down the drain. *** Madison was curled up on the couch with one of her favorite romance novels with the afghan she had crocheted over the last few weeks lying across her lap. A knock reverberated through her apartment, drawing her attention from the page. Setting the book down, she cast a glance at the couple entwined upon the cover. Oh, why couldn’t real men be that romantic? The last romantic gesture anyone had made for her was the box of generic chocolates Jeff had given her on Valentine’s Day . . . right before he had taken his wife to the opera. She threw back the afghan as the knock thudded against the door again. “Yeah, yeah,” she muttered. “I’m coming.” She padded across the apartment and yanked open the front door. Sara shoved her way inside, a huge grin turning up the corners of her mouth. “Get dressed, we’re going out.” Madison blew out a heavy breath as she shut the