KNOT by M. Mabie
She has all the damn answers. I’ve always been a free spirit. It’s my nature.
I crave control, but with her it’s far more. He’s a power hungry climber.
Her wealth could buy and sell me. It’s too much pressure being the center of anyone’s focus.
She underestimates my desire for her, my need to please just her. When he’s vulnerable, it’s hard to deny him.
Her crooked smile cripples me.
He hides his demons, but I’m no fool.
She thinks not committing to anyone makes her more honest. She’s wrong.
A man like him deserves someone who can offer that kind of love.
She promises nothing, yet I feel like a king when she says my name.
I never let anyone possess me like he did. Not before. Not after.
My greatest regret was compromising. I should have never held back.
Still, when we’re apart I’m not myself.
I miss the days when she was just down the hall.
He’s better off without me, and it hurts.
The ugly truth is I need her more than she needs me.
Our relationship was born out of lust and curiosity.
The lies we told ourselves killed it.
Together, we found Nirvana.
We learned it was all a mirage.
I ruined him.
I broke her heart.
I keep coming back.
I can’t let her go.
KNOT is a contemporary romance and a complete standalone. It is the first spin-off from the best-selling Wake Series. You do not need to read BAIT, SAIL, or ANCHOR to enjoy this book in its entirety, but if you love angst you’ll enjoy them, too.
What a sexy, romantic, heart-stopping story!! Reggie is not your average contemporary romance hero. He has some serious anxiety issues which are described perfectly by M. Mabie. She writes a male POV like nobody’s business! Reggie must have control always BUT he must also go very slowly when it comes to the gorgeous and elusive Nora. She is defintiely NOT looking for love, or even for a relationship. Instead, she practices a poly lifestyle, only interested in threesomes or multiple lovers at the same time. She is quite clear about this from the beginning and it provided quite a twist to this book.
Call them swingers. Call them poly. Call them whatever you like. People with our preferences found other people who liked the same things.
How would Reggie ever break through Nora’s self-professed lifestyle? This book is told in flashbacks and you must pay attention to the words to get the most out this story. Yes, there is lots of emotion and angst but the clever story line makes it well worth it. These two characters are very strong, driven, smart and successful. Nora is from a wealthy family but works very hard at her business. Reggie is brilliant and driven and can only think about Nora. Their scenes together are SPECTACULAR! But will their chemistry be enough to hold them together?
I absolutely loved how open Reggie was with Nora. He began to fall in love with her and he laid his cards out on the table. Nora and Reggie were obviously perfect for each other but it took SO much for them to finally realize it at the same time. They were incomplete without each other; but miserable when they were together.
“When did we stop telling the truth?” I asked and took the towel she handed me. The moment held so much levity. There we were naked and clean, but still hiding behind excuses.
“When we fell in love,” she answered. “I guess when you have something worth lying for, you’ll lie to protect it. Even if it is just to yourself.”
The dialogue is sharp and witty and the plot is incredibly clever. I fell in love with Reggie. I actually really liked Nora and loved her sharp tongue. I read Knot in one sitting; it is a very sexy, surprising and emotional story that is well worth the journey Reggie and Nora take. The alternating flashbacks which lead up to the present time were perfect for this story. I won’t soon forget these characters! Bravo to M. Mabie for a fantastic read!
“I’ll be hungry for you on my deathbed, baby. It’ll make no difference whether you’re there or not.”
(ARC provided by the author in return for an honest review.)
REGGIE—Friday, June 11, 2010
Our fucked up history was Hell dressed up in heels and pearls, suits and cuff links, pretending to be Heaven. Had either of us known it really was Nirvana—and not the mirage we’d thought—maybe we could’ve stayed.
Our relationship was a dream I’d never wake up from. Sometimes it felt like a fantasy. Sometimes a nightmare. A mind fuck that had me ticking down numbers.
Fuck starting from ten.
Fuck ten a long time ago.
With her, I should have started at infinity. At least then I’d have more time. More minutes of torture. More seconds of bliss. At infinity, I would have had the time to prove her wrong. If I’d only known she was.
Nine times I let her go. Maybe more. Maybe less.
She never wanted what she said at all, and every time I fell under her spell, I proved her right. Every fucking time. Every mistake. Every misstep. Every time I held back from my instincts.
Still, with us, fault was universal.
We’d both failed each time. All eight or so times I’d denied myself by not telling her the truth, I hadn’t realized I’d denied her a thousand times more.
I only ever wanted her. Fuck money. Fuck power. Fuck my pride. Fuck all seven days of the week without her. Fuck other women and fuck the whole country of Switzerland.
Fuck knowing damn well in my gut the whole fucking time.
But while she was there in my arms, under my body, I’d settle for fucking her. She knew it was how we could’ve been.
Fuck her stubbornness. Fuck her fucking ability to stay away for six or the half-dozen months at a time while she chased her tail. I stood by and watched, all but cheering her on.
Fuck the sound of her voice when she laughs. Not any old laugh—fuck those, too—but specifically the special one. Her Reagan laugh. I wish I could mute my memories of her, but that laugh will haunt me forever.
That laugh belonged to only me, along with a handful of other fragments of her that I never took the time to piece together. If I had, she might have been whole. She might have been mine if I’d added them all up.
Ironically, I didn’t look for the sum of the real her. How many math classes did I need to learn this one damn woman? Certainly ones I hadn’t taken. Certainly ones I would have failed.
If I could go back to the beginning, I’d add more up than just how many times I could get any of my five fingers, my tongue, and cock into her. I’d add her only-for-Reagan parts. They’d been there all along.
They were enough.
Starting with the four or so seconds, where she didn’t even know her name—let alone mine—before she cried out in ecstasy. That wonder in her eye. The pull of the tendons in her gorgeous neck. The tightening of her brow. The slack of her jaw.
The way she looked handing me coffee, naked in the kitchen. Her wet hair matted and untamed. Her skin pink from the hot shower. The print the bathroom tile left fading on her shoulders.
The way she stretched her feet when she woke up in my sheets. Spreading them and wiggling the one we knew would always be our toe.
The way she could recite every ingredient in her favorite dishes. How she knew about cheese from other countries, even though she’d never visited most of them.
The way she kissed my Adam’s apple, then rubbed it with her thumb. Only to kiss it a second time.
Those were things meant only for me.
I’d add every time she called me, and I answered.
I’d subtract the times I didn’t because I was selfish and wanted her to show up instead.
Then I’d multiply that total by the times she told me she more-than-just-loved me. Which was exactly three. I hadn’t even realized what she meant the first time, but the second time, I was sure to make up for it. The third had been tonight.
We’d been two people lost. Wandering around, pretending we’d known everything.
Even though it was most likely the last time I’d ever fuck her, it would also—mercifully—be the last time we’d ever fight.
Sadly, it was the first time I’d seen the power my words had held over her the whole time. I’d watched her heart break. I’d watched as she crumpled to the floor and sobbed. I’d felt like I was doing the same.
It was too late for our hearts.
I’d surrendered, given up, and shot one precise, verbal bullet through my heart, then watched it pierce hers.
There was nothing left. I’d hit zero for the last time.
As I watched the tears fall from her eyes—after I pushed into her for the very last time, filling her with everything I’d never told her—misery infected my gut.
Then, I felt the knot constrict.
We’d tangled the delicate thread between us too many times.
It tightened to a point of throbbing pain. I knew there’d never be a minute left in my life where I didn’t feel the ache of her. Her absence, the source of blinding tension. The sharp pulse of a love ripped from me before I had a chance to watch it mature.
That was all that was left of me.
Zero and the knot.