The Harder We Fall

For years, I’ve been bound by sleeplessness and sorrow. His voice threatens to set me free.

Insomnia. It’s the penance I pay for my greatest mistake. But when an ill-timed doze behind the wheel almost introduces me to a pole, I know something has to change.

Sleep with Me, a locally-made meditation app, promises a cure. I don’t expect it to work. Nor do I expect to be seduced by the voice of its creator, Sam.

Night after night, he gets inside my head. Coaxing me. Manipulating me. The situation becomes intolerable and I decide to meet the man I’ve been ‘sleeping’ with. I must own his secrets – before he ends up owning me.

In person, the quiet and reclusive Sam is his own kind of complicated. He needs my help as much as I need his, and we form an unlikely partnership.

It’s only business. It can’t be more. Even if Sam refuses to deny the pull between us. Even if my need to get closer is more than my guilty conscience will allow.

I have no right to love, not after the damage I’ve done. How can I give Sam all he deserves, when our chance at a happy ending was ruined before we even met?

Trigger Warning: This book deals with issues of long-term complicated grief over the death of a loved one.

Peak Inside...

“Do you…” There’s a short pause before he clears his throat. “Do you have a problem with people using your meditation app for… other purposes?”


Something in his tone draws my attention. He looks so guilty. Oh my flippity goodness, has Tristan been getting off on my voice? “Between us,” I admit, “I think it’s kind of awesome, even if I don’t really get it.”


“I get it.” He shifts in his chair, looking generally uncomfortable with the topic of conversation. “I’ve only been using the app for a few weeks but… it’s saved my life.” Though he’s not looking at me, the intensity of his tone gives weight to his words. “The sound of your voice, it’s like a shot of whiskey to my system. My whole body gives in to it and I can’t help but—” He stalls, as if realising he’s said too much.


“Don’t stop there,” I murmur, low and teasing. “I’d love to know what you can’t help but do.”


Both hands run through his hair as he shifts again. “I think you get the idea.”


I break out into a grin. “What are you, gay or something?”


“Yes,” he confirms without hesitation.


My insides do a happy dance, even as my brain urges caution. It’s entirely possible Tristan’s attraction to me begins and ends with my voice. I don’t want to let my imagination run away with me only to discover his interest is limited to my vocal cords. “It must have been a relief to meet me in person,” I suggest, “and realise there’s nothing siren-ish about me, after all. Not in the flesh.”


Tristan’s gaze flicks over me before dropping away again. “You underestimate your flesh.” His words are thick and heavy with desire.


Shivers of pleasure rush through me and my eyes slide closed briefly. “Well, I’m also gay,” I say, trying not to sound like I’m thrusting the information in his face. Which, okay, I am, but I don’t want to be obvious about it. “The thought of a gorgeous man finding pleasure in my voice is never going to be a bad thing. As for the flesh…” I allow the words to trail away as our eyes meet.


Tristan’s throat moves as he swallows. “Sam, I can’t,” he rasps. “We’re working together.”


Is that what’s holding him back? “We have a blood ink pact,” I correct him. “It’s entirely more intimate.”


Huffing out a laugh, he tilts his head to one side. “You’re mouthy tonight.”


“I know, sorry about that.” I don’t sound sorry because I’m not really. “I get this way when I start feeling comfortable with someone.”


His eyebrows lift. “You feel comfortable with me?”


“I do. Not with the work you’re giving me.” I gesture to the nearby task list. “But with you, yes. I’m glad we met.”


He smiles the shadow smile. The reluctant one that sits so oddly upon his lips. “I’m glad, too.”


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