Have you ever gone just a little too far?
Lexie Banks has.
Yep. She just had mind-blowing sex with her stepbrother. In her defense, she was on the rebound, and it’s more of a my-dad-happened-to-marry-a-woman-with-a-super-hot-son situation. But still, he’s been her best friend and confidant for the better part of the last few years … and is so off limits. It’s a good thing she’s leaving in two days for a year abroad in Rome.
But even thousands of miles away, Lexie can’t seem to escape trouble. Raised Catholic, she goes to confession in hopes of alleviating some of her guilt … and maybe not burning in hell. Instead, she stumbles out of the confessional and right into Alessandro Moretti, a young and very easy-on-the-eyes deacon … only eight months away from becoming a priest. Lexie and Alessandro grow closer, and when Alessandro’s signals start changing despite his vow of celibacy, she doesn’t know what to think. She’s torn between falling in love with the man she shouldn’t want and the man she can’t have. And she isn’t sure how she can live with herself either way.
EXCERPT #1 – Lexie’s Confession
I breathe deep and pull myself to my feet, walking slowly to the open confessional. I hesitate at the door, but then remind myself that this is Italy … where they speak Italian. I can confess my worst of sins, and the priest probably won’t understand a word. I step in and close the door, then kneel in front of the thick red curtain separating the saint from the sinner.
“Nel nome del Padre, e del Figlio, e dello Spirito Santo. Amen,” a deep sandpaper voice says from the other side of the curtain.
I cross myself as the priest prays the Sign of the Cross, then bow my head and close my eyes. “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been … well … a whole lot of days since my last confession. Probably a year or more. I accuse myself of the following sins. I … used the Lord’s name in vain at least … oh, God—” Shit! My hands fly to my face. “Like that … I just don’t think about it, and it comes out of my mouth. I’ve done it thousands of times. Maybe a million. Twice just since I walked into this church.” I shake my head at myself. “I’m terrible. But that’s not the worst. I’ve stolen from my friends. There was this scarf I got for Sam for her birthday that I decided to keep … so I guess it’s not really stealing, but it felt like it, and there were the flip-flops that Katie loaned me that I never returned—I even brought them with me to Italy. And I swore at my stepmother when she wouldn’t let me go out with my boyfriend until I cleaned the bathroom, but I knew he had this big romantic thing planned for our three-year anniversary and I was pretty sure we were going to have sex … which I guess I also need to confess … I had a lot of sex with my boyfriend before he turned into a douche—pardon my French … or English, I guess—but that was almost a year ago … when I still had a boyfriend … and, what else … I sort of cheated on a history exam last semester because Drake Mulhollan left his book open where I could see it, and during finals I wished my roommate dead one day when she was having sex with her boyfriend all freakin’ day so I couldn’t get into my room to get my books—she didn’t die, by the way … I mean, my wish didn’t come true or anything like that … but I wished it, which I’m pretty sure is a sin. And then there was the time I lied to Dad about the dent in the car … and the baggie he found in my backpack wasn’t really oregano … which, oh yeah, there was the pot thing too, but it was just a phase so …” I trail off, recognizing the fact that I’m babbling on to avoid the actual reason I’m here. I breathe deep and wipe my sweaty palms on my jeans. “And I stole my stepbrother’s T-shirt …” I swallow hard, “after we had sex,” I blurt, then I’m running downhill again, words tumbling out of my mouth before I even think them, “and it was truly mind-blowing. It’s all I can think about, and I want to do it again and, oh God—shit! See, I just can’t stop myself from saying oh God. But my stepbrother is so …” I growl in frustration and grab fistfuls of my hair. “ … incredible. He’s just fucking incredible—pardon my French. I’ve never felt the things he made me feel, you know … and God, I think I might …” I yank my hair as I shake my head hard. “I don’t know. It was just sex, right? I mean … as much as he made me feel, it was just …” I bury my face in my hands. “He’s my stepbrother. Why can’t I stop wanting him?”
“That is a question you will have to answer for yourself,” the voice says from the other side of the curtain.
“That would now be a million and seven, by my count. I hope you brought your rosary to Italy as well as your friend’s flip-flops.”
“You speak English!”
“I do, child. Is there more you are in need of confessing?”
So we all know that college is full of emotions and doubt and worry, etc etc. Throw in a hot step brother that you sleep with 2 days before you leave for 9 months abroad and your whole life turns upside down. This is Lexie’s story, the good Catholic girl who is getting over her high school sweetheart, falling for her step brother Trent, and heading to Rome to study for school. After her hot night with Trent, Lexie is unsure of what is happening to her. She does not want to lose her best friend but how can things ever remain the same after what they did? Once she is settled in her apartment in Rome Lexie decides to be strong and not think about Trent…even though all she can do is think about him. She decides to go to confession and get it all off of her chest. The priest that she speaks with sends her on a mission as part of her repentance which is how she meets Reverend Moretti…the sexy Reverend Alessandro Moretti. They become colleagues and friends. He is kind and sweet and he has confidence in Lexie that she doesn’t have in herself. Alessandro shows Lexie around the museums of Rome and helps her conquer some of her fears. As they get to know one another Lexie is drawn to him, making her forget about Trent…well almost forget. She realizes that she is attracted to the almost priest.
“Yep. The tingle in my groin is unmistakable. I’ve got the hots for the good reverend.”
Through this all Lexie is a very confused young woman. She still talks to Trent, if you can call a few vague text messages talking. The feelings that she has for him are still there, if not stronger and she finds herself in a tough spot. She is jealous of what he is doing back home and she loves him but doesn’t know what to do. I really would love to read some of this from Trent’s POV to see what he was going through, did he love her, was he really with someone else, were they still friends. It was frustrating for me because I knew what she wanted and I kind of knew what Trent wanted but they wouldn’t just come out and tell each other anything. All this is going on while Lexie continues to swoon about the Reverend.
“There’s something about those intense charcoal eyes on me that makes me feel…dangerous. It must be the forbidden thing, I think. And, shit. There’s that tingle in my groin again. I can’t have the hots for an almost-priest, no matter how good looking he is.”
Confusion seems to have been the theme for this story. Lexie is confused about Trent and Alessandro, Trent seems confused with what he wants from Lexie, and Alessandro is confused about his path in the church. This all comes down to Lexie, she is the source of everyone’s confusion. A Little Too Far takes you on a journey of self discovery and finding what your heart wants. It also has a decent amount of Art History information for those of you who have an interest. I myself was a Fine Arts Major in college and I greatly appreciated hearing about Rome and all that it had to offer…art and sexy priest, who wouldn’t like that?! I will leave you with this, I won’t however tell you who said it…that is for you too figure out ;)
“From the first time I met you, you’ve affected me like no on else ever has. I don’t want to hide it from ourselves or the world anymore. I love you an I want to be with you.”
Lisa Desrochers lives in central California with her husband and two very busy daughters. There is never a time that she can be found without a book in her hand, and she adores stories that take her to new places, and then take her by surprise.
Look for her New Adult novel, A LITTLE TOO FAR , courtesy of HarperCollins Sept 17, 2013, and companions, A LITTLE TOO MUCH (Nov 12, 2013), and A LITTLE TOO HOT (Jan 21, 2014). Also in stores is her YA PERSONAL DEMONS trilogy (Macmillan).
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