Good Time Boyfriend - Carrie Ann Ryan
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Carrie Ann Ryan Carrie Ann Ryan

Good Time Boyfriend

Book 1 in the First Time Series
Special Edition Cover

Devney needs a fake boyfriend for the night and I’m all too eager to play along.

But when the sun rises, reality settles in and I know I want more. Only I don’t think she’s ready for what I have to give.

I want to be more than a good time, but I know what I’m good for. I need control. And she’s far too innocent.

When one fake date with Heath turns into two, our relationship becomes all too real. Hard. Fast. And everything I didn’t realize I needed.

But I don’t know how to tell him I want it all.

Even when the world comes crashing back into focus all too soon.


read an excerpt

Good Time Boyfriend is Book 1 in the First Time series

Good Time Boyfriend Characters Profiles

Good Time Boyfriend

There was nothing like the view of the Rockies in Denver, Colorado. Okay, there was nothing like the view of the Rockies anywhere. I used to live in Portland, Oregon, so I knew trees and mountains and stunning. However, seeing the mountains and trees in Portland without a cloudy or rainy sky didn’t happen often. Oregon was beautiful, but Colorado? It called to me. Maybe it was just the novelty of it, since I had only lived here a year, but I didn’t think so.

This was home now, despite everything that happened when I had first moved here.

I hadn’t moved here for the mountains. Hadn’t moved here for the sunny days, high altitude, dry heat, or blizzards. I’d moved here for family. A family that I was determined to bring together in a way we hadn’t ever been before.

Of course, that meant I needed a damn job.

“Are you done drooling over the mountains yet? We need to get inside and open up.”

“I just can’t believe they’re real. They don’t fucking look real.”

Ace sighed at my side, but stuffed his hands in his pockets, and looked out at the majestic beauty of the Rockies with me.

I hadn’t realized I would love Denver like this. That it would call to me. And it really did look like someone had painted those peaks and valleys in front of me.

“I still think they look better right after a storm. When the clouds begin to part and they look almost purple.”

I turned to Ace and grinned. “Yeah, you’re right. I’ve been here a year now and I’ve seen every season.”

Ace rolled his eyes before he reached out and squeezed my shoulder. “It’s Denver. You’ve only seen six of the twenty thousand seasons we have. And sometimes six in one day.”

I snorted, but I agreed with him. You could wake up with snow in the morning and end up wearing a tank top by the evening. I was getting used to it—at least I thought so.

“Come on, let’s go open the bar.”

I smiled as I turned towards the building behind us. We were right on the outskirts of downtown Denver. Still in the hustle and bustle and close enough for foot traffic, but also near enough to the train station that there was room to breathe, and you could see the mountains from all sides. I loved knowing where west was, because that was the direction of downtown’s skyline.

“You ready for today? We have a long one.”

I nodded as we stepped into Lost and Found. Before I even decided to move here, Ace had asked if I wanted to join him in a new endeavor. I had owned a bar in Portland, one that had been doing really damn well. I had been the sole owner of the place, and finding and managing staff that could actually keep up had taken a toll.

When Ace asked if I had wanted a change, I leaped on the opportunity. Not just because it was Ace, a man I had known for years, but because Greer was here.

Lost and Found had been Ace’s idea, and I had bought in.

We had lost something growing up, and we needed to find it. That wasn’t like me. I wasn’t sentimental. I was the guy who got shit done because I knew my parents weren’t going to do it. I had done my best to keep my brothers safe. Both Luca and August had gone through hell, and I hadn’t been able to keep the worst from them, and our parents hadn’t even tried.

We hadn’t even been allowed to get to know our baby sister because of our parents.

But that’s what happens when your parents got married and divorced multiple times. Their first divorce was when I was a child, not even ten years old, my siblings were even younger. Of course, August was my twin, but I was the eldest, and I took that role seriously. Luca had been an infant, a baby just learning to walk. Greer was a couple years younger than August and me.

After that divorce, our dad took the boys, and our mom took Greer. Because apparently they had seen both versions of The Parent Trap and thought that was a wonderful fucking idea.

That made me roll my eyes to this day but, unlike the movie, there was no happy ever after. Even though our parents got back together, and we had a few years with our sister, trying to get to know her again, I never got to know her as well as I wanted. I was never there to protect her when things got bad, and when our parents got divorced again, they split us up again, like our opinions didn’t matter. We had gone to different schools, and while I had my brothers and they had me, Greer had no one.

When our parents got together for the third time, we had all given up. We were adults, and they couldn’t split us up if they divorced again. Except we had split ourselves up. Greer moved out here to be with her best friend who was originally from the Denver area. They opened a shop of their own, a little coffee and bakery place near a tattoo shop, that kicked ass.

It was time to be with my little sister. Only, it wasn’t going as well as I’d hoped, and it felt like it was my fault. But I didn’t want to think about that.

“You’re all in your head. Are you okay?”

I turned to Ace and nodded. “I’m fine. Sorry. Let me go start setting up.”

“You do that. Grace’s working in the office today, doing paperwork so I don’t have to. I’m so glad I’m marrying an accountant.”

I smiled, shaking my head. “I don’t know what we would do without her. Yeah, we would probably figure it out, but Grace actually knowing what she’s doing without having to ask a thousand questions? Yes, you’re marrying the right woman.”

“Did I just hear that you’re marrying me for my math skills?” Grace asked as she came in.

While Ace was well above six foot, big and bearded and full of tattoos, Grace was a tiny slip of a woman. She had bright red hair, luscious curves, and could probably fit in my pocket. She also had the biggest laugh and smile, and her face lit up every time she saw Ace. But the best part? My growly and grumpy friend lit up right back.

“I think he is also marrying you for your spreadsheets.”

She grinned at me and then went to her tippy toes to kiss the bottom of Ace’s beard. He leaned down for her, and they kissed a bit more. I cleared my throat after a moment.

“I would ask if you’d like a room, but we share that office. I don’t want to know what goes on when the door is closed.”

Grace blushed, but Ace grinned. “Then we won’t tell you.”

I groaned. “Really? At least bleach it afterwards.”

“And on that note, I’m going to go work on those spreadsheets. Alone. Because I don’t trust you.” She waved her finger at him.

Ace rolled his eyes. “Fine. I see how it is.”

“You better.” She waved us off. I laughed before going back to setting up.

We were open from three until one. I wouldn’t be closing, our team would. Usually Ace and I didn’t open together, but on days when Grace was here doing the accounting, we both wanted to be here in case there were any questions. And, frankly, even though I was still in my twenties, I liked being home to sleep in my own bed before midnight.

I set to work on the kegs and ensuring that all the glassware and prep were ready from the night before. I had oranges and lemons and limes to cut, more cherries to procure, and countless other things. Keeping the cherries in stock when everyone kept stealing them was a hazard of the business and meant that I had to hide them from my own staff. It was that way when I was a server and busboy when I was sixteen, and the problem had only gotten worse as time moved on.

The door opened before we were open for business and I looked up to see Greer walk in, making me smile.

My sister looked like us. Brown hair with subtle highlights from the sun, bright light eyes, but in a petite frame.

While Luca was slightly smaller than August and me, he was still bigger than Greer by far. And Luca was bulking up from his day job, lifting huge sixty-to-eighty-pound dogs onto a vet table.

“Hey there, little sister. I didn’t know you were coming in today.” I moved around the bar so I could come up to her, arms outstretched. She smiled at me before wrapping her arms around my waist, hugging me tightly.

We stood there for a moment, taking it in, the situation still new enough that I wasn’t quite sure when the novelty of it would wear off. We had been apart for so many years, and I hadn’t known when she was sick or feeling grumpy or what her favorite book was. I hadn’t known anything until we were old enough to be able to contact each other outside of our parents. They hadn’t liked us calling the other house, connecting with the parent who hadn’t chosen us.

I was getting to know this Greer, but I sure as hell missed the young Greer I never got to know.

We split apart, and she grinned at me. “I was in the area and figured I’d say hi.”

“You work like twenty minutes west of here, and I thought you were closing today.”

She nodded but held out her phone. “I had to meet with our backer, and since her shop is only a few blocks from here, I figured I’d walk to you to say hi before I caught the light rail back.”

“Do you want my car? You’re welcome to drive it back.”

She waved me off. I knew I sounded a bit eager. I just wanted to protect her, to help her. The fact that Greer was now engaged to not one, but two men meant that I didn’t need to protect her. She had the two loves of her life for that. Hell, she could protect herself. The fact that Greer’s men also happened to run a security business? Well, that meant I felt a little out of sorts. A little unneeded. But that was on me. Never on her.

“My car is at my place. But with traffic because of an accident on 25, I decided to take public transportation. It’s really okay. I have a pass and everything.”

“And I realize it’s better for the environment, but I just like to give you things.”

“I know. And I’m grateful. And I did bring something for you.” She handed over the paper bag and I could smell the deliciousness before I even opened it.

Plump pastries, bagels, and other goodies—at least a dozen.

My mouth watered, and she smiled at me. “I know you have drinks here, but I figured pastries from not only our shop, but Haley’s too would be welcome.”

“Did I hear the word pastry?” Ace asked, practically pushing me out of the way. “There’s my Greer.” Ace hugged her tightly as Greer laughed, and Grace came running in, throwing her arms around both of them.

It was so easy for them, becoming family without overthinking it. It felt like I was trying to do so much for her, and failing, because she didn’t need me. But I was still so damn glad I moved here. I would be missing this. I would be missing the chance to be the overprotective asshole brother.

I just needed to figure out what else I needed to be.

“Anyway, I have to head back. Enjoy the pastries. I’ll see you guys for dinner this weekend?” she asked, and both Ace and Grace nodded.

“Yeah, if not before.”

“I love the fact that you live close enough to me that you can come into the coffee shop every morning if you want. I would say it’s like old times, but we both know it’s not.” She rolled her eyes and I felt the kick to the gut, even though she didn’t. She had found her steadiness, her foundation. And while I knew she still carried the same pain that we all did, she was moving forward. I thought my brothers were doing the same. I was the one who needed to get in line.

“Then we just have to make up for it,” I said quickly, and she nodded. We hugged and she headed out. Ace went back to setting up, Grace back to the office, and I swallowed hard and did what I did best—I worked.

The early shift was nice, because you got tourists and some regulars, and nobody was loud and obnoxious yet. That always made me happy.

By the time seven o’clock rolled around however, the din started to grow, the noise unending. I didn’t mind it though, I wouldn’t have opened a bar if I hated it. I liked getting to know people, to hear their problems and act as if I knew what I was doing.

I didn’t always, but I could pretend.

“Hey, whatever happened with that woman?” Ace asked as I worked on a martini, straight-up, extra cold, with a twist.

I frowned before I remembered, I knew exactly what he was talking about. “I don’t even know her name. She was just here on our opening night, and she was gorgeous. Not quite sure why you brought her up?”

“Because you have talked to at least twenty gorgeous women tonight, all of them hitting on you, and you haven’t done a thing about it.”

“You know I don’t hit back. This is a job. Not a stomping ground.”

“So you say.”

“You met Grace in a grocery store, both of you trying to find an organic cereal from your list, and you reached it for her because she couldn’t. That’s a meet-cute. At a bar? Not so much.”

“Look at you, knowing the phrase ‘meet-cute.’”

“Greer has me reading romance novels. I like them. Didn’t think I would, but I do.”

The guy at the bar snickered but I ignored him. He wasn’t going to tip me anyway. He had been in before and he never did.

“True, but I was just thinking about the last time your heart did that little pitter-patter thing.”

“Pitter-patter? Maybe you need to be reading those novels.”

“Grace would probably like it. I could learn a thing or two.”

“Or seven,” the woman at the end of the bar said as she sipped her old-fashioned, before waving and turning to talk to her girlfriend.

“Okay, so I know what I’m reading next. Or should I ask Greer?”

“Take a look at my ereader later. You’ll see what you need.”

“That’s good. Now I have to get back to the bachelorette party. Pray for me.”

I rolled my eyes as I handed over my next drink and got back to work.

“Hey, are you Heath?” a deep voice asked.

The bar began to quiet down a bit and I frowned before I looked at the group of people on the other side of the bar.

They all had dark hair, dark eyes, and fair white skin. And if they hadn’t been cut from the same cloth, I wasn’t a very good bartender. So, they had to be siblings. And the way they were frowning at me had me a little worried.

I had never seen these people before. I might not be the best at names, but I was damn good at faces.

“I am. Is there something I can do for you guys?”

“Yeah,” one of the men said. All three women and two men were glaring at me, arms folded over their chest. Hell, this wasn’t going to go well. “You can tell us why you dumped our baby sister,” the man continued.

The bar got quiet, and I just stood there wondering who the hell these people were.

They had called me by name, so they weren’t confusing me with my twin, unless August had used my name in a relationship? No, we had never done that, had always found it skeevy. What was going on?

“You broke our baby sister’s heart. After a year of being together. You just dump her and walk away and say no hard feelings? And you wouldn’t even meet us throughout your whole relationship. What are you hiding?” one of the women asked.

Before I could say anything, and before Ace could rush over and help out, another woman ran in, eyes wide, hair fluttering behind her.

I blinked because I knew this face. I knew her.

Long, wavy blond hair, high cheekbones, plump lips, and a body a man would die for. This was the woman that my heart went pitter-patter for. And I didn’t even know her fucking name.

It was as if Ace had conjured her.

She ran in, arms outstretched, and stood between me and the five people who were staring me down.

“I’m so sorry. This is all a mistake,” she pleaded to me before she whirled on them. “Why the hell are you guys here?”

These were her siblings? I didn’t even know her name and, apparently, I had dumped her.

“He hurt you. Did you think we were just going to walk away? You’re our baby sister.”

She looked nothing like the others, but then again, most siblings didn’t look like replicas like mine.

“And that gives you the right to come into his place of business and badger him? You’re embarrassing me.”

She hadn’t denied it though. Hadn’t denied we had been in a relationship that I didn’t remember.

“Um, excuse me?” I began, but one of the siblings just waved me off.

Well, that was going to get annoying soon.

“He hurt you. Of course, we’re going to protect you, Devney.”

Devney. Her name was Devney.

She looked over her shoulder at me, and the pain in her eyes hit me like a punch to the chest. Well hell. I now knew her name, and I knew she had to be in some predicament that she was going to explain to me later. But for now, I could at least help her get rid of that pain in her eyes.

I leaned forward and sighed. “I’m so sorry, Devney. So damn sorry.”

She blinked at me, confusion in her gaze, then all hell broke loose behind her.

end of excerpt

Good Time Boyfriend

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Content Warning:

Discussion of death, parental death, discussion of self harm, assault, discussion of past trauma, violence.