Read an excerpt from Before & After by Nazarea Andrews

Rike and Peyton fell in love in college.

A boy from the wrong side of the tracks, covered in ink and crooning in a bar is the last person a straight laced girl with a art major should fall for, but his rough edges made her jagged, alive, shaving away the coddled southern princess and revealing a soul wild and brilliant.

They fell in love, despite her family and his past and all the reasons why it wouldn't work--and with their best friends, they made a life. Everyone was supposed to live happily ever after.
They, more than anyone, knows that life doesn't go according to plan.

Rike and Peyton fell in love in college. A boy with a guitar, and a poet's heart, and a girl with freckles dusted over her nose, a perfect fucking fairy tale.

But what happens when the fairy tale doesn't fall apart--but is forgotten?


But there is nothing simple or mundane about Rike. He’s gorgeous, with his shaggy black hair and the beard that is growing on me. The tattoos curving on his long, strong arms and licking across the skin over his fingers.

He’s everything I never expected to want, but this feels familiar. He’s who I chose. This unconventional, beautifully confusing life.

Scott and Lindsay.

They are the life I chose.

“How did we get here?” I whisper, and Rike’s gaze snags mine. I shake my head, helplessly. “This isn’t what I pictured, Rike. This is nothing like I imagined my life. And I understand that it’s what I chose. But I don’t remember, and I can’t reconcile it.” His expression falls, and I make a tiny noise, reaching for him. “I am trying, Rike. I just—it’s a lot.”

“I know,” he whispers. “I want to help, but I don’t know how. I don’t know how to give you the space you need when all I want is to bring you home.”

I reach for him and catch his hand, twisting our fingers together. He stares at our fingers, until the microwave dings and it jerks both of us out of our thoughts.

The soup and crusty bread he brings out is delicious, creamy potato broth with a spicy sausage. But the tension between us strings tight and uncomfortable, and it makes my stomach twist, until I finally put the food down.

Rike is waiting, because as soon as I stop eating, he shifts, gathering the bowls and taking them to the sink.

“There’s some stuff in your office. I think you should look at it. Will you come upstairs with me?”

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About the Author

Nazarea Andrews is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. She loves chocolate and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, and overgrown dog.

You can reach out to Nazarea via: Website | Blog Twitter | Facebook Street Team