Robbie and Ivan wrought havoc on their first chance at love. Can they mend their fences and find their passion the second time around?
Soulmarked as mates, Robbie and Ivan come from different worlds. Robbie’s the oldest son in a long line of outlaws who live squarely on the wrong side of the tracks, and Ivan’s family tree is packed with law enforcement. That didn’t stop them from falling in love, but when they risked tearing each other apart, they cared enough to let go and hope they’d find a better life.
Years later, the strength of their soulbond still burns bright when chance brings Robbie and Ivan together at the football game of the year. The passion they felt for one another is as powerful as ever, bringing them into explosive contact. They’re not the boys they used to be—Robbie’s turned his life around and raised his younger brothers to be good men, and Ivan’s learned to stand tall and mix justice with compassion. But though they want to hope they can be happy now, not everything has changed. Maybe not enough has changed.
Or has it, after all?
It’s up to Robbie and Ivan, now. Only they can make the choice that will change their lives forever.
General Release Date: 23rd May 2014
“Finally.” Nathaniel collided with Robbie, wrapping himself around his brother from the side.
Robbie was sturdy enough to take the hit without stumbling. He knuckled the boy’s head. “You’re not excited or anything, are you?”
“Are you kidding? This is amazing.” Nathaniel’s eyes glowed like warm brown stars. He’d never been tall or strong, always the youngest and most in need of looking after, but try to coax him away from his love of sports…well. It’d be easier to teach a dog to climb trees. He ducked away from Robbie’s fond assault on his noggin. “Did you ever think they’d actually finish the coliseum?”
Honestly? There’d been times Robbie had doubted. Plans for the giant sports center had been drawn up before he was born, and they’d laid the foundation around the same time he’d tried to teach Nathaniel how to ride a bike.
All good things had their own time, he supposed.
“I can’t be sure, but I think that means no, he didn’t,” Cade butted in, sandwiching Robbie on his other side. “It can be hard to tell the difference, but that particular subtle nuance of our big brother’s somber demeanor—a hint of a smile—might just mean he’s pleased to be proved wrong. Are you?”
Robbie rolled his eyes indulgently. Mother Nature must have known Cade’s destiny was to be a middle child. He’d come out of the womb raising hell, and had pounced gleefully on the chance to teach Nathaniel his ways when the youngest boy was born. His brothers were noisy, energetic, affectionate double handfuls of trouble. He had no idea how he could ever do without them.
He pulled Nathaniel’s ear instead of a lock of his brother’s hair. “I did buy tickets for the first game, opening night,” he said. “Would I have done that if I didn’t have faith things would turn out?”
“It’d be the first time in your life,” Cade said with careless ease. He caught Nathaniel by the shoulder and hustled him a few steps forward. “I think they might be almost ready to unlock the gates. Come on. I’ll show you how to throw elbows.”
Robbie shook his head as he watched them go. The gates would open when they opened, and their seats for the first game were numbered. Come in early or come in late, it wouldn’t make any difference…but on the other hand, he couldn’t blame them for their eagerness. Or their teasing him for being a serious-natured bastard. After all, they hadn’t known him in the days when he was different. They weren’t old enough to remember the things Robbie had done. Or to know well most of the people Robbie had known, and those who’d known Robbie in return.
Some more than others. Some very, very well…
Robbie rubbed absently at a spot over his breastbone.
He wasn’t the only one watching his brothers working hard at their playing around. Just ahead, a tall drink of water with a head of wild chestnut curls whistled and elbowed a shorter, ginger man beside him. “Get a load of that, would you?” Chestnut said, helping himself to an ogle of Nathaniel’s trim shoulders and narrow waist. “I wouldn’t kick him out of bed for eating crackers.”
“You’d have a hard time finding him in the sheets,” his friend said, apparently not as impressed by Nathaniel. He lifted his chin at Cade. “Now, that one? The way he walks? He’s packing, front and back. That’s more my kind of man. You’re taller. Can you tell if they’ve got soulmarks?”
“Not as far as I can see, though I’d be glad to get a second look—”
Chestnut didn’t get to finish what he had to say. Robbie drew himself up to his full six feet of height, took two steps forward to cast his shadow over them and cleared his throat. Some people Robbie could have mentioned would have burst into giggles at the way the rakish pair’s eyes widened. There were advantages to being tall and looking, as Cade usually put it, like the kind of rough, tough and risky sort of man that motorcycles were made for.
“They haven’t found their mates yet,” Robbie said once he was sure he’d gotten their full attention. “And if I have anything to say about it, nobody’s going to be looking tonight, either.”
Word Count: 23,717
Book Length: NOVELLA
Genres: ALTERNATE REALITY
Willa Okati can most often be found muttering to herself over a keyboard, plugged into her iPod and breaking between paragraphs to play air drums. In her spare time (the odd ten minutes or so per day she's not writing) she's teaching herself to play the pennywhistle.
Willa has forty-plus separate tattoos and yearns for a full body suit of ink. She walks around in a haze of story ideas, dreaming of tales yet to be told. She drinks an alarming amount of coffee for someone generally perceived to be mellow.
Reviewed by Joyfully Jay
Oh, this one was really good!
The writing was fantastic, and gave me a really good picture of both the characters and the setting. I was there in the moment with I...
Read more reviews
Reviewed by BTS Book Reviews
A story of lovers bound by their soulmarks.
Willa Okati has an elegant amorour way with her words and Now and Then was an engaging read which kept me turin...
Read more reviews
Willa Okati - LR Café Best of 2014 Awards Nominee
The Soulmarked series has been nominated for Best Series!
View all news
Willa Okati - Guys Like Romance Too feature
Some might have said that Robbie was a simple man, but that wasn’t quite the case.
He led a simple life, to be sure. No frills. He learned early on that what he knew about stealing cars he could put to use in fixing them instead, and he put his all into providing for the brothers he mostly raised by himself. He’d never minded grease under his fingernails, and the cracks on his palms and knuckles that came from hard work didn’t seem so bad—
When he had Ivan to help him patch them up.