At eleven years old, Macie James was certain she saw her prince standing in her kitchen with his rosy cheeks and cute smile. She was going to marry that boy, she had no doubt about it. As she became a teenager, it was that boy who taught her how to become a confident and sure woman. As the years went by and they grew up, he taught her how to love and to be loved.
Greyden Michaels was surprised when he fell for his best friend’s little sister. He wasn’t opposed to it and, even more surprising, neither was his best friend. When he was in college and her just in high school, he realized they were too young to be committed, he opted for friendship with her and together they decided their love was for the future.
When you hesitate, life happens. When life happens, your plans change. Macie wanted her fairy tale and Greyden was prepared to give it to her when unfortunate events changed his whole life, including his future with the UFC and, most devastatingly, with her. Macie made the decision to live her life, to move on without Greyden, especially once she met the man who wanted to marry her and give her the life he couldn’t.
The problem with that was that Greyden had always seen her as his. Could he give her up completely for her supposed happiness or could he somehow manage to get his life in order to try and win her back, heart and soul?
“How does it feel to be fourteen? Any different from thirteen?” The deep but quiet voice startled her from her reverie and she jumped as she let out a silly little scream and dropped the towels she was just clutching.
Spinning around, Macie saw Greyden trying unsuccessfully to hold in his laughter. “Oh my God, you scared the crap of me! You idiot!” She swatted his now t-shirt-covered chest as her heart continued to beat wildly inside her own. “Why’d you do that?”
Greyden walked closer and wrapped her small frame up in his much larger arms, encasing her in his warmth. “I’m sorry, Mace, I didn’t mean to scare you. Are you all right?”
Macie allowed him to calm her down before she responded. Geez, he smells good.
“Yeah, I’m all right. But now you know better than to sneak up on me in the dark, you jerk,” she admonished with a pretty smile. She couldn’t stay mad at him for long even if she really wanted to.
“So, I actually came over earlier to bring you your real birthday present, but this works out better anyway,” Greyden explained with a crooked smile. “If I give you something, do you think you can keep it between us?”
“Sure,” she responded hesitantly, only because she had no idea what it could be that he would want to keep from her brother.
Greyden dropped one of his hands from around her waist and reached into his back pocket. Holding onto something in his closed fist, he brought his hand up to her jaw and she stopped breathing for just a few seconds until her brain kicked back into action. “Macie, have you had your first kiss yet?” he asked seriously.
His question caused her to suck in a deep breath. She wasn’t certain her voice would come out steady, so she just shook her head. Macie was aware that they’d come a long way in their friendship today, namely beginning a friendship today, but this was a whole different ballgame.
“How about you get your first kiss on your birthday so you can always remember it?”
She couldn’t help but wonder if this was a trick. Really, he could kiss her on any mundane day and she would forever remember it. If she fell for it today, was he going to run off laughing at her and it all be a big joke? Instead of answering, she chose to be mute and see if he could come up with his own conclusion.
“Can I be your first kiss, Macie?” Greyden asked, close to her face.
“Seriously?” she whispered, still not believing what was going on.
He smiled his half-crooked smile and answered, “Yes, seriously.”
“Okay.” Butterflies took flight and her hands fidgeted down by her sides, having no clue what they were supposed to be doing at the moment.
“Will you promise me that after tonight you won’t go all girly on me and start calling me your boyfriend? I don’t do that scene, beautiful girl, and your brother would kick my ass.”
“So this is just a kiss?” Macie wasn’t sure if she could handle that. He didn’t want her to go “all girly” on him, but she was already “all girly.” She couldn’t help that. But could she turn down the one chance she would have at her first kiss being Greyden Michaels? Um, no way.
“No. This is your first kiss, to set the bar for all your other kisses, one that no other guy will ever touch, by the way.” He smirked and ran his thumb along the line of her cheekbone.
She laughed at him being a dumb boy and playfully shoved him back. He quickly stepped forward again and gathered her up into his arms; this time she hugged him right back. Macie was on cloud girly nine and loving every minute of it. After a few seconds of him rocking them back and forth, he pulled back so she could see his face. He paused for half a second before dipping his head down and allowing his lips to meet hers. She knew it was coming, she watched his face getting closer, but it still took her by surprise; she couldn’t help the flinch that overtook her. Greyden held on tighter around her waist, offering her much needed support, but that didn’t stop her stupid overactive eyelids that refused to stop blinking. Then Macie felt his tongue at her lips, parting them, making its way into her mouth.
Oh! He wants to really kiss me! She opened her mouth so her tongue could meet his. This feels good. Nice, this feels nice. My eyes are still open! Crap! Crap! Crap! Close your eyes, you idiot!
Their tongues swirled together as Macie finally fell into sync with Greyden and lost herself in her first kiss. She felt his hands glide slowly up her sides until they stopped near her neck. He continued to kiss her as something cool dropped down onto her neck and chest. Just as she was starting to feel like she couldn’t fully catch her breath, Greyden grasped her face in both of his hands and broke their connection. He rested his forehead on hers briefly before rolling his head down again to sweetly kiss her one more time. He reached down and brought her hand up to cover the cool metal lying against her chest.
“I got you a locket,” he whispered. “I didn’t have a picture to put in it. I figured you would have something you would want to put in there.”
Macie looked down as he removed his hand from her own small one to see a lovely silver heart locket on a dainty chain. Her fingers skimmed across the etched design along the top of the heart and let it sink in that Greyden just kissed her—not just kissed her, but knocked her socks off kissed her—and then gave her a locket for her birthday. Overwhelmed was an understatement, but she tried her best to stick to their agreement and not go all girly on him. She could freak out after he went home.
“Do you like it?” Greyden asked as he took another small step back from her, clearly setting their boundaries.
Before he could get too far, she stepped back in to embrace him one more time and reached up on her tippy toes, her hands gripping his shoulders. Macie moved her face next to his and lightly blinked, brushing her long lashes against his cheekbone, and then whispered, “I love it, Grey. Thank you.” Her heart may take a beating after tonight, but she could accept that. If she got to be friends with him and knew that they have a couple secrets between just the two of them, then she could live with a bruised heart for a while.
Greyden pulled back and looked at her, confusion and amusement etched across his perfect face. “What did you just do?”
It didn’t even cross her mind that that might not be cool to do. God, I’m such a nerd. She shrugged the thought off and answered, “I gave you butterfly kisses.”
Grey just sort of smiled and reached out to rub one of her shoulders and whispered back, “Butterfly.”
I cannot say enough about how much I love this series! The Without Series is such an amazing tale of 3 couples and their journey to find themselves and work toward their own happily ever after and Ms Azevedo does not disappoint in the third book in the series Without Hesitation. If you love angst and heartbreak, this one is for you! I felt the first two books she gave us true love stories that made you fall in love with falling in love but now in Without Hesitation, we get the angst and heartbreak and that falling in love is not always a pretty rosy picture. That even though you may be in love, things just aren’t mean to be. I have always said the first book in the series was one of my favorite but my angst filed heart is leaning to Macie and Greyden and being my favorite! There is just something about having my heart ripped out that I cannot stay away from! The book moves from past to present in both parties POV and is a complete story. This can be read as a standalone but you really should read the others. They are amazing!
Imagine being a young preteen and failing in love with your brother’s best friend. This is exactly what happened to Macie. As long as she can remember, she knew Greyden would be it. From their first kiss at her thirteenth birthday party Macie knew she would never love another like Greyden. But Greyden knew that he had commitments to fulfil and promises to keep, he couldn’t fall for his best friend’s sister. With time, if the time was right, they would have their moment. Yes go by and right when you think yes, this is it…. No… it’s not! I’m frustrated, I’m pissed, I want them to be happy damn it! Everyone around them is so happy and in love, why can’t they have their moment??? This is my ramblings of a crazy person because this is what this book did to me! Made me crazy! I want them to find each other! I want that moment to be right! They both deserve to be happy with each other. It’s so close I can feel it… then no. The timing is never right for them.
“He was my everything, to everyone around we were friends, but to him and I we were each other’s forever.”-Macie
“I want my Butterfly that floats when she walks, and sings that she doesn’t even know it. I need you call me ridiculous names and throwing tantrums when I don’t give you what you want and most of all I need you back to where you love without hesitation, where you love me without hesitation. “-Greyden
Greyden knows that Macie deserves to be happy… that if he cannot give it to her there will be someone else that can do that. He doesn’t expect her to wait for him until he is ready. Will Macie follow her heart to Greyden or will someone else be there to pick up the pieces? You need to read to find out!
“I’ve had one love my whole life and it didn’t work out for me. When you know who you’re supposed to be with but can be, you only other option is to settle.”-Macie
5 HUGE STARS!
CJ was born and raised in California and that is where she currently resides with her family. Writing is a dream come true. She gets to daydream and put it down on paper for others to read. She used to get detenion for daydreaming, now she gets rewarded for it! When she's not writing she's discovering new recipes, being a room-mom to her daughters class or the best side kick to whatever super hero her son is that day and loving every second of it!