Bro Code

Bro Code by Kendall Ryan

About the Book

There’s pretty much only one rule when you’re a guy.

Don’t be a douche.

Turns out, the fastest way to break that rule is to fall for your best friend’s sister.

Ava’s brilliant, sharp-tongued, gorgeous, and five years younger than me.

She’s the sexual equivalent of running with scissors. In a word, she’s dangerous. And completely off-limits.

Falling for her could ruin everything.

Yet I can’t seem to stop. Even when her company is threatened by a lawsuit and my promotion hinges on representing the opposing client—and winning.

I can’t see a way out of this mess that doesn’t end in a broken friendship, a broken heart, or a ruined career.

I may have broken the bro code when I fell for Ava. But do I have the balls to handle what comes next?

Chapter One


It's been a long time since I've been back to my hometown for a visit.

Nothing about the bar has changed since college, and when Nick comes around the table with a couple of beers the first sip tastes just like when I was twenty-one. Well, twenty with a fake ID, but this place is way too small for anyone to really care.

“Drink up, bro,” Nick says, placing a pint of beer in front of me. We've been best friends since the second grade, and little has changed between us in all that time. “I'll get us something stronger once we're back at the house.”

My heart almost stops before starting again. “I can't stay with your parents, dude. I'll just find another hotel.” One that isn't experiencing a water main burst.

Nick shakes his head. “I already called my mom. She insisted that you stay, said she'd already changed the sheets in my old room.”

Dammit. The beer I just swallowed sits uneasily in my stomach.

I certainly don't want to impose, and the nearest hotel is thirty miles away. But I can't let Nick know the real reason why I can't crash at his parents’ house for the weekend. I can’t stay there, and I definitely can't tell him why.

“How's work, man?” he asks, reaching for the basket of bar snacks and taking a big handful. “I'm surprised you had the time to make it down here.”

I shrug. “Work is going well enough that they weren't worried about giving me the time off.”

I'd been looking forward to the week back home ever since Nick invited me to his father's retirement party. And since Mr. Saunders was pretty much the only dad I knew growing up, I told him I wouldn't miss it. That and the chance to just relax and get away from the city was a welcome distraction. I haven't taken any time off in the past two years, and I called in a bunch of favors to be here this week, but it’s worth it.

I'd expected to crash at my mom's place, but she waited until I was halfway through the drive here to tell me that the house was already full. I'd gone to the one hotel in town, only to find it closed for repairs brought on by water damage from a pipe bursting last week.

My mother has always done her best, but after she remarried, the kids that came after put me on the sidelines at home. It put a fire under my ass, enough to get an athletic scholarship for college and remold my dreams into going to law school. I passed the bar on my first try and hit the ground running, racking up hours at one of the biggest corporate law firms in Chicago. And now, at thirty, I have a new target—making partner, and eventually getting my name etched on the door.

“Still, I appreciate you coming down. Since my divorce, my parents have been on my back twenty-four seven,” Nick grumbles. The split wasn't pretty. He'd only been married for three months when they filed divorce papers. Which was completely out of character for him. I still didn't have the full story, but something told me we'd get into all that once we were good and plastered this weekend. “Then this whole thing with Dad giving up the factory and...”

“How'd that end up working out?” Hearing Nick's dad had a heart attack was a shock. He wasn't that old, and had seemed in good health. Then he'd been forced into early retirement and the future of his factory hung in the balance.

After gulping down the rest of his beer, he shrugs. “My sister's taking over the place. I have no interest in learning to run some grease pit.”

His sister. Every time Ava comes up, I have to keep a straight face. She's one of the only things about this town I ever missed, but Nick doesn't know. He'd deck me if he ever knew I looked her way, hell, that I even thought about her, and I wouldn't blame him.

Bro code is pretty clear about these things. Those unwritten rules are genetically coded into every male before birth. You don't hit on your best friend's sister. You definitely don't let your mind wander to what she looks like naked, and you sure as fuck don't let your dick go stiff at that thought. I force deep, measured breaths into my lungs.

“Sounds like she'll be busy.” I keep my comment cool, almost off-hand, and wave down the bartender to get us another round. “Damn, it's barely seven and it seems like half the town's here getting hammered.”

“Can't blame them.” Nick casually glances at someone across the bar, and my gaze follows. “Jared Brown's over there with his third wife because it's their anniversary or something. Our old buddy Jacob has four kids now, if you can believe it.”

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