Book Spotlight: Group Therapy by BB Easton
by BB Easton
Date Released: February 1, 2022
About Group Therapy
From the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of 44 Chapters About 4 Men (inspiration for the 4th Most-Watched Netflix Original Series of all time, Sex/Life) comes a romantic comedy about an inexperienced psychologist who falls for one of her clients and creates a therapy group from hell as an excuse to see him after hours.
I am thiiiiis close to finally becoming a full-fledged psychologist. PhD? Check. Prestigious postdoc position, providing therapy to entitled millionaires and C-list celebrities whose pumpkin spice lattes cost more than my Converse and make excellent projectiles during their reality TV–worthy tantrums? Check. Letter of recommendation from my velociraptor-like supervisor?
That’s going to take a miracle. Not only because my boss said I have to cure our most-prized client’s writer’s block in time for him to meet his insane deadline, but also because that client just so happens to be …
Thomas F*@%ing O’Reardon.
Yeah, that Thomas O’Reardon. The wickedly brilliant, achingly beautiful, devastatingly British best-selling author whose psychological thrillers line my bookshelf at home and whose face I might or might not picture while I … you get the point. Sitting in a confined space with him; inhaling the crisp, clean scent of his cologne; gazing into his broody blue eyes while trying to remember to nod and listen and come up with suggestions that don’t involve taking our clothes off … it’s torture.
So, when Thomas casually asks me out at the end of a therapy session, I’m forced to make an impossible choice: say yes and risk losing my dream job, or say no and risk losing my dream guy. In a panic, I blurt out a third option—the only solution I can think of that will allow me to see this man after hours without it being considered a career-ending ethics violation:
The only problem? I’ve never actually done group therapy. And side problem: my other clients are heathens. But what’s the worst that could happen? I mean, it’s not like I’m going to lose all control of the group and let it devolve into a chaotic, bloodthirsty, topless fight club.
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An Excerpt from Group Therapy
He wraps his warm, ocean-scented, oxford cloth shirt around my shoulders, and for some strange reason, my eyes begin to burn. I blink the stinging sensation away and focus on my breathing as my fingers instinctively curl around the open material and cinch it tighter around my body.
It feels like a hug.
A hug that I didn’t realize I’d needed so badly.
“Thanks,” I whisper, swallowing the emotion lodged in my throat.
Thomas folds his arms across his chest and shrugs, his shoulders already tense from the cold.
“So, you weren’t freaked out by what happened in there?” I ask, tilting my head toward the building where the group therapy session from hell just occurred.
Please say no. Please say you’ll come back next week.
“Actually”—Thomas gives me a crooked smile—“it was kind of fun.” The corners of his mouth drop along with his gaze as it drifts slowly to the ground. “I wonder what it’s like to feel that free.”
“You only say that because you weren’t the one whose client had you in a headlock.”
He laughs silently, and it’s the perfect example of the self-control he wishes he could let go of.
“Maybe that’s why you write about psychopaths,” I add, missing the weight of his eyes on me. “So you can experience what it’s like to be that … uninhibited.”
A crease forms between his eyebrows. “Wrote,” he says, his eyes darkening as they travel to a place even farther away from me. “Past tense.”
With that, Thomas turns to open his car door, and I panic. I panic, and I do the dumbest thing I’ve done yet, which is saying a lot.
I reach out and grab his hand.
Thomas goes completely still.
I go completely still.
Even the wind, which had been swirling brittle orange leaves around our feet, goes completely still as the words, “Will write,” leave me on a shaky breath.
I try to let go of Thomas’s hand, but he laces his fingers through mine, holding me captive. Then, he turns and captures me with his eyes as well.
“Future tense,” I add, unable to look away from the restraint and madness I see warring in his eyes.
Thomas’s gaze drops to my lips, and when I run my tongue along the seam instead of screaming or slapping him or prying my fingers loose, he begins to lean forward. No. He is being pulled forward. By me. By my actions. By my confusing mixed signals. I invited this. And I have to stop it.
But I can’t. My brain is barking commands that my body is no longer listening to. I watch helplessly from inside my traitorous body as Thomas lifts his other hand, slides it beneath my curtain of hair, which is still tucked inside his shirt, and cups the side of my neck.
His thumb caresses the ridge of my jaw, and like the strike of a match, my neglected husk of a body goes up in flames. The heat engulfs me, spreading like a forest fire as it burns away the fingerprints of every man who’s ever touched me before. It ignites something deep inside of me—an inextinguishable need. An excruciating singular desire.
I close my eyes and lean into his touch. And I hate myself for it.
I can’t do this. I can’t kill my career. I can’t sabotage his treatment. But as I stand here, rooted to the spot, with Thomas’s fingers laced in mine and his hand splayed across my skin, I can’t even make myself exhale, let alone walk away.
Just as Thomas’s breath, warm and sweet, dances over my parted lips, as my body tenses and braces for the impact of this wrecking ball of a man, it is the voice of another man that breaks the spell.
About BB Easton
Wall Street Journal bestselling author BB Easton lives in the suburbs of Atlanta with her long-suffering husband, Ken, and two adorable children. She recently quit her job as a school psychologist to write books about her punk rock past and deviant sexual history full-time. Ken is suuuper excited about that.
BB’s debut memoir, 44 Chapters About 4 Men, is the inspiration for the #4 Most-Watched Netflix Original Series of all time, Sex/Life. Because she had so much fun writing it, BB went on to publish four more wickedly funny, shockingly steamy, and heartwarmingly honest books, one for each man in her memoir: Skin, Speed, Star, and Suit.
The Rain Trilogy, an epic, immersive, end-of-the-world romance, is BB's first work of fiction. Or at least, that's what she thought when she wrote it in 2019. Then 2020 hit and all of her dystopian plot points started coming true. Hopefully, her feel-good romantic comedy Group Therapy will fix everything.
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