Chapter Reveal ★ Because of Lucy ★ Lisa Swallow

Today we are sharing chapter one from BECAUSE OF LUCY by Lisa Swallow. This is a New Adult contemporary romance title that was originally published as a novella in 2013. This is a new edition that has been fully revised and expanded into a full-length novel! Because of Lucy is the first book in the 'Butterfly Days' series, and it will be released in just one week - next Tuesday, February 25th.


Because of Lucy (Butterfly Days #1)

Releasing: February 25

Add Because of Lucy to Goodreads


"In life, there are some people you have to lose in order to find yourself." Ness’s parents have planned her life but Ness is determined to control her own future. She leaves home and moves to Leeds with childhood friend, Abby, and shocks her parents by turning down a place at medical school to take a job in a call-centre. Ness meets Evan, a student friend of Abby’s, and isn’t impressed. He’s drunk, arrogant and rarely spends the night without a girl in his bed. But unlike most guys she meets Evan quotes poetry and can hold a conversation, forcing Ness to change her opinion. Evan is struggling to escape too and throws himself into the student lifestyle to hide from the past following him. In Ness, Evan finds somebody who shares the need to walk away from what people expect him to be. But Evan can’t hide from his past forever and when Lucy appears she threatens his new relationship with Ness. Ness is unsure she can deal with the effect Lucy has on Evan, and makes a new decision about her future. When everything falls apart and their new lives and relationship don't go as planned, Ness and Evan are both faced with difficult choices. All because of Lucy.

Because of Lucy Chapter One



There’s a stranger lying in my bed. The streetlight casts an orange glow 

through the open curtains and across the tell-tale mound, and underneath my brand 

new and expensive bedding is a snoring figure. A male, judging by the size, and by 

the decibels. When I left for work this evening, the bed was definitely vacant.

I drop my bag on my carpeted bedroom floor and swear loudly. He doesn’t 

hear. I’m not surprised; the noise of voices and music downstairs would drown out the 

sound of my murderous intent towards this moron. I’m exhausted after an eight-hour 

shift and this is not what I need.

Slamming the door behind me, I head for the stairs. The tatty furniture of the 

lounge room is covered with people, although littered is the term I’d use. Half a dozen 

inebriated, scruffy students are draped over the brown sofa or propped against each 

other on the threadbare carpet. A couple gaze at me absently. My housemate, Abby, 

squints and pulls herself unsteadily to her feet. She staggers towards me, her drink 

sloshing from the cup onto the dirty floor. 

“Ness!” she cries, trying to hug me. “You’re home!”

I step back. “I’ve been home for half an hour.”

She blinks. “Have you?”

Her long brown hair escaped the straightening tongs this evening and sticks up 

on one side. Abby’s smeared lipstick and her boyfriend, Matt, nearby indicate why 

she didn’t notice me coming home.

“Who is in my bed?”

Abby gives me a look; one I’ve learned to identify over the years. She’s 

beyond any chance of reasonable conversation. “No idea.”

“Abby, I’ve been working all night. I’m knackered. I want to go to bed and 

there’s one of your guests occupying it.”

Abby giggles.

“Not funny!” I snap. “You can’t do this every night; weekends only for 

parties. Please.”

We agreed to share a house, her as a student, me working full-time. What a 

huge mistake.

“It’s not my fault…”

“What? You mean we were invaded? They just let themselves into the 


The people in the room are becoming familiar, the same set of friends 

arranged in their favourite places around the room. Drinking and smoking, discussing 

politics and listening to Lou Reed. So hip, so retro. So clichéd.

“No, but…” She puts a hand over her mouth, making a noise somewhere 

between a hiccup and a burp. No, but… she’s the only first year student in the group 

who lives in her own house. When the pubs and clubs shut, the friends can’t fit 

everyone into one of their dorm rooms, and I have the pleasure of their company most 

nights. I want to shout at Abby, tell her how selfish she’s being, but there’s no point. 

Her goldfish memory is worse when she’s drunk, and she won’t remember a thing I 

say in the morning.

“So where do I sleep?” As if I’m going to get any sleep in party central 


Again, Abby looks at me blankly. 

“For god’s sake, Abby!” 

This is pointless. I pick my way through the bohemian bodies on the floor and 

into the kitchen. Empty bottles and dinner plates vie for a place on the cluttered 

kitchen counter. There’re two glasses left in the white cupboards and I fill one with 


Why did I join student Abby in Leeds when I’d rejected a place at the 

university myself? I’m rubbing my parents’ faces in it while I lower myself into the 

life of a call centre drone. Pride of the family, Vanessa, was always going to be a 

doctor, like Daddy. Or she was until I said ‘screw that’. I’m not their precious 

Vanessa who they can mould into what they decide I should be. I’m Ness, and I’m 

doing what I want with my life.

As I regard the state of the so-called elite, studying class around me, I’m 

doubly glad I’m not one of them. 

“’Scuse me.”

I sidestep the sink and turn to the voice. A tall guy leans against the 

doorframe, trying to appear nonchalant, but his slackened stance indicates he’s 

attempting to keep himself upright. His brown hair is longer at the front and spills into 

his face; unfocused brown eyes look in my direction. This person is one of the 

regulars. I don’t pay a lot of attention to Abby’s friends, but he’s a good-looking guy; 

and however hard I tried not to, I’ve noticed him, but not only because of his looks. 

Some nights as I eat a late dinner after work at the table in the corner, I watch 

the group from my seat with a mixture of despair and amusement, and this guy 

intrigues me. Girls gravitate to him, and he turns on his smile and soaks up their 

attention, but something I can’t put my finger on hovers around the confident persona. 

This guy has his place as the joker who ensures he’s at the centre of the group, but 

some nights he’s quiet and focuses more on drinking and less on girls. Like tonight.

“Yes?” I snap, not in the mood.

He sweeps a gaze along the length of me, eyes lingering on where my work 

shirt stretches across my breasts. Unbelievable... I straighten my sleeves and look at 

him with an eyebrow raised.

“Are you Abby’s housemate?” he asks.

“Who are you?”

“Evan.” He rubs his nose. “You’re not a student.”

“Correct, I am the one not lying in a drunken haze on the floor contemplating 

my navel.”

Evan takes a step forward, steadying himself on the counter with one hand, as 

my witty repartee sails over his head. “Why?”

“Why am I not on the floor drunk?”

“Why aren’t you a student?”

“Because I work instead.”

“Hmm.” He grasps onto the sink, searching for a glass. I pass him the spare 

one. “Did you fail?”

“Fail what?”

Evan fills the glass. “Or are you just not smart enough for uni? What is it you 

do?” He gulps the water in three mouthfuls then wipes his mouth with his hand.

The arrogant bloody… “That’s right, I’m not smart enough. I’m living with 

Abby until I can find a nice man to marry then I can have my kids and a house in the 

suburbs. Because, as I’m not a student, I have no future.”

Evan leans against the sink, his tall frame dominating the small kitchen. “Fair 


Oh my god, he believes me. How drunk is he exactly? “So, you think anyone 

who doesn’t go to university is inferior to you?”

I’ve seen Abby’s friends looking down their noses at me. To make things 

worse, the locals band together and hate students, and the students do the same and 

clash with the locals. I’m neither. I can’t win.

We’re close now and Evan smells of alcohol and pot, with a faint hint of a 

clean scent lingering on his clothes. His plain blue T-shirt rides up as he leans against 

the sink; that’s a serious set of abs he has. Okay, I can’t help myself, I check him out. 

Beneath his fringe, Evan has deep brown eyes. Incoherent eyes. I hate to admit, but 

something about him is seriously sexy.

Even if he is a dick. 

“Well, if you’ll excuse me,” I say. 

He sniggers. 

“What’s funny?” 

“You sound like the Queen.”

Not this again. I get enough crap at work; I moved from Surrey to Yorkshire 

and suddenly I’m ‘stuck up Home Counties girl’. 

I don’t dignify Evan’s comment with an answer, turn away, and walk out of 

the kitchen.

“Want me to get the guy out of your bed?” Evan calls after me.

I stop and look round. “You know him?”

“I could replace him.”

My mouth drops open at his arrogance. An attempt at a flirtatious smile plays 

around his lips, but the unfocused eyes kill the effect he’s trying to achieve. He’s 

serious. Evan has his ready supply of eager girls; I guess it doesn’t matter to them 

how conceited he is. Some girls go for his type. Not me. 

I step towards him. “Evan, I am not one of those drunk girls in there. I have no 

interest in you getting into my bed. Good night.”

Feeling happy with my retort, I weave back through the lounge in the direction 

of the stairs. Behind me, Evan impersonates my words with an exaggerated posh 


It’s a good thing I’m sober; otherwise, I’d go back and slap him.


The next book in the series, Finding Evan, will be releasing March 29th!


Finding Evan (Butterfly Days #2)

Releasing: March 29th

Add Finding Evan to Goodreads




 Lisa is an Amazon bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. She is originally from the UK and moved to Australia in 2001. She now lives in Perth, Western Australia with her husband, three children, and Weimaraner, Tilly, who often makes appearances on Lisa’s social media.

 Lisa’s first publication was a moving poem about the rain, followed by a suspenseful story about shoes. Following these successes at nine years old there was a long gap in her writing career, until she published her first book in 2013.

In the past, Lisa worked as an English teacher in France, as an advertising copywriter in England, and ran her own business in Australia. Now she spends her days with imaginary rock stars.

She lived in Europe as a child and also travelled when she left university. This has given Lisa stories which would sound far-fetched if she wrote them down, and maybe one day she will. These days, Lisa is happy in her writing cave, under Tilly’s supervision.      


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