Published by Self-Published on 20th August 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Buy on Amazon US • Buy on Amazon UK
Life is full of uncertainty, so what happens when a what-if from your past collides with your present?
Kaitlyn Thomas, a weary wife and mother, is taking a much needed getaway with her friends. All she wants to do is relax and rejuvenate on her weekend escape to the beach. Having a drink at the bar with the girls sounds like the perfect way to unwind. That is, until Kaitlyn hears a familiar voice from the stage that shakes her to her core. She grapples with her memory until Chris King, the lead singer of the band, walks up to her and eliminates the questions in her mind.
Chris King…the misunderstood bad boy who once saved her in ways that no one else could.
Kaitlyn’s friends beg to know the story behind this mystery man. Forced to revisit a painful past from which she has spent years trying to heal, Kaitlyn's recollection of Chris awakens intense feelings that she has kept buried deep inside her heart. Has time changed him, or is he still the same person Kaitlyn fell in love with so many years ago?
Marriage vows are sacred, but temptation is a powerful thing.
Seeing Chris again has caused a war between her head and her heart. In the end, which one will win the battle? Facing a difficult decision, Kaitlyn just wants to be sure of one thing when she walks away from this weekend—no regrets
REVIEWED BY JOANNE
*I received an eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review*
Well, where to start? Oh yes, this should sum it up…. THIS BOOK BROKE ME. Completely broke me.
Why? I can’t put my finger on it. I have read lots of books that were emotional, and I shed a tear or two, but this book? This book had me sobbing; I went to sleep crying, with the tears actually soaking my pillow.
Perhaps it’s because I can relate to Kaitlyn, maybe a lot of women will relate to her. She’s a stay at home mom, looking after a young child. Her husband is out at work all day and when he comes home there’s not much of a relationship. This is not how she envisaged her life….
“Do you know how depressing it is when your daily goal in life is to sweep up crackers off the floor and dig rocks out of pants pockets before throwing them in the washing machine? I feel like I’m in solitary confinement most of the time…”
Kaitlyn needs a break, and goes away for a weekend with some friends. This weekend will ultimately change her life for ever. While she’s in a bar, a local band are setting up on stage and she freezes when she hears a voice that she recognises from years gone by, one that she never thought she’d hear again. When her friends realise that something has spooked her, she tells them the story of how she met Chris King.
The story then goes back to Kaitlyn’s high school days, when she was in a relationship with Trevor (the high school star football player). Trevor is perfect on the outside; no one else sees the side of him that Kaitlyn does. Unfortunately for Kaitlyn by the time she realises the type of person he really is, she’s in too deep and is too afraid of him to end things.
Trevor made me so mad – there were times when I was reading that I wished someone would see what he was doing and give him the same treatment. I wanted Kaitlyn to pluck up the courage and stand up to Trevor. The only person that she does turn to is new boy Chris King.
Chris is the school pariah – everyone stays clear of him because he’s just transferred there after a stint in juvenile detention, everyone except Kaitlyn. They just click, and soon they’re spending time together in lessons and chatting on IM. Chris is the one she calls after she has a few particularly nasty run ins with Trevor, one of which had me horrified and thinking “NOW do you realise how dangerous he is?”
Just as things finally look up for Kaitlyn, fate intervenes and Chris is torn from her life never to be heard of again until that night in the bar. Back in the present, we see how all of the emotions she felt back then have resurfaced, and she is so conflicted. Chris clearly still has feelings for her and she is torn between her life now and her life back then.
“What choice would incur the most regret? Doing something I’m not proud of or walking away, wishing I had done it anyway?”
Chris is now in a band – and has never forgotten Kaitlyn. I felt for him so much. He’s just run into the only girl he truly loved only to discover that she’s married with a young child. He and Kaitlyn meet up for a drink, to talk about old times and that’s where I started to really get emotional. They never got a chance to be together; they were pulled apart before they could tell each other how they felt, and now fate was against them again.
“Promise me this” he said. “When we’re old and gray and widowed, promise me you’ll look me up in the nursing home so we can finally be together.”
Then there’s Michael, Kaitlyns husband. I felt for him too – how hard it must be to know that your partner gave their heart away a long time ago, and that it wasn’t to you. He must feel like second best. He works hard for his family and yes, he may not show it, but he loves Kaitlyn and would do anything for her.
Whatever decision Kaitlyn makes will haunt her and the fallout from the weekend will affect everyone. I’m not going to say any more about that because I’ll end up giving away spoilers.
What I will say is that the end killed me – I start to get weepy just thinking about it. The whole story is just so sad. It’s a story about finding love, then losing it. It’s about making choices; which road should you go down, and which one would you regret more? It’s about making sacrifices, and it’s about forgiveness.
Melanie Dawn is an amazing writer, and I can’t wait to read more from her in the future. She really captured the emotions Kaitlyn went through, as well as Chris, it totally pulled at my heart and I know this book will stay with me forever.
“Kaitlyn?” Mr. Abernathy stood at the door and waved a hall pass in the air. “I need you to run down to the supply closet and roll out at least ten feet of the large banner paper…preferably white, but any light color will do. We’ll need it for our next classroom assignment.”
“Okay,” I said, rising from my seat and walking toward the front of the class. Grabbing the hall pass from Mr. Abernathy’s hand, I stepped into the quiet hallway. Having a little break from the monotony was going to be sweet.
Meandering down the hall, I casually glanced into the window of each classroom door. I waved to Allison who was daydreaming her way through Algebra. Mr. Dancy stood at the dry erase board scribbling equations while trying to explain the quadratic formula. Allison immediately perked up when she saw me. She gave a little half wave, trying to avoid being caught by the teacher. That’s when I saw him. Chris King sat three desks back from Allison. He caught a glimpse of me and immediately pulled one corner of his mouth into that cocky half grin, quickly nodding his head once in acknowledgement. His hand immediately shot up. I ducked down and kept walking to avoid being seen by Mr. Dancy.
“Yes, Chris,” I heard Mr. Dancy ask as I slipped away from the door.
I swiftly darted down the hall toward the supply closet. My heart was slamming in my chest. What was it about that dark brown hair and those deep chocolate eyes that caused me to lose complete control of my senses? I scrambled to get to the supply closet as quickly as possible. I needed a minute to gather my composure. God, he is so freaking sexy.
I reached the door of the supply closet and quickly turned the knob. Letting myself in, I found the large rolls of banner paper. It seemed like there was just enough white paper to suit Mr. Abernathy. I grasped the corners and began to pull.
That’s when I heard the door behind me click shut. I whirled around to see Chris standing there, watching me.
“Shit! Chris, you scared me.”
“Sorry,” he said as he took a step toward me and began closing the gap between us. He crammed his hands in his pockets and shrugged his shoulders. “I didn’t mean to freak you out.”
“I’m just getting paper for Mr. Abernathy’s class. What are you doing here?”
“I came to see you.”
“Oh.” My body felt like it could take flight as fast as my heart was beating in my chest. The burst of adrenaline made my fingertips and my lips feel numb.
Chris’s brown eyes were locked on mine as he took one more step toward me. “I don’t know what I’m doing here. I don’t know what the hell this is.” He waved his hand back and forth through the space between us, indicating whatever was going on between us. “I just can’t get you off my mind. Can’t stop thinking about you.”
I hung my head in defeat. “I…I know what you mean,” I stammered.
“Don’t Kaitlyn,” Chris said and took one last step toward me, completely closing the gap.
He reached up, lifting my chin to look me straight in the eye. “Don’t hang that beautiful head in shame.”
“I’m sorry. I just can’t help it,” I told him.
“Kaitlyn, I’m going to say this one last time.” Chris’s dark irises cloaked me in a comforting warmth. “You are amazing. Don’t ever let anyone make you think anything otherwise.”
Chris stared at me in the dim light of the supply closet. A lump immediately formed in my throat. He took one finger and pushed a lock of my hair off of my face, tucking it behind my ear. Sliding his thumb down the length of my chin, his touch sent shivers down my spine. He closed his eyes, leaning toward me. I closed mine too, appreciating the quiet moment between us. Chris gently touched his forehead to mine and gingerly wrapped his arm around the small of my back. Pulling me closer, he ran his fingers down the length of my arm and clasped my hand. Pulling it up, he held my palm against his chest, and tugged me even closer. “You feel that?” he asked.
I nodded, noticing that his heart was pounding in his chest too.
“It’s yours…whenever you’re ready.” He smiled. “And, do you hear that? Kait-lyn, Kait-lyn, Kait-lyn,” he whispered, repeating my name to the beat of every thump. “It beats for you.”
Tears glossed my eyes. “Chris, I…I’m…” Oh god, I’m so in love with you, is what I wanted to say. Instead, I found myself saying, “You’re killing me.”
With only inches between us, I could feel his breath, warm against my lips. “God, Kaitlyn, I want to kiss you so bad right now,” he whispered.
I peered up at him, staring into those dark windows to his soul. I could almost see them swirling with desire. “What’s stopping you?” I asked.
With that remark, he heaved a staggering intake of oxygen that made my insides shudder as he pressed himself harder against me. The tension welled inside of me, demanding release. My body screamed, oh God, I need that kiss in a bad way and right now! My lips ached to feel his mouth against mine.
He leaned down, tilted his head, and watched me with his sultry eyes. The heat of his exhale caused every nerve ending to tingle from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. For a split second, we shared the air between us, inhaling simultaneously just before our lips united. The moment his mouth landed on mine, a pulse of electricity throbbed deep down, momentarily taking my breath away. His lips were soft, but the need behind his kiss was desperate. He encircled his tongue around mine as I relished the strong yet gentle urgency of his kiss. The rhythmic movement of our lips and the gentle pressure of his hips grinding against mine radiated hot pulses of hungry passion deep within me. Pressing himself firmly against me, he walked me backwards until my back was pressed against the shelves behind us. Chris grasped the sides of my face and weaved his fingers into my hair, gently pulling me toward him. My hands found their way to the back of his head as I desperately tugged him closer to me. For a split second, we were one…two bodies, one unit…two souls that had found their way home.
Chris ended his kiss, slowly pulling away to look at me.“Wow,” he whispered. “That was amazing.”
I nodded, unable to speak. I felt my ravenous hormones raging out of control inside me. Chris’s kiss made me feel weak in the knees. I grasped the shelf behind me to steady myself. That kiss was freaking amazing!
“Damn, Kaitlyn, you’re unbelievable,” he said, shaking his head. He stuffed his hands in his pockets, trying to hide the obvious effect my kiss had on him. “I wish we could stay in here all day, but I have a feeling Mr. Dancy will come and hunt me down if I don’t get back.”
I nodded again. “Okay.” My brain had finally managed to send the signal to my vocal chords.
Chris turned and left the room. I reached up, touching my lips where the tingle from his mouth still lingered. I wrapped my other arm around myself to try to still the quivering in my stomach. Oh. My. God. Could that boy be anymore incredible? Quickly, I grabbed the length of banner paper that Mr. Abernathy had requested and raced down the hall toward his class. Peeking in at Mr. Dancy’s class as I passed by, I caught a glimpse of Chris slouching in his seat. He winked at me, once again whisking my insides to a pulp. I needed more of what that kiss did to me…