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THE STORY YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW...
When Kyle Calloway died, he took a part of Nell with him. She wasn’t the only one left to pick up the pieces, however; Kyle’s death left a gaping hole in the hearts and lives of his parents and his older brother Colton, and ultimately broke the will of the girl he loved.
THE STORY YOU NEVER IMAGINED...
Becca de Rosa is Nell’s best friend. When Kyle died, Nell was so devastated that no one could reach her, not even her best friend Becca. As she tries to help Nell through her grief, Becca’s own life is thrust into turmoil, and everything she knows is changed.
Jason Dorsey asked Nell out the week after her sixteenth birthday, but that date never happened. Instead, he ended up going out with Nell’s best friend, Becca. He had no way of knowing, then, how that one date would send him on a life-long journey with Becca. He had no way of knowing the tragedies and triumphs he would experience, or that in Becca, he might find the love of a lifetime.
THE HEARTACHE YOU’LL NEVER FORGET...
I held her hand as she drove, listening to her talk, letting her words wash over me. It wasn’t that I wasn’t paying attention—I just knew that sometimes she needed to just talk, get out all the words she’d held back throughout the day. It was one of the ways she coped with stuttering, I’d discovered. She kept quiet during the day, only saying what she was sure she could get out fluently, and then when we were alone, she’d just ramble without expecting me to respond, and she’d let herself stutter, let it happen as it would, knowing I didn’t care.
I tuned back in as she made a left turn onto the main road through town. “S-so anyway, I’m pretty excited about this lit class I’m in. It’s err-early eighteenth-century British literature. We’re f-focusing on Defoe, Jonathan Swift, and Galland’s translation of One Thousand and One Nights, which is really unusual. It’s a higher-level class, since I’ve taken most of the freshman-level classes already.” I’d only heard of Defoe, but wouldn’t have admitted that except under duress. “My major coursework classes are the ones I’m most excited about. It’s all undergrad stuff, of course, but U of M is a respected university, ee-even if they’re not really ranked in the speech-language pathology field. My graduate work will probably be at somewhere like the University of Iowa. They’re the b-best, I’ve heard. I c-can’t say I’m excited at the idea of living in Iowa, but…it’s far enough away that I don’t have to decide n-now.”
I laughed. “But you’re already thinking about it?”
She grinned at me. “Yeah, you know how I am.”
I snorted. “Yeah, you’re a career overachiever.”
She frowned at me. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Uh-oh. “It’s a good thing, Beck. You’re just always prepared, and you’re fucking amazing at everything. Like, I don’t think you could fail at anything, even if you tried.”
She rolled her eyes at me. “I got a D on a test once.”
I stared at her, unsure if she was kidding. “Dear Lord, a D? When was this? Second grade?” I teased.
She didn’t look at me as she answered. “It was the end of the year, last year. This year, whatever. Senior year. In my stupid research paper writing class. I mean, the whole point of the thing was learning to write for research, going past the block-outline method. There aren’t supposed to be any tests other than the papers themselves. So then she springs this idiotic mu-mu-multiple choice test on us, no rubric, no warning. No one got better than a C because no one had studied for it or even had any c-clue what the questions were talking about.” She was getting worked up just thinking about it. “God! That one test, that D-plus? It took me down four-tenths of a percent! I would have graduated with an even four point three if it wasn’t for that stupid f-fucking teacher!”
Damn, she used the F-word.
I couldn’t help laughing a little. “A whole four-tenths of a percent? That bitch.” There might have been just a little sarcasm in my voice.
Becca’s head swiveled slowly toward me, her eyes narrowed, her jaw set. “It’s a b-b-big d-deal…to m-mmm-me.”
I sighed. “I’m sorry, babe. That was a dick thing to say.” She snatched her hand away and drove in silence until I couldn’t take it anymore. “Becca, I’m sorry. I wasn’t making fun of you. I’m just saying, you still graduated with one of the highest GPAs in the entire state. I know it was a big deal for you, though. I’m sorry.”
“And that four-tenths of a percent could have been the difference between one of the highest and thehighest.” She glanced at me. “Like how if you’d missed even one catch, it might have made the difference between breaking the record or not.”
I nodded. “I know, Becca. I was just being stupid.”
“Well, you are a guy.” She smirked, and I knew she’d forgiven me.
“Yeah, and guys are idiots. I don’t know why you put up with me.” I really didn’t, in truth, but I let it sit as a joke, knowing Becca would have a field day if she sensed that insecurity in me.
“It might have to do with what you did last night.” She licked her lips and winked salaciously at me.
“Which part?” I asked, deadpan.
She pretended to consider. “Hmm. Probably that thing you did with your tongue.”
I nodded seriously. “Oh, that. Well, I’ll have to make sure to do it again, if that’s why you put up with me.”
“You’d better, farm boy.” Ever since we watched The Princess Bridetogether last year, she’d taken to calling me “farm boy,” which she found cute for some reason. I let it go, because arguing was futile.
I slid my hand onto her thigh and cupped her sex. “Pull over, and I’ll do it right now.”
She clamped her thighs around my fingers, feigning horrified shock. “No! It’s broad daylight!”
“That didn’t stop you from letting me go down on you in the bed of my truck yesterday. It was daylight then, too.”
“Barely. The sun was going down. And that was at our tree. There was no one to see. This is a busy road.”
“So let’s skip dinner and head to the tree,” I suggested.
“I would, but I’m hungry. I never ate lunch.” She grinned at me. “We’ll go after dinner.”
She was as eager as I was, as insatiable. More so, if anything. I’d heard other guys complaining that their girlfriends never wanted it as much as they did, but I didn’t seem to have that problem. She was often the one trying to get me up for round two…and three. I couldn’t stop her some days.
Then her phone rang. There wasn’t anyone but me and her parents who would ever call her. Nell and Kyle were up north together, so it wasn’t Nell, and her mom and dad were at some fundraiser gala weekend in Washington, D.C., so it wouldn’t be them.
Becca stared at the screen of her phone. “Hmm. It’s Mrs. Hawthorne. I wonder why she’s calling me?” Becca fumbled a Bluetooth earpiece out of the center console, fit it into her ear, and touched a button to answer the call. “Hello? Hi, Mrs. Hawthorne, how are—what?” Becca’s face paled. “Are you fucking kidding me? He’s—what? No. Please, no.”
She hit the brakes and skidded off the road on the shoulder, her hand over her mouth, eyes wide, tears flowing, shaking her head in denial.
“Becca?” I shoved the shifter into park for her and touched her shoulder. “What is it?”
She didn’t answer me. “No. No. It’s not true.” She turned to look at me with horror in her eyes. “And Nell? Is she okay? Oh, god. Oh, god. Okay, we’ll be there. Yes, he’s with me, I’ll—I’ll tell him. Sh-shit. SHIT!” She ripped the earpiece out of her ear and threw it so hard it smashed against the dashboard.
“Becca? What happened?” Something bad was going on, and my stomach was flipping. “Why wouldn’t Nell be okay? Talk to me!”
Becca was sobbing, her head against the steering wheel. I lunged out of the car and circled around to the driver’s side, tugging open the door. Becca fell against me, and I had to hold her with one arm and unbuckle her with the other. I gathered her limp form in my arms and carried her around into the grass at the side of the road, kicking her car door closed behind me. I sat down with her on my lap and held her.
“Becca, you have to tell me what’s going on.”
She sniffed and choked on her breath. She looked up at me, and I could see the tragedy in her expression. “There was an accident. Up north. It-it’s Kyle. He’s—he’s—h-h-he’s d-dead.”
About the author...New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jasinda Wilder is a Michigan native with a penchant for titillating tales about sexy men and strong women. When she’s not writing, she’s probably shopping, baking, or reading. Some of her favorite authors include Nora Roberts, JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Liliana Hart and Bella Andre. She loves to travel and some of her favorite vacations spots are Las Vegas, New York City and Toledo, Ohio. You can often find Jasinda drinking sweet red wine with frozen berries and eating a cupcake. Jasinda is represented by Kristin Nelson of the Nelson Literary Agency.
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I loved this book! I loved it so much that I stopped 80% through because I didn't want the story to end. I did in fact finish it the next day because I couldn't hold out any longer. All of the characters from Falling Into You and Falling Into Us have a special place in my heart. This is what they must mean by a "book hangover".
I can't stop thinking about Jason and the hell he went through at the hands of his father. And then you have Becca who had to learn how to love herself despite her stuttering problem. She suffers other heartaches as well and handles them with strength and determination. I loved getting a different point of view of Nell, Greg and Colton's story. I didn't love the fact that I was sobbing over them once again even though I knew what was coming. Ok, maybe I did! I am a glutten for punishment! This author will suck you in, rip your heart out and then leave you with a smile. How in the hell does she do that?