Two friends fall into a passionate romance, but first they must confront a painful past, or else lose out on the one thing they’ve been searching for in this heartrending novel from the author of Come Back to Me and Stay with Me.
Emerson Lowe and popular ice-hockey player Jake McCallister have been best friends since third grade but as their friendship starts to morph into something more, a terrible event occurs that heralds the end of innocence for both of them.
Within a week, Jake’s living on the other side of the country and Emerson is left alone to pick up the pieces of her life in a small town determined to paint her as a liar.
Seven years later, Emerson is still living on the beautiful Pacific West island of Bainbridge, helping run her family’s business. The last thing she needs is Jake turning up, bringing with him old memories and opening up old wounds. But Jake—even better looking than Emerson remembers—seems determined to revive their friendship no matter how much Emerson tries to push him away.
Forced to work alongside him for the summer Emerson can’t help but fall for Jake, and soon they’re in the midst of a passionate romance that neither of them wants to end.
But both Emerson and Jake know that if they’re to have any kind of future they must first confront the past—a past that most people want to stay buried.
I watch Em slam the padlock shut on the rack of kayaks and then shoulder open the door to the store. It slams behind her, rattling the glass, and I wince, rubbing my stomach where Em hit me with the paddle. Was that deliberate? No. If it were deliberate, she would have smacked me around the head with it.
I want to move. I want to follow her. But I don’t. I head down to the water instead and stand staring out across the bay. What was I thinking? Coming here. Turning up out of the blue. What did I expect? For her to be happy to see me? Yeah. I laugh ruefully to myself. I guess that’s what I had hoped for, deep down, but not what I had expected. I always knew it wasn’t going to be that easy.
Damn. I reach for the oar she left by the shore and pick it up, still feeling a little winded.
So much time I’ve spent thinking about what her reaction would be to me, and I never once stopped to think about what my reaction would be to her.
But there it is. All those years between us are a chasm that probably can’t be bridged. And there’s a mountain of lies and pain and hurt that might be impossible to climb. But the fact remains that Emerson Lowe is still the only girl who’s ever taken my breath away.
Mila Gray is the pseudonym for Sarah Alderson. Having spent most of her life in London, Sarah quit her job in the nonprofit sector in 2009 and took off on an around the world trip with her husband and princess-obsessed daughter on a mission to find a new place to call home. They are currently located somewhere between India, London, Canada, and the US. Sarah is the author of several YA novels, including Out of Control, The Sound, Hunting Lila, and its sequel Losing Lila, plus the paranormal Fated trilogy.