“I didn’t realize: sometimes fate is the hardest choice of all…It’s an act of faith. A miracle…But you have to decide: give yourself up and surrender to a force far greater than you will ever understand, or turn and walk away…”
Juliet wants to get away, so much so that she has applied and gotten into college clear across the country. All she has to do is get through the summer with her family; then it’s a fresh start. Easier said than done. Juliet’s family vacation isn’t a happy one. With a drunk for a father, a snob for a sister and a mom who just wants attention and affection, the trip to their vacation home in Cedar Cove is just one more hoop to jump through on her path to freedom. How was she to know a blown tire would land her face-to-face with the one person who could change her entire life direction?
Emerson is the local bad boy. Life hasn’t dealt him the fairest of hands; his mom is an addict, he’s never met his father, and he works three jobs to support her, himself, and his two younger siblings. Struggling daily to keep track of his mother; angry is not a strong enough word. Emerson has lost all hope for his life ever amounting to something more than it is. When he nearly crashes into the summer girl with the bad attitude and raven hair, something flairs deep within him…and it all starts with her.
“She’s standing right in front of me, those beautiful lips parted with anger, her fists clenched by her sides. Even if she hadn’t just told me all of that, I would know the truth from the look of dark bitterness in her eyes. She knows. She’s been here. She’s damaged, just like me.”
This novella/prequel grabbed me from the very first page. Emerson and Juliet each need something the other has to offer, they need each other. He needs hope and she needs purpose. They start a fast-paced, love-at-first-sight, summer romance; from that very first encounter, they were connected. She saw him, the real, deep-down-hiding-from-everyone him, and she didn’t run. He showed her that despite the odds, one can be good and they have fallen—hard. I really loved them, their chemistry is absolutely hot. The unknown of the future is still hanging in the balance…I will be reading Unbroken to find out what happens next!
**4 Aching Stars**