Reviews Published Professional Reader Challenge Participant 80% 2016 NetGalley Challenge 50 Book Reviews

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Capture (Seaside Pictures #1) by Rachel Van Dyken

My Rating: 5 Stars
Sex Scenes: Yes.
Series: Yes, Seaside Pictures #1.
Subject: Finding your missing piece.

Losing your ability to speak at the age of seventeen; it’s not normal or fair.
But trauma, has a way of throwing normality out the window.

Dani lives anything but a normal life.
Her sister is married to one of the biggest names in Hollywood.
Her best friends are rock star duo AD2.
And she has more love around her than most people experience in a lifetime.
But that doesn't change the fact their parents are dead.
Or that it's her fault.

It seems her new normal is being a mute, living on the inside, unable to actually communicate on the outside.
That is until Hollywood’s newest heartthrob Lincoln Greene hires her as his assistant for the summer.
He's gorgeous, completely unavailable, and unobtainable.
But that doesn't stop her from wondering...if things were different...would he want her?
If she was whole, would he be the other half?

My Review

I got this amazing book as my January gift from Steamy Calendar Girls Book Club and I couldn't put it down!

Dani is this young beautiful girl, she has been through a lot and she is currently in a lonely place she can't escape. She has lost her voice and with that she lost everything that made her who she was.  She doesn't feel happiness anymore, she rarely laughs and she goes through life just existing. 

Then she runs into Lincoln and everything changes, the Hollywood heartthrob is not was she though he was, he is kind and funny, and completely sexy and irresistible.

Lincoln struggles with his feelings for Dani from the start, she is young and he is also damaged, he doesn't want to taint her with his demons.

Could two damaged people complete each other and make themselves whole again?

Their story was beautiful, he finds a way of freeing her of her darkness and by doing that he also frees himself, neither of them will be the same again.

It's a story about letting go and living in the moment, no matter how hard your life was, you should appreciate being here now, otherwise it will all be in vain.

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Restraint (The Revelation #2) by Randi Cooley Wilson

My Rating: 5 Stars
Sex Scenes: mmm...some pretty intimate scenes.
Series: Yes,The Revelation #2.
Subject: Fighting their attraction might be their biggest challenge.

One revelation changed everything, turning Eve Collin’s world upside down. Now, she’s left to struggle with her identity and allegiance. Haunted by grief and tempted by her increasing attraction to her protector, will she ever truly be safe from enemies that refuse to give up? 

Restraint is an addictively spellbinding continuation of Eve’s journey of self-discovery, love and sacrifice that will change everything.

Readers captivated by Revelation will eagerly devour Restraint.

My Review
I got this book in exchange of an honest review on Netgalley and I was super excited to read the second part of Ash and Eve's story!

I was not disappointed in this book at all, it met all my expectations! It has sexy intense scenes, violent thrilling moments and we get to see our favourite characters again, and yes that includes the amazing Gargoyles, that everyone wishes could be their protectors. 

Especially Asher, he is still this brooding and dark character, but in this book we get to see him unravel a bit, he is finding harder and harder to fight his attraction to Eve and she is not going to be the one to stop him.

Reading about their struggle was so painful, they are undoubtedly perfect for each other, but the rules of this ancient world are against them and they need to be smart or they will end up apart or even worse dead.

We get to see Asher open up to her, he is giving her his heart without any second thought and that could be deadly but at he same time it's perfection. 
The way in which he goes crazy when he is near her filled my stomach with butterflies. The author succeed in conveying through the pages the need he felt and how their souls called to one another.

Eve is getting stronger but she is faced with yet another challenge she is not sure she can survive. 

I can't wait for the next book! I need it now!

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Watch the book trailer now!

If you haven't read the first book in the series, do it now! It's free on amazon!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Seduced by The Billionaire by J.L. Beck

My Rating: 4 Stars
Sex Scenes: Yes.
Series: Yes.
Subject: The sexy and dark love story continues. 
When Raven sold her virginity to bad-boy billionaire Fox Smith she never expected to fall for him, or better yet be consumed by him. 

Leaving him was the hardest thing she’s ever done, and with enough money to keep her afloat for years she has no reason to see him again. That is until a unforeseen secret forces her to go crawling back to Fox. 

Fox knows Raven’s the one. He can feel it in his chest, so letting her go the first time was tough enough, but when she comes barrelling back into his life he knows he can’t let her go again. When the actual thought of losing Raven hits him, and secrets start to come to light like never before Fox must decide if holding onto his darkness is really worth it anymore?

Especially when the reason Raven is being targeted has everything to do with him… 

-This book contains instalove themes, violence, sex, and a HEA that will satisfy you beyond belief. This is book TWO in the series and DOES NOT end in a cliffhanger.-

My Review

I got this book in exchange of an honest review by the author. It's the second one in the series and now we get to read about the next part in Fox and Raven's story. 

She is staying away because she has to care for her mother, but most of all she is scared. She run away as soon as she could because it was too intense.

Fox is not himself anymore, he is missing a part of him, he didn't even knew existed.
He needs Raven back but things are more complicated than he could have expected and things will get worse before they get better.

The brothers are such a mystery for me, they care a lot but they also have this deep darkness that consumes everything around them. 
Fox has found something to keep the darkness at bay, Raven brings light into his life but he will need a lot of help to protect her from it.

Their connection is still amazing and the time apart hasn't changed anything, they are meant for each other. Why do I think that? Well apart from the amazing sex (of course), she is not trying to change him, she loves him just the way he is, and that is true love in my book. She embraces the darkness because it's part of who he is.

Seth is lost though and I can't wait to read his story!

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Consumed by You (Fighting Fire #3) by Lauren Blakely

My Rating: 4 Stars
Sex Scenes: Yes.
Series: Yes, Fighting Fire #3
Subject: Being afraid of getting close to someone, and letting life pass you by.
She's playing with fire...

Dog trainer Cara Bailey wants to find "the one," but fantasizing about her sexy-as-hell client, firefighter Travis Jansen, is getting in the way. Her only option? Get the confirmed bachelor out of her system-in every position possible-so she can settle down with Mr. Right. Starting right now.

Travis doesn't do relationships, so no matter how badly he wants the pretty little brunette, he keeps his distance. Until Cara goes and changes the game. She'll fulfill all of his fantasies if he agrees to walk away when it's over. But when the wildfire between them blazes out of control, it will consume everything-and everyone-in its path... 

My Review

I got this book for an honest review by Netgalley it's # 3 in the series but can be read as a standalone; just like I did ;)

I love Lauren's books, she always gifts us with these sexy strong Alpha males we can't resist and this is no exception!
Travis is sexy, strong, a Firefighter and a hundred percent unavailable. He doesn't trust woman enough to open up his heart, no love is worth risking your sanity and ending up with a whole in your heart and soul if something bad happens. 

Cara is a sweet, strong woman, who is ready for the next step; she knows what she wants from life and she is ready to go for it, but there's one small problem and his name is Travis. 

Together they start this sex-escapade dance, where they go at each other like animals trying to get the other out of their system. It's the perfect plan, unless one of them falls in love.

In life you can always try to make plans and strategize, but in the end you can't predict everything, and in matters of the heart no rules apply.

The chemistry between these two is crazy, no kidding she couldn't get over him, the way in which they connect is something each and everyone of us hope for when finding that person to spend forever with.

This is a risk everything for love kind of story, they both need to leave their safety nets behind and go for all or nothing. Travis being a Poker master has a hard time understanding that at first but when the truth hits him in the face there's no turning back, he has to get his girl. 

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About the author
A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that's hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than seventy-five times, and she's sold more than 1.5 million books. Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire as well as standalone hit romances like BIG ROCK, MISTER O, WELL HUNG, FULL PACKAGE and THE SEXY ONE. 
In February she'll release THE HOT ONE, a standalone contemporary romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Not in My Wildest Dreams (McKenna #2) by Jamie Hollins

My Rating: 4 Stars
Sex Scenes: Yes.
Subject: Seeing someone in a different way for the first time after years of looking pass her.
Series: McKenna Series #2
Releasing February 7, 2017 


It really sucks to be in love with someone who sees you as nothing more than a friend.  Darcy Owens knows this from personal experience. From the moment she met Sean McKenna as a wary ten-year-old, he’s owned her heart. So when he asks for her help with an important construction project, she can’t say no. 
Building a boutique hotel on Boston’s waterfront is a career-making opportunity, and Sean needs Darcy’s interior design expertise. She’s incredibly talented, and there is no one he trusts more. He knows he can always count on his childhood friend, but doesn’t know why he’s thinking about her tight skirts and blue eyes instead of tight deadlines and blueprints. 
When Sean and Darcy’s excitement about their work turns into an entirely different kind of excitement, it’s a sexy surprise. But they soon realize that building a new relationship is more challenging than building a new hotel, especially when life-long habits and old insecurities create cracks in the foundation.


Book given for an honest review on Netgalley.

I missed these Mckenna men and was ready for this new story to come. 

We already met the characters in book 1 of the series and we loved them, Darcy was as perfect as I imagined. She had this tough exterior but in reality she was just a girl in love with a boy from as long as she could remember. 

Sean was something different altogether, I loved him in the first book, but during this story I learned that he was actually a coward and an insensitive boy. 

The story had it's super cute moments and Sean had his good moments too, when he was actually good for Darcy and took into account what she needed or how she felt. But most of the time he was just thinking about himself, what he wanted, how he felt, even when it was Darcy's story, he still made that about him. 

Don't get me wrong the story was good, her love was so pure, but she was missing out in life because of him, and he didn't even notice her for most of their lives. And when he finally saw her, he didn't really appreciate her, he took her for granted.

The lesson learned from the story in my opinion was that sometimes you don't see a good thing until it's gone. He knew he had her and he never really looked at her, or asked her how she felt, he just felt good by having her there. But we all know that relationships take work, and you need to be there for that person, listen to them and help them, because if you don't then you will wake up one day and they could be gone. 

Being loved by someone is a privilege, and Sean learned to appreciate that and be there for Darcy. He was scared and played safe, but ultimately realised that if you don't risk it you can never win, and he needed to win her back if he wanted to be happy.

Even tough he was kind of an deuce most of the book, I still enjoyed the story, the sex scenes were amazing, and Darcy's innocence and thrive for life made everything so much better. She loved him with all of her heart and if a way that made us love him too.

Author Info

Jamie Hollins was born and raised in rural Northeast Ohio.  After graduate school, she embarked on a perilous career in Human Resources where she met plenty of real life characters.  When she’s not writing or chasing after her toddler, she enjoys reading and golfing.  Jamie lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, son, and their dog, Winston.

Author Links:   

She was such a goddamn little liar. Like hell she hadn’t meant a word of what she’d said last night. 
Sean had failed all his language courses in school, but the little whimper she’d just given him meant the same thing in pretty much every fucking language in the world: she wanted him. 
And fuck him, he more than wanted her.
He’d had no intention of kissing her. In fact, he’d just planned to clear the air between them so it wouldn’t be awkward. She was one of his best friends. He didn’t want to have to tiptoe around her like they were complete strangers. 
Since she’d lashed out at him last night, he had a ton of questions. He also had a ton of feelings that were so tangled he couldn’t unravel them. He didn’t know how he felt about the fact that Darcy had loved him for years. To his surprise, it hadn’t freaked him out so much as it had shocked him.
But when he’d gotten to her place, and she’d started trying to weasel her way out of what she’d said? He wasn’t having any of that. 
Hearing her admit she loved him again mattered more to him than it should have. Hell, he didn’t understand why it was so goddamn important to have proof that she meant it. And before he knew it, he’d had her pinned up against the closet and was sucking on her tongue.
It was like she was one of those chocolates with the creamy, gooey centers. Once you bit into it and realized it wasn’t that God-awful raspberry filling but rather a decadent caramel or sweet almond, you wanted another and another until you were in a sugar coma. If her mouth tasted this sweet, the rest of her had to taste amazing. 
He released her tongue, sliding his past her teeth and licking the insides of her mouth. Their mouths danced together in a sinuous rhythm. She was soft and hot and tasted like honey.
He pulled her closer so her breasts pressed firmly against his chest. His cock screamed in agony against the confines of his jeans. He was as hard as a fucking lead pipe. 
Darcy’s fingers found their way underneath the hem of his shirt and scorched his skin. She ran her nails down his lower abdomen to the waistband of his jeans.
That’s it, Darce. Keep moving those clever hands a little lower.
When she didn’t, he rolled his pelvis against her, the painful friction turning to pleasure in a hot second. As his erection rubbed against her thigh, she inhaled sharply. A full-body tremble shook her, and her hands flew to his hair, pulling his lips more firmly against hers. God, he wanted to be inside of her. How could she feel so good?
They started pulling and shoving their way toward the bedroom, trying desperately to maintain the delicious contact of their mouths. They were a flurry of hands, arms, and legs rubbing and touching. 
What he wouldn’t give right now for two more sets of arms. He felt like a starved man sitting down to a ten-course meal, not knowing where to begin but knowing he wanted to finish everything.
Good God, his hands were on her ass! Round and firm, it was pliable as he squeezed and kneaded.
Darcy worked fast, pulling his shirt over his head. He hated to leave the sweetness of her lips, but it was either that or get strangled by his own shirt. There wasn’t much blood left in his brain. He needed all the oxygen he could get. 
He looked down at her, surprised by the fire inside her. It made him hotter than a teenager who’d just found his older brother’s porn collection. Her smoldering eyes roamed over his bare chest, and without a thought, he started to undo her top. His fingers were uncoordinated and clumsy. He couldn’t get her buttons opened fast enough. 
Leaning in, he licked the soft indention behind her ear. Darcy sighed, causing his already hard cock to harden even more. He was going to poke a goddamn hole in his pants if he didn’t get them off soon. 
He nibbled and sucked down her neck and before too long was greeted with gorgeous luminescent skin the color of new snow. Somewhere along the way, he’d discarded her shirt. It lay on the floor in a heap next to his.
The only illumination in the room came from the streetlights outside the window, and it made her body glow in contrast to the dark, lacy bra she wore. As he ran his tongue along the top of her creamy, soft shoulder, the smell of mint filled his nose. Her hands slowly skimmed his pecs, her palms warm and damp as they slid over his nipples.
Darcy’s touch felt like magic. Dark, sensual magic that short-circuited his brain.
His dick commanded the show, shouting orders to his hands and mouth as his brain took its time with every new discovery. Darcy was unchartered territory to him, and he wanted to plant his flag everywhere. 
Jesus Christ, did I just unclasp her bra? Fuck yeah, I did. 
There was endowed and then there was well endowed. 
Darcy was… perfect.
He cupped her breasts in both hands. Firm, round breasts topped with gorgeous cherry nipples. More than what could fit in his palms. Good God, to think these precious tits had been hiding in plain sight for so many years. 
He looked up into her hooded gaze when he squeezed her nipples between his index fingers and thumbs. She bit her bottom lip and let her head fall back.
Oh, how he wanted to make her moan.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

TWICE: A Small Town Menage Romance. A Reckless Falls Romance #2 by Vivian Lux

My Rating: 5 Stars
Sex Scenes: Yes.
Series: yes, #2 in A Reckless Falls Romance
Subject: Living your biggest fantasy.


I've been in love with my best friend's sister forever.
Her green eyes and soft body are driving me crazy.
She's back home for only a week, and I have to have her.
Even if I have to share her.


May the best man win, Cal said.
Clearly, I'm the best man here. Harper should see that.
But we decide to leave it up to her.
Then she says she can't choose.
And I realize I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make her mine.
Including make her ours.

My Review

I got this book from the author in exchange of an honest review, it was the first one I've read from her and I can say hands down that I'm a fan!

Threesome MFM are one of my favorites genres and this one was just what I needed.

Harper was an amazing character, I loved the fact that she never doubted that she had feelings for both of them and she didn't judge those feelings. Yeah she might have had second thoughts like any normal person would, but she knew from the start how she really felt. 

Now about Callum and Grayson, well lets just say that I want a pair like that for myself like yesterday. Just impressive, the author created this two opposite perfect men that together became every women's fantasy.
Cal was a control freak but in a good way, he always wanted to be prepared and he was having a hard time resisting his feelings for Harper for as long as he could remember; all because he loved his best friends, one loved her too and the other one was her brother.
Grayson was my favorite, yes we always have one I must confess. He was wild and emotional, he took what he wanted when he wanted it and he had also loved Harper since forever.

When any normal person would have been freaking out, they found a solution using their hearts instead of their minds and by doing that they realized that their answer had always been right in front of them, they both loved her and that was the most important part. Everything else could be fixed if they had her.

I have to say it again, I loved this books and its characters, they were so perfect together, the sex scenes were out of this world, I couldn't have left my room if I was in her shoes, just dreamy!

A must read if this genre is your cup of tea!

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Trust (The Bailey Boys #1) by P.J. Adams

My Rating: 4 Stars
Sex Scenes: Yes.
Series: Yes, The Bailey Boys #1.
Subject: The gangster meets the rebel. 
Never trust a man who says, "Trust me."

Love strikes in the most unusual places, but can it really take root in a London criminal underworld threatened by Russian mobsters? And can Jess ever learn to trust a gangster like Dean?

It's time for a fresh start. Time to make amends for all the bad things I've done. The mistakes. All the people I've let down.

But when one good deed exposes betrayals and feuds buried in my family's tragic past it's like pulling at a loose thread. One thing leads to another and then another, and then I'm in too deep and it all leads me to him.

Dean Bailey: part gentleman, part cold-blooded gangster, and nobody's idea of Mr Right.

I'm sorted. I'm the man. And I'm ruthless.

She changes everything though. The girl. Jess. She just waltzes in here, poking her nose where it doesn't belong. Some cock and bull story about family connections, but I don't swallow any of that.

She's out to get me but I'm one step ahead. All I have to do is give her a bit of the charm, that disarming grin, and say, "Trust me."

After that she's mine. They always are.

Trust: A steamy, edge-of-the-seat romantic suspense thriller from the author of Winner Takes All and Black Widow.

My Review
I got this book by the author for an honest review, along with the other two in the series, and I know I promised the reviews for February (I’m so sorry! I swear I’m trying! ) I’m doing my best and hope to read at least one more this month! So stay tuned for the reviews of the next books in the series. 

That being said, I loved this book! The fact that the author linked their past to the Kray twins was just another plus that made me feel like this could actually be happening in real life. 

It felt like I was part of the story and fell into this crazy and violent world of gangsters and organized crime that took me to the East End of London during the 1950s and 1960s.

Now about the main characters, Jess was a mess; she had been running the last year of her life, escaping reality and not getting attached to anyone, because she couldn’t stand to lose someone again.  Then she met Dean, she was starting to get her life together and she found herself in the middle of a war.

Dean is such a hard character to describe; he had an intensity that can’t be replicated. He didn’t trust her at first but when she proved herself it was already too late for him, she was his and he had no idea what to do about that.

Strong gangster who had never let anyone close meets lonely rebellious woman who is known for being on the run when things get tough. And there is no better combination apparently, since they set the pages on fire.

They complemented each other so well that there was no doubt in my mind that they belonged together.

Overall an amazing read!  I had a hard time putting the book down!

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About the Author
PJ Adams writes romance and suspense - love stories with a heady mix of dramatic tension and heat, including Black Widow and Winner Takes All.

Working as Polly J Adams, she writes bestselling erotica, relationship stories crammed full of explicit action. Among Polly's most popular work is The Wings of Desire, a series about a young woman's relationship with the wealthy owner of a New England sex club.

Writing under other names, Polly is a successful novelist, with several novels published by major publishing houses and optioned for movies.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Love Story (Love Unexpectedly #3) by Lauren Layne

My Rating: 5 Stars
Sex Scenes: Yes. # 3 Love Unexpectedly
Subject: Giving that person another chance might be the best decision.

Releasing February 14, 2017
Over the course of one wild road trip, feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love in this charming rom-com—a standalone novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Good Girl.

When Lucy Hawkins receives a job offer in San Francisco, she can’t wait to spread her wings and leave her small Virginia hometown behind. Her close-knit family supports her as best they can, by handing over the keys to a station wagon that’s seen better days. The catch? The cross-country trip comes with a traveling companion: her older brother’s best friend, aka the guy who took Lucy’s virginity hours before breaking her heart.

After spending the past four years and every last dime caring for his sick father, Reece Sullivan will do just about anything to break free of the painful memories—even if it means a two-week road trip with the one girl who’s ever made it past his carefully guarded exterior. But after long days of bickering in the car turn into steamy nights in secluded motel rooms, Reece learns that, when it comes to Lucy, their story is far from over. And this time, they just might have a shot at a happy ending.

Link to follow:

Goodreads Link:

Buy Links:      AMAZON | B & N | GOOGLE | ITUNES | KOBO

My Review

I got this book on Netgalley for an honest review and it was as good as I was hoping for.

Lucy has loved Reece for as long as she can remember and he broke her heart in such a harsh way that she can't find a way to forgive him and move on. 
Even though she has a new life and a new guy, when she sees him again she still feels this incredible rage. The pain he inflicted has turned into this huge wall she has built around her and she is not letting him in again.

Reece was a mystery for me at first, he didn't seem like this guy Lucy described. He still had feeling for her so it didn't make any sense why he would have pushed her away all those years ago.
And the weirdest part was that he was mad at her too, and the reasons where unknown for her.

They loved each other for so long and they have been putting roadblocks every time they got close because they are scared. They though that by pushing the other away they could prevent the heartbreak. Because love is hard and scary, most of the time you feel like your heart will be torn out of your  chest. But when it's good and you find your person you realise that everything was worth it. Even if you had to go through painful times, being with that person, even if it was for a second, was better than not having them at all.

Fighting for love is the best kind of fight there is because you can get the gold or you can learn from the pain and grow as a person too. 

Time might take to back to this person if you're meant to be. Or you will eventually find your way to the person that was made for you all along.

It was a beautiful book and a sweet love story that will make you believe in love again.

Author Info
Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.
A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.
She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL's ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books. 

Author Links:   WEBSITE   |   FACEBOOK  |   TWITTER  |   GOODREADS

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Exclusive Excerpt
“Spock, we’re giving you Horny!” my mom blurts out, apparently fed up with my denseness.
Her utterance is too much for my siblings to handle and they both burst out laughing, retreating into the kitchen to rejoin the party where there’s wine.
Oh what I wouldn’t give for wine right now.
“I, um . . . you’re giving me the car?” I ask.
“Because yours broke down,” my dad explains, walking forward to thump Horny’s dented hood.
“And this one’s . . . not broken down?” I ask skeptically.
Look, it’s not that I’m not grateful. My parents are trying to give me a car, I appreciate the sweetness of the gesture, it’s just . . .
Here’s the thing about Horny: he barely got us three kids through high school. I mean, Horny is the car that sputtered and shook making it the 3.2 miles to Jefferson High, no matter who was behind the wheel.
I’m even going to come all the way clean here and say that early on in my freshmen year, I was embarrassed showing up in Horny. Then I realized I was lucky to have a car at all, and well . . . I dunno, I guess Horny became a part of us Hawkins kids’ charm, because the station wagon was practically an institution from Craig’s high school reign all the way through Brandi’s.
But poor Horny quit working years ago. Much to Brandi’s chagrin, he gave up the ghost a mere two months before her high school graduation, and I spent the last bit of her senior year being picked up by my parents.
“He’s going to take you to California,” Dad says, giving the car another thump.
“Really?” I step forward and run a tentative finger along the familiar panel. He’s had a bath, so at least that’s something. “Because last I knew, he wouldn’t even make it out of the garage.”
“Yeah, well, we neglected him for a while, but he’s right as rain now,” Dad says, puffing out his chest as though Horny’s a fourth child.
“Like, as in he actually starts?”
“Purrs like a kitten,” my mom says with an emphatic nod, even though I know she doesn’t even like cats. “We didn’t believe it, but we took him to church on Sunday and there were no issues.”
I literally bite my tongue to keep from pointing out that this is hardly a feat. Sacred Presbyterian is 0.8 miles away from the house.
“You took Horny into a shop?” I ask, starting to warm to the idea of having a car again. I’m a little touched, actually. Money is tight for my parents. Dad’s a PE teacher, and Mom gives a mean winery tour, but the gig’s never paid much.
“Not exactly, it was more of a bartering situation,” Mom says.
“Yeah?” I say, going around to the driver’s seat, already giddy with the prospect of telling Oscar I’ll be able to come see him in Miami after all, even if I won’t exactly be riding in style.
“Reece agreed to fix him up.”
I’m lowering myself into the car as my dad says this, but I reverse so quickly I hit my head. My skull doesn’t even register the pain, because I’m too busy registering the hurt in my heart at the familiar name. “I’m sorry, what?”
“Reece,” my mom says, giving me a bemused look. “He’s always been handy with cars.”
“He fixed up the car in exchange for what?”
And then I feel—I actually feel—the air change around me as the side door to the garage opens, and a new presence sucks all the air out of the space.
I don’t turn around. I don’t move. But I feel his eyes on me. Over me.
“Reece is headed out to California too,” my oblivious mother chatters on. “It worked out perfectly actually. Now you two can ride together, and your dad and I don’t have to worry about you alone in the middle of nowhere with a twenty-something-year-old car.
They think the car is going to be the problem here? It’s not the car that’s toxic to me. It’s him.
Reece Sullivan. My brother’s best friend. My parents’ “other son.”
Slowly I force myself to turn, and even though I’m prepped, the force of that ice-blue gaze still does something dangerous to me.
He winks, quick and cocky, and I suck in a breath, and I have to wonder . . .
I wonder if my parents would feel differently about their little plan if they knew that their makeshift mechanic is the same guy that popped my cherry six years earlier under their very roof.
And then broke my heart twenty-four hours later.