Publication date: September 3rd 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Caleb is just trying to keep his head above water. Caring for his traumatized, unstable sister is getting harder every day, and his paintings are so dark and bleak that no one is buying. Teaching classes at the co-op is no longer enough, and now he’s going to have to sell more than just his art to the wealthy, sex-starved women in his classes. But when Romy comes along, she makes everything more complicated. She sees the truth in his paintings -- a truth no one else has realized, until now.
Romy and Caleb might have a real shot together -- one that could heal them both. But when ghosts from their pasts re-emerge, determined to keep them apart, will they be strong enough to hold on to each other?
Excerpt from Romy’s perspective:“I’m here.” It’s all I can think to say. “You can tell me to leave if you want, but otherwise, I’m here.”
He pulls his hand from mine. “You don’t want to do that.”
“Like I don’t want to look at your paintings?” I tease.
The corner of his mouth twitches. “Where did you come from, Romy? And why now? You’re making things more complicated.”
My smile freezes. “I am? I-I didn’t mean to.”
He turns to me, twisted locks of damp, dark hair skimming his cheeks. “I know you didn’t mean to. But you’re doing it all the same. Every minute you stand here makes things harder to figure out.”
“What are you talking about?”
His eyes squeeze shut. “Nothing. Never mind.”
“Do you want me to leave, Caleb?” I search his expression, trying to figure out what’s going on for him.
He opens his eyes. Stares at me. “I don’t think it’s fair to ask you to stay.”
“Why?” I shiver as his gaze traces along my collarbone and slides up to my face.
“Because I’m a mess.”
“And that means you deserve to be alone?”
He flinches, like everything inside him is raw and tender, like the slightest touch or word can hurt him. “I don’t know what it means. I’m just giving you an escape hatch. And I’m suggesting you take it.”Only
We are inches apart. Outside, there’s a clap of thunder so loud that I feel it beneath my feet. The lights flicker. Caleb’s gaze meets mine. I lay my palm on his cheek, his stubble rough against my skin. He seems like a wounded animal tonight, shrinking from anything that might hurt him, but as my fingers brush the hair at his temples, he lets out a long breath.
Then, mirroring my movements, he puts his hand on the side of my face. His thumb skims my cheekbone. “What are you doing?” he whispers.
“I’m not sure. What are you doing?”“I have no idea.”