Saddled with taking care of her toddler brother and alcoholic father, Ruby has no time for fun. She also can’t shake the growing resentment she feels for her mother’s decision, which left her unable to grieve without anger and regret.
Then she meets blue-eyed musician Byron Black, who challenges everything she believes.
Byron refuses to let anyone control his life—or his death. When he left the city behind, he was in search of somewhere where nobody knew his secret. What he didn’t expect was to meet a beautiful redhead whose views conflict so completely with his own. But as their romance deepens, he begins to doubt his choices and decides to return to the city…for one last chance.
When Byron disappears, Ruby will stop at nothing to track him down.
Upon finding Byron, Ruby discovers his devastating secret, and a battle of wills begins. Byron doesn’t want her to know this part of him. He has to deal with it by himself, even though the idea of losing her tears him apart.
Will they be able to see each other through the darkness?
Or should they save their hearts and just let go?
After hitting the travel/poetry/art aisle, I dumped my bag onto the ground before closing my eyes and stretching my arms out until my fingers could just brush the book spines on either side of me. This was my favourite way of choosing a book. Of course, if I didn’t like the one I chose, I could always put it back and try again.
Stepping forward, I tried to ignore Mrs. Patfield’s words and the rampant thudding of my heart, and concentrated on the way my fingers rose and fell from the fat spines onto the skinny ones, waiting for my gut to tell me which book I just had to read. Pausing for a moment, I caressed a long, thin cracked spine, but something made me ignore it and press forward. The right one was coming, I could feel it swirling in the pit of my belly.
After several more steps, my hand moved over something warm and my eyes shot open.
It was a hand, attached to the interesting guy with the fauxhawk, the artist’s wet dream. I’d have to stop calling him that. My cheeks burned and my pulse hammered as my eyes skimmed over his perfectly cut cheekbones and jaw, his mouth with the slightly fuller bottom lip, and those deep blue eyes of his that made me forget all about Mrs. Patfield for a second.
He looked at me, one eyebrow raised and a hint of amusement curving his lips.
I made a little yelping sound in the back of my throat and slid my hand away before shoving it behind my back, berating myself for having left my hand on his for longer than a reasonable second.
“Sorry,” I mumbled, stepping back, my hand still tingling. “I was just…looking for a book.”
The way he kept staring at me without saying a word made me hyper aware of the new pimple on my cheek, my chapped lips, and the frizzy-ness of my hair. So I did the only thing that came naturally to me. Book talk. The book in his hand was well worn, the cover faded.
“You’re into poetry?” I asked, trying to keep from staring at that brutal silvery scar of his and wondering if he’d filled out a bit or had finally bought some clothes that fit. I decided on the latter. The top he wore clung to his lean, wiry biceps, but the angles in his face appeared sharper and more chiselled, as though he’d gotten thinner.
He raised the book and gave it a little shake.
“He’s my namesake.”
My eyes skimmed the title.
“So, your name is…um…Lord?” As soon as the words escaped my lips, fresh heat prickled my cheeks. I hadn’t cracked a joke since forever and for some reason it made me feel vulnerable, like I was standing there without pants.
“Well, most people address me as Lord, but…” he drummed his fingers against the bookshelf and chewed on his full bottom lip as though he was thinking hard, “…I’ll let you call me Byron, because…” he shrugged his shoulders and looked at me from the corner of his eyes, the hint of a grin on his lips. “It’s not every day I get felt-up in a bookstore.”
A bookseller and Young Adult author, Vanessa loves nothing more than immersing herself in the exciting world of books. When she is not gushing about her favourite reads with customers, or mentally casting actors to play the characters in her books, Vanessa enjoys hanging out with those she loves most.