Author: Steph Campbell
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Two broken hearts.
One night to set each other free.
Almost dying from an undiagnosed heart condition means every second of your life is a precious gift to be guarded.
Lena Pettitt was born a miracle.
And her parents never let her forget it.
Even if that daily reminder kept her from experiencing the one thing they were trying to protect most--her life.
Gabriel Martinez’s heart has been ripped out.
His pride has been stomped on.
Oh, and he now has an arrest record that’s caused an even bigger rift between him and his DA mother. All for a love that wasn’t really true.
Now he’s exiled to his grandmother’s, working on his late grandpa’s old Corvair when a shivering girl knocks on the garage door. Lena, left alone for the first time ever, has locked herself out of her house--in the snow. Gabe knows he could help this girl get back inside her house--but that may mean missing the next train to Boston to pick up the part he’s spent eight weeks tracking down. She can wait for him at his grandmother’s or…
A few hours, an aluminum valve cover, and some strong coffee later, neither Gabe or Lena can feign disappointment when they race to the station and arrive just as the last train home from Boston is pulling out.
As jaded as he is, Gabe can’t deny the fact that he’s excited to spend the night exploring a city he knows nearly every corner of, with a girl who sees magic in the simplest things.
Lena has been waiting for her tiny world to crack open her entire life. Now that it’s finally happened, she finds the only thing she can focus on is the unexpected tour guide who opens her eyes to possibilities she never imagined.
All they have is this one night, together, under the bright moon in a city full of hidden beauty.
It’s one night that will change how they see the world and the paths their hearts will take forever.
“So what happened?” Lena asks. She takes another sip of her drink, then rests her hand on the the laminate countertop near mine. I want to focus on that. How close she is. How close she’s allowing me to be to her for the first time tonight. What I don’t want to be doing is talking about my ex-girlfriend. “Why aren’t you together anymore?”
Making love to her was like sleeping with a starfish.
She loved the thrill of a political protest more than she actually loved me.
She was happy to see me hauled off to jail for her cause, because it added a little drama to her life.
“I don’t know, I guess you can only make exceptions for people for so long before they all just sound like excuses.”
“You, or her?”
I suck in a quick breath before answering,“Maybe both?”
She stares down at her wrist, spinning the blue beads on her bracelet as she says, “But you loved her.”
It isn’t a question.
I nod slowly. “I did.”
“Now, I’ve moved on.” I shrug.
“Have you really?” Lena asks. “Because when she hugged you–”
I don’t really understand why we have to talk about this. So we ran into Jemma, it doesn’t mean the entire relationship needs to be rehashed over pie. Doing that will only lead to me having to discuss my arrest, and that’s not something I want to talk about with the girl who looks at me with those big brown eyes that scream trust and understanding and all the things I don’t even come close to deserving from someone.
I turn my barstool toward her, brushing her knee with my own. The simple touch is more electric and intimate than sex with my starfish ex.
“Look, Lena,” I say, as I wrap a straw wrapper around my index finger. “This isn’t something I want to get into.”
“You’ve asked me a bunch of questions tonight,” she presses.
That’s fair. I’ve spent the last several hours trying to drag every bit of information I can out of this crazy mysterious, beautiful girl.
Our server comes by the table to refill our drinks. “Can I just get the check?” I ask, hopeful she’ll just let it drop after a change of venue.
“I’m not finished,” Lena says, motioning to her half-eaten piece of pie.
“I’m ready to go,” I say.
“Oh, because I asked you a question you don’t want to answer now?” she demands.
“No, Lena. I’m just ready to go.”
“Liar,” she mumbles under her breath. It’d be cute if it weren’t so damn accurate.
I pull out my wallet as soon as our check arrives and hand over my debit card.
“I’m not a liar,” I say, it comes out more harsh than I intend. “It’s just–being in love doesn’t define you. No matter what romantic idea you have in your head, love doesn’t go to the most deserving. It’s not something you collect, like, the more the better. Love isn’t a trinket passed down. It’s a wound left behind. Love changes you, but not always in a good way. It’s a goddamn scar.”