Author: S.L. Jennings
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
Purchase: Amazon UK
From International Best Selling Romance Novelist, Hope Hughes, comes a gripping, heartfelt tale of two lovers, fighting for the freedom to…
No. Scratch that. Too cheesy.
…two people, torn apart by the tumultuous tides of life, only to discover refuge in…
WTF? What does that even mean? DELETE.
…two people, confused as shit as to where they should be and who they should love and none of this means a damn thing because it’s all lies!
I’m not Hope Hughes. I’m not some fierce woman romance machine. Hell, I’m not even a woman.
I’m a liar.
And while I refuse to believe my own BS, deceit masked in heartfelt phrases of love and devotion, I want to make her believe them. Because maybe—just maybe—if she can find the soul within my words, she’ll also be able to find the truth scribbled on my heart.
You see, I once lived for the perfect plot twist.
I just never expected to actually live it.
This is my story. Well, maybe her story. I just wish I could make it our story.
The one I’m still writing.
Are you ready to meet Rhys & Fi in the newest romantic standalone by S.L. Jennings?
You know that pivotal moment in every love story, when the hero or heroine makes an imperative move that leaves the other with a life-altering choice? Whether it be a pronouncement of love (I’ve been in love with you my entire life, and I don’t care that you’re my stepbrother) or a salacious secret (I’m pregnant and the baby isn’t yours) or a shocking decision (I’ve decided to embrace what I am… I’m transitioning into a unicorn, and I’m pregnant by my stepbrother), we can always count on this familiar occurrence.
I’ve always deemed them cliché yet necessary in the romance genre. A good plot twist is as vital to a story as its characters. Without it, the hero and heroine would have no reason to change, to evolve. They’d have no reason to step out on faith and madness and take hold of their destiny. Take hold of their story.
I once lived for the perfect plot twist.
I just never expected to actually live it.
I look down at my boarding pass for the eightieth time in the last fifteen minutes. Gate 3B, Seat 2A. GEG to LAX. Final boarding in…now.
Sixteen hours ago, I succumbed to the insanity of feeling, and made my crucial confession. I began that almighty trek up a story’s climactic mountain. And every hour, every minute, since, I’ve waited for her to make her choice.
To make me her choice.
The attendant glares at me from over her intercom receiver and announces that the gate for flight D5611 will be closing in sixty seconds. She’s saying it for only me, because I’m the only one here. Waiting. Crumbling.
I take one last look down the corridor that leads to security. I just knew that she’d show up, racing through the airport, screaming for someone to stop the plane. That was how I’d imagined my story…our story. The greatest cliché of all, and I still couldn’t breathe it into fruition. I still couldn’t get her to read between the lines scrawled on my heart.
I guess the most epic romances are still tucked away within the pages of her favorite novels, safely swathed in inked lies and faded paper promises. Forever fictional. Just like love.
“Yeah, but…” Her eyes grow wide and glossy as she tries to sift through all the reasons why that theory shouldn’t apply to her. In the end, she relies on her heart. “You said I wasn’t like those other women…that those other women weren’t me.”
I should tell her she’s right. I should put her out of her misery and reassure her that the last ten years were as real and meaningful to me as they were for her. That even though I may sling gift-wrapped bullshit for the general public, only she knows the true, honest parts of my heart. But with my tongue possessed by the taste of her rejection, I play the petty card, and do just the opposite.
“I guess I was wrong, especially considering yesterday’s events. Maybe you’re no different from them. And maybe you were right about me…that I do sabotage with sex to keep people at arm’s length. Because in the end, that’s all I want anyway, right?”
“You don’t mean that.”
I nod. “Yeah. I do.”
“So what are you saying?” The hurt is so thick in her throat that I can barely hear the words.
I suck in a breath, and scrub a hand over my forehead. “You were right about me. About us. We shouldn’t have done…what we did. And we can’t move on and pretend that it didn’t change us. What’s done is done.”
“I agree,” she nods, with a tinge of hope in her voice.
“So, maybe we should just see this for what it is—the end. You’re starting your life with Joshua and moving away, and I’m going on with mine.”
“Wait, August. No, that’s not—”
“You didn’t actually think we’d be able to keep this up, did you? What, you thought we’d turn out to be the modern day Cathy and Heathcliff? I’m not some swoony, literary hero, Fi. I’m not here to rescue you from your shitty love life that stems from your shitty childhood.”
“I never said you were—”
I’m rambling, spewing verbal diarrhea all over her blue cashmere, but I can’t stop. I can’t shut off the bile that has been choking me since this morning when she disclosed her impending nuptials. “You have Joshua. He’s the one you chose. He’s the one you want. You made that perfectly clear. So what the fuck do you need with me?”
“I thought we were friends, August. I thought you and me were—”
“Well, I guess you were wrong. Friends don’t fuck each other and then five minutes later get engaged. And why would you want to be friends with some empty, misogynistic prick like me anyway?”
“I-I didn’t mean,” her voice cracks, and the first tear escapes. She quickly dashes it away, refusing to let me play witness to her weakness. But I’ve already seen it. I share that very same weakness that has her bottom lip trembling. I’m just too much of a coward to show it.
“Look, I’m sorry. I think we just need a break.”
“A break. Yes,” she nods, dashing away tears. “You’re right. We both said things we shouldn’t have. Let’s just take a few days to…”
“No. A break from this,” I clarify, gesturing between us. “From us. This isn’t working anymore.”
“You’re being melodramatic, August. We’ve had fights before. We’ve said things we didn’t mean, and we always were able to work it out.”
I shake my head and look away, refusing to acknowledge the dejection on her face. “But I meant everything I said.”