Author: Sarah Darlington
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Genre: New Adult
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
Purchase: Amazon UK
He’s twenty-four. She’s eighteen.
His life is exactly the way he’s always wanted it to be...stable.
She’s quite possibly the very definition of unstable.
Noah saved her.
Georgina never wanted to be saved.
Growing up, Noah Clark was passed from one relative to the next until he finally ended up living with his abusive, alcoholic uncle in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Thanks in part to the unwavering love and support of his best friend, Ellie Turner, Noah survived those years, escaped his uncle, and grew into the man he is today. Now he runs his own business and lives a pretty normal, no-nonsense life—one where he maintains a high level of control.
Georgina is Ellie’s younger sister. Four months ago, Noah saved Georgie’s life, but he thought that was where his involvement with his friend’s sister would end. Now Georgie has returned home from the recovery facility her parents sent her away to and Noah, still haunted by the night that connects them, can’t stop himself from continuously trying to protect this girl he barely knows. But is he willing to give up all of the control he’s worked so hard to build in his life and risk everything for her? Even more importantly, would she do the same for him?
It wasn’t Ellie. That was for damn certain.
It was Georgina.
My eyes were semi-adjusted to the darkness and apparently hers were not. Because her figure, outlined just vaguely in moonlight, hair wet and dressed in loose pajamas, snuck into the guestroom. The door closed softly behind her, and she unknowingly sat down on top of me. Her body made contact with mine for a mere fraction of a second before she jumped away as if I’d electrocuted her, disappearing into the shadows of the room.
“Hello?” she yelped. “Who’s there?”
“Georgie, it’s me,” I said as gently as possible, trying not to scare her further.
“Oh,” she exhaled. It was a soft sound, but loud against the quiet night. “Sorry. I didn’t know you were here. I didn’t mean to wake you up.”
“You didn’t wake me. Are you okay?”
I’d known her since she was a kid, and we’d never had a one-on-one like this conversation before. I couldn’t even see her face, but for some unexplainable reason my heart was racing.
She was hardly that little kid anymore.
“I’m okay,” she answered. “It’s just…I didn’t want to sleep upstairs. I’m sorry. I’ll leave.”
Swinging my legs over the edge of the bed, I stood up so fast I nearly gave myself whiplash. “No. You sleep here. I can sleep out on the couch.” I didn’t give her a chance to protest as I speedily left the room, the sweet scent of her shampoo filling my nostrils as I hurried past her. Before she could stop me, I shut the door behind me.
The table lamp had been left on and the light blinded my unadjusted eyes. I turned it off and then made myself comfortable (or rather, uncomfortable) on the couch. My legs were a good two feet longer than the damn thing and no blankets could be found—but I was too confused by my brief conversion with Georgie to care. She didn’t want to sleep upstairs? I guess I understood that. Her dead brother’s room and the bathroom she tried to commit suicide in were upstairs. I wouldn’t want to be up there either. But why was my heart still racing?
After a few minutes the pounding slowed and exhaustion washed over me. This day had been strange, the last half hour stranger, but I finally started to drift off to sleep. Except, the moment I did, Georgie’s voice cut across the room—startling me all over again.
“Noah,” she called softly, my name sounding different coming from her. “I’ll never sleep knowing you’re out here on that tiny couch. Trade me, please.”
“No,” I told her firmly. I might be a lot of things, but I sure as fuck wasn’t about to make a girl sleep on this couch.
She didn’t go back into the room. “Seriously. Please.”
“No,” I repeated, hoping I didn’t sound like an asshole. “If we trade, then I wouldn’t sleep.”
“Then…” Her voice faltered but after a long pause she finished her thought. “Then maybe you should share with me. It’s a big bed. I don’t mind. And I’ll keep on my side—promise.”
What?! Good sense told me not move, but that was not what happened. I stood. My feet carried me across the room and briskly past her before I could even comprehend what I was doing. She silently followed. I knew nothing was going to happen, but this sure wasn’t how I ever expected to spend my night. Through the dark grayness I watched her move for the left side of the bed.
“No, I have to have that side. Take the right,” I told her even though my insides were now screaming with apprehension. Seriously, what the fuck was I getting myself into?