Avery was the cheerleader everybody loved. David was the geek nobody noticed… until he stepped between her and their high school’s biggest bully and earned a rep as a badass and a suspension for his trouble.
Fifteen years later, David has returned and is living on the third floor of the converted Victorian belonging to Avery’s widowed mother. Avery lives beneath him on the second. The staircase between makes for a tight fit when they pass, and the shared address for a lot of circling, avoiding, retreating, and hiding, at least on Avery’s part.
But the tension between them is impossible to ignore and David’s determined to get to the bottom of what happened the night she ran off after he saved her life. The very same night—in her words—she ruined his.
“I had never read any of Alison Kent’s stories before, but after reading this one, I promise I will be adding as many as I can to my reading list. Her characters are well drawn and very real. It is a sign of a great storyteller to feel empathy for the situations the characters face, and boy howdy did I feel all the angst to fear to joy in this tale.” — Lise S., Amazon reviewer, 5 stars
She relaxed her death grip on the railing, knowing she was going to have to touch him and touch him soon or totally go out of her mind. “I don’t think of all of our shared history as baggage. Only what I caused to happen to you.”
His face darkened. “It was my choice to go after Johnny.”
“You should’ve run for help,” she said because she’d wished so often that he had.
“You’re kidding me, right?” His voice echoed gruffly, painfully, as if the choice to intervene had been one he’d never consciously made but one that had been preordained. “You think I could’ve run off and left you there?”
“Johnny was almost twice your size,” she said, sensing the argument wasn’t going to get her anywhere. Not judging by the fierceness of David’s expression.
“Yeah, but I was crazy in love with you.”
The tone of his voice caressed her, a soft breeze stirring the exposed tips of her feelings, a gentle tug on her heartstrings playing their song. She’d known of his crush, had recognized the puppy-like affection behind his flirtatious bids for attention and ignored him, discouraged him.
But love? Crazy in love?
“Oh, David,” she said, closing the distance between them, taking that one last step, that final step, a literal movement that meant more than putting them face-to-face as she stood on the stair above.
And then she swallowed hard because his eyes flared with a heat she longed to feel on her body, a heat she knew would burn her from the inside out.