Author: Leah Raeder
Genre: Contemporary Romance
This novel contains graphic sexual content and strong language. It is intended for mature readers.
I met him at a carnival, of all corny places. The summer I turned eighteen, in that chaos of neon lights and cheap thrills, I met a man so sweet, so beautiful, he seemed to come from another world. We had one night: intense, scary, real. Then I ran, like I always do. Because I didn’t want to be abandoned again.
But I couldn’t run far enough.
I knew him as Evan that night. When I walked into his classroom, he became Mr. Wilke.
I don’t know if what we’re doing is wrong. The rules say one thing; my heart says screw the rules. I can’t let him lose his job. And I can’t lose him.
In the movies, this would have a happy ending. I grow up. I love, I lose, I learn. And I move on. But this is life, and there’s no script. You make it up as you go along.
And you don’t pray for a happy ending. You pray for it to never end.
“You read things in romance novels like he made me melt, knowing this is physically impossible. Girls are not pats of butter. Yet my body was doing a damned fine imitation of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Girl, dissolving against the side of the house.“
5+ Shiny Stars. Ms. Raeder’s writing is superb and literally takes my breath away. The story kept me anxious and fearful for the characters as I worried it was not going to end well for them, and I so wanted and needed that happy ending. The back and forth, indecision, angst – nearly devastated me. I became annoyed and wanted to throw my tablet a few times, but also couldn’t stop reading… all signs of an excellent narrative in my mind… although a bit hard to take at the time I am living through the experience. My husband grew concerned and commented on how “deeply involved” I was in my book as over the course of an afternoon he had noted I had “growled,” teared-up, sighed, and smiled while reading. Hmm, I didn’t realize I was such a girl! No spoilers here, the story is well written, crackling, sizzling, steamy, heartbreaking, insightful, and deserves to be read. It will keep you on edge, and more than a bit taut and frayed, to the last paragraph, which for me, resulted in a sharp intake of breath followed by a slow exhale with tightly squeezed eyes.
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