world to see. Five years of trying to find the girl I hid from the world.
into the building? He’d made my high school years a living hell.
a one-night stand.
be. There was no way in hell the Cosmos could be so cruel as to let me have the
performance of my life, only to be faced with one of the people I hoped to
never see again.
was no denying it.
Wallace was here.
that only hours ago seemed small now seemed minuscule, like the walls were
closing in on me.
out of my head. To reinvent myself. To become a woman I was proud of. And the
night that everything could change—the night things could finally go my
way—Cole had to step into the same bar.
knock rapped against the door. I pulled my legs tighter against me, pushing
myself closer to the wall, hoping whoever it was would go away. The knock grew
louder, until the person was pounding on the door. Each thud sent a tremor
through my body.
the goddamn door. I know you’re in there.”
face in the protective embrace of my arms, ignoring Sawyer, memories of the
worst years of my life assaulting my brain even as I tried to keep them at bay.
late to class if I didn’t hurry. Turning down a side hallway, I picked up my
pace. It was the long way around, but it meant I didn’t have to take the main
hallway, past where the cheerleaders and football players hung out between
hallways were normally empty.
moved even faster. A hand wrapped around my arm, pulling me to a stop.
lockers behind me. My heart raced in my chest. I tried to control the shaking
of my hands as I lifted my eyes to see which one of the jocks had decided to
torture me today.
face. I flinched at the contact.
against the lockers on the other side of the hallway.
locker, the metal cool against my heated skin. I closed my eyes, afraid he was
going to try and kiss me. There was a long pause before he laughed, cruelly.
sneered. “Why in the hell would I let these lips touch a freak like you? No guy
in this school wants to put any part of their body near you, Mariloon.”
tilting his head down the hall. “Let’s go. I don’t need a detention.”
shoulders sag. They weren’t out of earshot, though. Still close enough for me
to hear Cole say, “Just tell them Mariloon tried to kiss you and you had to
stop her before you could get to class.”
the floor, tears racing down my cheeks. The sound of footsteps forced me to my
feet and into the nearest bathroom. I raced inside the stall, slamming the lock
across and sitting on the seat, my head in my hands, sobs racking my whole
body. How could I go to class now? There was no doubt everyone would know what
happened by now, and exactly like Cole said, it would be all my fault. They
probably told everyone that I came on to Sam, hoping to sleep my way to the
popular group. It was just the same as always.
This was my first book by Rebecca Brooke and it did not disappoint! People who love music romances and people who fight to stand up for themselves will love this story. I already can’t wait for the next books in this series!
The Story. I felt it was very well written and had a great flow to it. It also had a fantastic set of characters (Sawyer and Heath I am looking at you), which made this books and out even more. For anyone who has ever been bullied in high school, this is also a book for you because that is one of the big topics addressed in this book. I loved the stress on how people can change given the highs and lows that they experience in their life. I know I am certainly not the same person I was in high school. It’s all about growing up and going through life, and this book had a lot of it.
Mari. Mari is the lead singer of a band called Jaded Ivory, but she has had a long road to make it to this point. She was severely bullied in high school and had to learn to love herself again. However, she was not prepared to find one of her tormentors at a club she was performing at. She was even more unprepared for him to not even recognize her. I loved Mari’s strength and vulnerability she showed in this book, and how she didn’t just instantly forget the past never happened. Mari showed the power of giving someone a chance to prove they are not the same person they were in high school, which is an important lesson (as hard as it is) for everyone to learn. Just because she was giving Cole a change, does not mean she let him get it without her spitfire attitude. Despite this, at the first sign of their past rearing its ugly head, Mari has to decide if she is going to believe the man she knows now or the man she knew in high school.
Cole. We find Cole working as a P.E. teacher and football coach for a high school after a career ending football injury destroyed his shot at the NFL. Cole is still devastated by this loss, but he is excited to see where his coaching career might go. The first time he tries to talk to Mari, he ends up getting a drink thrown in his face, and he has no idea why. He is determined to get to know her though so he ends up going to her shows week after week. It doesn’t make sense until a situation at school causes a memory of him and his friends bullying Mariella. It suddenly all makes sense why Mari won’t give him the time of day. The way he treated Mari in high school makes Cole sick and he is determined to make it up to her however he can. I loved Cole. I felt he genuinely regretted his actions in high school, and wanted the chance to prove to Mari that he is not that same guy. He wanted her to know the real story.
The Relationship. I loved Mari and Cole’s relationship. It definitely has some major ups and downs, but it was all about giving people a chance to show who they are now. I felt they were very supportive of each other and I loved getting to read about their journey. I want more of them!
I recommend this book to those who love: music romance, people changing, fighting the bullies, sweet, persistent heroes, and strong, sassy heroines.
Overall Rating: ★★★★/★★★★★
Brooke grew up in the shore towns of South Jersey. She loves to hit the beach,
but always with her Kindle on hand. She is married to the most wonderful man
who puts up with all her craziness. Together they have two beautiful children
who keep her on her toes. When she isn’t writing or reading (which is very
rarely) she loves to bake and binge watch Netflix.