Nineteen-year-old Whit Conrad leaves her conservative Pennsylvania home for sunny California, looking for independence, a fresh start, and a place to stash her grief. She promptly finds a job at a tattoo parlor, a craptastic first apartment, and one friend—Ryan—who is a little less friend, a little morebenefits.
Deo Beckett is a soulful surfer with a passion for tattoos and beautiful women. On the eve of his twenty-second birthday, he finds himself living with his grandfather, recently unemployed, and seriously adrift. He doesn’t know much about what he wants out of life, but he does know his current situation isn’t cutting it.
When Deo meets Whit, she’s all sexy makeup and fierce, smart-ass fun. It doesn’t take him long to see past her tough shell. And when he gets a good look at what’s under all the superficial stuff that usually gets his attention, it leaves Deo wondering if there might be more to life than living fast and free.
Too bad Whit has a past she doesn’t plan on sharing—no matter how hot Deo is. She might want him, but she knows better than to let her guard down.
Deo falls for Whit, and falls hard. But everything about her, down to that mysterious tattoo and the way she thrashes in her sleep, tells him that the girl he loves is hiding something. And the more he pushes for answers, the more Whit pulls away.
Having your guard up is one thing, but are the lengths Whit goes to to protect her secret worth throwing away the second chance she has at happiness with Deo?
I absolutely loved Whit and Deo in this story. Deo is what I consider to be a typical California “surfer dude”. Riding waves and chasing girls, not a care in the world. Whit seems like a tough cookie, she is independent and quite a smart ass. Deo had this immediate attraction to her and makes it his mission to spend time with her. As soon as he feels like they are going somewhere with the “relationship” Whit freaks and backs off or just simply takes off.
Whit has some serious secrets that she is hiding, things that she blames herself for. As I began to piece together what she was hiding I could not understand how she was at fault. She has such a big heart but won’t let Deo in.
“Deo…Deo is someone who could mess up my whole plan.”
He wants to help her, hell he holds her every night and comforts her through her nightmares. There seems to be nothing that Deo wouldn’t do to help Whit.
“There’s no limit to the lengths I’d go to to make you happy doll.”
Unfortunately Deo crosses over the invisible boundaries that Whit has set up in her mind. He tries to fix something that she feels he should have just left alone and she is FURIOUS! I was biting my nails during this scene thinking please God don’t make him leave, and then…
“Her voice shakes hard around her next words, despite their bravado. ‘I told you pretty clearly what I want. If you can’t give it to me, I’ll call someone who can.'”
Both Deo and Whit had some serious soul-searching to do as well as some maturing to do. They seemed so perfect together, but was the time right? What lengths would they each go to to get what they wanted?
About the Authors
Steph Campbell grew up in Southern California, but now calls Southwest Louisiana home. She has one husband, four children and a serious nail polish obsession.
Liz Reinhardt was born and raised in the idyllic beauty of northwest NJ. A move to the subtropics of coastal Georgia with her daughter and husband left her with a newly realized taste for the beach and a bloated sunscreen budget. Right alongside these new loves is her old, steadfast affection and longing for bagels and the fast-talking foul mouths of her youth.
She loves Raisinettes, even if they aren’t really candy, the Oxford comma, movies that are hilarious or feature zombies, any and all books, but especially romance (the smarter and hotter, the better), the sound of her daughter’s incessantly wise and entertaining chatter, and watching her husband work on cars in the driveway.