Autumn Dorey had no problem leaving her hometown of Newpine and the friends there who’d betrayed her. Everyone thought they knew what happened the spring night Autumn’s world fell apart. Vicious rumors about the incident circulated, and she had to be homeschooled the last year of high school to escape her tormentors. All she wants now is to get away from it all and start over at Cook University. She leaves everything but the memory behind—something she swore she’d never forget—and sets off to rebuild what was broken.
Blake Preston is precisely the type of guy Autumn wants to avoid. He’s gorgeous, arrogant and the college’s beloved football star. As much as she believes he’s someone she should steer clear of, avoiding him proves to be impossible. He shows up everywhere around campus, offering her a no-strings attached friendship.
Autumn can’t deny Blake stirs up emotions she thought fled years ago. But things he’s been hiding begin to emerge and collide with her past, leaving her heart ravaged in their wake.
Autumn was beyond ready to leave her past and her home town behind her and begin a new chapter at college. Little did Autumn know that fate had a different plan for her and it was only a matter of time before she would see what was to come?
Autumn thought she had it all in high school. She was a cheerleader, dated a jock, had friends and had fun. During her junior and senior year that all changed. She suffered not only a gruesome attack, but ridicule and bullying at its worst. This caused her to completely close off herself from life and build a wall around her heart. She swore she would never let anyone in again or be naïve and trust anyone before she truly knew them.
At college Autumn continued to have panic attacks and kept herself sheltered, but she did begin to understand what a true friend was and could be in her roommate, Lexi and their friend Casey. Autumn had no idea that one chance meeting at party would change her direction and help her start to lower her wall that she had been building.
Blake was the star football player and all around big man on campus; everything that Autumn despised. When Blake ended up being in Autumn’s Art History class, he was determined to get to know her better and create a friendship, ‘study buddy’ relationship. Overtime Blake and Autumn’s friendship grew and stronger feelings were beginning to develop. But Autumn continued to feel like there was a part of Blake’s life that he was holding back, she had no idea that by finding out the truth could send her whole world into a tailspin.
Autumn is a tortured soul, who had to grow up way to fast. No one should ever have to be made to feel bad for being the victim, or have to face such horrible bullying from people she felt were her friends. This book is a great illustration of what can happen to slowly destroy a young person through bullying; the hurtful words, the inappropriate groping, the horrible things posted on social media to paint Autumn in a bad light. These are things that happen every day and should not be allowed.
The connection witnessed between Blake and Autumn is undeniable. Blake demonstrates to Autumn what it means to have a true friend, not only through words but through his actions. With the support of family and her friends from college, Autumn was able to see after all the dust settled exactly what she needed to do for herself to be happy.
This book is an emotionally charged read, that was difficult to read at times due to the struggles that Autumn had to endure. But in the end we were able to see how much stronger Autumn is becoming and how she is working to reclaim her life and her future. The Author wrote a heart wrenching , lovable, emotional charged, tale of young adults working to find happiness after coming face to face with extreme tragedy and grief.
The back door opened and slammed shut loudly behind me. Startled, I spun around. My beer sloshed over the side of my cup and wet the brown boots of the guy standing before me. The motion lights switched on and I was faced with a now familiar pair of green eyes.
I clutched at my heart. “Damn! You scared me!” Actually, I’d been primed to kick him in the nuts. I didn’t take well to being startled, especially by hulking men.
“I could see that. I have a pair of drenched feet to prove your point,” he said.
I almost rolled my eyes when I heard him speak. Of course, his voice would be as sexy as the rest of him. His tone was husky and there was underlying sensuality in the way his mouth moved as he talked. He pronounced each syllable slowly, giving me plenty of time to watch his full lips move seductively.
I pushed down any lusty stirrings and allowed my annoyance to take its place. “Maybe that will serve as a reminder to not creep up on someone.”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” he said softly.
I expected him to leave, but he stood in place next to me. I cast him a sidelong glance, trying to go unnoticed as I checked him out further. He was much taller than my five foot six and I guessed he weighed almost twice as much as I did. He wasn’t husky; instead, he was broad and muscular. He wore a long-sleeved white T-shirt and his biceps were drool-worthy as they strained against the fabric. The T-shirt was fitted and I could make out the rigid planes of his chest and abs. It was the off-season and I wondered how he could get any more cut during the regular football season.
Something about Blake was making me anxious and I gave in to my urge to flee. Without another word, I turned to go. His voice stopped me. “Why are you here?”
It was such an odd question. I laughed nervously. “What do you mean? In the physical or metaphysical sense? Like why I’m at this party or why was I ever born?”
He chuckled, but when I caught his eye, I didn’t see humor there. His eyes were too bright, too probing. “Why are you at this party? I’ve never seen you at the house before.” He spoke like it was an accusation.
What was he, the party police? His questions rankled me. It was borderline offensive and I couldn’t get a read on his motives. It didn’t feel like he was hitting on me. Instead, he genuinely wanted me to justify what brought me to the party and into his presence.
“I’m going. Nice meeting you, I guess,” I said, taking another step toward the door. “I know you didn’t bother asking me my name, but it’s Autumn, by the way.”
His fingers slipped around my wrist to stop me from going. I expected to hate the sensation, to despise the feel of a man’s hand on my skin. I inwardly cringed because I enjoyed it. His palm was soft and warm and his grip wasn’t rough. It was a gentle caress I missed once his hand pulled away. “Sorry…I’m being an ass. I’m Blake.”
Mad World by Gary Jules
Breathe by Anna Nalick
Ain’t It Fun by Paramore
Seal My Fate by Belly
Little Earthquakes by Tori Amos
Blood Red Summer by Coheed & Cambria
Girl (Beatles Cover) by Jim Sturgess
32 Flavors by Ani DiFranco
White Blank Page by Mumford & Sons
Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys
Elderly Woman Behind a Counter in a Small Town by Pearl Jam
Heather Topham Wood’s obsession with novels began in childhood while growing up in a shore town in New Jersey. Writing since her teens, she recently returned to penning novels after a successful career as a freelance writer. She’s the author of the paranormal romance Second Sight series and the New Adult standalone novels The Disappearing Girl and Falling for Autumn.
Heather graduated from the College of New Jersey in 2005 and holds a bachelor’s degree in English. Her freelance work has appeared in publications such as USA Today, Livestrong.com, Outlook by the Bay and Step in Style magazine. She resides in Trenton, New Jersey with her husband and two sons. Besides writing, Heather is a pop culture fanatic and has an obsession with supernatural novels and TV shows.
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