On the surface, Lila Summers is flawless: good looks, expensive clothes, and a big, beautiful smile. But a dark past and even darker secrets are threatening to bubble over her perfect façade. She’ll do anything to keep the emptiness inside hidden-which leads her into situations that always end badly. Whenever she hits bottom, there’s only one person who’s there to pull her out: Ethan Gregory.
Ethan set the rules a long time ago: he and Lila are just friends. He doesn’t do relationships. Although his tattooed, bad boy exterior is a far cry from Lila’s pretty princess image, Ethan can’t deny they have a deeper connection than he’s used to. If he’s not careful, he could be in serious danger of becoming attached-and he’s learned the hard way that attachment only leads to heartbreak.
When Lila falls farther than she ever has before, can Ethan continue to help as a friend? Or is he also getting close to falling . . . for her
“Why is this bothering you so much?”
“It’s not,” she snaps, turning her back to me. “I was just wondering why. That’s all.”
I stare at the back of her head as she rests her chin on her knees, staring out at the desert land. “It seems like you’re bothered,” I point out.
Her shoulders lift and descend as she shrugs. “If you leave, then I’ll be alone.” She mutters it so quietly I can barely hear her.
I’m silent for a while, unsure what to say or if there’s anything I can say—want to say. “You can come with me.” It slips out and I want to smack myself on the head. Taking her with me would defeat the purpose of escaping the noise and people, yet at the same time I know I’d miss her if I left her behind.
She glances over her shoulder with skepticism on her face. “Could you imagine me living in your truck, because I sure as heck can’t.”
“Why not?” Again, what the hell is wrong with my mouth? Why can’t I just let it go? She’s giving me such an easy out to a huge commitment I shouldn’t be taking.
“That’s the silliest reason I’ve ever heard.”
“Because I don’t understand why anyone would want to take off from a city where you have everything at hand and live in a truck where you have nothing but a backseat. It’s pretty much like being homeless.”
I kneel behind her, inching close to her, then hesitantly place my hand on her shoulder. “Shut your eyes.”
She leans away, like I’m scaring her. “Why? ”
“Because I’m going to prove what’s so awesome about my idea.” I wait for her to do what I ask and she stubbornly drags it on for longer than necessary, then finally surrenders and turns around.
“Fine.” Her voice softens a little. “Show me what’s so great about a backseat.”
“There’s a lot of great things about a backseat,” I joke in a low voice, and then dip my lips toward her ear and whisper, “Now shut your eyes.”
I expect her to argue, but she very willingly obeys, shutting her eyes the second I utter the words. I shut mine, too, but only because being so close to her, breathing in her scent, feeling the warmth emitting from her body is driving my body into a frenzy.
“Now picture nothing but mountains,” I say softly, picturing it myself. “No city. No noise. No crazy-ass parents who act like children and treat their children like shit. No nothing. Just the quiet.”
“It seems like an awfully lonely place, if you ask me,” she tells me. “Just me and the dirt and the quiet. Although I wouldn’t mind the being without the parents part.”
“You wouldn’t be completely alone.” I sweep her head to the side and rest my chin on her shoulder. “You’d be with me.”
She pauses for an eternity and her breathing is ragged. Or maybe it’s mine. “What would we do at this mountain place together?” she says.
“Anything we wanted.”
“Hike?” There’s disdain in her voice.
“Maybe,” I say. “Or maybe we’d just sit and enjoy each other’s company in the quiet.”
She shifts her weight and situates her hands underneath her legs, leaning back against my chest. “That kind of sounds nice.”
As strange as it is, and as much of a pain in the ass asLila can be, I can actually picture us sitting together up on the mountains in the noiselessness, living in my truck, driving anywhere and everywhere. Together. And the comfort in the idea is kind of frightening because it means I’m thinking about our future. Together. Shit.
I think about moving away from her, putting a little space between us because obviously I’m heading down a road I shouldn’t be headed down. The dream of living on the road has always been one I’d planned to live out alone and now suddenly I’m telling Lila she should come with me. God knows what would happen between us if we lived in a truck with one another. We’d either grow really close or end up hating each other. Or maybe both. But I can’t bring myself to move and break the peaceful moment. So instead I sit down and wrap my legs and arms around her and we just sit there in the sun, enjoying each other in the quiet.
**An ARC was kindly provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**
Let me start by saying that I actually understand the true meaning behind the title of this book. When I first heard that Lila and Ethan were going to get their own book, I had an idea of what might happen in this book. Well let me tell you….there is so much more to this book and these characters, I would never have guessed what this book was truly about. I didn’t realize how much we would learn about them throughout this story. As with the Ella and Micha stories, I enjoyed this book. I still think the first book is my ultimate favorite in the series, but I really think you need to read this story if you are a fan of the series. This book goes into so much detail about Lila and Ethan. I really don’t want to explain myself to much because it would spoil this story. As always I love Jessica Sorenson’s writing style. This book flowed well and kept my interest all the way through. I absolutely love that it is Dual POV, that way we don’t have to guess what the other is thinking. I will say that my only real complaint about this book was that it seemed to drag a little bit in the middle. It kept my interest but I have to say I wish what happened towards the end would’ve happened a little sooner. I felt that there was a little to much push and pull between Lila and Ethan. These characters were inside their heads a little too much, that I wanted to smack them both and say “wake up”….lol. I will say that this book was definitely an emotional roller coaster. My heart was all over the place while reading this book.
Now as for Lila and Ethan….I have to say I enjoyed meeting them in book 1 and 2 but it was great getting to know them as their own characters in this book. Yes Ella and Micha are in this book but not very much. This book really does focus on the friendship of Lila and Ethan and their own personal growth. Both of these characters are severe broken souls. Each for different reasons but both just as broken. I liked that the friendship between them took time to develop before they ventured into something else ( I just wish it could’ve been sped up a little ) Ethan and Lila both have a lot of obstacles to over come in this book. Both have some serious demons from their pasts that had a serious hold on them. Out of both of them I think Lila was the worse off. She not only had to deal with a horrific incident from her past, she had to deal with the WORST parents ever. Plus she had to deal with some of the choices she made coming back to bit her in the ass in the present. I was glad to see that Ethan was there to help her through it all, even when he had his own demons to conquer. Ethan and Lila are completely different people on the outside but they are so similar on the inside. I was glad to see Lila turning into the person she was always supposed to be.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the series. You will want to know this part of the story. I will give a slight heads up in regards to the ending. This book ends on a slight cliffhanger, but not one that will kill you. But thankfully the author gives us Chapter 1 from The Ever After of Ella and Micha. So you will be satisfied when you are finished reading the book. I will say the epilogue was the perfect set up for Ella and Micha’s final book.