Welcome to my Blog
Hope you enjoy reading.

Monday, November 23, 2015

✯BOOK BLITZ:✯ The Second Chance by Aubrey Parker {EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY!}

The Second Chance by Aubrey Parker

Release Date: November 24th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance

He left her alone. Now he’s back … but too much has changed. 

Maya grew up with a big heart and even bigger dreams. She never thought she’d end up a single mother spending her whole life where she grew up—the small town of Inferno Falls. But things didn’t work out the way she thought. Grady, her high school love, moved away and left her alone to raise her daughter before the ink dried on their diplomas. Eight years later, Maya’s struggling to make ends meet. And when life gets too tough, she heals the void inside in the only way she knows … whether it’s right or wrong. 

But then Grady returns. He’s finally grown homesick after nearly a decade of wandering America, seeing sights and having adventures like Maya always dreamed of—but could never reach for. And Maya holds out hope—more than hope, a need—that Grady is coming home for her, too. It could be just like old times, if she can keep a grip on her bad habits for long enough. Maybe she can finally have the man she’s always wanted, and Kylie can have the father she’s always needed. 

Many of us get second chances, but never more than three strikes. 

Maya makes the dangerous mistake of assuming everything is just the way it was before, despite the years that have passed. When Grady only wants to make sure they’re not moving too quickly, Maya sees rejection and disaster looms. Rather than preserving a perfect memory, it seems the years have changed them both too much, perhaps, to heal the past. But to earn the love and happiness she’s hunted for so long, Maya won’t merely need to learn to accept Grady … and will have to learn to accept herself, first. 

Purchase: Amazon, B&N, Kobo, iTunes


I told myself to stay cool the entire walk over here.

I told myself that whatever history I once had with Grady, it’s meaningless today. The people we were back then, they might as well have been strangers. I used to be carefree around him, and today I barely know the word. I work all the time, and when I don’t, I’m on duty with Mackenzie. I only have time to myself when she’s asleep and I’m awake, or when she’s with my folks. Those times aren’t just rare; they’re downright strange. I never feel carefree enough to even appreciate the silence, and apparently I’m afraid enough of being alone that I leave the house most of those times to seek the company I always regret.

I can’t remember the girl I used to be. I don’t remember what it was like before I had a kid, before I was a mom, before I had to sweat every inch of someone else’s life and be sure that I was usually doing it wrong.

I don’t know about Grady, but on the walk over I decided he must have changed, too. I know he’s spent the intervening years traveling like he always wanted (like we always wanted), but the same time passed for him as for me. Surely, he’s different. Surely, he has as much trouble remembering the Grady who used to let a quiet little redhead hang on his arm at the movies. Surely, that kid is as strange to Grady as the old Maya is to me.

There’s no need to be emotional — and that covers any emotion that cares to arise.

I could be angry. I am angry and remember anger most strongly, so it’s an easy choice. But what will making a scene do for me? Maybe it’s better to be the bigger person.

I could be sad. Because whatever was once between us, it’s gone now. I could be sad in the way I’m sad about the childhood toys I once adored but have since lost track of. Those old memories weren’t discarded; they’re just gone, as if they didn’t matter. It’s like that with the way Grady and I used to be.

I could be indignant.

I could, if I were brave, be cordial. I certainly don’t feel affable, but it’s an option. It’s a bland middle: not affectionate, but not furious, either. Cordiality, to me, feels like greeting him with a pat on the hand and a kiss on each cheek. Then we can sip tea with our pinkies out and talk respectfully about old times.

I could be heartsick.

I could be happy.

I could be true to how I so often feel about Grady when he crosses my mind, and simply desire him. Not in the way I desired Chadd the other day and not the way I once very, very badly desired Tommy Finch — but in a way of simple wanting. I could desire his hand in mine. Our arms linked. His warmth at my side. His presence here, now, for however long it lasts.

But desire is just as bad a trap as any other emotion. What’s done between us is done, and the only reason to let any feeling get the most of me is if I expect it to not stay done.

Why should I feel angry? If what we had is in the past, then anger only pulls it back into the present.

I’ve lived for nearly a decade without Grady. I’m used to the idea that I’ll live without him forever. If I hop-to the minute he decides to grace me with his presence, that says worse things about me than my lack of sexual willpower. Going to Chadd when he called, that first day, makes me feel like a whore. But responding to Grady would be even worse.

Forget how I felt when I heard he was coming back, and forget my little crying episode over old memories last night. I wasn’t crying over today’s Grady; I was weeping over who he used to be. Who we used to be. There was a time when we shared something special, but that version of things is gone forever. No matter how much I pine and struggle and fight and scream and cry today, I’ll never change the past. I’ll never get carefree, sweet, naive Maya together with cool, handsome, young, loyal Grady. I’ll never know what those two kids might have turned out like, if things had been different.

Nothing I do will change that.

No matter what happens today, in the Hungry Bear, what’s done is done. No matter what, he’s now the man who left me, and I’m the girl who …

But I won’t accept blame. It’s not my fault. No matter how sure I am to blame the more I consider things, I won’t accept it. He left me. He should have stayed. I didn’t cause this.

Except that I’m sure I did. On the walk over, that felt more and more obvious. It was my action, in the heat of the moment, that broke us up. I started balls rolling.

It doesn’t matter.

What happened happened.

I don’t need this man in my life.

I don’t want this man in my life.

And I don’t want this man in Mackenzie’s. He’s never been her father before, and he won’t be her father now. There’s a chance he might ask about her — maybe even want to meet her. But who does that help? What does that serve, other than my fantasies?

I won’t indulge in make-believe.

I won’t let myself imagine a future where he’s changed. Where he’ll stay. Where he’ll be an anchor to me and arrest what I’m afraid might be my slippery downhill slide. I won’t indulge in a fantasy where we’re a family, where Grady is the one who takes Mackenzie to Brownie meetings when I can’t. Where, if she slips and skins her knee, it’s Grady kissing the wound to make it all better.

He wants to meet me? Fine. We’ll meet.

Grady was once an old friend. I’ll let him be that: an old friend, compartmentalized in the past. And I’ll greet him as such. We can talk. Chat about the days when I climbed through my bedroom window to see him. About the times we watched the stars from a blanket, and how we learned the best nights to do it, and avoid the dew.

I won’t meet him with an open heart.

I won’t meet him as someone wounded.

I won’t meet him as a girl with a flame to rekindle or a debt to settle.

But when I see him, everything changes.

He’s wearing his black leather jacket. It was his prize possession back then — one of the few things his uncle let him keep nice. It’s all straps and buckles — the sort of thing that should look corny but doesn’t. His dark hair is a semi-styled mess, as if he combed it, but then drove with an open sunroof. I can see his face without him seeing me enter, because he’s peering at the menu, and it’s exactly as I remember.

No time has passed. My lips tingle like sabotage, recalling his kiss.

I want to go to him. Sit beside rather than across from him. I want to pretend that time hasn’t left us, say nothing at all, and lean against him. I want Grady to put one arm around me the way he used to. When I was seventeen, that arm was enough to solve the world’s problems. I believed he’d protect me because he was tough like a fighter. I believed he’d take me exciting places because he broke the rules I pretended to follow. I believed that one day we’d leave Inferno together. He was hungry to roam, and I longed to see the world. I want to feel that way again — that sense of nothing holding me down, nothing to intrude on my mind.

I crave that feeling, even if it’s fleeting.

There would be no job I hate. No boss I hate. No head waitress I hate.

There would be no clock to punch. No rent to pay. No obligations to promise then fall short on.

There would be no Chadd. No Chadd and Tommy, with their tantalizing, terrible, reluctantly tempting proposals.

No torment. No torture. No damage. No pain.

Nothing but bliss, like there was when I had room for nothing but Grady.

I walk to him, unsure what I’ll do when he sees me. But he doesn’t see me, and I’m standing inches away, terrified, when he finally seems to notice a presence at his side. And he must, even then, think I’m the waitress because he orders coffee.

And when he looks up and sees me, I see his fear, deep down, like a boiling lake of fire.

I can’t help the way it makes me feel, seeing those familiar eyes.

My resolve drains like dye from a soaking cloth, and suddenly I’m standing in front of him vulnerable and naked.


Thanks for stopping by! :)


Post a Comment

I love reading your comments, so don't be afraid to leave me a comment below:D