Release date: October 20, 2012
Age Group: Adult with YA crossover
Genre: Contemporary romance
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When Lauren Monroe first laid eyes on Michael Delaney back in high school, she had every reason to stay away from him; within minutes of their first encounter, his volatile actions confirmed his notorious reputation. But Lauren saw something in him that caused her to question his bad-boy persona, and against her better judgment, she took a chance. She had no way of knowing that the unlikely friendship they formed would become so important to her.
Or that it would end so painfully.
Eight years later, when Lauren begins her new job at Learn and Grow Day Care, Michael is the last person she expects to see. Refusing to revisit the hurt and confusion of their past, Lauren vows to keep her distance from him. But staying away from Michael proves to be more difficult than she thought, despite her lingering grief and her instincts for self-preservation.
As Lauren and Michael recall the friendship that changed them forever and the events that tore them apart, will they finally be able to heal? Or will the ghosts of Michael’s past prove to be too much to overcome?
Jenn dragged her back to the keg that was set up in the kitchen so they could get another drink, and then they sat on the coffee table in the living room, sipping their beers. Jenn made small talk with the people around them, and Lauren followed suit, but every few seconds, her eyes would scan the crowd, looking for Michael.
She couldn’t see him anywhere.
After about a half hour with no sign of him, Lauren finally decided that he’d probably gone home.
She looked down, awkwardly playing with the lip of her plastic cup. This was bad. She had to fix this. She’d call him when she got home, she promised herself.
But what the hell was she going to say?
Lauren looked up again, scanning the kitchen one more time, and she found Mark standing in line for the keg with two of his friends.
Michael had been right. It would have been nice if he’d at least hung out with her for a little bit afterward.
She was an idiot.
And just as the thought crossed her mind, she saw a crowd of people part as someone entered the kitchen from the opposite side.
Her heart leapt into her throat when she realized it was Michael.
He moved quickly, passing everyone who was waiting in line for beer as he walked right up to the keg, cutting in front of Mark and grabbing the tap.
“Whoa, buddy,” Mark said. “There’s a line—”
Michael whirled, punching Mark in the face so hard that his feet came off the floor before he crashed back against the boy behind him and tumbled to the ground.
Lauren gasped loudly as she jumped up off the coffee table, her beer splashing to the floor. The sound—the sickening, cracking thud as his fist connected—carried all the way to the living room. She knew she’d never forget that sound.
Within seconds, people were scattering everywhere, most moving away from the scene as Mark’s friends moved toward it, some of them trying to help him off the floor while the others tried pulling Michael away.
Lauren ran toward the kitchen, immediately noticing the blood on the floor as she entered. It was everywhere, looking like it was coming out of Mark’s mouth or nose.
And then her eyes were pulled to the sudden, sharp movement of Michael ripping free from the boys who held him as he charged Mark again.
“Stop!” Lauren screamed, launching herself on top of the island counter that stood between her and the chaos, knocking over several bottles in the process. “Stop it!”
She tried to take his face in her hands, tried to get him to look at her, but his forward motion caused her to lose her balance. She flew backward, gripping the front of his shirt to steady herself as she landed on her backside on the countertop, sending a few more bottles shattering to the floor.
“Michael!” she screamed. For the first time since she’d known him, she felt a genuine flash of fear. He looked crazed, not even present.
“Michael, please!” she cried, feeling the tears building behind her voice.
He grabbed her wrist firmly, his eyes darting to hers, and once he realized who was gripping his shirt, she saw his eyes soften slightly. In that moment of hesitation, the boys that were behind him grabbed him again, yanking him out of her grip and restraining him long enough for the other boys to get Mark out of there.
Lauren sat on the counter surrounded by broken glass, her chest heaving and her eyes wide.
“Relax, bro! Relax!” one of the boys was yelling as a third ran to help them restrain Michael.
Lauren’s eyes were locked on him as she watched him scan the scene, taking in the people backing away, the blood on the floor, the arms fighting to control him.
He jerked forward again, breaking free from the boys, but this time he moved toward Lauren.
“Let’s get out of here,” he said through labored breath, extending his hand to her.
About the Author:
Priscilla Glenn lives in New York with her husband and three beautiful children. She has been teaching English Language Arts at the middle and high school levels for the past eleven years. Glenn has written three books, although Back to You is her first published novel. Her guilty pleasures include great books, good wine, anything chocolate, and Robert Pattinson 🙂
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