From New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young comes a story of friendship, identity, and acceptance that will break your heart—and make it whole again.
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“I know how to watch my back. I’m the only one that ever has.”
India Maxwell hasn’t just moved across the country—she’s plummeted to the bottom rung of the social ladder. It’s taken years to cover the mess of her home life with a veneer of popularity. Now she’s living in one of Boston’s wealthiest neighborhoods with her mom’s fiancé and his daughter, Eloise. Thanks to her soon-to-be stepsister’s clique of friends, including Eloise’s gorgeous, arrogant boyfriend Finn, India feels like the one thing she hoped never to be seen as again: trash.
But India’s not alone in struggling to control the secrets of her past. Eloise and Finn, the school’s golden couple, aren’t all they seem to be. In fact, everyone’s life is infinitely more complex than it first appears. And as India grows closer to Finn and befriends Eloise, threatening the facades that hold them together, what’s left are truths that are brutal, beautiful, and big enough to change them forever…
“India, I’m not using her. I mean, I am, but it’s not like that. Eloise is getting what she wants out of this relationship, as well.” “Like what?” “I can’t tell you.” “You are using her.” “I’m not.” His chair screeched as he pulled it closer so our knees touched. His dark eyes moved over my face and I sucked in my breath at the open appreciation I saw there. “I’m not using her…but we are in a relationship together. I guess it just never occurred to me that I might actually meet someone in high school. Someone I…” That feeling in my chest, that thick, hot feeling, threatened to overwhelm me at all the things he wasn’t saying. “Finn, Eloise is going to be my family.” He looked so forlorn it took everything within me not to reach for him. “What is it you’re hiding?” “I can’t tell you. Please, just trust me.” Hurt and frustration swept through me in equal measure but I tamped it down. It wasn’t my place to demand his secrets. My frustration was suddenly mirrored in his eyes as he looked up at me. “I wish things were different.” But they weren’t different. And yet they were the same, history repeating itself. I cared about someone and they didn’t care enough about me back to be honest about what was really going on. I didn’t know if I was angry at Finn or just angry that nothing ever seemed to be easy for me. Everything was always a fight. It felt like I lived in a constant clusterfuck. I gave a huff of laughter. “Story of my life.” I shook my head, grabbed up my bag and, unable to look at him, said, “Thank you for your help tonight.” “You’re not leaving without me.” His protectiveness confused and pissed me off even more. “I’m not? Funny, it looks like that’s exactly what I’m doing.” His familiar scowl was back in place at my sarcasm. “You’re also not going home alone after what happened here. I’ll give you a ride.” “Finn.” I slumped, suddenly feeling exhausted. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Sadness flittered through his eyes before he managed a carefully blank expression. “I think I can handle driving you home.” Still a trembling mess after everything that had happened, I gave in and followed Finn out to his car. The tension that we’d shared before was nothing compared to how it was now. Now that Finn had in a roundabout way admitted he liked me and I’d realized that what I was feeling for him was attraction, the tension could not be mistaken for anything else but sexual. I’d never felt anything like it before—it was the most frustrating, scary and exhilarating feeling in the world. When we eventually pulled up outside the house, the guilt washed over me. I shouldn’t be feeling this way about Eloise’s boyfriend and he certainly shouldn’t be feeling this way about me. I felt like we were to blame for the whole thing but I didn’t know why. I hadn’t asked the universe to make Finn like me. And I had definitely not intended to like him in return. “India,” he said just as I moved to get out of his car. “I’ve never really cared what anybody thought of me before…but I really don’t want you to think I’m a bad person.” I stared into his beautiful eyes. “I can’t imagine ever thinking you’re a bad person. I meant it earlier…thank you for coming for me tonight. I’ll never forget it.” “This feels weirdly like a goodbye,” he said with a bitter twist to his gorgeous lips. “Maybe it is. I guess we’re both just a complication the other doesn’t need.” Slowly, so slowly my heart had time to increase in hard, steady thumps, Finn slid his hand over the center console between us and stroked his thumb along the side of my hand. I felt that simple touch in every nerve, my body reacting to it in a way it never had to the touches and deep kisses that had come before it. I stared at our hands for a moment, wondering how different my life could be if Finn wasn’t Eloise’s boyfriend, if we’d just met as strangers at school, felt the inexplicable bond between us and were free to do something about it. Suddenly very aware of how long I’d been sitting outside the house in his car, I fumbled for the door handle. “See you around, Finn.”
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About Samantha Young: Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows. Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook& hardback June 2017 Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for Hero. On Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015. Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.