Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Misunderstandings are uncovered and secrets are revealed - Be Here Now (Cedar Creek #2) by Julia Goda

Six years ago, Loreley Cooper thought she had it all. Head over heels in love with her boyfriend Jason and ready to take on the future after college, she landed the internship of her dreams. But things came crashing down during a fight, when she believed she found out he’d done something she knew she could never forgive. Completely heartbroken she walked away and hasn’t talked to him since.

Six years ago, Loreley Cooper thought she had it all. Head over heels in love with her boyfriend Jason and ready to take on the future after college, she landed the internship of her dreams. But things came crashing down during a fight, when she believed she found out he’d done something she knew she could never forgive. Completely heartbroken she walked away and hasn’t talked to him since.

Now, six years later, Loreley is recovering from a painful tragedy that almost killed her. Finally finding her way back to herself, now famous rock star Jason Sanders storms back into her life and seems determined to win her back. Why he would seek her out after all this time, Loreley has no idea. She has sworn to never talk to him again after what he did.

Jason Sanders is determined to not let the love of his life walk away from him again and is willing to do anything and everything to make her give them another chance.

Misunderstandings are uncovered and secrets are revealed that lead to pain and heartbreak yet again. Will they have what it takes to forgive each other and themselves and fight for their happily-ever-after or is it too late?

Life has taught Ivey Jones early on that with trust come pain and betrayal. Out of survival she has created walls around her to keep anyone from getting too close. Though she lives in her dream house in the Rocky Mountains and loves being the owner of the town's quirky little bookstore Serendipity, her life is narrow and governed by strict rules that she never deviates from…until Cal Bennett enters her life. 

For the past nine years Calvin “Cal” Bennett has stayed away from Ivey, thinking she deserved better than to be saddled with a single dad who has never been good at relationships. Until a few chance encounters show him what he’s been missing and he can’t stay away any longer. 

Little does he know he’s got a fight on his hands that he might not be equipped to win. Shadows from Ivey's past lurk in the dark, ready to strike and bring her low once and for all. But Cal swears he will do whatever it takes to break through that wall of steel to win Ivey’s heart and keep her safe.


When I came out of the store (…), I stopped to admire the black Challenger parked at the curb. Challengers were sweet. Not as sweet as my 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, but still, they were nothing to sneeze at. They were pretty unusual in Cedar Creek. Especially at this time of year. It was early summer and camping season was starting, so the town was usually filled with big SUVs that could pull trailers, not sexy sports cars. The driver’s door opened and my heart stopped for a second before it restarted and beat in overtime as I saw the person emerging.

It was Jason.

He threw the door shut and leaned against the side of the car, his arms crossed on his chest and his sunglass-covered eyes fixed on me as if he expected me to come to him.


Jason was not someone I wanted to deal with this morning or today or ever.

I looked away from him and drank some more water as I started walking past him, initiating my strategy to ignore he existed like I had told Chris and Rick last night I would.

But Jason didn’t let me.

He walked towards me and started right where he had left off last night: lying to me.

“Where did you get the idea I cheated on you?”

I kept walking without answering him. I wouldn’t let him rile me up again.

“Where, Loreley?”

I took another drink of water and carried on towards my house when just like last night, a hand on my arm stopped me.

“Don’t touch me, Jason. Go away. I don’t want to talk to you.” I snapped.

He let me go immediately. What he didn’t do was leave. Instead, he moved closer, and I had to force myself not to take a step back.

“Fine. I won’t touch you, but you gotta talk to me. I swear to God I never cheated on you. If someone told you I did, they were lying—” His boldness of approaching me and confronting me as if he had a right to infuriated me. Chris had been right. Jason wouldn’t let me ignore him. So I broke my promise and got riled up.

“Tell me, Jason.” I interrupted him, “What is it you are trying to accomplish here? Why are you here in my town, tracking me down, following me, lying to me? What is it you want from me?”

“I told you last night. I wanted to apologize. I was a dick and an asshole and lost you because of it. I’ve regretted saying those words to you every single day, Loreley, I’ve missed you every single day.”

“That’s it? That’s what you came here to do? Apologize and tell me you missed me? All right. Consider your mission accomplished. You can leave now.” I started to turn away from him again, but he stepped around me and blocked my way.

“That’s not all I wanted to say.”

“Then what is it? Spit it out so we can get this charade over with and I can forget about you again and get back to living my life!”

Jason ground his teeth and clenched his fists. Then he moved in even closer and said trough his clenched teeth, “I love you and I want you back. I have wanted you back since the moment you walked away from me six years ago. I get now why you didn’t answer any of my calls that day if you thought I fucked someone else. But I swear, Loreley, I never did. I never cheated on you. I loved you too much to hurt you like that. I still do. I want you back.”


“Chris, what the hell is going on?” I asked, resisting the pull of his hand on my elbow and stopping about ten feet from the stage, planting myself in front of him.

No, I was not going up there tonight. No way.

But Chris didn’t answer.

What he did instead was lift his chin to someone I couldn’t see behind me then he grabbed my upper arms and turned me so that my body was facing the stage and he was standing behind me. He didn’t let go of my arms.

What the hell?

I felt someone crowding me on my left and looked to see that Cal was standing close. He looked at me with warmth in his eyes. To my surprise, there was no worry there, but I could see the same determination and anticipation I had seen on Chris’ face. Then I heard a “Fucking finally,” grumbled on my other side and saw that Nathan had joined us. His arms were crossed on his chest and his grin was big and proud.

I opened my mouth to again ask what the hell was going on when I heard a guitar being strummed on the stage. Surprised, I whipped my head around and stilled when I saw who was sitting on the stool in front of the microphone.

It was Jason.

Chris’ grip on me tightened and Cal moved in closer, but none of that registered with me. All I could do was stare at the man on stage, too overwhelmed and confused by what I was feeling to move. People all around me started cheering and shouting Jason’s name as I stood there, frozen.

Then he started speaking into the microphone.

“All right everyone. Calm down for a second, so I can talk.” Almost immediately, people started to calm down and waited for him to go on.

Which he did.

And what he said made my breath catch in my throat.

“I know this stage is supposed to be christened tomorrow, but there is something I need to say to someone that’s important to me, something that couldn’t wait another second.” His eyes drifted over his audience while his fingers lazily strummed his guitar. Then his eyes found me and he zeroed in, holding me captive with his gaze as he kept speaking.

“You see, I’ve been in love with a very special girl for a very long time. I’m a man and men can be stupid, so you can probably guess that I fucked it up and made her leave me.” Men were chuckling all around me in agreement. “Since then, everything I have done I did thinking about her, missing her, wanting, no, needing her to come back to me. Of course, she didn’t. She was too hurt by what happened and I never heard from her again. It’s been six years since I held her, six years since I touched her, kissed her, made her laugh, and pissed her off. Six very long and very lonely years.” He stopped and kept strumming his guitar almost lovingly as he held my gaze with captivating intensity. “And when I finally got my head out of my ass and went after what I wanted, what I needed to feel whole again, I promised myself that this time, I wouldn’t give up, that this time I would fight, even if the thing I had to fight was her, until she was mine again and then I would never let her go. But life’s a bitch most of the time and things didn’t turn out the way I had imagined. See, she had a secret, a secret she didn’t think I deserved to know, a secret that, upon finding out, nearly destroyed me.” His voice broke a little on those last words and I could feel tears well up in my eyes yet again. “Her words almost destroyed me and still, I couldn’t leave. Even after everything that’s happened, after we both said and did things to hurt each other, she is everything I want, everything I need. I realized during the past few days that no matter what, I will never be able to let her go.” Goosebumps were covering my whole body at hearing his words and I shivered. Then he stopped talking to the crowd and addressed only me. “So I’m here to fight, baby. I’m here to fight and I won’t give up until you take me back.”

Then he played and sang the most beautiful song I had ever heard. He sang about love, about pain, about strength, and about forgiveness. He sang about the agony of losing the one person that makes you feel whole, about the ache in your chest when you know you lost the other half of your soul. And he sang about not giving up, about doing whatever it took, giving everything to deserve that love again.

And during the whole length of the song, not once did Jason’s eyes move from mine.“

About the author:
I have been writing stories in my head since I can remember. Much to my teachers’ dismay, given the task of writing a short essay I would always come back with way too long and detailed stories. Many discussions (I have always been somewhat of a smart-aleck) and bad grades were the result, so that for most of my life I thought I couldn’t write worth a damn and pursued other careers. But the dream of being an author wouldn’t be ignored and kept lingering. With a little help from my fantastic husband, who gave me the necessary kick in the behind, I was finally brave enough to start writing my first novel and finished it only a few short weeks later—well, the first draft, that is. The seal was broken.

My novels jump genres and touch on all kinds of different topics, but the things I try to focus on no matter what are romance, strong women, and a good sense of humor.

Now, when I’m not in my writing cave, spinning the tales that have been hounding me or editing (yes, I am also a professional editor, guess that degree in Literature and Linguistics turned out to be useful after all!), I enjoy reading, drinking coffee, eating good food, and listening to rock music.

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