Cecelia Merrill was used to being on her own. Lost and lonely, Lia couldn’t wait to graduate and watch her judgmental little town fade behind her. All she had to do was survive three more years of high school, and she was free. She wouldn’t let anything hold her back.
Craig Knightly had almost achieved what no one in his family had before – all he had to do was complete his student-teaching assignment, and in less than a year, he would have a college degree. He was ready to put down roots and start his life. Nothing was going to stand in the way of his dreams.Sometimes all it takes is a moment for everything to change.
A student and her teacher. A coach and his athlete. An unexpected friendship. Forbidden feelings between an unlikely pair.
Neither is playing a game they can win.
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“Ground rules. You feel up to making them now?” She nodded. I rubbed my palms on my sweats. “You start.”
“One: Whatever we talk about, whatever I tell you, whatever you tell me, stays between us. I don’t share with my friends. You don’t share with yours.”
I didn’t even hesitate when it was my turn. “Two: We acknowledge that we’re attracted to each other and then never talk about it again.”
The smirk I loved made an appearance. “That’s your ground rule?” The admonishment in her voice was almost laughable. “Whatever.” She rolled her eyes. “Fine. I think you’re hot. Until you talk. Then you just bug me.” I laughed, but she continued, “Three: Our significant others come first. We don’t blow them off to spend time with each other.”
“You have a boyfriend I don’t know about?” The words came out before I could stop them, and I could tell by the irritated look on her face that I hadn’t hidden the jealous tone. “Have someone in mind?” I asked, my voice a little more even.
“Not yet,” she snapped. “But, when I do, I won’t be blowing off weekend plans with him to stay home and take care of you. You need to put Whitney first. I’ll understand. When it’s my turn, you’ll understand.”
“Speaking of, we don’t talk about them. Whitney and your mystery guy.”
“Ever? How is that a good rule?” she demanded, scowling. “No. Four: We can talk about whoever we’re dating, but we can’t complain.”
“You can’t change my rule.”
“I didn’t change it. I simply used my turn to overrule yours.”
“You made two rules. If you make two, I get two.”
“You are such a pain.” She sighed dramatically. “Go ahead, make two.”
“Sex,” she interrupted. “We never talk about sex. I can’t think of anything else.”
“Sex,” I agreed. “Five: We never talk about sex. I mean it.”
She lifted a shoulder in a half-shrug. “That’s all you, buddy. I’m not the one who has a girlfriend.”
“When you do, we don’t talk about it.”
“Not a problem. Girls are pretty and all, but they’re not my thing,” Lia sassed, completely undaunted as if this was the rule she wasn’t taking seriously. “That’s one. What’s your next rule?”
Needing to make sure she understood this, above all else, was the one we needed to follow, I clasped my hands and leaned forward. I didn’t need to say anything, just gave her a pointed look. She knew me well enough to understand I was getting agitated.
“Isn’t this against your rules? We’re talking about it right now.”
“Lia,” I growled in warning. I knew her just as well as she knew me. “Not talking about it means you don’t ask questions. You don’t ask my opinion. You don’t tell me one tiny detail simply because you insist it’s something I have to know.”
“Good God! This entire conversation is embarrassing. I’m not going to have sex, but if I do, I swear to all that is holy that I will not mention it to you!” The blush crept up her cheeks as she threw her hands in the air annoyed. She was too fucking cute.
AMIE'S 4 STAR REVIEW
I have read Carina before but I have yet to read the Bama Boys series , so this is my first time meeting Lia and Craig. I am very eager to read on and see how things play out because we do get to know Nate in this book too so to see him become who he is in Forever Red WOW !! I feel like since I walked into this story without knowledge of anything I had an open mind for Craig and Lia. She was the girl from the wrong side of town , father gone , mother never around. She was talked about and made out to be something she was not - until she then was heartbroken and became what everyone thought she always was. Lia was an innocent 15 year old sophomore, great at school and an amazing field hockey player. With the new college guy coaching field hockey and student teaching it is hard for many to concentrate. Craig Knight , Mr. Knight , Coach Knight - he was 20 and hot !! He saw something in Lia and befriended her from the start. They had a great friendship but of course due to him being coach/teacher it was weird. When it became more it was the big secret keeping us on the edge of our seats. Who would catch them , would they fess up , would lives be ruined OR was it just a passing phase ?? It is very angsty and full of back and forth drama. They are both young and under a lot of pressure with school, jobs and sports. It is easy to become overwhelmed or get swept up in a fantasy. Sometimes regardless of what the heart wants the timing is not right. A year goes by and things may change but will they get their chance then ?? 5 years goes by and again they change and grow - face to face again - will this be the HEA they searched for years ago ??