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Falling in love is easy.
Falling out of love is the hardest thing in the world.
And Elin and Ty Whitt are terrible at it.
The first time the local basketball star smiled at Elin, she was a goner. It was just so damn easy to fall for the dark-haired hometown hero with his charming smile and strong, athletic build.
Thousands of sleepy smiles, aimless drives down country roads, and squeaks of the backdoor after a swing shift later, reality hits. And it hits hard. Falling in love was definitely the easy part. Watching it break apart was impossible.
Through the tears, the second-guesses, the memories of a life built together, the world keeps spinning. With each turn comes clarity and hope—sometimes in the form of a pair of muddy boots by the back door or from the words of a wise friend.
When Ty shows back up with a new found determination to put his family back together, Elin's torn between the fights of the past and the possibility of a new start. This is the man that holds her heart, the man she loves beyond anything else. But this is also the one person in the world that can cause her the most pain.
Life’s not always easy. Love’s not for the faint of heart. But with life comes lessons and Ty and Elin have the scars to prove it. But it's their love written in those scars that will hold them together … or break them apart.
His mouth falls, his eyes leaving mine and heading across the lake to some place, some memory, some thought I’m not privy to. He slips off the back of the truck and faces the lake for a long minute. When he turns to me, he’s resigned to a decision.
“I tell the boys on my team that we don’t quit,” he says, his tone steady. “I’m always reminding them that we set our eyes on a prize and we work our tails off until we get there. Regardless of how painful, even though it might hurt, we get to the finish line.”
“Sounds like good logic,” I say, swallowing a lump that’s suddenly lodged in my throat.
“It is. In theory. But I’m rethinking it now.” He shoves his hands in his pockets and squares his shoulders up to me. “Sometimes you have to let things go. Just because you start on a path, even if you’re balls-to-the-wall at first, doesn’t mean you should stay on it. It’s less quitting, I guess, and more adjusting. Moving on to the next thing you think you want.”
He knows I’m dying for him to expound, that I’m terrified that he means he’s decided my recent rhetoric is right. Even though that’s what I’ve asked him to do, I can’t bear to hear it come out of his mouth. He knows this, yet he doesn’t go on. He waits for me to respond.
With a voice shakier than I’d like, I give in. “What are you moving on from now?”
Slowly, inch-by-inch, the corner of his mouth upturns. With every movement, every flinch, my heartbeat picks up.
“I quit pretending like I don’t know what we’re doing,” he says. “I’ve tried to ease back into this because I think that’s what you want. I’ve slept on that fucking futon in Cord’s room with that stupid dog licking me in the face every morning long enough.” He smirks, cocking a brow. “Baby, I’m coming home. If you don’t like it, too damn bad.”
USA Today Bestselling author Adriana Locke lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys created by other authors, Adriana has created her own.
She resides in the Midwest with her husband, sons, and two dogs. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. You can find her outside if the weather's nice and there's always a piece of candy in her pocket.