Fate took Cassandra down a path she never expected. Then a small town in Colorado gave her exactly what she needed—until tragedy left her heartbroken and devastated. Alone with only her child and her memories, Cassie struggled to put her life back together, one day at a time, piece by piece. Finding love again was something she never thought possible. That was, until she ran into an unlikely stranger who flipped her entire world on its axis. Aidan had a secret locked away in his heart; one that would surely send Cassie running the second she discovered it. He held onto her closely and kept his secret guarded, but one careless mistake could reveal all. Their friendship was strong, their moments beautiful, and the love that brewed between them intense—something neither denied. The only problem? Cassie was slowly letting him into her life. Could she let herself get close to the one person she didn’t think she should? Her mind tells her to run, but her heart tells her to stay.
I have been waiting for this book ever since I read the last page of Away almost a year ago. When I opened up to the first page, every single moment of the first book came rushing back. Cowgirl boots. Green light. First love. Every bittersweet, heartbreaking moment. If you haven't read Away, stop reading this review right now. It WILL spoil the book for you.
If you are still reading, that means you've read Away. This book is just as beautiful as the first. It's about healing, forgiveness, acceptance, and well, living. If you'll remember Dan is Jason's brother. Jase asked Dan to look after his love, Cassie. He knew she would be broken; he knew that they BOTH would be. This is their story.
This story was, GAH, I already said it... beautiful. Away made my top 10 list last year, and Stay follows it up so well. B.A. Wolfe exceeded my expectations. I didn't realize how much I missed these characters until I started reading about them. And Jase, there is still a gaping hole in my heart for him. (I will green light him forever.) But Aidan (Dan) he is a whole other man altogether. He is everything that Jason was and more.
At first, Cassie is a shell of the person she was in Away. Throughout the book, though, she starts to grow, change, and let go. She has to learn who she is and how to live without Jason. Dan helps her with that. Actually, they help each other live with out him. It seems the two can conquer the world together. But then things surface that seem to want to tear them apart. Tears. Tears throughout the whole book.
The pain of moving on and letting go of Jase is sprinkled all over this book. This book is about moments. I loved each and every one. I am highly obsessed with two things outside my family: Reading and Brantley Gilbert. His name and one of his songs being in this book just made that particular moment more special to me. Fall Into Me is one if my favorite songs, it's beautiful and romantic. So yeah, that made my day when I read that part.
Anyways, get this book if you have read Away. If you haven't read Away, get both. You will not regret it. While you are at it, listen to Brantley Gilbert's song (pull it up on YouTube and you can enjoy his hotness.)
I slid my work bag across my chest and buried my hands in my pockets. Dark blue lockers lined the hallway as I moped toward my coaching office. Heels clicked against the tile. I gazed up to see the assistant principle strutting by in the opposite direction. Her brows furrowed as she passed me. I shook my head and rolled my eyes. I knew what she saw wasn't pretty, but I didn't fucking care. I hadn't slept, I barely ate, and my showers were spent contemplating life more than they were for cleaning.
I could pretend that my life would eventually 'move' on and things would go back to the way they were, but I didn't want them to. My heart wasn't ready to move on. The knots deep in my stomach ached at the thought of going back to a life pre-Cassie. That life was empty, as empty as I was right now. I couldn't bear it.
I reached my office and stood in front of the tall door. Aidan Bradley was scripted across the glass with the words Head Coach above it. I sucked in a deep breath as I gripped the cold doorknob. I really did love this school, my students, and the team I had this year. I was going to miss being here so damn much. But there was no one to blame but myself. I was the one who chose to accept the new job offer. I was a fucking idiot.
Before I even had the chance to turn the knob and head into my office, vibrations from my pocket halted me. I reached for my phone, my hand trembling as I fished it out. Please be Cassie. I knew better though. I couldn't hold my breath, waiting for that to happen. I had already fucked that up.
My brows lifted as I read the name on the screen. "Melanie?" Question laced my voice as I answered.
A soft sigh sounded into the phone before she responded. "Aidan. I'm sorry to call but we need to talk."
Feeling defeated, I leaned my forehead against the door and closed my eyes. I already beat myself up enough, and now Cassie's feisty ass best friend was about to. I sighed. "I know, Melanie . . . I'm an asshole. I shouldn't have lied, but . . . it was all real. You have to believe me."
"I believe you."
My eyes peeled open at her words. "You do?"
A soft chuckle wafted through the phone. "I don't know why either. Normally, men are my arch enemies, but I believe you, Aidan. I guess it's because when I see you two together, I witness how in love you both are. I see it in your eyes every damn time I catch you staring at her and she has no clue. I know it's real. You can't fake that kind of shit. Hell, no one could, and if you did, you deserve a goddamn Oscar." And there was that snarky mouth I'd been waiting for. "That's not why I'm calling though."
I knitted my brows and lifted my head off the door. "It's not?"
"No. I need you, or rather Cassie does. She just doesn't know it, yet. She's at
That asshole Parker asked to meet her today. He said he wanted a chance to get
to know Jase and of course Cassie got her hopes up. Well, the fuckhead didn't
show up today to meet her." Anger coated her words as she practically spit
them out. Wash Park
My body stiffened and my blood boiled. Heart beats pounded against my ribcage as I processed what Melanie had said.
"She's freaking the hell out and I can't leave work. She needs you, Aidan. Can you-"
I slammed a hand against the door. "Say no more. I'm there." I was going to kill Parker.
Before I ended the call, I cleared my throat. I had to know one thing. "Hey Mel . . . You could leave work if you wanted to. Am I right?"
"Aidan, stop asking questions and go get your girl."
I shook my head as if she could see me standing here, broken. "Answer the question. Please," I begged, like the pathetic man I was. I didn't know why, but the thought of taking Mel's place with her friend weighed on me. I didn't want Cassie to push me away even further when she expected her friend there.
A frustrated sigh echoed through the phone. "Yes, I could okay? But it doesn't matter. She needs you more than she needs me. Be there for her, Aidan."
A fragment of a smile tugged on my lips. All I wanted was to be there for Cassie. To be the guy she needed to take care of her. "Thanks." I hit end on the call and shoved the phone in my pocket.
I turned and headed toward the front of the school. Determination carried me down the hall and into the front office. I peeked my head through the door, peering at the secretary. "Carolyn, I'm out for the rest of the day. Tell Thad to cover practice this afternoon." She eyed me like I was crazy, but I didn't care. I slapped my hand against the door frame and didn't even wait for a response before I left the office.
Thoughts of Cassie circulated my mind as I put one foot in front of the other. She was probably so damn upset. She put all her energy into making sure she gave Parker a chance. A chance he didn't deserve after the way he treated her at the coffee shop. I'd never forget the things he called her. My hands balled into fists as I thought about his sorry ass. Goddamn him.
I unlocked my car door and threw my bag onto the passenger seat, catching a glimpse at a tall box the rear view mirror. It was Jase's stuff. I took it from the house after he died. My ribcage tightened around my heart as I remembered putting his belongings in there. Handling things he'd never get to see or touch ever again. One of the hardest things to do next to saying goodbye. I planned on giving the box to Cassie when I had the balls enough to see her. I guess I was getting the chance today.
The school wasn't too far from
. I pulled up to an
open spot along the sidewalk, parked my car, and ran. I couldn't even remember
if I locked my car or not. It didn't fucking matter. All I could think about
was Cassie and protecting her . . . holding her in my arms for what would
probably be the last time. Wash
Cassie came into view and suddenly my feet glued themselves to the grass as I looked at her. She stood, hunched over, with her arms resting lifeless by her sides. God, she was hurting . . . badly.
It only took me a matter of seconds to reach her. I stole the phone from her cold limp hand, looked at the screen and held it against my ear. "I'm here, Mel. Thanks for calling me. I'll get her home . . . okay, bye." I dropped her phone inside her diaper bag and then gripped her shoulders, forcing her toward me. If there was ever a time I wanted to cry with her, it would be this moment.
She was so far gone; her eyes remained glued to the ground she stood on motionless. Fuck. I was going to kill, Parker . . . that was if Mel didn't first. Asshole was a cold heartless excuse of a man. A real man would never be able to hurt a woman, let alone this selfless woman, ever.
I wrapped her body into my arms and held her as close as humanly possible while she wept uncontrollably onto my chest. "Just breathe, baby. I've got you." I didn't even care that I called her baby. She'd never not mean something to me. She'd always be my baby, my sweet tea no matter how hard she pushed me away.
"He's . . . signing . . . over . . . his . . . rights . . ." Her words were placed between hard cries, harder than I'd ever heard come from her before.
Fuck. He was an asshole. It was official. I was going to wrap my hands around his neck. I closed my eyes and held Cassie tighter as I fought my own anger.
I hated this.
Hated watching her world collapse around her. Hated hearing her sob because of what that bastard did. The only thing I could do was continue to keep her in arms, where I knew she was safe. "Shhh. Just let me hold you," I whispered.
I felt her sink into my hold. Her cheek rested on my chest as her tears slowed. All I'd ever wanted to do was protect her, to hold her, to make sure she would always be okay. It killed me more than anything that I couldn't fix this. I couldn't take her pain away. "I'm so sorry, Cassie."
She flinched in my arms at the sound of my voice and then began crying as if she'd never stopped. Did I scare her? My god, she still hated me. I deserved it though. I was a lying asshole too. This girl had been through enough, we were all letting her down. I'd be leaving soon though and she'd never have to see me again. Today would be the last time I held her and I was going to make damn sure she knew I was here for her. "Shhh. I'm here, Cassie. I've got you. You're okay." It was all I knew to tell her because I did have her and I wasn’t letting go anytime soon. She’d also be okay. She was strong. She was crying now, but I knew her, she’d pick herself up and come out the other end stronger. It was how she was and it was what I loved most about her. God, I loved her so much.
B.A. Wolfe is a girl with a passion for reading and writing, and lives in the good ol’ state of Colorado with her husband (her biggest cheerleader), and her two crazy min pin fur babies. These days, her life is anything but calm, and there isn’t one thing she’d want to change. B.A. spends all her free time either furiously typing stories on her laptop or happily reading through her endless T BR on her Kindle. Her list of favorites would be long enough to fill a book, but most would likely fall under the romance category. She is a sucker for a good love story that makes her cry, and an amazing book boyfriend who will melt her heart. ‘Away’ is B.A. Wolfe’s debut novel.
To go to my review of Away, please click on "Alicia's Review" above.
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