Release date: November 16th 2013
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
She's broken with guilt. He harbors a chilling past. It's safer if they keep their distance... But, the echoes that linger connect them.
Returning to Hidden Pines is the last thing Allie Collins wants to do during her final summer before college. For her, the family cabin she spent her youthful summers in, now holds a dark memory that has haunted her every day for the last year.
While struggling to forget her past, Allie runs into Damien, a local rebel with secrets of his own. He's dark, dangerous and he keeps showing up when Allie least expects him to. She has every reason not to trust him. So why does she find herself opening up to him in a way she hasn't been able to with anyone?
As pieces of Damien’s identity emerge, answers to a rumored mystery begin to unfold. By the time Allie unearths the secrets of Damien’s past, she realizes just how intricately they are connected. Now she is caught in a dangerous battle that threatens her life and those she loves.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erica Kiefer was born on Christmas Eve in Southern California to an American father whose ancestors arrived from Europe during colonial times and a Thai mother who moved to the US during high school. Adding to her rich and varied heritage, Erica grew up living abroad in Asia, including Taiwan, Fiji, Thailand and Indonesia. She gained a great respect for the beautiful mosaic of cultures found in various parts of the world. After graduating from International School Bangkok, she attended Brigham Young University in Utah, where she earned a degree in Recreation Therapy. Her career as a Recreation Therapist has allowed her to work with at-risk youth since 2007.
Erica made the best decision of her life by marrying her husband in 2005 and is currently a mother of three, one of whom awaits her in heaven. Erica also loves singing, reading, writing, and satisfying her sweet-tooth with chocolate-chip cookies. Playing collegiate rugby was one of the most memorable experiences of her life, thus far.
Before I started reading this book I had no idea what to expect from it. I read the blurb and it grabbed my attention immediately, but nothing could have prepared me for how I would feel after I finish reading it. This book reminded me a little of The Sea of tranquility. It gave me similar feelings. This book sucks you in from the beginning, it is simply unputtownable, you just keep reading it and liking it more and more when suddenly you realize you are completely and irrevocably in love with the characters, writing, plot, and you keep wondering how the hell that happened. But you know that this story stole your heart forever. At least that was what had happened to me. I'm still not sure which was the exact moment I went from liking it to worshiping it. I find it hard to find appropriate words to express how much i liked it. You have to read it and feel it yourself!
The day when her younger cousin Maddie drowned in the river was an event that changed Allie's life forever. Nothing was ever the same. Allie held herself responsible for her death and she was drowning in guilt. She didn't know how to deal with all those overwhelming feelings, she was too focused on her pain and pushing everyone away. Running became her way of escaping reality.
“What is it about running you like so much?” he asked, after my silence.
“It’s peaceful,” I answered. “I could just be myself without having to worry about being analyzed by all the curious faces around me. No probing eyes or listening ears trying to figure out if I was “ok” or not. No forced conversation. And it helped me sleep.”
Her parents were worried about her and decided to bring her back to the scene where that tragedy had happened to help her heal. She wasn't thrilled with their decision to spend the summer before college reliving the tragedy over and over again. The water became her enemy. However, she had no idea that very soon she would get swept off her feet by a mysterious man.
"I had decided long ago that it was a worthless genre. Passionate summer romances never played out like that in real life."
She was so wrong. Their romance was even better. Allie was drawn to Damien immediately, but at the same time she was a bit scared of him because of the rumors that he killed his family. Well, he was stalking her so I was little scared of him too. I had no idea what to think about him. He was such a mysterious guy, hardly speaking about himself, but he was the only one who knew how Allie actually felt and he helped her overcome her fear of water. Her father and friend Aaron (wannabe boyfriend) didn't approve their dating. What really bothered me was them calling him an older guy. Seriously? He was 19 and she was 17, not a big deal, at least not for me.
But Damien had a secret that put Allie's life in danger. And at the end both of them had to faced their fears, because running wasn't an option anymore.
I fell in love with both main characters. I like how perfectly imperfect they were and I really enjoyed how they were developed. Allie and Damien became more confident persons, they overcame their fears and got rid of the burden of the guilt. At the end Allie learned how to love without fear of getting hurt. Sometimes you need to take a risk of being hurt to find your true love. Although this book was little sad, it also gave me a hope that nothing was impossible and even deepest scars would fade over time.
I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance. If you are easily offended by an adult content, don't worry this is a clean romance without rough sex scenes and similar stuff that you can easily find in many new adult novels. This was an exception and I really liked it. I know that sex sells, but you can write a great new adult novel without it and this book proves that. It was heartbreaking, but in a good way.
Life is too short to read bad books. This is a book you need to read, you don't wanna miss it. Trust me, it's worth your time and money.
"Over the next few years, all my friends were dating each other, and I was baffled as to how or why. I didn’t know a thing about how to maintain a relationship. I still don’t. How could I, when the most important examples in my life offered me nothing but promises of a broken heart and instability?"
"Sometimes, that was the hardest part about life. You can control a fraction of it that is your own, but even then, people find ways to influence it all the time, both for the good and the bad."
"You can’t change the past or just make it go away. No matter how much you want to."
“Over the past year, I wondered where you were and how you were doing. We’d met for just a few moments, but you entered my thoughts all the time, even slipping into my dreams. The day I found out you were back at the lodge, I couldn’t get you out of my head,” Damien admitted in embarrassment.
“The way you walked around, smiling now and then like everything was ok, but I could see the hurt you tried to hide. It’s much easier to recognize when you’ve felt the very same thing yourself. I wanted to protect you from everything. And I wanted to get to know you, to know more about you.”
I looked at him in mock annoyance. “So you decided to scare me and make me fall out of that tree?” I laughed in remembrance. “Your tactics could have been a little more subtle.”
“True. And like I said, I didn’t mean to scare you. I was just...observing from the bushes—”
I laughed out loud at his choice of words. “Oh, is that what all the stalkers are calling it these days?”
He ignored my comments, placing a hand over my mouth. “Observing,” he continued, “and working up the nerve to talk to you. I had no idea I would scare you so much. But I’m kind of glad I did.”
I made a face. “What?Why?”
“Well, otherwise, I may not have discovered you were so feisty,” Damien said impishly.
I grabbed a pillow andslammed it into his face. Grabbing my wrists, he wrestled the pillow from my hands, tossing it over the edge. He flipped over and pinned me against the bed, sitting on my legs to prevent me from further kicking at him.
Still fighting him, I shrieked,“That’s not fair! You’re so much bigger than me!”
He shrugged and smiled in satisfaction, but he didn’t let me up. His grip on me was firm enough that my struggles were useless against him. I conceded my loss. I relaxed under his weight, pausing to catch my breath.
My laughter subsided as I looked up at him. He was watching me with such adoration in his expression that my heart skipped a beat. My stomach twisted inside itself all over again.
Here I was with my hero, at last.