Just for the record, the heat can get to even the most calculated of minds.
Let it be stated that Rhys loves Ryan forever and ever. But certain needs are not being met, leaving her frustrated and asking for too much than the conservative and almost rock star, Ryan, is willing to give. Uncooperative (or cooperative, depending on your point of view) weather provides her an opportunity to ask not what she can do for her friends, but what a friend can do for her.
Isaiah likes to say that the best thing about Rhys is that he can stand in her breathing space and feel nothing. Something of a breather when dancing with Lia short circuits his entire operating system. But all his beliefs are challenged when Rhys chances upon him in a steamy practice room in the middle of a heat wave.
This book and I met during the early days of the SparkNA writing workshop. We were asked to pick three books to read from the Romance Class Catalogue for one of the activities. I’d already picked my three when Therese, a friend and SparkNA classmate, started sending me screenshots of this story.
She wasn’t just sending them, either. She was aggressively insisting that I read it. She said it reminded her of me. From the excerpts I was getting it was difficult to disagree. Even before I finally bought the book, I knew for sure it would give me feelings. But then it gave me way more. Like, flip-table-ugly-cry-and-scream-onto-a-pillow feelings, yo.
Pushing sweat-spiked bangs off her face, Rhys peered into the hallway for the seventh time since pressing herself tight against the corner wall. A crucial decision hung in the balance, and for the eighth time she looked into the main studio halls, circumstance settled the choice for her.
First of all, it was beautifully written. Much like all the other stories I’ve read from the author. (I will get to those next time.) It sucked me in quickly and gave me something to need an industrial fan for after a measly twelve pages. I should’ve taken the title of that chapter more seriously. Because I wasn’t prepared at all when I was slapped in the face with that scene. But then it did its job and made me want to keep reading.
The characters were… I can’t explain it. They were easy to understand, but complex at the same time. During some of the parts I found myself asking (out loud), “What the hell is going on?” Or, “How is this the thing that’s happening!” And quite literally sprawling across my office desk in a mix of frustration and awe. I didn’t sign up for a roller coaster of feelings that wouldn’t end, but I couldn’t stop myself from moving forward even if I tried. I was that hooked. Rhys and Ice’s dynamic was addicting. No matter what my view was of what they’d gotten themselves into, it was impossible not to be drawn to them.
“Anything I need to know?”
“That depends. What don’t you already know?”
Nico’s smile grew until it split his face into a maniacal grin.
And then there was that guy whose name I will not even mention again. I will risk inflating his already magnified ego even more. But yes, that guy, up there in that quote. He snuck out from the ensemble and grabbed my attention just by existing. So much so there is a #Team assigned to his name that a lot of the people who read this book are a part of. I hate his face so much. And by that, I mean I adore his stupid face. He needs his own book, definitely. And I’m quite sure he will agree. The smug bastard.
See that video up there? That’s a trailer (still, spoiler-free). For this book. One that I made as a gift, out of my own volition and without any external coercion. That’s how attached I got. I finished this video overnight, almost the same time it took for me to inhale the book I based it on. Watching this video again still makes my heart hurt a little. The kind where feelings on top of feelings on top of feelings just make your heart swell close to exploding.
Sometimes, it’s the only thing it takes to stave off the emptiness that seeks a soulmate.
I didn’t know what to do with myself when I finally finished this book. I finished at work, before lunch time. And for the rest of the day I couldn’t focus on anything but the words I just read and the people I just met through them.
My friend was right to say it reminded her of me. There were a lot of things in this book that reminded me of things I would rather not be reminded of sometimes. And yet I found myself going back to read it again–I still do, up to now.
I chalk it up to the words.
Six filled this book with such beautiful words. ♥
About the Author
Six De los Reyes has been reading and making up stories for as far as she can remember. In fifth grade, she learned to wield dragons and phoenixes through written word. Her day job has absolutely nothing to do with creative writing, and she wishes it did. This is her first published work.