USA Today Bestselling Author
Everything changes. Even the things we didn’t ask for. Jake, Archie, Coop, and Ian were my best friends and three of them still are and they’re also now my lovers, my boyfriends, and pretty much the anchors keeping me from getting washed away.
I’ve had great moments and I’ve had horrible ones. One thing is for sure, I’ll never forget my senior year.
It’s the year everything changed.
This is a reverse harem and the author suggests you always read the forward in her books. This is the fourth in a series and the story will continue through future books.
This book starts where we left off in the last one, so if you haven’t read the others yet, stop now and go read them in order.
Frankie has a week off from school with a doctor’s note. The guys however had to go in but they weren’t going to leave her alone. Not with her hand in a splint and in pain from all the cuts and bruises. Archie stayed this first day, have I mentioned how much I love him and his butler/guardian Jeremy?
We get to see Ian and Jake’s anger management session with the student advocate/counselor Dr. Diane Miller. She is aware of what happened at Homecoming and I think she actually makes some headway in steering them towards the right direction. However there are many others that just want to push the buttons to see what happens. Sharon is one of those people as she keeps trying to corner Ian, fortunately Rachel is there to do something when neither Ian or Coop can. Oopsy…
Something a bit unique to this book is that we get more from the guys point of view. I really liked knowing what they’re thinking as their story progresses. This is particularly helpful when it comes to Ian. Ian stopped Mitch from doing any more harm to Frankie that fateful night. Yet he is in the friend zone with Frankie, he wants to be more but he definitely has to earn her trust. That is not going to be easy. She still loves him but trust is essential to her and he’s broken it.
The guys are formidable when it comes to protecting Frankie, she’s their number one priority, they all love her and it shows. We get to see not only the days she has one on one with Archie, Jake and Coop, but also the nights which also include Ian. She’s plagued by nightmares and they’ve found a way to chase them when they start.
She’s also started the emancipation procedure through one of Archie’s lawyers, Mr. Wittaker. Obviously Frankie has a lot going on, both physically and mentally but her mother showing up at the school her first day back really takes the case.
This is a favorite scene.
Nope. Not a shred of guilt did I feel.
“Fifteen minutes starts now,” Archie called, and I threw him a smile. He held up his phone with a timer on it, and my mother scowled, though with her back to all of them it was unlikely they saw it.
“That boy’s arrogance knows no limits, does it?”
I wanted to fold my arms, but the splint made that hard, so I settled for leaning against the back of the bench and setting my hands on it. It was damp and moisture seeped into the denim, but it was better than falling, and I didn’t want to sit and let her loom over me.
“I’m here,” I said.
Though I’d really rather be anywhere else. I don’t know when Mom and I became this bitter camp of antagonists rather than family, but I’d never felt further apart from her than I did right now. What did it say about me that when I looked at her, I saw the enemy? I also saw all the things I’d wished she’d been and hated because she wasn’t. If I spent too long on it, I wondered what had I done wrong. It sucked.
But here was where we were. “What do you want?”
“Is that really any way to talk to me?” Mom demanded.
I shrugged, because it hurt and I was tired. “It’s the best I can do at the moment. Would you rather I ask you how Europe was again? Oh wait, you never mentioned a trip, so I don’t see why I should.”
“I don’t understand what has gotten into you,” Mom said, almost exasperated. “Why are you doing this?”
What? I frowned. “Doing what?”
“This,” she said, flicking her hands at me. “Why are you doing this? Why are you fighting me on every little thing?”
“I’m not,” I said. “Fighting you on every little thing would require you be around. You’re not. You moved out, remember? You have your new boyfriend. You know, the married dude back there who happens to be the father of the arrogant boy?”
Honestly, I wasn’t trying to be quiet, and I had no idea how much carried back to the guys, but the flicker of a smile on Archie’s face told me he got that much.
Embarrassment flooded me as I caught Coop’s eye and the tautness in his jaw. If Archie could hear, then the others could, too. Archie understood crappy parents. The other guys had good ones.
Jerking my attention back to Mom, I stared at her. She frowned. “What happened to you?”
“Life.” Because I wasn’t discussing Homecoming with her. Not a chance in hell.
My phone vibrated in my pocket, and I pulled it out. There was a message from Mr. Wittaker on the screen.
Mr. Wittaker: Any questions regarding the emancipation from her direct her to speak to her lawyer and to have her lawyer contact me. Do not answer her questions directly.
Fine by me. I cleared the message then shoved it back in my pocket.
“Frankie,” Mom exhaled as she took a step toward me. “What happened to you?” She nodded toward my arm. “How did you get hurt?”
“I fell down.” “You are not that clumsy,” Mom snapped. “There were messages… I had calls from the hospital about you being admitted. It was why we came home.”
A week later.
“Must not have gotten those messages really quick.”
“We weren’t in Europe on a vacation.” From concerned to annoyed. “We came to get you to check on you, to take you to our place. I think you should still come. You don’t need to be on your own.”
“But I’m very good at it. I’ve had years of practice. You might almost say I’m an expert.” The longer we stood here, the angrier I got. I resented her. I resented that she was casting me in the role of bad guy because she’d rushed home a week after I’d been let out of the hospital and I seemed ungrateful. I resented that her life revolved only around her— her wants, her needs, and her interests.
More, I resented that she dragged me out of school to do this. Going back had been harder in some ways than I’d imagined and now <em.this?
“What do you want, Maddy?” I almost said Mom. Almost.
But I suddenly understood why Archie did it.
‘Mom’ implied a relationship that just didn’t exist anymore. If it ever had.
She recoiled as though I’d slapped her. For the first time in my life, she retreated a step and disappointment flooded her eyes. Or maybe fear. I had no idea.
“Seriously, what do you want? You have your boyfriend and your perfect new place and you haven’t looked behind you for a while. So what do you want?”
The fist around my heart turned to lead. I didn’t want to care about her. I didn’t want to care what she thought about me. And I really didn’t want to have this conversation right here and now.
“I wanted to make sure you were all right,” she admitted slowly, hesitantly. Maybe she wasn’t terribly certain. “I wanted to take you back to our place. I wanted to give you a chance to see how nice it could be. It’s a real upgrade from that apartment, and you won’t be able to afford it shortly. Not if you still plan on college.”
And there it was.
How did she still have the power to disappoint me?
“I’m fine,” I said, aware of Coop straightening and taking a step in my direction. I shook my head. I didn’t want them to intervene. “I have no interest in your new place or this new life you’ve been transitioning to for the last year or so. I didn’t have a place in it before, I don’t see wanting one now.”
“That’s not true,” Mom— no, Maddy said, her voice torn between sounding like she could barely hold back tears and at the same time her eyes were so angry. “You’re my daughter.”
“Could have fooled me.” I was so tired. “And if that’s all, I’m going to go now. You pulled me out before I got to finish my last class. And I have homework to do.”
Was that a flash of guilt?
Did I care?
I pushed away from the bench and headed for where the guys waited. Archie’s car or Jake’s, right now I didn’t care. Ian had ridden in with Jake for practice, and Coop had his car back at the school. We needed to get that…
“You can’t just walk away from me.”
“Why not?” I asked, not slowing down, and Coop was moving now. Archie had pushed away from his car, and Jake planted himself between Archie’s dad’s car, Archie and me.
I could have kissed him for having Archie’s back like that.
“Just putting into practice what you taught me, Maddy. Don’t like something, walk away from it. I’m sure you two are very busy doing… whatever.” I made it two more steps then paused and glanced at her. “I’m not a doll you get to decide you want to play with and discard when you’re bored. You’ve done that to me my whole life. When you feel like being a mom, you can be great. Most of the time, you’re not. I’m not letting you do that to me anymore.”
Turning away, I continued my trek to toward the guys.
“Francesca Elizabeth Curtis.” Her voice grated. “Don’t you dare take that tone with me.”
Yeah, the guilt died a swift death. I didn’t look back. “Sure, Maddy. I can say it politely if you want. Have a nice day.” Coop was there, and he slid an arm around my waist and headed me straight for Jake’s SUV.
The car door on Mr. Standish’s car swung open, and Archie passed us. “Keep going, get her out of here.”
Heather Long. Whispers and Wishes (Kindle Locations 1883-1945).
This of course opens a new can of worms for both Frankie and Archie. Did I mention I really like the lawyer?
We also get to meet Archie’s grandfather, he’s so unlike Archie’s Dad and he likes Frankie too. We see more of Coop’s sister, in this book. Rachel is as always the snarky supportive friend, and Sharon is…Sharon.
Frankie isn’t taking any crap from anyone and neither are the guys. We get answers and more questions as we reach the conclusion of the OMG book.
I can’t wait for the next book. Please write faster Heather LOL.
5 Contented Purrs for Heather!
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USA Today bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas in the summertime.
From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories–her characters drive the books.
When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.