I loved him before I knew what the word meant. But he was never mine to love.
Reckless Memories, an all-new emotional friends to lovers standalone from Catherine Cowles is releasing May 12th, and we have the first peek inside this not-to-be-missed romance.
“I would rather sit on a hill of fire ants in my underwear while eating ghost peppers.” I leaned against the counter and popped a cracker into my mouth. My nose wrinkled. It was one of those multigrain ones that tasted more like cardboard than actual food.
“Isabelle Marie Kipton, I have had just about enough of your snarkiness, young lady.”
But I wasn’t a young lady, at least not in my mother’s estimation. Young ladies were poised and put-together and never questioned the dictates their parents set for them. I questioned everything, never went along easily, and was far too disheveled to gain any sort of approval from my parents.
I stared unblinkingly at my mother, not giving an inch.
“You will sit at that dinner table, and you will be composed and polite to our company.”
I let out a snort. “Like their daughter is composed and polite to me?” Lacey was more like the Devil incarnate, but she wore her pretty, polite mask perfectly. So, my mother might as well have thought she was the Second Coming.
Violet looked up from where she was arranging a platter of hors d’oeuvres. “Lacey snaps back because you bait her. Maybe you two are just more similar than you’d like to admit, and you ruffle each other’s feathers.”
I glanced up at my older sister. The perfect image of the young lady my parents wished I would be, with her impeccably styled hair and future-doctor composure. She might as well have been a stranger. When had that happened? I searched my mind for the date the switch had been flipped, when Violet had gone from friend and confidante, the sister who’d always had my back, to someone I couldn’t even begin to understand most of the time.
“You can be friends with her all you want, Vi. I’ll take a pass on having vicious snakes in my circle.” I glanced at my mother. “Or sharing a dinner table with them.”
Red crept up my mother’s neck and seeped into her face. “What is wrong with you?” I stayed silent. The list of what my mother found wrong with me would take us all night to get through. “That’s it. Hand over your phone.”
My fingers tightened around the edge of the counter. “Are you seriously taking my cell because I don’t want to have dinner with someone who’s awful to me? Who bullies my friends, and is cruel to everyone who isn’t in her little gang of followers? I’ve tried to tell you time and again that she’s not who you think she is.”
My mother held out her hand. “Perhaps if you kept better company, these things wouldn’t be an issue. You are who you spend time with, Isabelle. And those girls you run around with are not what I want for your future.”
My back teeth ground together as I slipped my hand into my back pocket, pulling out the device she’d requested and placing it in her palm. No phone meant no emergency line to my best friends, to Ford, to the people who kept me sane amidst the insanity that my mother brought about. I kept my face carefully blank. I wouldn’t give her the satisfaction of knowing that she’d impacted me in any way. She didn’t deserve to know she had that power.
“Since you insist on acting childish, you’ll be treated as one. Your curfew is now nine p.m.”
I gave her nothing. I was already a prisoner in this home full of people who’d rather judge me than try and understand where I was coming from.
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I loved him before I knew what the word meant. From skinned knees to first dates and everything in between. But he was never mine to love. I settled for friendship, even though I always wanted more.
That was before. Before he ripped my world apart and didn’t bother sticking around to help me pick up the pieces. I knit every last shred back together all on my own. And I’ve all but forgotten his name.
Now, he’s back, and everything is torn apart once more. But he’s not the only one doing the tearing this time. And there might be no stopping the person who has it out for us both.
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Writer of words. Drinker of Diet Cokes. Lover of all things cute and furry, especially her dog. Catherine has had her nose in a book since the time she could read and finally decided to write down some of her own stories. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring her home state of Oregon, listening to true crime podcasts, or searching for her next book boyfriend.
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