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For ages 17 and up.
Moving back home sucked. Everything about this town reminded me of why the hell I’d wanted to get away. I had a life in Tuscaloosa, and I needed that life to escape. Here, I was Marcus Hardy. No matter where I went, people knew me. They knew my family. And now . . . they were talking about my family. Which is why I had come home. Leaving my sister and mother here to face this alone was impossible. The scandal hovering over our heads took away all my choices and my freedom. Right now few people knew, but it was only a matter of time. Soon the entire coastal town of Sea Breeze, Alabama, would know what my dad was doing—or should I say, who my dad was doing. King of the Mercedes car dealerships along the Gulf Coast had been a high enough title for some little gold-digging whore only a few years older than me to jump into bed with my dear ol’ dad. The one time I’d seen the home wrecker working behind the desk right outside Dad’s office, I’d known something wasn’t right. She was young and smoking hot and apparently money hungry.
Dad couldn’t keep it in his pants, and now my mom and sister would have to deal with the stigma it would cause. People would feel sorry for my mom. This was already devastating to her, and she didn’t even know yet that the other woman was barely a woman. My younger sister, Amanda, had caught them going at it late one evening when Mom had sent her over to the office to take Dad some dinner. She’d called me that night crying hysterically. I’d withdrawn from school, packed my things, and headed home. There was no other option. My family needed me.
A knock at the door snapped me out of my internal tirade, and I went to see what chick was here looking for Cage this time. God knew the guy had an endless line of females parading through his life. My new roommate was a player. A major player. He put my best friend, Preston, to shame. I twisted the knob and swung the door open without peeking through the hole.
The surprise was on me. I’d been prepared to tell whatever tall, willowy, large-but-obviously-fake-chested female dressed in almost nothing waiting outside the door that Cage was busy with another one very similar to her. Except a very natural, almost curvy redhead stood before me. Red-rimmed eyes and a tear-streaked face gazed up at me. There were no mascara lines running down her face. Her hair wasn’t styled, but pulled back in a ponytail. She wore jeans and what appeared to be an authentic Back in Black AC/DC concert T-shirt. No belly button drawing attention to a flat, tanned stomach, and her clothes weren’t skintight. Well, maybe the jeans were a little snug, but they hugged her hips nicely. My appreciation of her legs in the slim-fit jeans stopped, however, when I noticed the small beat-up suitcase clutched tightly in her hand.
“Is Cage here?” Her voice sounded broken and musical at the same time. I was having a hard time digesting that this girl was here for Cage. She wasn’t anything like he veered toward. Nothing was enhanced. Everything from her thick dark-copper hair to the Chuck Taylors on her feet screamed “not Cage’s type.” And the fact that she was carrying a suitcase—well, that couldn’t be good.
“Uh, um, no.”
Her shoulders slumped and another sob escaped her. One small, dainty hand flew up in an attempt to mute the sound of her obvious distress. Her nails were even classy. Not too long, with a smooth, rounded tip and soft pink nail polish.
“I left my cell phone”—she let out a sigh, then continued—“at my sister’s. I need to call him. Can I come in?”
Cage was out with a swimsuit model who apparently had a thing for college baseball players. I knew from the way he talked he didn’t intend to come up for air much tonight. He’d never answer her call, and I hated to see her get more upset than she already was. A horrible thought crossed my mind: Surely he hadn’t gotten this girl pregnant. Couldn’t he see how freaking innocent she was?
“Uh, yeah, but I don’t know if he’ll answer. He’s busy . . . tonight.”
She shot me a sour smile and nodded, stepping around me.
“I know the kind of busy he is, but he’ll talk to me.”
She sounded rather confident. I wasn’t feeling her confidence myself.
“Do you have a cell I can use?”
I reached into the pocket of my jeans and handed it to her, unable to argue with her further. She had stopped crying and I wanted to keep it that way.
“Thanks. I’ll try calling first.”
I watched as she walked over to the sofa and dropped her suitcase to the floor with a thunk before sinking dejectedly down onto the worn cushions as if she’d been here a hundred times. Being as I’d only been moved in for two days, I wouldn’t know if she had been here before or not. Cage was a friend of a friend who had been looking for a roommate. I’d needed somewhere to live fast and his place was nice. Preston was on the same baseball team as Cage at the local community college. Once Preston heard I needed a place to live, he’d called Cage and hooked me up.
“It’s me. I left my phone when I ran. You’re not here, but your new roommate let me in. Call me.” She sniffed, then hung up. I watched, fascinated, as she proceeded to text him. She really believed the male whore I lived with was going to call her right up as soon as he got her message. I was intrigued and growing more concerned by the minute.
She finished and handed the phone back to me. A smile touched her splotchy red face and two dimples appeared in her cheeks. Damn, that was cute.
“Thanks. Do you mind if I wait a little bit until he calls back?”
I shook my head,. “No, not at all. You want a drink?”
She nodded and stood up. “Yes, but I’ll get it. My drinks are in the bottom drawer of the fridge behind the Bud Lights.”
I frowned and followed her into the kitchen. She opened the fridge and bent down to get her hidden drink. With her bent over digging for her so-called drink, the snug fit of the faded jeans over her ass was hard to miss. It was a perfect heart shape, and although she wasn’t very tall, her legs seemed to go on for miles.
“Ah, here it is. Cage needs to run to the store and restock. He must be letting his one-nighters drink my Jarritos.”
I couldn’t keep guessing. I needed to know who she was exactly. Surely she wasn’t one of his girlfriends. Could she be the sister Preston had mentioned dating? I sure as hell hoped not. I was interested, and I hadn’t been interested in anyone in a while. Not since the last girl broke my heart. I’d opened my mouth to ask her how she knew Cage when the phone in my pocket started ringing. She walked over to me and held out her hand. The girl really believed it was Cage. I glanced down, but sure enough, my roommate had called back.
She took the phone from my hand.
“She’s such a selfish jerk.
“I can’t stay there, Cage.
“I didn’t mean to leave my phone. I was just upset.
“Yes, your new roommate’s a nice guy. He’s been very helpful.
“No, don’t end your date. Get her out of your system. I’ll wait.
“I promise not to go back.
“She is who she is, Cage.
“I just hate her.” I could hear the tears in her voice again.
“No, no, really, I’m fine. I just needed to see you.”
“Don’t. I’ll leave.
She held the phone out to me. “He wants to talk to you.”
This conversation was nothing like I’d expected. The girl had to be his sister.
“Listen, I need you to make sure Low stays there until I can get home. She’s upset and I don’t want her leaving. Get her one of her damn Mexican soda thingies out of the fridge. They’re behind the Bud Lights in the bottom drawer. I have to hide them from other chicks I have over. All females tend to like those nasty drinks. Turn on the television, distract her, whatever. I’m only ten minutes away, but I’m putting my jeans on as we speak and headed home. Just help her get her mind off things, but don’t touch her.”
“Ah, okay, sure. Is she your sister?”
Cage chuckled into the phone. “Hell no, she ain’t my sister. I’d never buy my damn sister drinks and call her back when I’m in the middle of a fucking threesome. Low’s the girl I’m gonna marry.”
I had no response to that. My eyes found her standing over by the window with her back to me. The long thick copper locks curled on the ends and brushed against the middle of her back. She was absolutely nothing like the girls Cage regularly hooked up with. What did he mean, she was the girl he was going to marry? That made no sense.
“Keep her there, man. I’m on my way.”
Then he hung up the phone.
I dropped it on the table and stood there staring at her back. She turned around slowly and studied me a moment, and then a smile broke across her face.
“He told you he was going to marry me, didn’t he?” she said laughing softly before taking a drink of the orange soda with what appeared to have Spanish writing on the label.
“Crazy boy. I shouldn’t have bothered him, but he’s all I’ve got.”
She walked over and sank back down onto the old faded green sofa, pulling her legs up underneath her.
“Don’t worry. I’m not leaving. He’d rip apart my sister’s house searching for me and scare the bejesus out of her if I left. I’ve got enough issues where she’s concerned. I don’t intend to unleash Cage on her.”
I slowly made my way over to the only chair in the room and sat down.
“So, you’re engaged?” I asked, staring down at her bare ring finger.
With a sad smile she shook her head.
“Not in a million years. Cage has crazy ideas. Just because he says them doesn’t make them true.”
She raised her eyebrows and took another drink of her soda.
“So you aren’t going to marry Cage?” I really would love for her to clarify this because I was incredibly confused and more than a little interested in her. She bit down on her bottom lip and I noticed for the first time how full it was.
“Cage was my ‘boy next door’ growing up. He’s my best friend. I love him dearly and he really is all I have. The only person I can count on. We’ve never actually been in a relationship before because he knows I won’t have sex with him and he needs sex. He’s also real wrapped up in the whole idea that a relationship between the two of us before we get married will end badly and he’ll lose me. He has this irrational fear of losing me.”
Did she know the guy had bagged more than three different girls this week and apparently was having a threesome when she’d called? She was so much better than Cage.
“Wipe that look off your face. I don’t need your pity. I know what Cage is like. I know you have probably seen the kind of girls he’s attracted to, and I look absolutely nothing like them. I don’t live in a fantasy world. I’m very aware.” She tilted her head and smiled at me sweetly. “I don’t even know your name.”
“Well, Marcus Hardy, I’m Willow Montgomery, but everyone calls me Low. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“So, you’re a friend of Preston’s.”
I nodded. “Yes, but don’t hold it against me.”
She laughed for the first time, and the sudden pleasure from such a simple sound startled me. I liked hearing her laugh.
“I won’t. Preston isn’t all that bad. He likes to use those pretty-boy looks of his to get his way, but I’m safe from his attention. Cage would kill him if he decided to bat his baby blues at me.”
Was it because of Preston’s womanizing or the fact that he was a guy that made Cage protective of Willow? Did he really expect her to wait around until he was ready to settle down and marry her?
“LOW!” Cage’s voice rang out as the door to the apartment swung open. His head snapped around and his eyes went straight to Willow.
“God, baby, I was so afraid you’d leave. Come here.” This was a side of Cage I’d never seen. Apparently the sweet little redhead got to him in a way no one else could. He pulled her up into his arms, reached down and grabbed the forgotten suitcase, then led her back to his bedroom, whispering to her the entire way. If she hadn’t informed me earlier that she refused to have sex with him, I’d have been eaten up with righteous fury at the idea of him touching someone so sweet after having just left the bed of not one but two girls. But instead, I was eaten up with envy because I knew he was going to get to hold her and listen to her musical voice as she spilled out all her problems. He’d be the one to fix them, not me. I’d just met her. Why the hell did that bother me?
Great read! I couldn't put it down. Characters were real easy to relate to, and Abbi has an amazing way of helping get the emotions across!
10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 9, 2012
Oh Abbi Glines the words you weave! If any of you know me at all [or stalk my twitter], you know I have read and immensely enjoyed every single book Abbi has written and this one just blew the top off of them all. Not only did she make me fall even more in love with her writing and characters but she transitioned into the world of New Adult flawlessly. I was fanning myself, giggling like a school girl, and swooning all over the place. Don’t let that fool you though folks. You also get a heaping dose of frustrating angst to go with it. Sounds like the perfect mixture does it not? One can never be disappointed when it comes to a Gline piece of genius.
Now, if you have read Breathe [which you should have by now!] you already know Marcus. I was more than ready to see Marcus get his own happy ending since everything with Sadie went to shit for him in Breathe. But nothing could have prepared me for this story. It consumed me from page one, no joke. Not only do we get to see Marcus’s journey of trying to open up and find love again while juggle a family crisis he could have never seen coming but we get Low’s own story complete with her own set of family drama. See, what I think I enjoyed most about this book was it was told in both Marcus and Low’s point of view. I revel in double narratives like this and it made me so much more emotionally attached to the story being told. Once I picked it up I didn’t put it down until I was done a few hours later. My eyes were glued.
Now I never became super attached to Marcus in Breathe because I knew he was getting this book, so once I started reading I was captivated. It is safe to say I love Marcus more than Jax. [Pst, you get to see Jax in this book. You didn’t hear it from me…] But what I really think made Marcus pop for me in this book was the fact that Low was introduced. Low is struggling with the worst possible circumstances and she managed to completely capture my heart. I loved everything about Low, even if she was so down on herself. I adore a character building book and damn it if this wasn’t the best one I have read this year. I ate up seeing Low and Marcus go through their highs and lows together and getting to see each of them really grow into a new phase of themselves.
If their own personal troubles weren’t enough to keep you hooked then the relationship that these two go through will. I guarantee your fist will meet a pillow, or two, possibly three I lost count. There was SO much I wanted to happen and then I got the rug pulled out from underneath me and my heart went plunging on more than one account. I found myself yelling with my headphones in [listening to a heart breaking song no doubt] and someone had to tell me to be quiet. I just, I couldn’t. The relationship between these two was enough to make my heart explode. And for that reason right there is why I will ALWAYS run to an Abbi Gline book to feed my hunger for a good romance. Even if I do want to seriously hurt someone half way through.
When all is said and done Because of Low is an epic tale of love, loss, and the ultimate sacrifice you are willing to take to make it all work. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading this story and falling for a whole new set of characters. Hell I can’t tell you how much I loved Low. I hope I get to see her and Marcus again somewhere in the future. People, Abbi Glines has done it yet again and I have a feeling she will keep us on our toes for many years to come. Falling in
9 out of 14 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 23, 2012
Posted August 8, 2012
This book was WAY better than Breathe. I felt more of a connection with Low than what i did for Sadie. The Romance was great, sweet and sexy! There were times in the book i was like ' ugh go and talk to eachother'!! but it was worth some drama at the end =)
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 21, 2012
B&N recommended this book for me based on my reading Existence and Predestined by Abbi Glines and I thought the synopsis sounded promising. Apparently its a sequel of sorts to Breathe and includes the Sadie and Jax characters to a smaller extent because the book focuses on Marcus (also from Breathe) and Willow (new character). However it is not necessary to read them in order. While I figured out the big secret/twist long before the characters did it didn't take away from the enjoyment of watching the story unfold.
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 21, 2012
Read Breathe before this book so you can enjoy the full story! Great books! This was a nice relaxing read and a nice break from the supernatural kick I seem to be on lately;)
3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 12, 2013
After reading all the ravishing reviews for this book, i was extremly disappointed after reading it. The plot was extremly cliche and predictable. Some of the writing was just so out of no where a lot of it was not beliveable and felt really fake. dont waste your time or money
2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 21, 2012
Posted July 8, 2012
Posted March 15, 2012
I have enjoyed all of Abbi Glines books, and this one didn't disappoint. It is more riske and grown-up than Breathe. The romance was good, even though Cage has a few issues to work out. I loved Low and was cheering for her happy ending. I look forward to future books by Abbi!
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 19, 2012
Having family in Alabama (Gurley, Huntsville, and Paint Rock Valley) I can picture the setting of Abbi's books perfectly. What's great about her stories though is that really they could take place anywhere. She creates some of the most emotional characters to fall in love with and relate to, in what I would call "Any-Town America". This book still has me grinning. I purchased it last night, stayed up late to finish it. Tweeted about how much I loved it and went to bed thinking about the magnificent love story and personal journeys these characters underwent. Just like in her other books: The Vincent Boys and Breathe, Abbi Glines creates a book to read over and over again and love more each time!
Marcus Hardy definitely caught my attention when I read Breathe, I even rooted for him a little. And, Because of Low gave me more reason to gawk at such a well developed and fun character. I would recommend reading Breathe before reading this one, just so that you can meet Marcus and get to know him a little before taking this plunge into his life, the background nice guy in Breathe is still a very nice and very sexy guy in Because of Low, I'd say heartbreak did him good.
Abbi Glines is an awe inducing writer, throughout the book she had my emotions all over the place. And, I absolutely loved the little bits of Sadie and Jax that she threw in there. It kind of reminds me of Sarah Dessen's books, how they are all related in little ways (same town, characters make appearances). I would love to read more about this group of friends, maybe learn more of Preston's story or follow Marcus' sister Amanda for a book or 2.
Willow and Cage have this amazing friendship, and he swears he's going to marry her one day. In my opinion, and probably the opinion of anyone who reads this, she is way better than him no matter how close they've been for however long. Cage is a self absorbed wreck and his only weakness seems to be Willow, when she calls he drops everything to come to her side. Which, for a girl like Willow, is all she thinks she'll ever need.
My favorite character was Larissa, Wilow's one year old niece. She had the boys eating out of the palm of her hand. And, I don't think anything is cuter than watching guys with babies!
When we meet Willow, or Low as her friends call her, she's a mess. She had no place to really live and alternates her time between her sister's couch and Marcus' new roommate Cage's bed (but nothing happens of course). She was weak, anxiety ridden, and very codependent of Cage. Understandably when her past is learned. By the end of Because of Low she is her own girl, she's still a little broken (but life is hard) yet standing much taller. I really enjoyed her story and Marcus'. I love the way Abbi alternates points of view between Low and Marcus, knowing what both of them are thinking is so much more filling and completing, if that makes sense.
The drama in Marcus' life is countered with this light that is Willow Foster, and as much as this relationship saves her, it helps him as well.
2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 12, 2013
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Posted December 5, 2013
Posted November 20, 2013
Marcus Hardy has had to move back home to Sea Breeze because of family issues. He moves in with a friend of a friend Cage York. Cage has a revolving door of women who never make a repeat appearance. One night a girl appears on Cage's doorstep looking for a place to stay. Marcus is immediately intrigued and wants to know why she is involved with someone like Cage. Willow "Low" has her own share of family drama and needs somewhere to stay. Cage warns Marcus off because he plans to marry Low when he is ready to settle down. Marcus however doesn't take the warning and pursues Low til she caves in. When something shatters both their worlds things look bleak and neither know how to handle the truth.
I am so happy Marcus got his story told and am further happy with the story. I felt heartbroken when Sadie turned Marcus down but knew it was for the best. Knowing Marcus will find his one, I am glad it was Low. She has her own demons of course but who doesn't. Although I figured out the twist before it happened I still felt the heartbreak when it happened. I still enjoy Abbi Glines and her work and cannot wait for the next book which is Cage's story. I hope he finds his HEA too.
1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 28, 2013
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