The Day He Kissed Her

The Day He Kissed Her

by Juliana Stone

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"A well-rounded contemporary romance... has something for everyone: likeable characters, chemistry, dramatic and emotional storylines, humor and, most notably, a smokin' hot bad-boy hero"—RT Book Reviews

The bad boys of Crystal Lake couldn't wait to get out of their cozy little town to start living big-city dreams. But for Mackenzie Draper, coming home is the only way to heal his heart.

Mac Draper finally has everything he's always wanted: An amazing career. A New York City apartment. He's this close to being free of his past forever. But a mind-blowing encounter with the sexy yet tough-as-nails Lily St. Clare has him delaying his plans to put Crystal Lake in his rearview mirror for good.

For Lily St. Clare the charming small town of Crystal Lake is her haven—a place she can hide from her famous, back-stabbing family. It's as close to happy as she's ever been. Until an unforgettable night with tall, dark and tortured Mac Draper gives her a glimpse of what true happiness feels like.

Lily can't help but melt a little under the sizzling heat of Mac's touch. But Mac's scars run deep, and Lily's afraid she may be falling for the one man who can never return her feelings...

Bad Boys of Crystal Lake series:
The Summer He Came Home (Book 1)
The Christmas He Loved Her (Book 2)
The Day He Kissed Her (Book 3)

"Will appeal to readers of Cathie Linz and Susan Elizabeth Phillips."—Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402274879
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 04/01/2014
Series: Bad Boys of Crystal Lake , #3
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 80,246
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Juliana Stone fell in love with her first book boyfriend when she was twelve. She decided that when she grew up she would like to write her own book boyfriends and, luckily, she gets to do this. She writes dark paranormal romance as well as contemporary romance and now is excited to write young adult as well. She lives with her husband, kids, a dog and a cat somewhere in the wilds of Canada.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Mackenzie Draper woke up with a throbbing head, a dry mouth, and an ache in his neck that hurt like hell.

Vague memories of the Coach House, his buddies Cain and Jake, some loud, crazy band, and a bottle of tequila floated in his mind.

Or maybe it was two bottles of tequila.

Not that it mattered. Mac was sporting the worst hangover ever, and even though it had nothing to do with Crystal Lake-and everything to do with his weakness for tequila-his first thought was that he shouldn't have come home.

Things never went well when he came back to Crystal Lake, and after all this time-and with his bastard father in jail-it was still hard.

With a groan, Mac rolled out of bed and wondered why the hell he did it.

It was late morning, Friday of the Memorial Day long weekend, and Mac had arrived home the night before, hence the catching up with his buddies and the endless shots of tequila.

Damn. He knew better. Tequila always knocked him on his ass.

His nose wrinkled. He smelled like a brewery and was still in his clothes from the night before-he was pretty damn sure he looked like crap. Mac stumbled down the hall, wincing and cursing when he stubbed his toe on an uneven floorboard.

He ran fingers over the two-day-old stubble on his chin, rolled his shoulders, and groaned. The muscles were tight, but then again, everything was tight and sore.

With a scowl, he glanced back toward his room. Damn mattress. He was used to sleeping on the king-sized dream at his place in New York City, not the IKEA crap from his teen years.

"Shit," he murmured, wincing again as his neck creaked. There was a time when the floor between the Edwards twins' beds had been good enough for him. Hell, he'd spent many a night sleeping there when things got out of hand at home.

God, is this what it felt like to be old?

The family homestead was a modest bungalow with three bedrooms, a kitchen, a small dining room, and a TV room finishing off the main floor. The place hadn't seen a fresh coat of paint in years, and the wallpaper in the hall was curling in the corners. The roof needed done and if the windows weren't replaced soon, the frames would rot.

It was a mess, and he doubted the additional three bedrooms in the basement or the small recreational room was faring any better.

When he was a kid, he spent most of his time down there-anything to avoid his father, or rather, his father's fists. Back then, the house had seemed so damn small-so damn suffocating-it was hard to believe that anything could grow or thrive inside the four walls that made up the Draper residence.

No wonder he escaped as much as he could. Hanging with the Edwards twins and Cain Black had been his salvation.

He glanced around the house, feeling as tired as it looked.

With only his mother puttering about, the place seemed empty and quiet. Too quiet. Mac needed noise, the hustle and bustle of the city, the sounds of people, music, and cabs.

He needed noise to shut out the quiet moments, because when it was quiet, it was way too easy to think and remember. And Mac didn't want to remember.

He wasn't alone in that sentiment. His five siblings were gone. They'd all left as soon as they could, and other than his younger sister, Becca, he was the only one who came home to visit. The long distance thing seemed to work for everyone else.

Mac paused and leaned against the door frame that led to the kitchen, watching his mother roll out dough. She wore simple clothes-a white cotton blouse, with faded blue and red roses, tucked into plain white shorts that fell exactly one inch above the knee. The colors had faded, but they were clean and pressed, with no creases.

Her long hair, as blond as Mac's and showing no sign of gray, was knotted loosely at her nape. She was petite-trim-and from this angle, she looked exactly like the mother he remembered from his youth. It wasn't until she glanced up and he caught sight of the sadness in her eyes, the wrinkles of worry etched into her brow, that he saw her age.

Age and heartache that had been put there by his father.

Just thinking of Ben Draper made Mac's gut clench, and it took some effort for him to ease out of the anger that ate at him. He breathed in and out, nice and easylike, and managed a half-assed smile for his mother.

She smiled back, but it quickly faded when her eyes narrowed and she pursed her lips. She continued to roll her dough.

"Late night, Mackenzie?" There was disapproval in her voice and, dammit, even after all this time-he was thirty-five for Christ's sake-he felt like that kid who'd just got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

Her husband was a mean drunk, and he got that she didn't like Mac overindulging, but was kind of ironic that she would call him out for having a bit too much tequila when she never said a word to Ben.

Mind you, if she did, she'd see the back of Ben's hand, but there must have been a point in their relationship when she could have stopped him.

Heat swirled in his gut as a bunch of memories ran through him and none of them were good. Jesus, he needed to shut this shit down right now. There was no point in rehashing the past. He shoved it all aside and crossed to the fridge, grabbing a carton of juice.

"Is that for the Edwardses'?" he asked.

He poured himself a large glass and turned around to lean against the kitchen counter, his gaze on his mother as she methodically kneaded the dough.

"Yes. I'm making a raspberry pie for you to take when you go."

He waited a few seconds. He'd spent every Friday before Memorial Day at the Edwardses' for their annual friends and family barbecue. He always asked his mother to join him.

"So, you're not coming with me." It was a statement, because he already knew the answer.

She continued kneading the dough, her movements slow and precise. "No, honey. I've got more baking to do for the church bazaar, and I promised Mrs. Linden that I'd help her clean her house." She glanced up, though her smile didn't quite reach her eyes. "She's getting on and needs an extra set of hands. I've been helping her out ever since Maggie left town."

Mackenzie knew better than to press the issue. His mother wouldn't come.

Once, long before he was born, Lila McCann had run in the same social circles as the Edwardses. In fact, she'd dated Steven Edwards briefly...then Ben Draper had come into the picture and Lila's life took a turn.

A wrong turn. A wrong fucking U-turn away from anything good that she'd ever had.

Her parents had stood by her-even when she'd become pregnant with Mac's older brother, Benjamin Jr.-and had footed the bill for an extravagant wedding. His grandparents had died in a car accident about a month before Benjamin was born, and Mac had never met them.

His great-grandmother, however, was a bright light in an otherwise bleak childhood. It was only because of Grams that any of the kids went to college, and it was only because of Grams that the roof over their head stayed in their hands and not the bank's. His great-grandmother was nearing her ninetieth year and still right as rain.

He didn't want to consider what would have happened to the Draper kids if not for her.

Ben Draper used his looks and charm to get by, but he'd never quite managed to hold down a regular job. The booze always got in the way.

Like it had on a hot summer night when Mackenzie was about nine. That night, Mac had cowered in his room, afraid to go out and face his father but afraid that Ben was going to kill his mother. He'd called Jake Edwards, and less than twenty minutes later, the police and Steven had shown up.

That was Ben Draper's first trip to county lockup, and it signaled the end of his mother's relationship with her old crowd, including the Edwardses.

And now here he was, staring at a woman who could have had it all and yet she stood in the kitchen, dressed in secondhand clothes, kneading dough for a party that she would not attend.

"I ran into Raine Edwards the other day," she said quietly. "At the grocery store. She looks good. Happy."

"Yeah?" Mac drained his glass and rinsed it out. Raine was with one of his oldest buddies, Jake Edwards, and he was a lucky son of a bitch to have her. Even though Mac would never have what his friends did, that didn't make him any less happy that they'd finally found each other.

"I wouldn't be surprised if she turns up pregnant real soon."

Here we go.

"Nice, for Steven and Marnie to finally have a grandchild," his mother continued.

Mac nodded. "I'm sure it would make them real happy."

He waited for the questions that were headed his way. The usual ones.

Have you met someone?

When are you going to settle down and have a family?

I'd sure like to hold another grandchild before I get too old.

He hated disappointing his mother, but family-a wife, kids, and the white-picket fence-just wasn't in the cards for him. He and kids didn't mix, and besides, there was no need to pass along the family genetics.

He thought of his father and Ben's father before him. Nope. No need at all.

He was smart enough to know that it wouldn't take much for him to cross the line into Ben Draper territory.

Hell, it was only a matter of time. He knew that on occasion he drank too much, and he sure as shit wanted no responsibility other than his job, but he was willing to straddle the line. He had more control than Ben, and for now, it was enough.

But his mother surprised him. She bypassed talk of grandkids and a wife and hit him with something he wasn't expecting.

"Raine told me that Jake wants you to help him out with the new development across the lake."

Shit. He'd rather take her ribbing over his lack of commitment and family than talk about this. Did he want to get into it right now?

"It's been mentioned," he said slowly. No way was he spending the summer in Crystal Lake.

"I think it would be wonderful for the town if you and Jake worked together on this. A lot of folks aren't exactly keen on more construction, but Jake's promised it will benefit everyone." Lila turned over the dough. "How would that work with your job?"

Mac was at a point in his career where he could pretty much make anything work, but that didn't mean he wanted this particular situation to evolve into something solid. "I've got time in the bank, but..."


"I don't think it's going to happen."

For a moment there was silence.

He watched her continue to knead the dough with her fingers and knuckles as he moved closer to her.

"It sure would be nice to have you home for the summer."

"Mom," he said gently. "Crystal Lake and I don't exactly mix." Weak excuse, but it was all he had.

"Your father won't be around."

There it was. The big old elephant in the room.

Mac didn't know any details about his father's incarceration other than the fact that he'd been caught stealing from his job-something he'd done before-and his ass had landed in jail.

Her bottom lip trembled for just a moment, but Mac saw it and his jaw clamped tight as that damn wave of emotion rolled over him again.

Her hands paused on top of the dough. "I miss you, Mackenzie. I know it's not your job to look after your mom, but I just..." She released a long, shuddering breath. "I hate being alone. Grams is getting on, and pretty soon there will be no one."

He slipped his arms around her shoulders and hugged her, the bottom of his chin resting on the top of her head. "I know," he said simply. "Though I'm pretty sure that Grams will outlive us all."

Except him.

His mother's bottom lip curved. "She's certainly is a strong old lady. I wish I'd gotten some of that backbone."

Mackenzie didn't know what to say to that-mostly because it was something he'd thought of a lot when he was younger.

"'ll think about it?" she whispered, her hands already working the dough again, his arms still on her shoulders.

Mac gazed out the window, his eyes resting on the fence that bordered their lot. A few sections were missing and though it had been light green at one time, the color had long since faded and the bits that remained were chipped and peeling.

It needed mending. Hell, the entire house needed a damn face-lift.

He felt the warmth from his mother, the frailty in her bones and spirit.

"Mac?" she asked softly, and though she tried to hide it, he heard the hope in her voice.

"I'll think about it," he answered, not knowing what he was going to do. He hated this place, not the town so much, but this place. This house. This situation. The toxic relationship between him and his father.

He hated the memories and the need he still felt for his mother to somehow make things right. She'd never stand up to his old man. Never.

A heartbeat passed.

"Okay," Lila Draper murmured. "Okay."

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Day He Kissed Her 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
Juliana Stone's third book in the Bad Boys of Crystal Lake series, The Day He Kissed Her is an emotional journey that readers won't soon forget. Contemporary romance fans will love this small town, feel good, romance with two somewhat tortured souls that find each other in the grand scheme of life. Stone's ability to right about deep meaningful relationships is balanced by her gift for writing humor and every day situations. As well as some pretty hot and heavy romance scenes. This is a great new book from a great author. What I liked: To say Mac was a bit tortured is probably an understatement. I really liked Mac's character. I can't say that I felt a kinship with him or that I understood his pain, because my childhood was pretty great. But I do think I understand overcoming obstacles and this character was a case study in perseverance. Juliana Stone gives readers a character that is struggling with himself and what he believes he is capable of. I was totally engrossed in watching Mac find his way out of the darkness of his own making. It took finding someone who was his equal in most things to help him find his way. Lily came from a very elite family with old money and pedigree that could match a thoroughbred. But she wasn't pretentious. She wasn't a spoiled little rich girl and she understood the value of working for what you wanted. I liked the fact that she isn't a perfect women. She has her flaws and demons and was able to recognize them in Mac. It took a strong woman and Lily was definitely that. Mac and Lily didn't have any illusions about their New Year's Eve hookup, they both knew what they were doing, but they both were longing for something more and it was hard to deny they had found it in each other. This was a very emotional novel that wrung that emotion from the reader as well as the characters. I don't always go for books that leave me feeling spent, but this one was an exception. Juliana Stone writes contemporary romance with the best of them and this book proves you can have a story that pulls at the heartstrings and still has substance and strong plot points. There were some hiccups along the way with Lily's family and Mac's commitment issues. By the time I was finished I really, really wanted this happy ending and I'm guessing it will affect most people that way.  What I didn't like: I was all for Mac working out his issues and a bigger part of the story centered on him and what was going on inside him and I felt like Lily's story got a little cheated because of that. Mac's plot line was so intense that it was hard for Lily's to shine. Though I felt I knew Mac well, Lily was more of a periphery view. A little too focused perhaps. Bottom Line: This was a very well written contemporary romance. I was totally invested in this hero, though I felt the heroine was a bit more two dimensional. Not because that's how the author wrote her, but because so much detail had to go into Mac's story. A bit more balance would have put this one over the top. Still a very good novel though.
jeniNY More than 1 year ago
An emotional journey of love and acceptance. When we first met Mac in The Summer He Came Home I was in love then.  I knew his book would be awesome and it was. Well written, with steamy sex scenes.  There was also an emotional journey that Mac and Lilly took to be together and it was enthralling.  I could not put this book down.  The abuse that Mac suffered as a child was heart breaking.  Juliana Stone did a great job of getting into abuse and how it effects children and  families as they become adults.  Lilly and Mac save each other from the moment they meet.  Jake and Cain make  their appearances to help their friends and the male bonding is abundant.  You just can't help but love them.  Mac is sexier than ever.  I wasn't crazy about Lilly in The Christmas He Loved Her because I thought she wanted  Jake and even when I realized she didn't I still couldn't warm up to her.  Then reading her story made me sympathize  with her too.  She became a real person to me.  Someone who had been hurt and betrayed by the people who were  supposed to love her.  She sees the same hurt in Mac and they are drawn together because of it and because he's hot.   I highly recommend this series each book better than the next.  The author mentioned on her Facebook page she  was thinking of continuing the Crystal Lake series I would be all over that. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My heart broke time and time again in this emotional story. I enjoyed the book and hope the series continues.
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
THE DAY HE KISSED HER by Juliana Stone is a wonderful Contemporary Romance. #3 in the "Bad Boys of Crystal Lake", but can be read as a stand alone. Although, I would recommend the other two in the series, just because they are also a delight to read. See, "The Summer He Came Home", and "The Christmas He Loved Her". This is the conclusion to a wonderful series of Bad Boys. This is Mackenzie Draper and Lily St. Clare's story. A poignant tale of two troubled souls coming together, finally and finding their HEA. Filled with passion,conflict, romance, and the power of love and trust. An intriguing tale from beginning to end. I have enjoyed this series. Engaging characters with a wonderful storyline. Well written indeed, Ms. Stone! I hope to read of the Crystal Lake gang, maybe, we will see another series coming from the town of Crystal Lake. An enjoyable read from beginning to end. Received for an honest review. RATING: 4 HEAT RATING: HOT REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
Emily-SBDR More than 1 year ago
Oh my heavens! I LOVE this book! I'm reading along, and I like it and I'm engaged and then the second half of the book happens along and blew my freaking mind. Don't get me wrong, the entire book is magnificent. The second half just happens to pack the biggest punch. Emotionally, I was exhausted after reading this book. Mac and Lily obliterated my heart but, thankfully pieced it back together as well. I'm now going to have to take a good 24 hour break from reading just to decompress. I always have to be ahead of my reading schedule when I dip into a Juliana Stone book because she's always hits me with a massive book hangover. But, hey, you'll never hear me complaining :) The Day He Kissed Her revolves around the third and final bad boy of Crystal Lake, Mackenzie Draper. Mac, as he is affectionately known, may be the most damaged out of the three. Well, their measures of damage can't really be compared, but his damaging factor, aka his father, is still around. Lily, bless her heart, is just the most stable, and supportive heroine I have ever read. Together the two of them make up a dysfunctional, and perfect puzzle. Lily had planned their chance meeting to stay a one-time deal. Fate had another plan in place. Through mutual friends and changed plans they meet once again. This time Mac isn't going to let her get away so fast. Although, part of me, thought he was just in it for the chase. I love it when I'm wrong about my cynical views. Mac is all in, granted he may not know it yet, but he is. Lily, try as she might to fight it, is equally deep into their relationship. While their relationship is rocking along just fine, Mac's tortured youth is always there to remind him he can't have the white picket fence and 2.5 kids. Lily would love to prove him wrong but, he's just not susceptible to the idea. Matters only turn worse when the source of his pain returns full force and solidifies Mac's doubt in himself to care and love for another person. And it just goes downhill from there. Because once Mac is already turning to run, Lily drops her own bomb that may ruin any chance of him ever warming up to the idea of loving and keeping her. Before I get into all of my feelings, and sappy emotions, let's touch on the one thing all of us romance junkies want to know about: the sex. I will tell you this- for as much as Lily and Mac are emotionally drawn to each other their physical connection is as equally gratifying and amazing. I have to say, this felt much sexier than Juliana's previous books, in my opinion. Mac just cannot get enough of Lily and they are so incredibly, sickeningly adorable together. Gah! Love it! Resume sappy, emotional talk- Through one of the toughest heartbreaks, Lily remains calm and collected. But she says her piece. Which I love. I never felt like she should have said more of stood up for herself more. She was a picture perfect arguer and lover. Mac on the other hand was the complete opposite. The best way to describe it is, Lily she is Mac's gravity. She reigns him in and holds him down.While he may try to fight it, he's just not able to. This book made my heart do that tight, palpitation thing. It literally made me ache. No joke, in a matter of about 80 pages I felt the widest array of emotions. What I have to appreciate about Ms. Stone's books is that they aren't the screwy, dark emotions though. It may have a dark tinge to it, but for the most part it's a contemporary romance book with a more than average emotional aspect to it. It's just those couple of pages where Ms. Stone let's her evil twin out to twist and stomp your heart a few times. Overall, I'm really at a loss. I wish emotions could speak for themselves through the internet because I'm not doing this book justice with my words. Just trust me when I say to go grab this book. It's quite fantastic.  Happy Reading! *ARC provided by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BooksnKisses More than 1 year ago
NUMBER OF HEARTS: 4 1/4 REVIEW:  You know what they say about the bigger they are the harder they fall? Well things technically fall at the same rate of speed, but the bigger you are the bigger mess you are going to make when you hit. Poor poor Mackenzie is big and has build up so many walls that it is going to be a long scary way down for him. And boy does he make a mess of everything.  Lily never thought she was the forever type. But the moment she sees Mac again that thought goes right out the window. Oh, she fights it. But fate is a fickle bit.... well let’s just say that what Fate wants Fate gets.  I loved this book. I loved Mac & Lily. I loved that they both are so darn stubborn and almost ruin everything. I will say that I did cheer for Mac a little when he let his dad have it, although I think that his dad deserved more! If you have read any of the other Bad Boys of Crystal Lake you will know that Mac is the last of the three boys to get his story and it was well worth the wait.  I can’t wait to see what might be next :)  Disclaimer:  I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley & SourceBooks Casablanca in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review. 
booknerdDS More than 1 year ago
Lily St. Clare and Mac Draper have intense chemistry. Lily shared a one night stand one New Year’s Eve with Mac. Although very uncharacteristic of her, she was very drawn to Mac. The next day she took off and gave Mac the wrong number. Mac never forgot about Lily and being the bad-boy that his is, he is usually the one that does the loving and leaving. As fate would have it, through mutual friends they meet again at Crystal Lake. When Lily sees Mac she is shocked and tries to make a getaway but that doesn’t work out like she hoped. Mac is a very tortured soul. He had a very rough upbringing and he still holds on to many of his issues. He is constantly fighting to control his temper and loses himself in the bottle. He has a very strict philosophy about not getting attached and not putting too much of himself into anything. He doesn’t realize that Lily is carrying her own scars and she understands him better than anyone. She is also not easily hurt or pushed away when Mac lets his demons overtake him. Mac is fun, exciting and sexy. He knows that he wants to get to know Lily and that the summer he is spending in Crystal Lake promises to be an interesting one. I really liked both characters. Lily and Mac carried a lot of baggage with them. They are very drawn to each other and they had great chemistry. I also liked the supporting characters and wished I had read the previous books in the series so I could know more about them. I especially liked Liam, Mac’s nephew. He really gave Mac a different perspective on life and family. There are many dark and serious issues that are a part of both Mac and Lily’s life’s. It was very sweet to see them fall in love. My only complaints are that Lily was flat. Many of her emotions are easily divided into uncertainty and lust. At times, she seemed a little flat and underdeveloped. But other than that this was a very enjoyable, fun and sexy story. I enjoyed seeing Mac and Lily finally get their happily-ever-after and especially with the bonus surprise at the end.
Blender2007 More than 1 year ago
There is soooo much story in this book! Mac and Lily did NOT disappoint. Both were damaged goods so to speak but they were so hungry for love, affection, belonging, that it broke my heart. So many issues to deal with but they got there in the end and it was beautiful to see. This is a must read of 2014!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Worth waiting for.
JackieBCentralTexasJB More than 1 year ago
The Day He Kissed Her (Bad Boys of Crystal Lake #3) Read on March 20, 2014 Book Info  Kindle Edition, 320 pages Expected publication: April 1st 2014 by Sourcebooks Casablanca original title The Day He Kissed Her ASIN B00HFDVMWU edition language English series Bad Boys of Crystal Lake #3  other editions (1) Source:Netgalley EARC Book Buy Links  Amazon  B&N  BOOK SYNOPSIS He can't wait to leave... Mac Draper finally has everything he's always wanted: An amazing career. A New York City apartment. He's this close to being free of his past forever. But a mind-blowing encounter with the sexy yet tough-as-nails Lily St. Clare has him delaying his plans to put Crystal Lake in his rearview mirror for good. She's finally found a place to stay... For Lily St. Clare the charming small town of Crystal Lake is her haven - a place she can hide from her famous, back-stabbing family. It's as close to happy as she's ever been. Until an unforgettable night with tall, dark and tortured Mac Draper gives her a glimpse of what true happiness feels like. Lily can't help but melt a little under the sizzling heat of Mac's touch. But Mac's scars run deep, and Lily's afraid she may be falling for the one man who can never return her feelings. My Thoughts The latest book in the Bad Boys of Crystal Lake series is the story that fans have been waiting for. Mackenzie (Mac) Draper is the bad boy of the group whose tale we have wanted to know the particulars of since the New Years night when he and Lily St. Clare hooked up for a night neither one has forgotten since. Having grown up with an abusive alcoholic for a father and a mother who chose her husband’s welfare over that of her five children Mac left Crystal Lake to make a life for himself in New York. Now in his mid thirties he has become successful with all the trappings that he thought would fulfill him, however the echoes of the past that he cannot erase still torment him and keep him from committing to anyone. Lily St. Clare has found her place within the small town of Crystal Lake, growing up in a family of wealth and privilege was never all it seemed on the outside and the peace she has found in her life now means putting her past firmly behind her for good. This story centers on Mac and Lily as it unfolds we find out that the cycle of abuse has touched Mac’s nephew when his younger sister Becca brings him home with her for refuge with their mother. The emotions that gripped me while reading went from one extreme to the other before finishing this book, it took a lot of deep breaths during certain scenes as reading about abuse of any kind is hard but that involving an innocent child really rouses my protective instincts to the forefront. Luckily for fans of the series no matter how dark the subject matter it is handled with respect and sensitivity without becoming too overwhelming and when things work out for the characters the relief they feel is shared. This is a story of two people whose initial attraction to one another is off the charts and leads to both of them finding a friend as well as a lover to heat up the sheets. What I find especially compelling about all of the books in this series is the fact that no matter how much events in the past still shape decisions that the characters make they manage to find a way to resolve old insecurities and move forward. This is most true about Mac, his biggest worry that he would turn out like his father is what has hindered him from allowing himself to fall in love. Lily is the woman who finally manages to break down his walls and you will so enjoy the journey the two take to their final HEA! Just have the tissue box handy as you will need them. [EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
This third book of the Bad Boy of Crystal Lake is outstanding! Mac's story grabs you from the very beginning and has your heart racing to the very end. No one deserves happiness more than Mac and Lilly but the struggles they face will make that difficult. I highly recommend that everyone read this book, and if you haven't read the first two you are missing something great.