Contemporary Romance intended for adult audiences. Told from dual point of view, this novel can be read as a standalone or as part of the Living Heartwood series.
Sometimes you have to lose your way before finding the right track.
The roar of a bike engine. The vibration between her thighs. The feel of cool darkness kissing her skin as she coasts along twisty back roads at night--Melody Lachlan lives for these things. Ever since Mel and her best friend Darla escaped their small, backwoods town, they've traveled the countryside in search of fast rides, tatted bikers, and good times.
A self-proclaimed poet and lover of all things free, Mel views her life as one long bike ride--with pit stops along the way to numb the pain. But she never saw herself as a junkie. Party as hard as you ride. That's her motto...until a tragic night steals her soul. Then she's forced to delve below the surface, to where her demons rage.
When she meets recovered drug addict Boone Randall, she's more likely to deck him than kiss his dimple-adorable face. She doesn't want his help; doesn't want to own up to her part in that night. She just wants to do her time and keep her promise to her friend. Yet Boone challenges Mel, and soon she doesn't mind sharing the road. Only when Boone's own secret demons threaten their newfound, fragile security, Mel's course becomes rocky, and she must decide if letting her well-worn track marks fade is worth finding a new path.
About the Author
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I love how the author ties all the books to the analogy of the heartwood. At the end, you will see some of the quotes about the heartwood. It is a strong analogy and has made me cry with each book. It is powerful and shows how we are like the heartwood of a tree. (Find it) Each of the books, which can each be read as a standalone, brings back the heartwood and with it the strength that lies in all of us. This series faces some very hard issues like mental illness, abuse, and anxiety and eating disorders. But with that comes finding happiness and learning to overcome them. None of the stories declares that they are free and clear of their problems at the end of the books. But it shows how they learn and grow from it. These are real powerful lessons and linking them to the heartwood of a tree is brilliant. In fact, I will use that analogy to help others when the need arises and even get a necklace with a heartwood tree on it for them. Because we all need a little boost to give us strength from time to time, much less the issues faced by the characters in this book. Ari was in rehab in the last book with Melody. Ari has anorexia and bulimia and anxiety. Her father is wealthy and lives the high and proper life style and it’s all about appearance. Ari’s issues with her disorder have her in a new college so her father can sweep her issues under the rug. Ari is struggling to be someone, anyone, and to be loved unconditionally. She has a weight to maintain in society, she has expectations and even an arranged marriage to live this lifestyle. She feels stuck with no choices; she feels like she is “fading out”. That is where she runs into Ryder, the quarterback, in her new school. They meet in the cafeteria in the lunch line. She is ahead of him in line and eyeing the last piece of carrot cake and he sees that and says it is his. Ari isn’t going for that and out of spite asks for the cake and the lunch lady confirms it is in reserve for him. But Ryder gives her a piece of it anyway and is taken by her. But their meetings always end up going south with some bullying from the football team or some biting remarks. Ryder tells her it isn’t him doing the pranks. She isn’t the type for revenge but ends up one day taking some with her roommate, Vee (whom she has a great friendship with), pregame by taking away their jock straps and replacing them with thongs. It is hilarious what happens next! Ryder is a really good guy as well as the quarterback. He has a reputation that forged from his past but isn’t who he is today but he hasn’t really corrected the image. He has some of his own troubled past that he deals with. His family has some real issues too. The tension between the two is an interesting one. They go from enemies to friends to lovers in a relaxed amount of time. I like that it wasn’t rushed. It felt real and you got to know them both a little more first. And the way Ryder treats Ari is so sweet and caring. Yet neither is able to really voice their true feelings because they each have a wrong perception of what their relationship is. From the beginning, the book pulls you in and makes you want to keep reading on and on until you get to the end and still wanting to have more of their story. I also found having Kleenex nearby helps while reading the last twenty percent of the book! I could go on and on about the book and characters but if you like stories with analogies, some serious issues (like anorexia, bulimia, and anxiety), learning to stand up for yourself, forgiving yourself, finding someone who loves you unconditionally, figuring out what you want to do with your life, fighting for what you want, stories with words that have you holding on from the beginning, some great pranks, carrot cake, the beach (and sex on the beach), stories that have you crying; then this is for you!