Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania (population three thousand outside of tourist season).
And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed date, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has rescued: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.
Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works. For a time.
But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. There’s an immediate connection, and it’s more electric than the bond of two people who endured a traumatic event. It’s something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something she is afraid to trust.
Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine...before the spark fades?
|Sold by:||SIMON & SCHUSTER|
|File size:||3 MB|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Until It Fades
The Subaru station wagon comes to a sliding halt in a parking spot out front of the Balsam County police station, the fresh blanket of snow coating the asphalt making the streets slippery.
And my stomach sinks with the realization that I’ve been tricked by my own mother.
“What happened to going to the mall, Mom?” She’s been quiet since we pulled out of the driveway; I just assumed she was pissed at me. These days, she usually is.
“Did you honestly think we’d just pretend that nothing happened and go shopping?” Her eyes remain focused ahead as she says, “I had to get you in the car somehow.”
I’ve seen her pull this same trick on our golden Lab, Bingo. He thinks he’s going to the park, so he eagerly jumps into the backseat, his tail wagging and his tongue lolling, only to end up at the vet. Falls for it every damn year.
This is so much worse than a trip to the vet.
Shutting off the engine, she unfastens her seat belt. “Okay. You know why we’re here.”
When I don’t unfasten my seat belt, she reaches over and pushes the release button for me. Her expression is stony, her tone is worn-out. “I reported Mr. Philips to the police yesterday. They need your statement, so we are going in there and you are telling them everything right now.”
“But . . .” My stomach drops at the same time that heat crawls up my neck. “You promised that you wouldn’t do this!”
“I made no such promise, Catherine.”
Oh, my God . . . I need to warn Scott before she forces me in there.
It’s like she can read my mind. She snatches my phone from my grasp.
“That’s mine! Give it back!” I dive for it, but she holds on to it tight, slapping my hands away.
“The police will want this for evidence.”
“That’s an invasion of my privacy.” I’m doing my best to put up a calm but defiant front. Inside, I’m screaming. Because there is evidence on my phone that I should have deleted. That Scott told me to delete and I assured him that I did, but I haven’t yet, not all of it. Not the message where he told me I was beautiful. I love lying in my bed and rereading that one.
“Just drop this already. Please, Mom. Or how about let’s just go to the principal. Let him fire Scott if he thinks he needs to. Okay?” I plead.
My mom’s face contorts. “The principal is his father. The superintendent is his uncle. And his mother is a Balsam! You think they’ll want this to get out? They’d just find a way to sweep this under the rug.”
Which is exactly what Scott and I were hoping for when, two nights ago, my mom heard me tiptoeing down the stairs and followed me—quietly, in her nightgown and housecoat—outside and around the corner, to where Scott was waiting for me in his car.
I’m not sure what made her more angry—that she caught me sneaking out to meet up with my English teacher, or that I tried to sell the “he’s helping me with my assignment over spring break” excuse to her, standing on a sidewalk at one in the morning.
“Besides, it’s too late. The police are investigating.” She takes a deep, calming breath. “I have an obligation, Cath. This is what good parents are supposed to do when they find out that a thirty-year-old man has taken advantage of their teenage daughter.”
I squash the urge to roll my eyes. That’ll only infuriate her. “Nothing happened. And, besides, age of consent is sixteen. Stop making it sound like he’s some dirty old man.” Scott is fun and handsome and could pass for early twenties. He wears ripped jeans and Vans, rides a motorcycle, and listens to The Hives and Kings of Leon. I’m far from the only girl in school to fall for him. I’ve been infatuated with him from the very first day I sat down in his class.
“He’s your teacher! And what kind of idiot do you take me for? I know exactly what’s going on, so stop lying to me.” She reaches for her door handle.
And I know I’m not going to get anywhere with her by continuing to deny this.
“But Mom . . .” I seize her forearm, feeling the muscles tense beneath my grip. I’m fighting to keep my bottom lip from quivering. “Please. I love him. And he loves me.” He’s told me so. Quiet whispers in between stolen kisses after school lets out and he’s helping me with my portfolio for college applications. Loud shouts in between our tangled breaths the two nights I’ve managed to sneak away and ride my bike to see him.
There’s the faintest flicker of pity in her eyes before they harden. “You’re barely seventeen, Cath. It’s a crush, that’s all. It won’t last. It’s not real.”
“No, this is different.”
“Whatever he’s told you, whatever promises he has made, they’re all lies. You’re a pretty, young girl and he will tell you whatever you want to hear if it means he gets sex.”
“Even if I am, it doesn’t matter because you cannot be with him, Catherine!”
“You are just . . . impossible!” I smack the dashboard with my hands, tears of frustration burning my cheeks. She’s not listening. She doesn’t care how I feel. She doesn’t care how happy he makes me.
Her eyes are now focused on the windshield, on the thin blanket of snowflakes settling against the glass. The car didn’t even have enough time to warm up in the five-minute drive over. “One day you’ll see that I’m right. Until then, you need to stop being so selfish.”
Selfish! “But we aren’t hurting anyone!”
“Really? What do you think this mess is going to do to our family? We all have to live here! And your brother and sister have to go to the same high school. The rumors and the gossip and . . .” She heaves a sigh. “I’m sure people are already wondering about our parenting abilities. We will be the topic of conversation at every dinner table from Belmont to Sterling after this.”
“Yeah, because you reported us!” For someone who’s so worried about her image, I’m surprised she’s not just as eager to keep this quiet as Scott and I are.
“God dammit, Catherine!” My mother explodes. “You are so desperate to be treated like an adult. Show me you deserve it and start acting like one. Take responsibility for your own actions.”
“Fine! I’ll end it with him!” Even as I shout the words, I know it’s an empty promise. I’m not ending anything with Scott.
“Oh, it’s ending, all right. And one day, when you’re a parent, hopefully a long time from now, you’ll understand why I’m doing this.”
One day, when you’re a parent . . . Next to “because I said so,” that’s her party line. But wasn’t she ever seventeen and in love? “You can’t do this. You’re going to ruin his life. What if they put him in jail?”
“That’s where he belongs, if he’s preying on his students.”
“He’s not preying on anyone.”
“Please. It’s you today, and it’ll be some innocent fifteen-year-old tomorrow.”
I hear what she doesn’t say—that I’m not all that innocent.
I huff out a sigh. “It was just the once.”
She shakes her head angrily. “Has this been going on since you broke up with that boy?”
I avert my gaze.
“Why couldn’t you have just stayed with him?”
What? “You hated Ethan!” I’ve never seen Mom as happy as she was the day I told her that I’d dumped my cigarette-smoking, Mohawk-sporting boyfriend of three months, by far my longest relationship before Scott. She didn’t even ask why, or if I was okay. She didn’t care.
“I’d welcome him back with open arms at this point,” she mutters.
“I don’t want Ethan.” I haven’t given him a moment’s thought since the day I ended things. In hindsight, I don’t know what I ever saw in him. He’s failing half his classes and will likely still be playing video games and bagging groceries at Weiss in ten years’ time.
I don’t want him, or any of the other boyfriends I’ve been with either. That’s what they all are. Boys.
Scott is a man, and he makes me feel smart and beautiful and talented. He treats me like we’re equals. We talk about everything from art to music to places around the world that he wants me to see with him. He makes me think about my future.
“We’re moving to Philadelphia after I graduate next year. Scott will get a teaching job there, and I’m going to go to college for art. He’s been helping me with my portfolio. Mom, you should see it, it’s kick-ass.” This is the right angle. College is all she talks about at home.
Cath, where are you applying?
Cath, you won’t get in anywhere decent with these grades.
Cath, you can’t make it without a college education.
She sighs, drops her gaze to her lap.
“I told you, we’re in love.” I hold my breath. Maybe this is all just a scare tactic. Maybe she’ll sigh again and then tell me to put my seat belt back on and—
“Get out of the car. They’re expecting us.”
Hot tears stream down my cheeks. “What’s Dad going to do when he finds out that you brought me here?” I’m grasping at straws now, and we both know it. Mom and Dad were fighting about me behind closed doors last night, so she must have told him her plan. He may have disagreed with her, but even he knew that she’d do what she wanted to anyway. That’s just how she is.
That he wasn’t at home this morning is telling. Not that he’s around much to begin with.
She collects her purse and keys and steps out of the car without a word.
I consider holding the door locks down and taking a stance, but I know that it’s futile. One way or another, Hildy Wright always gets her way.
So I wipe the tears with the back of my hand and throw open the car door. “I hate you!” I scream, using all my strength and anger to slam the door shut.
Maybe I can still run.
Can they actually make me talk?
Do I need a lawyer?
Heavy footfalls crunch in the snow behind me and my back tenses. “Everything all right here?” Sheriff Kerby asks in his smooth, authoritative voice.
“Yes, Marvin. We’re just here for Catherine to give her statement.” Mom and the sheriff have been in the same bowling league for twenty years. Of course she’d go directly to him.
I take a deep breath and turn to face the older man, his cheeks rosy from the blistering-cold winter wind. He has a kind smile, but I don’t let it fool me. He’s about to help my mother ruin my entire life.
But the Philipses do have a lot of sway around here, I remind myself. And people love Scott. They loved him back when he was taking the Balsam High baseball team to the state championship, and they love him more now that he gave up a teaching job in Philly to move back home and teach here. Maybe that will be enough to get whatever bullshit charges are coming dropped. Scott said it’s technically just a misdemeanor and those get tossed all the time, so maybe nothing big will come of it. Then, we’ll have the last laugh. And when I move to Philly with him?
My mother will be dead to me.
With grim determination and what feels like a lead ball in my stomach, I march up the steps to the station.
She’s wrong. Scott and I are meant to be together.
It is real.
And I will never forgive her for this.
I sit with my hands folded in front of me, fighting the urge to shrink into my seat as I quietly watch Lou Green drag her pen down the length of my résumé. Misty warned me that the owner of Diamonds would seem a bit intimidating, with her stern face and harsh tone.
I so desperately need this job that I’ve been unsettled by nerves all last night and this morning. By the time I stepped through the diner’s doors fifteen minutes ago, overwhelmed by the buzzing voices and clanging pots in the kitchen and the potent smell of hot pancakes and sizzling bacon, my stomach was churning fast enough to make butter.
It doesn’t help that Lou’s interviewing me in a booth, smack-dab in the middle of all the bustle, where countless sets of eyes can survey me with abandon—some merely stealing glances, others downright staring.
Are they always so interested in potential new staff? Or is it just an interest in me, the high school slut who tried to put Scott Philips in jail?
“So you have no waitressing experience.” Lou says it so bluntly, I can’t tell if she’s merely stating a fact or pointing out a reason why this interview should end now.
“No, ma’am. But I’m a fast learner.”
“Aren’t they all,” she murmurs dryly, more to herself. “You livin’ with Misty?”
I nod. “For about three months now.” In the apartment she shares with her long-haul-truck-driving father who’s home one night a month. I moved out of my parents’ house on my eighteenth birthday, when my mother could no longer force me to stay. It’s her legal duty, after all, to house her children until they reach the age of majority. And Hildy Wright is all about the law.
“And how’s that goin’?” Lou asks.
“Fine.” For the most part. Misty isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed and she rarely shuts up—a nightmare early in the morning when I prefer to drink my coffee in quiet solitude and she’s all bubbly. But I can’t complain because she’s given me a place to live and she’ll be the reason I get this job, if I do. Plus, she’s pretty much the only friend I have left.
From the expression on Lou’s face, I can only imagine what she thinks of Misty. Her opinion can’t be all bad, though, given she hasn’t fired her, and she humored her request to interview me.
“I see you were a cashier at the Weiss in Balsam, from November of last year until March?”
“Yes. That’s right. Five months.”
“It wasn’t a good fit.” I swallow the knot that’s forming, thinking about the day the manager, Susan Graph, pulled me into her office to hand me my vacation pay and tell me that it would be best if I didn’t come in anymore, due to what was going on in my personal life. This, after only a month earlier giving me a glowing employee review. The worst part about it is that I have to shop there because it’s the only grocery store in Balsam.
“I can work any shifts you want. Early mornings, midnights . . . anything.” I’m trying not to sound too desperate, but I don’t think I’m succeeding. Then again, maybe employers like desperate employees—we’ll put up with just about anything. And I will put up with just about anything. Misty makes good money in tips. The kind of money I need so I can save up and get as far away from Balsam County as soon as possible. I’ve been waiting for a job opening here for months.
“How will you get here? Do you have a car?”
“With Misty, for now. And I figured I could buy something cheap after a few months.” Diamonds is a fifteen-minute drive from Balsam, on Route 33, way too far to bike.
Lou’s pen shifts back to my education. She frowns. “You haven’t finished high school?”
She peers up at me from behind thick-rimmed glasses, her curly mouse-brown hair framing her face in a short crop. If I had to guess, I’d put her in her midfifties, though it’s hard to say. “Don’t you know how important having your high school diploma is?”
I swallow against the rising shame. “I do, but . . . I decided to take a year off.” I’d thought of lying about it on my résumé, but Misty warned me that Lou’d fire me for lying if she ever found out.
Plus, there’s no way Lou hasn’t heard about “the Philips mess,” as my mother likes to call it. Everyone around here knows about it. It’s been the talk of the local news since Scott was arrested nine months ago.
“People makin’ it hard on you, are they?” She poses it as a question, but I get the feeling she already knows the answer.
“That whole business with that teacher is . . .” Lou purses her lips, and I grit my teeth, waiting for her to say something like “What kind of girl are you?” or give me a stern “You should be ashamed of yourself” frown. She would be far from the first. I’ve heard it plenty and from every direction, it seems, especially after I recanted my statement ten days later—after I learned that no DA would force a seventeen-year-old “victim” to testify—and the charges against him were dropped. At the store, where Scott’s family and friends have more than once passed by me, making comments about how I deserve to be punished for trying to ruin his reputation, how I should stick to boys my own age, how someone needs to teach me to close my legs. At school, where the many students who adore Scott trailed after me in the halls, hissing “slut” and “skank” and “attention whore.” Walking down Main Street, where strangers point me out to their friends.
I’ve become a local celebrity, as ridiculous as that sounds.
“You and him . . . it’s over and done with, right?” Lou says instead.
I open my mouth to deny that it ever started, but her eyes narrow, as if calling me on the lie. And so I answer with a small nod instead, even as my throat tightens and the first prickles of tears touch my eyes. Great, I’m going to cry in my interview. I’m sure Lou will be chomping at the bit to hire me now.
But the whole ordeal still stings today, even more than it did the day Scott was let go on bail and wouldn’t answer my phone calls and texts. I convinced myself that he had no choice but to avoid me, that it must be a condition of his release.
And it was . . . partly.
The rumors began quickly and spread like a stomach virus at a day care, just as nasty. Whispers in art class—but not so quiet I couldn’t hear them—about how I had thrown myself at him and then accused him of rape; how he turned me down and I was so mad I decided to destroy his life; how I was a stalker who’d lingered around his house late at night, hoping to catch a glimpse of him. If anyone considered the alternative—that Scott and I had been together, that I’d been forced to give a statement—they kept it to themselves.
The charges were dropped and Scott’s job was reinstated, only he was no longer teaching my art class. He was no longer glancing my way as we passed in the halls.
It was as if what we’d had, had never happened.
As if I didn’t exist.
Lou clears her throat. “Well, that’s for the best. Nothing was ever going to come of that, anyway.”
“No, I guess not,” I agree softly. Too bad it took me so long to see.
A waitress strolls past with a plate of fried onions and my stomach does a full flip from the smell.
“You okay? You’re awful pale all of a sudden.”
“I’m fine.” I glance over at Misty, punching an order into the computer. She grins and gives me the thumbs-up. I wish I could be as confident as her.
A woman at the table two over from us is staring at me. That’s Dr. Ramona Perkins, my dentist. Or ex-dentist. In April, we got a phone call to tell us that her office was reducing its patient load and that she would no longer be able to accept my family for appointments. In a town of three thousand, Perkins Dentistry is the only office. Now my family has to drive almost thirty minutes away, to the far side of Belmont, to get their teeth looked after.
My mother was in shock at first, given she started with Ramona’s father, John Perkins, when she moved to Balsam twenty years ago. But after a few questions, she found out that Dr. Perkins is best friends with Scott’s mother, Melissa Philips.
The other two women have the decency to look away, but Dr. Perkins spears me with a haughty glare and then offers loudly, “Wives will have to hold on to their husbands when they come in here, with that one serving them.”
“You know what? I think we’re better off talkin’ in my office.” Lou heaves her squat, plump body from the booth, collecting my résumé on her way past, not so much as glancing Ramona’s way. She leads me through the kitchen, where a heavy-set, ebony-skinned man is flipping pancakes through the air with one hand and stirring a pot of grits with the other with deft precision. “That’s Leroy. He’s the head cook around here.”
“But she takes me home at night and does my laundry. Occasionally refers to me as ‘husband’ too.” Leroy winks, and then his face splits into a wide grin.
I force a returning smile, but I’m afraid it’s unpleasant at best because the overpowering stench of grease from the deep fryers is making saliva pool in my mouth.
“Three tables of four just came in,” Lou warns him. “Don’t know why it’s so damn busy all of a sudden. I should be out there coverin’ tables. We’ll wrap this up quick. Here’s my office, right . . .”
I lose her words as I shove through the door marked STAFF RESTROOM, making it just in time to dive for the toilet before my oatmeal makes its reappearance.
Lou’s waiting for me when I step out a few minutes later, her arms folded over her ample chest, the look on her face unreadable but alarming all the same.
“The smell of sausage must have gotten to me.”
“You can’t handle the smell of breakfast sausage and you want to work in a diner?” I can almost hear the “you idiot” that she mentally tacked on to the end of that.
“I don’t know what happened. I guess I’m just really nervous.” I really need this job. “I promise it won’t happen again.”
She twists her lips in thought and then heaves an exasperated sigh. “Stay here.” She disappears into her office and returns a moment later. “I keep a box of these in my office. Between all my waitresses, we have at least five scares like this a year. I’d rather make my girls know one way or another than have them droppin’ dishes and forgettin’ orders all day long because they’re eaten up by worry for the wonder. So do me a favor. Go on back in there and pee on this.”
I stare at the thin foil-wrapped package she just shoved in my hand, feeling my cheeks burn. “No . . . I’m not . . . This isn’t . . .” I’m on the pill.
“You a hundred percent sure of that?”
I quietly do the math in my head. It’s been how long since . . .
Oh, my God.
“Yeah, thought so. Go on, now.” Lou ushers me through the door with a forceful hand, pulling it shut behind me.
With a flushed face, I quietly fumble with the wrapping, though I don’t know why. It’s not like she doesn’t know what I’m doing. “This must be the worst interview you’ve ever had?” I call out with a weak giggle as I position myself on the seat, stick in hand, hoping I’m doing this right.
“Nope. A girl from out near Sterling has you beat. Cops came in and arrested her right after she finished tellin’ me how trustworthy she is. Turns out she robbed her previous employer the weekend before.”
“I guess she didn’t get the job.” And, I suspect, neither will I.
Over the flush of the toilet, I hear Lou call out, “Two minutes for the results!”
I take my time washing my hands as I wait, avoiding the little strip that sits on the back of the toilet, forming its answer. The sense of failure overwhelming me. I spent a lot of time getting ready for today’s interview, ironing a simple white blouse I borrowed from Misty, curling the ends of my ash-blonde hair so it falls nicely over my shoulders. Misty said Lou likes subtle makeup so I skipped the black eyeliner and stuck with lip gloss rather than the bright pink that I usually wear.
Pots are clanging and loud voices are calling out orders in the kitchen. “I know you’re busy. It’s okay if you have to take care of your customers. I’ll show myself out.”
There’s no response, and I start to think that Lou is gone until she calls out, “Time’s up!”
Taking a deep breath, I reach for the stick with a trembling hand.
“No, no, no . . .” My back hits the wall and I slide to the floor, my eyes glued to the second dark pink line. There’s no mistaking it.
Oh, my God.
But how? I’m on the pill! Granted, I missed a few here and there, especially over the past couple of months.
Hot tears roll down my cheeks as I grip the test, thinking back to the only night this could have happened. I was so hurt . . .
As if I haven’t fucked up my life enough. How am I going to do this? I can’t live at Misty’s with a baby, and there’s no way I’m crawling back home. I don’t have a job and now who the hell is going to hire me?
The door opens without warning and Lou steps in, peering down at me with my arms wrapped around my knees, sobbing uncontrollably. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the results, I guess.
She hesitates, but only for a second. I get the impression Lou isn’t the type of person to beat around the bush. “Do you know who the father is?”
Fair question to ask the town slut, I guess.
I bob my head.
“How far along are you?”
I quietly do the math. “Seven weeks, maybe? Or eight?”
“You gonna tell him? Get him to help?”
“I don’t know.”
“It’s only right.”
I avert my gaze to the faded rose linoleum floor. I think I’ve sufficiently screwed up my chances at getting this job.
Misty comes barreling into the tight space. “Leroy said you were—” Her voice cuts off when she sees the test in my hands. “Oh, no . . . Cath!” Her hands go to her stomach, pressing against it. “Oh no, oh no, oh no!” After a moment, “This is all my fault!” She looks about ready to burst into tears.
“You’re not exactly equipped to be blamed for this, Misty,” Lou points out.
“No, but I’m the one who convinced DJ to bring his friend from New York to that party, so he and Cath could meet.”
“DJ, your ex?” Lou spits out his name. I’m guessing she dislikes him. Most people do. DJ Harvey is a snake disguised as a hot guy. If cash goes missing from your house at a party, you can bet it’s in his pocket. If there’s a fistfight and he’s around, you can bet he provoked it. Smashed window or spray-painted wall? Check for his fingerprints. I never understood how Misty could ignore the shadiness. It has only hurt her reputation.
Misty’s blonde curls bob with her nod.
Lou sighs. “And I suppose the guy who got arrested with him is this friend from New York?” Everyone around here has heard about DJ and another guy getting busted for dealing marijuana and coke in Belmont the very next day after that party. It was a reprieve for me, because it gave people something else to talk about. Misty was smart enough to dump DJ right away, though she cried for a week after.
Another head bob.
Another heavy sigh. “On second thought, I wouldn’t be too quick to say anything. No one needs to know your baby’s daddy is a drug dealer. Not like he’s gonna be able to support you from jail anyway, and it sounds like he’s gonna be there awhile.”
“People saw me get into his van, though.” Actually, they saw Matt drag me into his van after I lunged for a girl who spat in my hair. In all the months of gossip and sneers since Scott was arrested, it was the first time I had physically lashed out. I was drunk and so angry; I couldn’t help myself.
Matt lit a joint and we hung out in the back of his VW van for hours, complaining about how fucked up life is as the party raged around us. It felt good talking to someone who didn’t know a soul around here besides DJ and didn’t seem to give a shit whether I slept with my teacher or not.
He wasn’t bad-looking and had me laughing by the time he leaned over to kiss me . . .
And now I’m pregnant.
As if I haven’t provided these people with enough to gossip about. Not that I should be worrying what people say or what they think about me anymore. I have a bigger issue now. Another human being to take care of, when I can’t even take care of myself.
“Don’t matter what they saw, as long as you don’t admit to anything. It’s none of anyone’s business,” Lou tells her. “Misty, you’ve got tables to take care of. And you keep your trap shut about this if you’re a real friend, got it?”
Misty offers me a sympathetic smile and then ducks out of the bathroom.
“Okay, let’s get some saltines and water in you to settle that stomach, and then you can sit down with the menu. It’s big, but the sooner you learn it, the faster you can move from hosting and bussing to waiting on your own tables.”
Wait . . . I stare up at the woman who hovers over me in the tiny but clean staff restroom. “You want me to work?”
She shrugs. “Better to stay busy than to leave free time for regrets, I always say.”
“But, I mean, you’re actually giving me the job? Why?” I can’t help sounding incredulous.
She twists her lips. “Well, I’d say you need this job more than you did when you walked through my door twenty minutes ago, wouldn’t you?”
“Yeah, but . . .” Dr. Perkins’s words come to mind. “Aren’t you worried what your customers will say?”
She snorts. “I don’t have any use for those kind of customers. They’re the same kind who think I shouldn’t be married to my husband for the color of his skin. Besides, anyone who can’t see how that teacher used you for his own needs is a damn fool.” She rests her hands on her hips. “So, do you want the job or not?”
“Yes.” I furiously wipe the tears from my cheeks with my palms.
“Well, all right, then. And no more cryin’. Leroy doesn’t allow cryin’ in the kitchen. Gets him all flustered and then he starts droppin’ pancakes. Ask Misty, she’ll tell ya.”
I force a smile and pull myself to my feet, trying in vain to ignore that voice in the back of my head, screaming at me.
Telling me how badly I’ve fucked up my life.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I’m a HUGE fan of K.A. Tucker, especially her Ten Tiy Breaths Series and Burying Water, so I was really excited when Until It Fades was announced. The author herself warned that this book was different from what she usually writes, so I was excited AND curious. And yes, UNTIL IT FADES is definitely different, it may not belong to the “angsty” category I so much LOVE about K.A. Tucker, but this is a great reading anyway. The characters are really appealing, the pace was great and I never felt bored. Yes we could say it’s kind of a modern Cinderella fairytale, but K.A. Tucker adds big parts of crude reality, tenderness, humor ad of course, passion. Catherine really had a very hard start in adult life, her relationship with her family is really complicated, especially with her mother, but she always go ahead, takes her responsibilities and never gives up… Despite difficulties, loneliness, an early pregnancy and motherhood, starving and being in need. Catherine’s character is stubborn but deeply honest, she’s the epitome of integrity, in a city full of gossips and prejudice, but she goes on with her life, rises her daughter, with the help of some really good people, this family we create, not blood related. Brett is really the “ideal man”, sexy, healthy…. But also famous… Each one is from a very different world, and after what Catherine went through, being back on the spotlight surely is the last thing she wants or need. So with those tragic circumstances, the way their lives collided, it’s safe to say Cath’s and Brett’s story should be doomed from the start… I really loves this modern Cinderella love story, because it has K.A. Tucker’s writing, so yes, it’s not like anything I read from her, but I loved it because it was refreshing, but also sexy and funny, ad with the perfect amount of drama. A really great reading, and I was really glad to discover this side of hers. Less angsty but equally good, because…. K.A Tucker knows how to tell a story. YA, NA, Fantasy, Thriller, a modern fairytale, you name it!
Until it Fades is a Cinderella story set in modern times. Catherine has not lead an easy life and is sort of looked down upon by the residents of her small town. When she was a teen she was involved in a scandal and that stirred up a lot of controversy and caused her to drop out of school. Fast forward not even a year later, and she finds herself pregnant and homeless. Thankfully a friend took her in and she got a waitressing job at the local truck-stop diner. Fast forward again a handful of years and she’s still waitressing and busting her butt to pay the bills, she’s still looked down upon by her neighbors, and she’s just as shy and meek as ever. However, her life is flipped upside down when one foggy night she witnesses a horrific car crash and is there to pull out and save one of the passengers in the vehicle. As it turns out, the guy she saved is none other than a major NFL player. Once her identity is revealed to the public, she has reporters banging on her door, people looking at her in a new light, and a very famous, very handsome hockey player who insists on helping her our and being in her life. Until it Fades is another amazing book by KA Tucker. While it’s definitely on the lighter and sweeter side than what I’m used to reading from her, I loved that she took a chance and wrote this story. I’m a fan of celebrity romances but they don’t always work for me. Between the slow-build romance, the lack of over-the-top drama, and the fact that the author makes you feel like this could actually happen, I was roped in from the beginning. KA Tucker is starting to become a 1-click author for me. Like I said, I haven’t read a book of hers that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy and Until it Fades was no exception.
Catherine lives in the small town of Balsam, Pennsylvania working as a waitress in a truck stop while trying to quietly raise her five year old daughter. At twenty-four she has already seen her fair share of press due to her involvement with the son of a prominent Balsam family and she wants to steer clear of anything high profile and just quietly live her life. One night while traveling home from a bad blind date she comes upon a sports car that has crashed against a tree and even though there’s danger from the car catching on fire she saves the life of the passenger of the vehicle. Little does she know that by that one event her life will be put back in the spotlight. She has just saved the life of NHL star Brett Madden. There were moments in this novel that I really enjoyed. I liked Catherine’s fight against adversity. She had gotten involved with a teacher while in high school and because he was from a prominent family she was black balled and treated horribly as the temptress while the teacher who was thirteen years older got off without a slap of the hand. Reading about that subject from Catherine’s perspective was tough. You feel so bad for her and want her life to be better than it is. You also totally get why she doesn’t want anything to do with Brett and the publicity machine that follows him. Of course, it’s a love story and you know Brett’s going to help her overcome that stigma, but that didn’t make it any easier to read although that contrast did make their love story shine brighter. Brett was a pretty normal guy for being a pro NHL player and son of a super famous movie star and he was written as the white knight in a way. However, the bulk of the conflict centered around Catherine, her daughter, and the town of Balsam. She had some great friends who added character and humor to the novel and I enjoyed how her true spirit was portrayed and how she finally got the respect she deserved. I found it kind of strange that the romance felt underplayed, but Catherine did have a lot of inner turmoil to work through. If you like romances where your heroine overcomes adversity, Until it Fades is the novel for you! I enjoyed the outcome because of what Catherine went through in her past and found she and Brett easy to root for. It did take me a little bit to overcome my uneasiness of her childhood romance with her teacher, I’ll admit, so because of that it gets a three and a half rating.
Perfect!!! I can't say enough wonderful things about this book and how much I enjoyed reading this beautiful and emotional story. K.A. Tucker knows how to write a story that immediately transports me into another world and I never want to leave. I enjoyed all the characters, but I loved the two main characters, Brett and Catherine. They have great dynamics flowing between them and they are portrayed realistically. It is unlikely Catherine Wright and Brett Madden would have ever crossed paths because they live in two separate worlds. However, one night Catherine saves Brett from a burning car and their lives are forever connected. Brett is a famous professional hockey player and he has a perfect, privileged life and Catherine lives in a small town, has little money and has made some mistakes she continually pays for. Brett is a nice, humble, down to earth guy and he wants to help Catherine and make her life better. He finds Catherine breathtaking and he is spellbound from the moment he meets her. Most people only care about Brett’s fame and fortune but for the first time, he meets someone who doesn't want anything from him. He is frustrated by Catherine's refusal for any help but he also admires her independence. Brett doesn't believe all the rumors swirling around Catherine, he only sees a strong, lovely, kind person. For years, Catherine has been on her own and she doesn't expect anything from anyone. When she meets Brett, she continually fights him. She fights how feels about him and she won't let him help her in any way. Life has been heartbreakingly unfair for Catherine. Catherine lives a simple life and she has learned she can't trust anyone but herself because few people have been nice to her. I was rooting for Catherine I wanted her to finally have a chance for something good in her life. This enchanting story slowly unfolds. On the one hand, I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next, but I also wanted to savor every minute of this compelling story. This is well written with strong characters and a good plot line and I felt like I was right there. This sad and gut wrenching story also has laughter and lightness to even it out. Perfect. Thanks to the author for providing a copy of this book vIa Cocktails and Books and Netgalley. The opinions expressed are my own.
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings I am completely surprised to write this, but this is my first KA Tucker book and I now regret the truth of that statement because let me spoil my review - I loved it! A young single mom is a waitress just trying to make it paycheck to paycheck and after a disastrous blind date she comes upon an accident and makes a big decision to risk her life to help a stranger and this one act will change the course of her life.
Tucker is one of my favorites. Look forward to the next book.
So if you guys know me and Becca at all, you know our diehard love for all things K.A. Tucker. We’ve devoured every book she’s written. KAT is one of those authors that never disappoints us. When we read the synopsis for Until it Fades very early on and found out that it was going to be more of a light-hearted and easy contempt, we were excited to see where she’d take this type of story. The Ten Tiny Breaths series and Burying Water series are intense, drama-filled and all kinds of amazing. He Will Be My Ruin was a total turnaround being a suspense with little to no romance. That was one of my favorite reads of that year. Now we have Until it Fades, which was a totally adorable contemporary summertime romance book. Another fantastic book by our fave! Catherine is the type of character I really relate to, especially at this time in my life. She hasn’t had the easiest past few years. After a scandal with her art teacher while she was in high school, she was left the joke of their small town. Everyone had their opinions, and none of them were favorable. It took Catherine a long time to get over that humiliation and move on with her life. She was also became pregnant during the scandal time, so that simply added to the town’s gossip. Since that time she’s raised her daughter solely on her own, working her butt off as a waitress at a local diner. With little to no time for herself, her entire life has revolved around her daughter. When Catherine finds herself at the right place at the right time (or wrong place at the right time, however you may see it.) she’s able to save someone from a terrible car accident in which they easily could have died without her involvement. After the fact, she finds out that the person she saved was a very famous hockey player. She’s finds herself in the limelight once again and it terrifies her. Catherine is struggling with her trust issues and learning to be the center of attention again, and she’s hating it all. She just wants her life to go back to “normal”. But is that really possible? And is that really what she wants? I really enjoyed the sweetness of this story and how well these characters were fleshed out. Both Catherine and Brett were such extraordinary characters. I loved how their insecurities and issues actually made them stronger, and they didn’t use them as a crutch to do things wrongly. I loved the connection they had together, which was completely swoony and impossible not to smile while witnesses. And it doesn’t stop there. The secondary characters were just as incredible! From their friends to their family members, each and every one played such an important part in this story and in these characters’ lives. I can’t say enough good things about K.A. Tucker’s writing. If you’re a romance fan of any type, definitely try her books. Whether it’s for more of an intense emotional roller-coaster right (like Ten Tiny Breaths) or a romance filled with some mystery and drama (like Burying Water), these books are so incredible and have so much going for them. There’s a reason I shove them in everyone’s hands that I can. They’re really THAT good! I have a feeling that Becca and I will FOREVER be K.A. Tucker fangirls. ♥ (Thanks to Atria Books for the review copy!)
I adore this story. I adore these characters. It's a slow burn that I devoured! This author has an amazing ability to craft a story where the reader can happily stay forever. It's a combination of these very real characters that I just want to be friends with and their story that has depth and surprises. I was so cheering for these characters. From meeting Cath, I was cheering for her. I wanted to kick a certain teacher in the backside and then clean house from her high school principal to her mother. She had a hard road through high school. But she didn't cry over it for long, she got up and dusted herself off and made a life. She didn't complain that she had to work hard or that she didn't have a lot. She did what needed to be done. I really like her. I liked how she raised her daughter. I like how she protected her daughter. And I love how she did a really hard thing to save a man she didn't even know. She's good people and I'd love to be friends with her. As for Brett, he's perfect. A sexy hockey player that's completely smitten by the women who saved him. He's generous, kind and loves to tease Cath. He respects her space and her choices. He's everything that Cath deserves even if she doesn't see that. I cheered for them to make it. Add to these amazing characters a story that's just worthy of being read over and over again and you have a book that needs to be devoured. And surprised. There was a major surprise. One I didn't even come close to seeing. Love it when an author can do that to me. This book needs to be moved to the top of your TBR list and be devoured as soon as you can. So good. Enjoyed every last page.
Catherine has spent the last several years keeping her head down, working hard to support her young daughter on her own, and trying to live down the scandal of an affair with her teacher while she was a seventeen year old high school student. The small town's vitriol was firmly aimed her way once the affair became public (the teacher being the beloved son of a prominent family). Now twenty-four, Catherine has a small circle of friends and leads a quiet life. All that changes when she saves the life of a man after a horrific car accident. And not just any man - Brett Madden is one of the top hockey stars in the country and the son of Hollywood royalty. As the media descends on the small town, Catherine at first refuses to come forward, having no desire to once again be the center of attention, or have her past dredged up for public consumption. But then Brett Madden shows up and she begins to question if it's times to take a chance and really live, and love, again. I connected with Catherine quickly and it was easy to feel for this young woman who had weathered so much on her own. The high school affair and ensuing scandal fractured her already tenuous relationship with her family so her support systems consisted of her boss at the diner where she worked, a fellow waitress, and a childhood friend turned local cop. Tucker created such a fully developed character in Catherine that I felt like I knew her inside and out, knew how she would react in any given situation. And when Brett entered the picture, it was easy to understand her hesitation - not just for the spotlight to be on her once again, but also to explore their undeniable connection and attraction. I was so invested in the budding relationship between Catherine and Brett and, despite the obvious spark between them, Catherine's skittishness meant the romance was definitely of the slow burn variety. I found myself looking forward to their every interaction and ate up every flirty text message, every phone call, every meeting. Brett was completely genuine and had an ease about him even as he was dealing with the aftermath of the accident and the sudden uncertainly of his ability to return to the career he loved. It was impossible not to fall for his sweetness, his humor and his thoughtfulness. Until It Fades also included an amazing cast of secondary characters. From Lou and her husband Leroy, the diner owners, to Catherine's best friend Keith and her brother Jack, to Brett's parents (I adored Brett's father), each one added so much and made for a richer story. As a longtime fan of Tucker's, I tend to read everything she writes. This contemporary romance is lighter than her usual work and I absolutely loved it. It was sweet, it was heartfelt, it was emotional and it instantly became a new favorite. Do yourself a favor and experience this feel-good story for yourself. You can thank me later.
Oh man this book left me reeling! This is by far my favorite K.A. Tucker book! And I've read them all. I mean all her books are amazing! I just love the way she writes and the characters are so relatable and real that I get sucked into the story. I find myself flying through all the books and not wanting it to end at the same time. This book was no exception. Until It Fades is one of her more light-hearted books. It's a fairy tale love story and it had me from the beginning. I just loved everything about it. From how they met, to the very end. Catherine is just a single mom who has been scorned by the small town she lives in until she meets Brett. I mean BRETT! He was just a perfect book boyfriend. He is like my image of a perfect man. I am basically ruined for any man I meet in real life because none of them would be as close to Brett. The instant connection Brett and Catherine has is very obvious and I just love that it wasn't instant love. Catherine had her reservations and Brett had his life but it didn't matter because their feelings for each other just grew and you definitely see that in the book. This is definitely a book I would re-read time and time again. This is definitely a GREAT book to read to get you in a good mood. It definitely affected me. I am definitely setting my sets high on a guy that is into me as much as Brett is to Catherine. Everyone deserves a guy like Brett!
This is my first time reading a romance book by KA Tucker. The only other book I’ve read by her was He Will Be My Ruin (which I loved!). So I knew going in that I’d probably enjoy this book as well, and I did. I couldn’t put the book down! I had to keep going!! What immediately caught my attention about this book was a single mom. Now, I’m a sucker for these kinds of books so I was excited to see what this on was about! It’s not a heavy book, it’s pretty light and fun to read. Now, this can definitely be classified as slow burn for sure. I just wanted to push Catherine and Brett together and just say “okay, now KISS!”. Now I’m even more pushing myself to read her other books because I know for sure I’ll love those too. I absolutely love KA Tucker’s writing and I’ve heard so many rave that her writing is amazing as well in her others. I adored this book! I’m gonna be thinking about this book for weeks to come because this is one that won’t leave my mind for a while.
K.A. Tucker has just been added to my favorite New Adult authors list. Coincidentally, I had read her first book right before I was approved for this one and didn't even make the connection till I saw the cover again. I am not on a mission to read each and every one of her books because she just knows how to catch my attention. Even though I had only read one other book from Tucker before reading Until It Fades, I realized that this was kind of different from what she has written before. I loved it though and I honestly enjoyed every single minute I was reading this. The beginning does start off a little slow but after the first two chapters, you are bound to be hooked. I won't re-summarize the Goodreads summary so I'll just let you know what I liked about the book. The characters are a good place to start. I really enjoyed the characters individually and as a whole. I loved watching the relationships grow in this novel and there are quite a few of them to choose from. We have romantic relationships, familial relationships, and friendships! LOVED IT! Catherine was great in my opinion. She had made mistakes in the past and she made sure to learn from them. She was such a hard worker and very caring of her daughter, Brenna. I loved the bond between the two of them and Brenna was such a smart kid. Brett was just plain awesome. I seem to have a knack for finding New Adult/Adult romances involving hockey players and this guy was great. He was kind, caring, and pretty supportive of Catherine and those around her. The other friends and family members in the book each had their own place in Catherine's and Brett's life and I quite enjoyed that. Aside from the characters and the relationships, I also liked how this book dealt with some serious topics in a fairly neat way. Catherine's town wasn't very accepting of her for her past mistakes and I loved how despite that, Catherine actually had people that supported and cared for her. She was shown that it's okay to make mistakes and that it's just something that happens. Some are larger than others, but in the end, we just have to learn from them. I appreciated that not everybody was into shaming her. Until It Fades was such an easy book to read. It was entertaining, light-hearted at times, and just felt good to read. Enjoyable characters, relationships, and moments made this an awesome novel for me. It was just what I needed! I am definitely a new fan of K.A. Tucker and can't wait to see what else she comes up with. *An advanced e-copy of this book was given to me by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!*
ARC provided by Atria via Netgally, but does not influence my review in any way. Until if Fades is a heavy on the sweet, and light on the drama. It's a wonderful story about overcoming your past, really learning who your family is, making the best out of what you have, and love. Catherine our heroine doesn't understand her over bearing mother, because of an issue that happened when Cat was a teen, their family is not well liked in their sleepy little east coast town. The beginning of the book we flip back and forth via past and present. I really enjoyed the back story, and I was able to feel what Cat was feeling when it came to her parents. When we get to the present chapters we learn Cat is a single mother that is making it the best she can. She is on her own and working as hard as she can to take care of her and her daughter Brenna. After a horrendous blind date Catherine is witness to a horrible accident. This is where we meet Brett our hero. He is a hockey player with a heart of gold. Handsome, sweet and accepting. Catherine saves our hero from his certain death. They are then thrust together in the spotlight, but does Catherine really want all this attention? I loved Catherine and Breena's relationship. Breena was precocious and charming. I loved that the romance between Brett and Catherine was slow. They got to fall in love gradually, and the payoff was wonderful. It was refreshing to read about a single mother, struggling to make ends meet. It's a departure from most heroines in romance novels.
Until it Fades is really just a beautiful love story. A second chance at life between two souls who never knew they existed for each other. Catherine hasn’t had it easy. Ever since being a teenager she’s been the talk of the town, and not in a good way. Brett is the all American Hockey player, his only dream is Hockey, basically. This was a bit different than Tucker's other books. But I fell in love with them. It's slow moving, but very beautiful. I’ve missed her books and it's been awhile since I’ve dived into one of her stories. I’m thankful I was given a chance to read it. Overall, it's Five Boundless Stars
Teenage love brings with it ups and down. For Catherine Wright - the crush she possessed in high school would stay with her for years. The kind of romance that one wants desperately to forget. Living in a small town means everyone ‘knows your name’ and your past is just as relevant as the present. Something Catherine knows all too well. Trying to make ends meat as a waitress in a town where everyone views you as a ‘villain’ is hard. Add to that the struggles of being a single mother, and you have a picture of Catherine’s life at 24. With relations strained between Catherine and her family, and the long hours that Catherine puts in at the diner, there is little time for Catherine to find romance. Being ‘alone’ doesn’t bother Catherine one bit. After all, motherhood is the only thing that Catherine cares on focusing on. One night after a HORRIBLE blind date, Catherine finds herself stumbling upon the scene of a horrific accident. Stopping to help was second nature, but the destruction was more than Catherine could process. With one last tug, Catherine was able to pull a survivor from the wreckage before the car blew up. Engulfing her car in flames from the wreckage. Catherine didn’t know it at the time, but the person she saved was about to turn her world upside down. Brent Madden was a pro NFL hockey player, and the only survivor of that wreck. His teammate never made it out of the crash. Something that haunted Brent and his team. Determined to thank the person that saved his life, Brent and his family reached out to authorities to discover who was responsible. What he soon discovered is Catherine’s request to authorities to keep her name out of the spotlight. Something that Brent was reluctant to turn his back on. After Catherine finally comes forward as his rescuer, Brent and his family decide to offer their thanks in person. Secrets of Catherine’s past come blazing into the present when Brent’s fame brings the camera crews to town. Something that reminds Catherine of a time that she just wants to forget. However - Brent can’t seem to forget the woman that risked everything to give him another chance at life. A single mother that clearly has a past, but one that Brent simply can’t get out of his mind. Until It Fades is not the type of book you would typically expect from author K.A. Tucker. While this departure from her ‘normal’ writing style may come as a surprise, it certainly was a hit as far as I am concerned. This romance held the pain of scandal while teasing you with the anticipation of finding redemption. A unique look at young love and the scars that it leaves when things turn ‘ugly’. As a HUGE hockey fan, I have to say that this book clearly made me giddy. I’m telling you….imagining a character like Brett *fans myself*. The highlights from the playoffs, the season tickets, and they way Cath’s family was crazy about hockey just added to the storyline!! I loved every single moment!!
Until it fades is an amazing novel by K.A. Tucker. It is a contemporary romance which is a change from her last book. It has a fairy tale feel in a real-life situation and it didn’t disappoint me with the romance factor. It’s has a little bit of hockey mixed in but in a way that you don’t need to know hockey. I love the characters that she created and the way she used them to make an interesting and heart warming story. It has a few twists and turns to keep things interesting. The story also had me laughing at times which I love in light fun romances while showing the value of family, blood and non-blood relation. Until it fades is the perfect mix and I will be recommending it to fellow romance lovers. Complimentary copy provided by publisher and netgalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
"Complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review" I loved this lighthearted romance!! It was a slower paced read, but it progressed very naturally and the characters were strong,and believable. This isn't your typical, fluffy romance, but is incredibly sweet! I fell in love with this story from the very first page. K.A. Tucker definitely has a talent for spinning a story, and doing so very well, whether it is suspense or romance. I didn't want to put this book down, even when I had to.
Ever come across a book that captivates you from the blurb alone? Or maybe it was the most beautiful cover ever? Well that was UNTIL IT FADES for me...the blurb, not the cover. Although the cover is so stunning and gorgeous. But I just knew when I read the blurb I was done for. Tucker has always written such wonderful, addictive stories, so I knew this would be no different. From the first few words I was under Tucker's spell. Besides chores, family time or sleeping, those were about the only times I put this book down. It was excruciating to walk away from it when reality called. And once I got to the end, I delayed finishing it; knowing that it would be over and done with it. And I didn’t want that. Not one bit. Honestly, I don't know how to describe what I am feeling from this story. It wasn't one that was full of "Holy Heck" moments or "Gut you to the core" twists, but it just resonated with me. That is all I can think to say. It resonated with me, it spoke to me, it consumed me. It was just a good, good book. One you want to read over and over again. One I will definitely be reading again. Tucker gave us a couple characters that we the people could relate to. A single mom who just wants to give her daughter the best possible life with the hand they've been dealt. A super-duper star Hockey player, that even with his wealthy upbringing, has been given a second chance to be better than the already amazing guy he was. Not one ounce of the story seemed fake or unrealistic. It just felt real and right and I absolutely loved it. Was there romance you ask? Of course! How could there not be? Tucker gives the characters (and us) a fairy tale romance…one that has you at times wondering if it will work out. You get the swoon. You get the butterflies. You get everything you are supposed to get when the chemistry is so intense between the right people. It was beautiful and fun. And I am still thinking back on it all after closing the book nearly 24 hours later. I mean, seriously. Here I am, still drowning from the book hangover this book gave. Last night I went through numerous books trying to find something new to read. Something to pull me from the stupor I was stuck in. A stupor that clearly means this book was utterly and completely amazing. But, sigh! I came up empty. So I gave it a night before I started something new. A night to marinate in the goodness of this story. Maybe, just maybe I can find something tonight. 5 Wish I could rate this book all the numbers Stars!
4.5 “Accidental Love” Stars! I love how KA Tucker can switch romance sub-genres and prove that she’s a great writer no matter what she writes! Please note that Until it Fades has a very different feel from some of Ms. Tucker’s prior works. This is a sweet romance, not romantic suspense. Unlike many of Ms. Tucker’s prior romances which have a strong suspense element and a darker, more angst-filled feeling to them overall, this book is a gem to be treasured when you’re in the mood for a light, sweet, hope-filled and inspiring romance. In the right mood, this book is sure to leave you with a warm, contented feeling. There are some experiences that are so fundamental that they can completely shape your life in either a positive or negative way. Unfortunately for Catherine Wright, the first such experience happened when she was but a teenager and too young to perhaps know any better but blamed nonetheless. Having experienced her 15 minutes of infamy, she approaches her life content to wallow in anonymity, even if it does mean that with a few exceptions, including her young daughter, she leads a fairly solitary life (eschewing any attempts at a romantic connection). All that changes, however, when a chance meeting on a winding road places her face to face with an accident scene. Rather than flee at the first sign of danger, however, she does a rather selfless act, and saves a man. What she couldn’t have known at the time was that the man she saved was none other than Brett Madden, a hockey legend and the son of a famous movie star. As you can imagine, being the good samaritan who saves someone like Brett, sparks the potential for a whole new, even bigger 15 minutes of fame. Moreover, this time a positive one. Although she would be viewed as a hero this time, however, she nonetheless was so traumatized by her prior experience that she prefers to grasp on to her anonymity, even to the point of refusing to allow her friend and police officer who is handling the case to disclose her name to Brett. But Brett is a powerful man, who comes from an even more powerful family, and he is reluctant to take no for an answer. So when he inevitably finds her and seems drawn to her, Catherine is forced to make a very difficult decision of determining whether she’s ready to break her own rules and allow someone to get close to her again. Until it Fades drew me in and warmed my heart. Moreover, I really enjoyed a number of the secondary characters which added depth to the plot. In the end, I was left with a hopeful feeling that even those in the most unfortunate of situations are equally capable of reversing their fortunes provided they are willing to trust and open up their hearts. Source: Review copy provided for review purposes.
Until It Fades was a wonderfully romantic read. This book captivated me right from the very beginning and kept me there until I finished it. This is not like her usual style of writing books but very refreshing! I love the slow build up of Catherine and Brett's relationship. I also love the suspense and twist and turns. Just when you think you know everything, there is another twist. I have already reread this book and plan to do it again soon!
Reading over the acknowledgements written at the end of this story I have to agree with a few sentences that K.A. Tucker has written there: "It's very different from the ones I've written recently. It's light (for me), it could be called trope-y (by others), it's full of love and family and laughter, and it has left me with a broad smile and a sigh of content." Wow - what else needs to be said? I concur on all of these points. I loved the "lighter" side of Ms. Tucker's writing. (although I will love any-and-all things written by her). I wouldn't necessarily call it "trope-y" all-around; there were a few twists and turns, a few places where I audibly gasped, and a few more times where I sighed happily with tears in my eyes. Brett and Catherine's friends and family are the perfect mix in this story. I loved that the relationships seemed honest and true. The term "fairy tale" was tossed a few times within the dialogue and I agree with it. And that's not a bad thing. With all the bad in this world, it's nice to pick up a book and escape into a world where even when bad things happen, you have that little flash of hope that the characters will find their fairy tale ending. **Complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review**
4.5 stars "With Brett... I wouldn't fall in love, I'd plummet." Until it Fades had been on my radar ever since I read the blurb. It is one of my most anticipated reads of 2017, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. KA Tucker hooked me from the start, the prologue was very unconventional and it intrigued me to find out more. Catherine Wright is a twenty-four-year-old single mother and truck stop waitress. Every decision she makes, she makes with her five-year-old daughter in mind. It was very obvious that she is a great mother to her cute little daughter Brenna. I loved how Cath saved Brett's life, it was very original and it had me curious to see how their relationship would develop. I was happy that Brett wasn't your typical athlete, and most of that was a result of his great upbringing. "It's good to have dreams. Without dreams, we wouldn't have goals. And without goals...what's the point of living?" Cath is very reluctant to be in the limelight and to start something with Brett. I loved both of their personalities, and I was glad the author took her time to develop the bond between them. I also loved the side characters, Keith (Cath's best friend) and Jack (Cath's brother) in particular. I wouldn't mind them getting their own story. There were so many amazing characters in this book that I couldn't get enough of. I especially loved the scenes with Brenna, she was such a cute, happy and curious little girl. I do wish there were a couple of extra chapters to really cement the relationship between Brett and Catherine, it really felt like that the last chapters were a bit rushed. Overall Until it Fades was a great contemporary romance and it kept me interested from start to finish. I really wish this was a series, and that the other characters would get their own book.