Series: Standalone Novel
Published by Macmillan on 2/6/18
Genres: Young Adult
Buy on Amazon
From #1 New York Times–bestselling author Kami Garcia comes a red-hot romance that will break your heart and put it back together again.
Her heart has to break before it can open.
When star soccer player Peyton Rios receives an offer from her first-choice college, senior year starts off exactly as planned. But when Peyton uncovers her boyfriend’s dark secret, she confronts him—and finds herself falling down a flight of stairs. Peyton’s knee—and maybe her dream of going pro—is shattered. Everyone is talking: Was she pushed, or did she fall? Peyton knows the truth, even if no one believes her.
He has to let someone in before it’s too late.
With her future on the line, Peyton goes to stay with her uncle in a small Tennessee town to focus on her recovery. Dating is the last thing on her mind—until she meets sweet, sexy Owen Law.
But Peyton doesn’t trust her heart, especially when she senses that Owen is hiding something. When their secrets are finally exposed, Peyton has to decide if love is worth fighting for.
“Something wonderful happened to me as I read this—I fell in love. Genuine, shattering, deep, heart-pounding love. Thank you, Kami Garcia, for Peyton and Owen. We need their story.” —Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places and Holding Up the Universe.
Tess pulls into the hospital driveway and stops near the glass doors to the ER. She leaves the car running and hops out. “I’ll be right back.”
Once I’m alone, the panic hits me full-force. Some of the shock of Reed pushing me has worn off, and now all I can think about is my knee.
What if I can’t play soccer anymore? Permanent damage could keep me off the field—and end my career before it begins. Every once in a while you hear about a situation like this on the news. A high school athlete blows out a knee or an elbow during senior year, and it’s game over. What else will I do if soccer isn’t an option?
Nothing. I’ll do nothing.
Going pro has been my dream for as long as I remember. The folded acceptance letter is still tucked in my back pocket. I don’t have a plan B.
Tess returns with two nurses, and the three of them to help me out of the car and into a wheelchair. Inside, a nurse wheels me through a pair of double doors that lead to an examination area, where hospital beds are lined up along the walls and separated by privacy curtains. Once I’m settled in a hospital bed, Tess sits with me as the nurse takes down my personal information.
“Can you tell me where it hurts and describe the pain?” the nurse asks. “I’ve had some shooting pains, but there’s also a weird pulling feeling.
Is that bad?” I ask.
“I’m not a doctor, sweetheart. But don’t worry. This is an excellent hospital.” The nurse takes notes on a form attached to her clipboard. “How would you rate your pain, on a scale of one to ten? One being no pain and ten being unbearable pain.”
“If I don’t move my knee, it’s around a five. But if I bend it, the pain shoots up to an eight or nine.”
More like a ten.
I’m trying to be brave. A ten seems like a pain level of someone who survived a car crash, not a fall down the stairs. But if the nurse asked me to rate how scared I am right now, it’s a twelve.
“How did you hurt your knee?” the nurse asks.
If I say Reed pushed me intentionally, he might get arrested. If Tess weren’t in the picture, I would’ve called the police already.
But Mrs. Michaels can’t support herself and Tess on her own. She tried before and it didn’t go well. It seemed like every year they were moving into another crummy apartment. When Mrs. Michaels ran out of friends’ couches to crash on, Reed started working even more extra hours to help out.
“I fell down a flight of stairs,” I say.
“Did you hit your knee against anything?” She scribbles more notes on her clipboard.
“My kneecap hit the ground.”
“On the sidewalk,” Tess adds, wringing her hands.
The nurse finishes writing. “A doctor is going to come and take a look. Can I call someone for you?”
“I already talked to her mom,” Tess says. “She’s on her way.”
“I’ll be back to check on you in a few minutes.” The nurse pulls the privacy curtain around the bed, and Tess and I are alone again.
“Thanks for not saying anything,” she says.
“I know you don’t believe me, but I’m telling the truth.”
Tess presses the heels of her hands against her temples, like she’s fighting the worst headache of her life. “I don’t know what you want me to say. You’re my best friend. I want to believe you. But we’re talking about Reed. He’s my brother. He wouldn’t lie to me. And he loves you. He’d never hurt you.”
Until tonight I thought the same thing.
About the Author
Kami Garcia is the #1 New York Times, USA Today & international bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures and Dangerous Creatures novels. BEAUTIFUL CREATURES has been published in 50 countries and translated in 39 languages, and the film Beautiful Creatures released in theaters in 2013, from Warner Brothers. Kami’s solo series, The Legion, includes the instant New York Times bestseller UNBREAKABLE, and the sequel UNMARKED, both of which were nominated for Bram Stoker Awards. Her other works include THE X-FILES ORIGINS: AGENT OF CHAOS and the YA contemporary novels THE LOVELY RECKLESS and the forthcoming BROKEN BEAUTIFUL HEARTS (February 2018).
Kami was a teacher for seventeen years before co-authoring her first novel on a dare from seven of her students. If she isn’t busy watching Supernatural, Kami can teach you how to escape from a pair of handcuffs or bake a Coca-Cola cake. She lives in Maryland with her family, and their dogs Spike and Oz (named after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Visit Kami at www.KamiGarcia.com.