Contemporary Romance/ 74,000 words

Reminiscent Hearts

A second chance love story.

Lily Hill was a good girl. Sweet, innocent, hardworking, with her whole life in front of her. And completely in love with Jake Stewart.

Jake was the ultimate bad boy, who screwed around and never played by the rules. He had his own secrets and demons, and for him, Lily was the light to his dark. He knew how Lily felt about him. It was the best un-kept secret between friends. But the one good thing he did was keep his hands-off Lily. She’d never survive his deepest desires. Or so he thought.

A lot can happen in five years.

Lives change. People change. But what about love?


Other Books by Rachel



Excerpt

“Where do you think you’re going?” his gruff voice questions from the bed.

“Home. This was a mistake.”

“No, not this time. You ran off last time. You’re not doing it again.”

I sit on the edge of the bed and hook my corset up, covering myself from his eyes. My dress is next. I stand and slide my feet into my heels. I look at Jake who’s lounging on the bed with a smug look on his face.

“It’s not your decision if I stay. See you around.” I’m firm and to the point and feel like a complete bitch. This part is usually the easiest. My feet are more hesitant than I wish, but I leave and head for the front door. I grab the handle, but the door doesn’t budge. I twist it around and wiggle it, pulling and pushing to try and get it to open. It doesn’t.

“What the hell! Let me out,” I shout, realising he’s locked me in.

“No. Not until we talk.”

“Talk? Seriously? Since when do you ever want to talk, Jake?”I storm back into the bedroom. “So, we had good sex. You don’t get to keep me here. I want to go home.”

“Good sex?” he questions and sits up in bed. His eyes are hard and show the edge that Jake always possessed. “That wasn’t just good sex. That was fucking amazing sex, and it doesn’t happen all the time, baby. And this isn’t just about the sex. What’s happened to you? You’re not the girl I remember.” I see a flicker of real concern in his eyes, and it knocks my confidence. I need to get out of here. My heart races in my chest as fear and anxiety pump through my body.

“No, and you’re not the guy I remember either. He would have kicked me out by now, so how about you open the door.”

“What happened between you and Tim? When did you move to London?”

“That’s none of your business.” He’s up on his feet now, standing off against me. “Yes, it fucking is. I want to understand you. Talk to me.”

“No. This was a mistake.” I push him backwards, feeling suffocated from his closeness. It was too much. I couldn’t talk about the past, not now and not with Jake. “No, it wasn’t and don’t fucking lie again. It pisses me off. How did you get those scars? And why won’t you talk to me? You were the only person I ever talked to at school.” His hands scrunch into balls by his side as we shout at each other.

“Back off, Jake. Leave me alone. This was a mistake, and I don’t want to see you again.” I march around his imposing frame and around the bedroom, grabbing his trousers from the floor. I search through his pockets for keys and find them. He’s on me quickly and wrestles them out of my hand.

“Don’t run, Lily. Just, stay. Stay and talk to me.”

“No!” I snatch my empty hands away, glaring as viciously as I can at him.

“You’re being a bitch. The Lily I knew…”

“The Lily you knew doesn’t exist anymore so stop fucking hoping she’ll come back. I buried her five years ago, so get over it. This is who I am now. It doesn’t matter either way because I won’t be seeing you ever again. Don’t come looking for me again.” We both pant, our verbal fight as active as a physical one. Fighting with Jake is like sex with Jake. It wakes me up and stirs emotions I had become adept at burying. Blood races through my veins, charging me with energy. Leaving is the only option. He is more dangerous to my health now than when we were kids.

“You’re just pissing me off, Lily. Don’t. Talk to me and I’ll give you the key.”

“Fuck you! I don’t owe you anything. Forget about me, like you did all those years ago.”

“Hey, don’t go there.”

“Oh, really? You think it’s alright to shout and demand answers from me, but can’t take it when I tell you the truth.”

“It was different then. You were happy. You had Tim. You didn’t need me in your life.” He turns away and runs his hands through his dishevelled hair.

“So you ran away, didn’t answer my messages. Some way to treat a friend. So how about we call it even and you open the fucking door!” I scream. Pressure constricts my chest and the burn of tears singes my throat.

“I kept my distance because I couldn’t have you. I couldn’t have you like I craved. You were under my fucking skin, Lily. You meant too fucking much to treat you like I treated other girls.” His admission is soft like he’s embarrassed by what he just said.

I take his moment of distraction to grab the keys. As soon as they’re in my hand, I rush to the front door and fumble them in the lock. I get the door open, but Jake’s hand slams it shut.

“Don’t shut me out. Not now.”

“Too late.”

“Just, tell me what happened?”