Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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Reading Challenges: Conquer My TBR
Darlene Montgomery has been to hell and back…more than once. After a stint in jail for drug possession, she is finally clean and ready to start over. Yet another failed relationship is just the motivation she needs to move from New York to San Francisco with the hopes of resurrecting her dance career and discovering that she is more than the sum of her rap sheet. As Darlene struggles in her new city, the last thing she wants is to become entangled with her handsome—but cranky—neighbor and his adorable little girl...
Sawyer Haas is weeks away from finishing law school, but exhaustion, dwindling finances, and the pressure to provide for himself and his daughter, Olivia, are wearing him down. A federal clerkship--a job he desperately needs--awaits him after graduation, but only if he passes the Bar Exam. Sawyer doesn’t have the time or patience for the capricious—if beautiful—dancer who moves into the apartment above his. But Darlene’s easy laugh and cheerful spirit seep into the cracks of his hardened heart, and slowly break down the walls he’s resurrected to keep from being betrayed ever again.
When the parents of Olivia’s absentee mother come to fight for custody, Sawyer could lose everything. To have any chance at happiness, he must trust Darlene, the woman who has somehow found her way past his brittle barbs, and Darlene must decide how much of her own bruised heart she is willing to give to Sawyer and Olivia, especially when the ghosts of her troubled past refuse to stay buried.
***STANDALONE new adult romance from the author of The Butterfly Project and the Full Tilt Duet***
❝A tornado, Darlene,❞ he whispered. ❝I’m swept up.❞
Emma Scott writes the kinds stories I want to read, ones with characters whose struggles feel real and not formulaic, where the plots are unique and suck me in, and with love stories that feel like a natural progression and are not forced upon the reader.
Sawyer Haas has the world at his feet, his future is bright and promising. All he needs to do is keep his head down, study hard and minimize distractions. When the playboy is handed the ultimate distraction, he proves he has a heart of gold even if it is hidden securely behind a wall of stone.
Darlene Montgomery has arrived in San Fransisco to escape her past and rewrite her future. She’s finally clean, and the need to dance again is strong. Determined to work on herself, Darlene knows it would be too easy to fall into old patterns with the handsome single dad living below her.
❝Darlene must be a flexible dancer, I thought, because she slipped past all of my usual barricades and defenses, bending and contorting herself through a field of red laser beams like a ninja in a spy movie.❞
In Darlene, Stewart poignantly portrayed the shame and fears of a recovering addict, as well as the incredible strength needed to stay clean. It is the shame associated with the addict’s previous behavior and people’s perception of the recovering addict that often makes the addict question their recovery. They will always be an addict and people will always judge them that way.
❝But in the eyes of those who knew my past, my accomplishments were always going to be tempered by how close I might be too fucking them all up. The loneliness of an addict, Max had said.❞
Having faced the unthinkable at a young age, Sawyer believes the law is the law, a criminal is a criminal and there is no leeway, no middle, no grey. He’s determined to be a federal prosecutor and enforce the law as it is written. Sawyer is certainly smart enough, and Federal judge who he hopes to work for, tells him that. But he also challenges Sawyer’s views. He reminds him that there isn’t always a right or wrong answer.
❝But feelings, Mr. Haas, are what make us human. And humanity should be the beating heart of justice.❞
Through this beautiful, slow burn romance, it was Darlene’s previous life that added color to the black and white thinking of Sawyer. And it was Sawyer’s devotion that gave her the courage to believe she could accomplish her dreams.
❝Darlene…❞ He fought for more words but found none. ❝Just kiss me,❞ I said, and he did. And in that kiss, I felt his emotions he still hadn’t found the words for, but knew that he would.
‘Forever Right Now’, was a beautiful love story between a frightened young man and his sweet daughter and it was a passionate love story between a woman seeking love and a man who needed to be loved. ‘Forever Right Now’ was also about fighting for the life you want despite the adversity that faces you and the beauty that comes with second chances.
“Who are you?” he demanded rudely, shifting the diaper bag higher on his shoulder while hoisting
his little girl in his other arm. He was six feet of hotness in a rumpled suit, glaring at me with
suspicion in his dark eyes.
“I…I’m your new neighbor?” It sounded more like a question; as if I needed this guy’s permission
to live. I straightened to my full height. “I just moved in upstairs. I’m a dancer. Well, I was. Had to
take some time off but I’m going to get back into it soon…ish.” I put on my friendliest smile. “I’m a
massage therapist now. Just got my license and…”
My words died under Sawyer’s withering stare.
“A dancer. Fantastic,” he said bitterly. “Just what I always wanted. Someone leaping and thumping
above me, waking my kid up and disturbing my studies at all hours of the night.”
I planted my hands on my hips. “I can’t dance in a dinky apartment, and besides…”
Words failed me again as the sharp planes and hard angles of Sawyer’s face melted when his
daughter–I guessed her to be about a year old–suddenly clapped her small hand over his chin.
Sawyer’s hard gaze softened, and his broad mouth turned up in a smile–a beautiful smile I was sure
only his little girl ever got to see, and so full of love that for a moment I could hardly breathe.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: