About the Book
Mason’s life is far from perfect, but it turns out it can get worse. When his mom ends up in prison, he’s shipped off to the middle of nowhere. Apparently he’s got grandparents—parents of the father he knows nothing about. Mason’s not interested in bonding with these newfound grandparents. He just wants to survive until his eighteenth birthday so he can escape this backwater town and finally be free.
Emily is struggling to keep what’s left of her family from falling apart after a horrible accident stole her mom. She has enough on her plate with mothering her younger siblings and protecting a secret that could destroy everything, when she runs into Mason—literally. Her life doesn’t need more complications, and this distractingly attractive, clearly damaged boy promises nothing but trouble. Still, she can’t help but be drawn to him.
Mason and Emily are opposites in nearly every way, but neither can deny the attraction between them. Mason knows he isn’t good enough for her, and Emily knows she should stay away, but that doesn’t stop the pull they feel toward each other. Their tentative relationship is threatened when Mason is put in the crosshairs of the local gang and the town sheriff. Mason and Emily will have to decide what they really want—and if they’re willing to fight for it.
“Mason?” A man lurched around the hood of the ancient pickup, something like panic
tightening his features. I took in his thin gray hair and weathered face, the mud caked on his old
boots and jeans. I’d never seen him before, but I recognized his deep blue eyes—they were the
same ones I saw in the mirror every day.
George Peterson—my grandpa.
My gut clenched, the ringing in my ears nearly drowning out my music.
“Are you Mason?” Those wide eyes scanned my face, though without the usual
I managed to jerk out a nod, but that was it.
Relief flooded his face. “Oh, thank goodness. Sorry I’m late. I had a flat on the way over
and had to change it. I wanted to be here when you got off the bus.” He seemed to be waiting for
me to say something, but my mind was blank. I was distantly aware of Emily watching us, and to
break the tension, I glanced at her. Confusion creased her forehead, her eyes darting between us
like she was trying to figure out what was going on. George followed my gaze and straightened,
as if he hadn’t realized she was there. “Emily! What brings you out here?”
She offered a smile that looked only a little forced—which was impressive, considering
how irritated she’d been with me a minute ago. “Just grabbing an early lunch. My car’s been
acting up, so I thought I’d get it checked.” She took a half-step back. “I should get to the garage
before the lunchtime rush.”
“Of course.” George smiled. “I hope all goes well. Tell your daddy hi for me.”
“I will, Mr. Peterson.” Those hazel eyes darted to me, and I wondered if she was going to
apologize or threaten me again. I wasn’t sure which I wanted her to choose. But she just climbed
into her car without another word.
Then it was just me and George Peterson—aka Grandpa . . . That was going to take some
time to get used to.
Silence crept in around us after Emily left. I couldn’t think of anything to say to this man
I knew nothing about. From the slightly panicked look on his face, he was having the same
Finally, he cleared his throat. “So, Mason . . . You’re tall.” A grimace pinched his
features. “What I mean is, it’s good to meet you, son.” He held out a grease-stained hand.
I didn’t even think about shaking it. “I’m not your son.”
“Of course not. I didn’t mean—” He cut himself off with a pained expression and glanced
down. Then, with a little nod to himself, he reached for my duffle bag. “Here, let me take that.”
I twisted out of his reach. “I’ve got it,” I ground out, squeezing the handles until it felt
like the stiff material might break the skin.
He stood frozen for a second, uncertainty mixing with panic in his expression. Then he
let out a breath and scrubbed a hand through his hair, his bony elbow peeking through a hole in
his sleeve. “We should head home. Kathy—er, your grandma—will have lunch ready before we
even get there, at this rate.”
My stomach growled. Despite my surprise that some lady was apparently making me
lunch, I wasn’t going to jeopardize food by standing around. Shoving down the myriad of
emotions tangled in my chest, I tossed my duffel bag into the truck’s uncovered bed.
The vehicle might have been blue in another life. But after a long—and clearly
difficult—life, the paint had chipped and faded and was now mostly the color of old rust. I
wasn’t sure I trusted the thing with my life. But I also didn’t want to walk to my grandparents’
house. I had no idea how far from the McDonald’s “bus station” they lived, and my leg was
really starting to hurt. Oh, the joys of being hit by a car.
The passenger door squealed loudly when I pulled it open. I was surprised it didn’t fall
right off its hinges. Gingerly, I slid onto the frayed bench and closed my door.
Or, I tried to.
“You’ve got to slam it,” George said, thin amusement lacing his voice.
I pulled the door again, but it just fell open like before.
“Here.” He got out and hurried around to my door.
“I got it.” I tried a third time, without any luck.
He smiled and slammed the door firmly. It stayed closed—naturally. He got behind the
wheel again with a chuckle. “Old girl’s a little temperamental, but she’s got personality.” He
patted the warped dashboard lovingly, and I shook my head. Old people were so weird.
The engine groaned to life, and he pulled onto the quiet street. One grease-stained thumb
stroked the cracked leather of the steering wheel. “You sure do pack light, Mason.”
I stared out the window, music thrumming in my ears. It couldn’t quite block out my
reality as I watched the podunk town slip by. “I don’t plan on staying long.”
About the Author
K.M. Frost was brought up surrounded by books, and has loved stories of all kinds her whole life. Romance, comedy, and fantasy are some of her favorite genres to write, read, and watch. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, traveling, and graphic design.
K.M. Frost lives in Northern Utah, and is the author of the YA sweet contemporary romance, No Matter What, and the YA dystopian trilogy, Reality Dreamers.
Author K.M. Frost has written a beautiful and heart-wrenching story that shows that no matter who you are and where you are from life can be hard, but within that hardship, joy can also be found. From the beginning of the story and the embarrassing scene of the meet-cute, readers will be rooting for Mason and Emily and their love story. Readers will love the realistic events in the story from dealing with a parent in the hospital and the drama that comes with that and coming from a large city and a not so good background to being thrust into a small town with grandparents you didn’t know you had, Frost brings to life how hard life can be, but how people can change and how truely resilient we really all can be. And how love can conquer it all. This book has all the feels; it will make you laugh and cry and everything in-between. Readers, especially teens will definitely want to pick up this exquisit and inspiring story.
Genre: young adult, contemporary, romance
Publication date: May 12, 2023
Number of pages: 444:
Disclosure statement: A complimentary review copy of this book was provided from tour groups, publishers, publicists, authors, and others, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, Or borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR borrowed from Deseret Bookshelf, OR pre-ordered/purchased for review, including Audible. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are my own.
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