Life is full of uncertainty, so what happens when a what-if from your past collides with your present?
Kaitlyn Thomas, a weary wife and mother, is taking a much needed getaway with her friends. All she wants to do is relax and rejuvenate on her weekend escape to the beach. Having a drink at the bar with the girls sounds like the perfect way to unwind. That is, until Kaitlyn hears a familiar voice from the stage that shakes her to her core. She grapples with her memory until Chris King, the lead singer of the band, walks up to her and eliminates the questions in her mind.
Chris King…the misunderstood bad boy who once saved her in ways that no one else could.
Kaitlyn’s friends beg to know the story behind this mystery man. Forced to revisit a painful past from which she has spent years trying to heal, Kaitlyn’s recollection of Chris awakens intense feelings that she has kept buried deep inside her heart. Has time changed him, or is he still the same person Kaitlyn fell in love with so many years ago?
Marriage vows are sacred, but temptation is a powerful thing.
Seeing Chris again has caused a war between her head and her heart. In the end, which one will win the battle? Facing a difficult decision, Kaitlyn just wants to be sure of one thing when she walks away from this weekend—no regrets.
“Fuck yeah, boys! We are gonna bring down the house tonight!” Jeremy tossed the shot of liquor back and swallowed. “I can just feel it! Here you go,” he said, sliding the next shot of liquor in my direction.
“Nah, bro. I’m good,” I said, handing it back to him.
“Dude, you better loosen up. No one likes a tight ass, straight-laced, lead singer. Have a drink. It’s totally zennnn,” he said, dragging out his last word and slicing his hand through the air in slow motion. Okay, he was just making fun of me now.
I rolled my eyes at him. “Whatever, man. I gotta get my head right. We have a big show tonight.”
“What’s a show without some alcohol?” Tommy bellowed, guzzling his beer and slamming it back down on the bar.
Something just didn’t feel right. The hair on the back of my neck stood up. Goosebumps prickled my arms. I suddenly felt the need to check the mic one more time.
Standing on the stage, I put my mouth to the mic. “Testing…one, two, three…testing.”
That’s when it happened. Shit! Is that…? Oh my god, that’s…fuck.
“Dude, what’s wrong? You look scared shitless. You nervous about our first show?” Jeremy eyed me suspiciously.
“No.” I needed a drink. “Nah, man. I’m fine.” I’m not fine. “I’ll be fine.” I won’t be fucking fine!
“Calm down, bro. We got this. It’s cake.”
“I know, man. Sorry. I’m just a little distracted.” A little? What I meant was ‘monumentally’. What I meant was I don’t think I’ll make it through the night the way my heart was slamming in my chest. “I think I’ll take that shot now.”
“Now that’s more like it!” Jeremy grinned. “Amie, get my boy here a shot of patron…on me.”
“You got it, sweets! One shot of patron for the hottie behind the mic.” Amie smiled at me. I recognized that smile. Any other night I would have taken the bait. Not this night. Not now.
I sang my heart out. This was my chance to get our music and our name out there. I collected myself and delivered my best for my boys. Jeremy and Tommy needed this. We’d worked too hard over the years trying to perfect our sound. This was our night to shine. I wasn’t going to let one glance at the girl who still held my heart fuck that up. I think I did our music justice. I brought it, and I’m pretty sure we gained some fans that night by the looks of the chicks dancing by the stage
“Let’s take five,” Jeremy said, taking a swig of water and wiping his brow with a bandana. “I got some ladies who need a little TLC.” He winked at some groupies who were staring in our direction, waving their hands to get Jeremy’s attention. “Who knows…I might get to sign a few racks tonight.”
I laughed. “Okay, man. Take five. We’ll come back and finish up with ‘Did Somebody Say Party?’ That should really get the club hoppin’.”
In the meantime, I needed to find her. I needed to see to her. I needed speak to her. I needed…her.
I wandered my way through the tables, signing napkins and skin along the way. I could only see her back from the stage. I needed to see her face. I needed to know if she remembered me…missed me. I needed some closure on our history. I needed this moment to heal my heart. When I reached her table, I took a deep breath. It’s now or never.
So Much It Hurts was a great debut for Melanie! I feel like it was an honest story of a modern day married couple and the issues they face once they become complacent in their relationship. I think Kaitlin is someone more than one married woman can relate to. As I read along I kept wondering what I would do if I was in her place. The story starts out in the present day and eventually goes back in time to when Kaitlin and Chris first meet and we get to see how their relationship began and how/why it ended. Their meeting again five years later was bitter sweet for me, I liked Chris and I felt for him, Kaitlin, and the circumstances between them. What I loved is that Melanie wasn’t afraid to stay true to her characters and her story. It wasn’t predictable. She doesn’t give us the stars and rainbows. Through Kaitlin’s eyes we see that yes, life isn’t always fair and yes, sometimes fate can be cruel and life doesn’t always work out the way we want it to. No matter how much we’d like a “do over” it doesn’t happen in the real adult world, we have to pull on our big girl undies and make the best of our situation putting what’s best for our loved ones ahead of what we wish we could do. We learn forgiveness is a beautiful thing and you don’t know what you have till it’s gone. There’s a lot of real life issues touched upon in this story both in the present day and flashbacks all of which was handled wonderfully. So Much It Hurts may make you angry, it may make you cry or both…me? I cried at parts but either way it’ll make you feel and that to me is the make of a great story. I look forward to whatever Melanie Dawn has next for us.
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Melanie Dawn is a thinker, a dreamer, and a hopeless romantic. When her head isn’t in the clouds, she spends her time as a jack of all trades to her family. Melanie resides in the hills of North Carolina with her husband, her three children, and her cat. She enjoys lazy summer afternoons cruising around the lake on the pontoon boat with her family.Melanie graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a BA in Psychology and earned her MA in School Counseling from Appalachian State University. She spent the first six years after graduate school as a middle school counselor. Those were years she deems as some of the best years of her life. That is, until she had children of her own. The last seven years have been spent as a stay-at-home mom. She has learned some tough life lessons, like what the inner absorbent pellets of a diaper look like scattered in the washing machine. She has also learned the strength of the willpower of a two year old lacking a nap. Through it all, Melanie has learned how to roll with the punches and appreciate the time she has been able to spend at home with her children.Now that her last child has started Kindergarten, Melanie is ready to add a new chapter in her life. That chapter begins with her debut novel—So Much It Hurts.
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