by Katie McGarry
on December 8th 2014
Published by Harlequin Genres: Coming of Age, Fiction, Love & Romance, New Adult, Romance, Young Adult
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A summer road trip changes everything in this unforgettable new tale from acclaimed author Katie McGarry. For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out West with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so…different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who's never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything—except the one thing Echo's just not ready for.But when the source of Echo's constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants—even as foster kid Noah's search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love and themselves.Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah is more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he'd be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn…seriously epic.
Today I’m absolutely thrilled to have Katie McGarry’s excerpt tour for Breaking the Rules stop by to celebrate it’s release on December 8th! Now, to get the full experience of this excerpt, be sure you’ve read the previous posts and make sure to follow along for tomorrow’s final piece 🙂
You can find the excerpt schedule below:
An Excerpt from Breaking the Rules
“Echo?” Dad prods.
“I’m fine.” I blink three times, and Noah raises an eyebrow.
“Lying?” he mouths.
I throw a mock glare at Noah, and his shoulders move with a chuckle as he refocuses on the counter.
I haven’t told Dad that Mom called because I don’t know how I feel about it, so I’m hardly ready to listen to his opinion. There’s no absolving Mom in Dad’s mind, and I’m not sure that’s fair. I forgave him for his part of the night that changed my life, so shouldn’t I at least try to forgive Mom? Nausea rolls through me, and I fight a dry heave. Okay—shouldn’t I at least consider trying to forgive Mom?
“How’s Ashley?” My stepmom and an excellent change of subject.
A year ago she was my wicked stepmother from Oz. Now she’s my stepmom who means well, but doesn’t know when to stop. Like when I ask her thoughts on an outfit, and I’m not really searching for complete and utter honesty, and she drones on for twenty minutes about how I should wear something that flatters my figure because, let’s be honest, God blessed me in the top area, but fell short on the hip portion…yeah, that’s how Ashley talks.
“She’s good. Alexander still wakes up at night so she’s having a rough time functioning during the day. I’m worried that she’s sleep deprived.”
“Uh-huh.” Try two years of insomnia, then we can discuss tired.
“Where are you heading next?” he asks.
“We’re going to stay in Colorado Springs for the next two nights, then we’ll head to Denver. Noah and I are visiting a gallery there. This one is huge. I hear people have been trying to get an invite into this show for weeks.”
That’s good. I roll my eyes. The men in my life don’t understand the biggest part of me. Sometimes Noah shows the same disappointing amount of enthusiasm.
“I assume Noah’s treating you well,” Dad says, like he’s one hundred percent on board with me being on this road trip with—how did he refer to Noah before I left Louisville? Oh, yeah, as a guy I barely knew, that is if I really paused and thought this through. Which, according to him, he doesn’t believe I did, but hey, I’m here and Dad’s in Louisville. I won this round.
“He’s treating me great.” My dad and Noah have an unsteady relationship. Dad respects Noah for seeing beyond my scars and for being there for me during an awful period this past spring, but he’s still wary.
On the outside, Noah can still come across as the rough foster-care kid, and what parent would be thrilled with his daughter taking off for an entire summer with a guy half her school is terrified of? The day before Noah and I left, Dad sat me down and talked to me for a long time about how “this is a phase in your life” and not to do anything I would “regret” and that if I ever needed him, to call.
Warning flags. The use of my name along with any dramatic pause by my father means bad, bad—very bad—news. I accidentally forgot your favorite stuffed animal at the hotel…your mother is bipolar…your brother, Aires, is being deployed to Afghanistan. Bad news.
“I’m considering selling the house.”
“Oh.” I slump back in my seat, half relieved to discover that the plague hasn’t been intentionally released into the world, but then a sickening sensation strikes. “Oh.”
“I’ve considered it for years,” he continues. “But it was your home, and I didn’t want to take something else away from you after you’d lost so much.”
Like how I’d lost Aires when he died in Afghanistan, or how I’d lost my mind after a visit with my mother went horribly wrong at the end of my sophomore year of high school.
That type of lost.
“But now that you’ve graduated and are moving on, I thought Ashley and I could start somewhere…” He cuts himself off.
“New,” I finish for him.
There’s a crackling silence on the line, and Dad releases a heavy sigh. “Yes.”