TITLE – Love Me Back
AUTHOR – Michelle Lynn
GENRE – New Adult Romance
HOSTED BY – Love Between the Sheets
Growing up in small town Belcrest, Maddy Jennings thought she was destined to be with her childhood love Trent Basso. Their friendship blossomed into love as they weaved in and out of each other’s lives, from school aged to young adulthood. During her complicated path with Trent, another love interest seems to be her constant. The problem is the other love interest is Trent’s older brother. Trent’s brother is bound to keep a promise to him even if it means keeping his distance from Maddy, but it doesn’t stop him from being a friend she can count on.
When Maddy returns to her hometown after two years for her brother’s wedding, she will have to face not only Trent but his brother as well. As the two Basso brothers fight to win her heart, she struggles to forgive her mom and accept her apology, in order to mend their relationship?
She must decide to either forfeit her happiness or tear a family apart.
We pull down my street and I automatically feel like I’m going to throw up. Ian must notice because he reaches over, putting a hand on my leg. I look over at him and he smiles, letting me know he is there for me. I never told Ian the whole story of why I hate this town now. He never pushes me for details, always waiting until I am ready to tell him. That’s one of the reasons why I love him.
My house is the same brown, ranch-style brick that I remember. I assume Jack is keeping up the landscaping for her. Appearances are everything in this town.
There are no cars in the driveway so I don’t pull all the way up, instead stopping at the walkway to the house. I don’t get the warm welcome Gabe does; no one is coming out to see me. I put the car in park and put my hands in my lap, sighing. I look at the house and more memories flood my mind, all of them bad. They are the reason I hate this town, the reason I ran away from it.
Ian is already out of the car, banging on the back door and telling me to unlock it. I shake off my thoughts, looking for the unlock button. After I click it, the back door opens and Ian starts pulling out the bags.
“It’s like a band-aid, Maddy. You’ve just gotta tear it off,” he says from the back.
“I’m fine, Ian, but thank you.” Lying to people has become second nature lately.
“Let’s go, it’s hot. Please tell me your mom has air conditioning. I think my hair is already falling,” Ian complains. There is no way his hair could fall with all of the gel, mousse, and hair spray he has in it, but I don’t bother telling him this.
“Of course we have air conditioning. I know you aren’t used to the country, but we do have modern conveniences,” I say, reaching around to grab my one bag.
“I’m just saying. It’s hard looking this good, Madeline.” He has three bags hanging from his arms and pulling one behind him, and is out of breath by the time we reach my doorstep. He only uses my full name when he is agitated with me.
I ring the doorbell since I don’t have a key anymore. No one answers. I should have known she wouldn’t be home when I got here. I told her three times when I would be arriving. God knows what is more important than me this time. I search the front steps, looking for the fake rock she has used for years to hide the key. Bingo! I grab the key, inserting it in the lock and open the door.
“Wow,” Ian says behind me.
I am speechless, unable to believe my eyes. The house has been completely remodeled from floor to ceiling. All of our furniture has been replaced with new modern furniture. The light oak tables are now glass. Our plaid couch is now a soft gray sofa with yellow armchairs on either side.
“Go,” Ian pushes me into the house, “it’s like 103 degrees out here.”
I fumble my way into the house that is now unrecognizable to me, and drop my bags by the door. I love my mom for doing this. It helps keep the bad memories at bay, but I assure myself it wasn’t done for my benefit. I wonder where she got the money; being in the designing world, I know these pieces cost a small fortune and aren’t something an office assistant can afford.
“Your house is beautiful,” Ian says, shutting the front door and looking around the house, I assume for a vent to cool down. It’s hard to believe that Wisconsin summers can get so hot.
“This isn’t my house,” I say flatly, “not the one I grew up in.”
“I see where you get your style,” he says.
“I can assure you this is not my mother’s doing. She must have hired someone. She has always been partial to more of a country theme,” I respond, still in awe over the changes to the interior of the house. Every aspect has been redone. Even the pictures from when Jack and I were little are now in modern frames.
I put Ian in Jack’s old room, which actually looks pretty much the same. His football trophies line the bookshelves with ribbons hanging below. The only difference I notice is that the twin-sized bed has been replaced with a queen. I am surprised the bedding has been washed, ready for Ian. I assumed I would be taking care of that when I got here.
I am happy to see my room has been redone. My daybed is gone, replaced by a queen as well. The walls are thankfully not still purple, but now a light blue with a chic new bedspread. All of my old furniture is gone and white furniture is now in its place. I throw myself on the bed, closing my eyes. Even with all new furniture, I can still feel the fear when I close my eyes and I am instantly transported back to that night. I open them quickly, not wanting to remember.
Describe a day in the life of a mom, wife, and romance writer.
WARNING: Might become exhausted after reading!
6:30 – Wake up after my husband has attempted at least three times previous. (It’s hard after being up half the night, writing, reading or promoting yourself)
6:45 – Shower and get ready in between stopping several fights between my twin preschoolers along with getting them dressed and ready for the day.
7:45 – Kiss my husband and kids good-bye to go to my “paying job”. This is the saddest part of my day, when I pull out of the driveway, blowing kisses to my kids from the car window.
8:00 (okay…maybe more like 8:15) – I work as an Accounting Supervisor Monday thru Wednesday. Ironically most of my brainstorming is done there. Plugging in a pair of ear buds, I listen to music my husband added to my iPhone and ideas flow through me. I have a zillion post-it notes in my purse to prove it. That was until I realized I could use the notes app on my phone!
4:00 – I enjoy the last peace and quiet I will experience until 8:30pm.
Okay…everyone ready? Here goes the marathon.
4:30 – Home again. Kiss and hug my kid’s hello and say good-bye to my mom (my wonderful free babysitter).
4:35 – Make dinner while side stepping between my dog and children playing, talking to me or trying to help me J
5:30 – Dinner
6:00 – Clean up dishes, load dishwasher, wipe down counter.
6:20 – Play with kids either outside or inside all while still by my computer to make sure I’m checking everything.
7:00 – Give the kids a bath, put on PJ’s and brush their teeth.
7:30 – Watch Goodnight show with kids. (Usually have my Kindle or laptop with me)
8:00 – Lullaby’s and Bed.
8:00 – 8:30 Instructing my children to go back to their room, walking them back to their room or giving them cups of water.
8:30 – Bed – Silence fills my family room with my laptop in front of me either writing, reading or promoting while my husband lays alongside me on the couch with his iPad.
This is a typical day in my life. However, it doesn’t include if I have to run over to my sister’s to pick up her eight year old triplets from the bus stop, if my husband is out of town on business, or if we have any extracurricular activities.
I wonder what I did with all my free time before children quite often but I would never change it. As crazy it is watching triplets and twins on occasion, I love the fact my kids feel as close as siblings with their cousins. Do I sometimes make some popcorn and put my kids in front of the television to quickly get some writing or promoting done? Yes. Do I check my Facebook page, author e-mail or Goodreads at work? Yes. I find spare minutes here and there to get most of it done and still feel like I need about twelve more hours in a day.
So far I have given you a mother and a romance author but not a wife. Unfortunately, my husband has paid the price on my new venture. Although I go up to bed with him, I usually have an electronic device with me (and not the fun kind). We find our moments, stealing kisses while making dinner or after the kids go to bed. But we need more date nights, weekend getaways or just childfree walks around the block! With that said, any babysitters in the suburbs of Chicago out there? LOL J
Michelle Lynn has always been a reader, but her passion has become a full-blown addiction since her husband bought her a Kindle for Mother’s Day. She’s pretty sure that he regrets this on a regular basis. Especially when she has it propped up next to the stove while she cooks, which often results in a burnt dinner. Or when he loses sleep because the glow from the screen wakes him up when he rolls over at three in the morning. He does agree, however, that she uses this gift more than any other he has ever gotten her. She joking counters that, because of some of the steamy novels she reads, he also benefits more from this gift than any other he has gotten her. 😉
Michelle moved around the Midwest most of her life, transferring from school to school before settling down in the outskirts of Chicago ten years ago, where she now resides with her husband and two kids. She developed a love of reading at a young age, which helped lay the foundation for her passion to write. With the encouragement of her family, she finally sat down and wrote one of the many stories that have been floating around in her head. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can be found playing with her kids, talking to her mom on the phone, or hanging out with her family and friends. But after chasing around twin preschoolers all day, she always cherishes her relaxation time after putting the kids to bed.
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