For Jake, it’s always been Gillian. It’s been her since that day she unknowingly stole a piece of his heart...when he watched her fall for one of his best friends. Resolved to the fate that she couldn't be his, he locked up the deeper emotions he felt for her and loved her as a friend.
As friends, they went through it all together. Marriages, births, divorces and even death. But when a shameful secret Gillian has kept from her friends is revealed, Jake realizes she needs him more than ever. He knew what it was like to go through heartbreak and he wasn't about to stand back and watch her endure it alone.
He also knew she would turn to him for support. What he wasn't prepared for was the return of the emotions he had long ago locked away. Could he control those emotions again and did he even want to? Could he make her realize his love for her was real, or would she slip through his fingers again?
Jake ended the kiss and looked her in the eyes. There was questioning in his eyes … waiting for an answer. “Can I have you Gillian?” She lifted one hand up and gently swept back the lock of hair that had fallen forward into his face. Her hand followed the hair back on his head as she ran her fingers through the thick locks, caressing him. Jake sighed and closed his eyes as he melted into her hand. Her hands met at the base of his neck, and she tilted his head so she could place her own soft kisses to his skin. First, her lips found his eyelids, then the tip of his nose, and finally his forehead, before returning to his lips.
After placing one more kiss on his lips, she pulled away ever so slightly so that she could whisper, “Will you catch me Jake?” She felt his hands tighten his hold on her. “I'm falling for you, Jake, but I need to know that you’ll catch me.”
Once again, his hands were in her hair, angling her face toward his, so he had her complete attention, before saying, “The only place you will fall, Gillian, is right where you are, in these arms, in my life. You are everything to me, and I will do whatever I have to do to prove that to you.” He leaned in to her, and she could feel his trembling lips on hers. Leaning his forehead against hers, he whispered, “Fall, Gillian. Go ahead and fall, and I promise I’ll catch you.”
She knew he was holding himself back, and she wanted him to let go. His whispered reassurance sounded almost desperate—he was begging her to take a chance on him … so she took it. “Ask me again, Jake,” she whispered back to him.
When he pulled his head away from hers, he looked her in the eyes and asked in a voice laced with passion and desperation, “Can I have you Gillian?”
She smiled at him, “Yes, Jake. You can have me … I'm yours.”
Such a beautiful story!! I was captivated from the very beginning. As Gillian is describing her "perfect" life you just know something is going to come along and mess it all up. And sure enough it's something earth shattering, every woman's worst nightmare. Her husband has been having an affair, and not just once but this is the 2nd time he's been caught. My heart completely broke for Gillian. I was torn up inside experiencing the betrayal, anger and sadness right along with her. Even though it was the absolute last thing she wanted to do, ending her marriage was the only option. I admired Gillian's strength and ability to put others before herself despite what she was going through emotionally. Ms. Codina did an amazing job of creating a strong independent heroine who was always able to think rationally & put others in their place in the blink of an eye. Having such an awesome support system played a big part in her quick recovery. Allie and the gang are friends every girl wishes she had. And Jake is just the sweetest thing. I was rooting for them to finally get on the same page and make something happen. I think its safe to say I was pissed at Logan up until the last couple pages. When the other characters were ready to let go of their anger towards him I also bit the bullet.
Reading a novel that can elicit such strong emotions from you is a clear sign that the author is beyond talented. And even if you think you know the direction the story is going in, you don't! I didn't even see some of the twists coming. This was an awesome debut novel and an amazing story of starting over and finding love in the place you'd least expect it, your best friend. Saying I enjoyed this story would be a HUGE understatement! I absolutely LOVED it!! Reading stories about real life situations (marriage, kids, infidelity, etc.) and characters you can relate to (not college students falling in love) is a nice touch and a great way to appeal to the average person. I look forward to reading the next installment in The Real Love Series and anything else by Ms. Codina.
Meet the Author:
Melanie is an amazing mother of four, an awesome and tolerant wife to one, and nurse to many. If you don’t believe her, just ask anyone in her family, they know what to say. She is also a devoted chauffeur, the keeper of missing socks, a genius according to a six year old, the coolest soccer uniform coordinator according to a twelve year old, and the best damn ‘mac-n-cheese-with-cut-up-hot-dog maker in the whole world. Well that last title isn’t really official, but it’s still pretty cool to be called it.
When not being ordered around by any of the kids, you can find her with her nose in a book or on the sideline of a soccer game cheering on one team or another. But that’s mostly because she has a thing for the coach. When she is not doing all of the above, you can find her obsessed with a group of fictional characters all vying for a spot on the page of whatever she’s working on. It’s a fun and crazy life to lead, but wouldn’t have it any other way.