Thursday, December 5, 2013
SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read the first two books in the series, Pushing the Limits and Dare You To, Stop! This book is about Isaiah and his back story is told on the previous two books. Noah and Echo have minor roles and Beth is mentioned.
Rachel Young is the youngest child in her family. She has four older brothers, including her twin Ethan. She is actually the replacement daughter for her parents since her older sister Colleen died from leukemia as a young child. She suffers from panic attacks and has kept the fact she still has them a secret from her parents. Two years ago they were so bad that she had to be hospitalized a couple of times. At their annual charity fundraiser to honor Colleen, Rachel volunteered to speak on behalf of her family. After a pep talk from her brothers that involve beating up any guy who should happen to look at her, they guide her back towards the ballroom. Only she doesn't make it. Ethan drags her into the women's room to let her get sick and cover for her with their older brothers. He promises her that if she can get through the few words she must speak publicly, he will cover for her the rest of the night. That way she can go do the one thing she truly loves, racing her Mustang GT. Heading outside of Louisville, she runs into two guys putting gas into their Corvette. They ask her if she wants to race with them and she notices that they attended the same private school that she does. She asks if they know a West Young and they ask if she parties with him. No, he's my brother. Realizing who she is, they value their lives too much to get involved with her. Besides, isn't she sickly. No but she will tell West about tonight if they don't take her racing.
Isaiah Walker has five months until he graduates from high school and the foster care system, but he is at the worse place in his life. After ten years in jail, his mother has waited over a year before contacting him and he resents her for it. He has moved into an apartment with Noah because he couldn't live with Beth's aunt after Beth rejected him. Now Noah is feeling the financial pinch and wants to accept the state's offer to pay for his college education. Isaiah fears he will have no place to go. He tells Noah that he can come up with the money they need. With the local race track closed for the holidays, Isaiah takes a chance and goes looking for some work as a drag racer. After talking with Eric, the boss man of the streets, they just about have a deal brokered when two guys in a Corvette and what can only be described as an angel in a Mustang come looking for a race. It's easy to tell that these snotty rich kids have no idea what they are getting into. Isaiah checks out her car for Eric and he is impressed that the girl knows her stuff. Eric jokes that he needs to forget Beth and hook up with this girl. Isaiah is horrified when the girl is determined to race because she has no idea what she is getting into. When Eric asks for a bet, the girl has only twenty bucks in her pocket and the boys say nothing. Before Eric can answer, Isaiah takes her up on the bet. Eric is not happy to be losing easy money, but Isaiah will race for him again and a lower commission.
Alarmed by Eric, Rachel wars with herself that she has gotten into deep. Even though Isaiah should scare her, she finds him strangely appealing. He tells her that when the race is over, she needs to head home immediately. What if she wins, Isaiah says that she won't. They line their respective Mustangs up at the starting line. What Rachel doesn't have is the reaction time to start the race and she kills the engine on the start line. Isaiah has easily won the race and waits for Rachel to make it to the finish line. What neither one is expecting is for the cops to show up. Isaiah knows it will be hard to collect his money from Wes after the fact and gets ready to leave. Rachel begins to have signs of another panic attack and begs Isaiah to help her escape. Against his better judgment, he cannot leave her behind. Racing through the tight back alleyways, it isn't long before Isaiah shreds a tire. He gives Rachel directions on how to get out and try and avoid the cops. Instead of being terrified, Isaiah gives Rachel a sense of calm. She asks him to drive her car. He tells her that he won't rat her out. She tells him that she cannot just leave him behind. Knowing that going with her is wrong; Isaiah tells Rachel that he is driving.
Before too long, Isaiah pulls her car into the garage where he works to hide it. They continue down the street until they come to the seedy strip. Isaiah sees a cop coming by them and he pushed Rachel up against the wall and acts like he is making out with her. They go unnoticed. To prevent putting her into another situation like that, he takes her into a bar to lay low. They start chatting and begin to open up to each other. Soon a fight breaks out and Isaiah protects her but Rachel still gets splashed by beer. Knowing she cannot go home smelling of alcohol, Isaiah takes her back to his apartment to let her get cleaned up. Knowing that she is from the rich part of town, he is very self-conscious over his living situation. Rachel doesn't run off screaming and gets cleaned up. Soon, the attraction heats up between the two of them even through Isaiah knows he shouldn't. He asks her if it would be alright if he kissed her and then wants to know how many boyfriends she has had. Admitting that she has never been kissed and doesn't know how, Isaiah leans in and the sparks fly until Noah comes through the window and assumes Rachel is a one night stand. Isaiah is horrified and admits that he really likes her. He walks her back to her car.
After telling Rachel goodbye and getting her phone number, Isaiah is disheartened that they were overheard by Abby. She wants to know when he got over Beth. Then she tells him that Eric is interested in finding the two college guys from earlier since they talked with the cops but he especially wants to find Rachel and Isaiah is the only one seen with her. Turns out, Eric was robbed and the guys that brought Rachel to the race did it. Isaiah will lead Eric to Rachel so to protect her, Isaiah doesn't call her. One morning on her way into school, Eric finds Rachel alone in an isolated parking lot. He is threatening her and she is about to have a massive panic attack. Eric wants his money and Rachel is going to give it to him. Isaiah stands up for her to Eric and in the end, Eric will not back down. He either gets his five thousand dollars or he gets Rachel. He will not be made a fool. Isaiah agrees to take on her debt to keep her safe. But now it is his life on the line. If Eric doesn't have his money in six weeks, he will take Rachel's car and own Isaiah.
Will Isaiah be able to keep Rachel safe from Eric? Can Isaiah and Rachel get the money Eric is demanding? Will Rachel get passed the feeling that she the replacement for her dead sister? What secrets is Rachel keeping from her family? Why won’t Isaiah see his mother? What happens when Rachel's brothers find out about Isaiah? Can the rich girl and the poor boy from the system find a way to make it all work out in the end?
The next book in the series, Take Me On, is due out on May 27, 2014. This time the story will be about Rachel’s bad boy brother, West.
Visit Katie McGarry’s website.
Monday, December 2, 2013
SPOILER ALERT! Readers will have a much better understanding of the characters and their actions if they have read the first book in the series, Pushing the Limits. Beth is a minor character in the first book but the reader gets a brief introduction. This book is only about her, but Isaiah makes several important appearances.
Beth Risk refuses to move in with Noah and Isaiah so that she can be around to take care of her mother. A drunk with an abusive boyfriend who has beaten both of them, she blames Beth for her father leaving them. When she gets a late night phone call from the owner of the bar her mother frequents, she runs off to take her home before the cops are called. Finding her mother somewhat coherent and out of booze, she gets ready to walk her over to their apartment complex. Her mother sends Beth off to pay her tab. The owner tells her it has already been taken care of and Beth knows that trouble is near. She runs out the back door and finds her mother and her boyfriend in a fight. Her mother has a baseball bat and has hit her boyfriend and his car. He hits Beth's mother and she drops the bat. Beth thinks if she has the bat, she can get the boyfriend to leave. Holding it in her hands, the cops arrive at a most unfortunate time. The boyfriend starts screaming that Beth is responsible for the damage. On her hands and knees, her mother, who is already on probation, begs Beth to take the blame. She does and is arrested for destruction of property.
Beth keeps quiet to keep her mother out of jail. She called Isaiah and he in turn called his foster mother, Shirley, her mother's sister. Knowing the severity of the charges against Beth and having no money for a lawyer, Shirley had no choice but to call Beth's father's brother, Scott, who had recently moved back into the area. He had been inquiring about her but everyone knew that Beth wanted nothing to do with him. Scott visited her mother at her apartment and saw just how much trouble Beth's mother really is in. He will keep quiet if he can have Beth. Her mother signs custody over to him. Isaiah tells her to be strong and he will come for her. For now, she needs to leave with her uncle. Letting go of her anger, she leaves with her uncle, who looks so much like her father. Except her uncle looks like an athlete and her father a meth addict. Beth is surprised to find out that her uncle is now married and his wife is not very happy that Beth is going to live with them. After words between the two of them, Beth knows that she must play by Scott's rules to keep her mother out of jail.
Ryan Stone lives to play baseball. In fact he dreams of playing professionally. His friends, Chris and Logan also play. Chris also knows what Ryan needs even when he doesn't. Chris has a steady girlfriend and Ryan's former girlfriend Gwen wants him to put her before baseball. Ryan and Chris are also competence off the field with each other. They dare each other to complete various stunts and Ryan hates to come in second. One night on a trip to Louisville, they dare each other to see who can collect the most phone numbers from girls the other one chooses. At a stop at a Taco Bell, Chris is in the lead and challenges Ryan to get the number of a biker chick that comes in. Knowing his game and stringing him along, she promises to give him her number if he walks her to the car. In the lot, her two male companions are waiting and Ryan realizes that he has lost the game.
Ryan's family has been torn apart by his older brother’s revelation that he is gay. His father has kicked him out of the house and he attends school at the University of Kentucky playing football. It is a big secret that they keep from their small town community. Ryan's father is a businessman and on town council and doesn't want to sully their family's reputation. A baseball scout paid notice to him at his first fall game even though he was there to see someone on the other team. In town the next morning, his dad is telling a group of men outside the barber shop about the meeting with the scout from the night before. A man comes up to Ryan and asks what the group is talking about. He answers "baseball" without looking at him. The man answers "no kidding" and Ryan looks up to see who he is talking to. He is shocked to see Scott Risk standing in front of him, the former New York Yankee who lived in their small town. Ryan's father comes over then and introduces them to Scott. Mr. Stone said he heard rumors that he was moving back to town and they find out that Risk lives next door. The talk turns to baseball and Ryan's meeting with the scout. Ryan tells Scott of his own dreams about playing baseball professionally. Scott asks if Ryan can do him a favor by showing his niece around school the next day. Ryan readily agrees.
Scott Risk tells him that his niece Elisabeth is a bit rough around the edges. Beth is a good girl who just needs some friends. Scott introduces the two and Ryan's stomach drops. It has just turned out to be one of the worst days of his life. Scott Risk's niece Elisabeth is the Taco Bell biker girl whose phone number he failed to get. Neither is happy about seeing the other. Beth takes it further by telling her uncle that he hit on her a few nights earlier. Ryan stammers that he thought she was funny but Beth begins to make a scene on the street. Scott apologizes for her and understands if he wants to back out of helping Beth. No and Ryan sees a way to win the bet after all.
On the first day of school, Beth begins to feel self-conscious about going to high school with some of the kids she grew up with before her father left. She knows that the gossip about them will resurface. Scott tries to reassure her that no one will think differently about either one of them and what happened that night will remain a secret. Ryan tells his friends that the biker chick is now living in their town and asks to continue the bet. Chris and Logan agree to continue the bet but the stakes have been raised. Just a phone number won't cut it. Beth must agree to a public date with Ryan that lasts at least an hour.
What happened to Beth that one night that changed her life forever? Will she accept her new life with her uncle? Does her mother get sent to jail? Can Ryan's father accept his older son and repair his fractured family? Is Ryan a god enough baseball player to play professionally? Can he win the bet with Beth or does he change his mind once he gets to know her? Can two people who like to live on the edge and take risks find their way to one another? And what will everyone else think?
Visit Katie McGarry’s website.
"So wrong for each other...and yet so right."
Echo Emerson has been a social outcast at her school since her abrupt departure a month before the end of her sophomore year. Her Marine brother Aries was killed in Afghanistan two years ago, she has a restraining order against her mother and her overbearing father has a new wife with a baby on the way. Her father is pushing her hard to go to business school when she would rather pursue her artistic side. Her dream is to finish restoring the 1965 Corvette that belonged to her brother. With the start of the new term at school, the new clinical social worker at her school, Mrs. Collins, brings in her family for a session before she goes to her first class. Her father is pushing her to retake her college entrance exams to raise her math scores. After discussing the possibility of a job that wouldn't interfere with her studies to provide money for the restoration of the Corvette, Echo leaves the adults behind and goes to sit outside the social worker's office.
Noah Hutcheson has bounced between foster homes since the death of his parents. Formerly an honor student and star athlete, he is just trying to fly under the radar until graduation. He is seen by his peers as a stoner. Tardy to school after a late night at work, Mrs. Collins has him take a seat and wait on her to finish something up. He observes that Echo is sitting near him. Having a few classes together, he only knew that she was smart, had a nice body and always wears long-sleeved shirts to cover up her arms. Noticing that she smells nice and Noah covers by making fun of her name. She shoots back a comment about getting high and leaves. Having read his file and digging into his past life, Mrs. Collins is only interested in helping Noah build himself a better future than the one he will have if he continues down his current path. He must attend tutoring sessions and continue seeing her if he would like to see more of his brothers. Mrs. Collins knows exactly where to strike to get Noah to comply.
Echo is going to be tutoring a hot guy at school. What she wasn't expecting was to see that her student is Noah at the library that afternoon and he isn't happy either. Mrs. Collins has pushed the two of them together. They begin to spar immediately and Noah is surprised to find out that she actually knows that they are in several classes together. Trying to get started, Noah announces that he needs to leave or be late for work. She can make up whatever lies for Mrs. Collins that she wants to and he will agree with her. He leaves the library and heads to his beat up car. Echo hurriedly follows him outside. He snaps at her to put on a coat. Echo tries to schedule another time with him. He tells her that she can tell Mrs. Collins that they are meeting however many volunteer hours she needs and he will readily agree. Noah tells Echo he will continue with his screwed up life and she can run home to her perfect life and be with her friends. With Noah's words hitting a sore spot, Echo backs up. She hits a patch of ice and starts to fall. Noah catches her wrist and her shirt sleeve rides up to her elbow. He notices the scar mutilation that is her arm. Noah asks her what happened. Nothing, Echo says but Noah isn't buying it. She wrenches free from his grasp and tells him to leave her alone. She runs away.
Turns out that Echo has no memory of the night her crazy mother tried to kill her. Only her mother, father and stepmother Ashley know the truth. Her father and the therapist believe that Echo should recall the memories of that night on her own rather them telling her the truth. She lies awake at night trying to remember. Her friends believe she should tell everyone at school the truth about what happened with her crazy mother instead of everyone believing that she is a cutter or tried to commit suicide. Echo is worried that Noah will spill her secret. Noah's visitation with his little brothers doesn't go well. The youngest had a bike accident after Christmas and had to have staples in his head. No one had bothered to inform Noah. He also realizes that their foster parents are looking to adopt both of them. Noah knows that he needs to straighten out his life if he hopes to have any chance of gaining custody after he graduates from high school.
Lila talks Echo into attending a party the night of her eighteenth birthday. Lila is drinking the boys up underneath the table and goes for a bathroom visit, leaving Echo waiting in the hallway. A rough looking biker chick bumps into Echo and begins to have words with her. Echo is not one for confrontation and stays quiet. Noah has seen what happens and defends Echo. The girl leaves and Echo is mad that Noah seems to be everywhere. She rushes out of the house for some air and Noah follows her asking if she ever wears a jacket. Shivering, he gives her his leather jacket and leans in close to tell her that he heard a rumor. Looking up at him, Echo realizes that he is close enough to kiss her. He wishes her a happy birthday and leaves. He will get his jacket back from her when they meet up on Monday to discuss tutoring.
On Monday morning, her friends tell Echo that her former jock boyfriend, Luke, was looking to dance with her at the party. They notice that she has Noah's coat. Being seen with the stoner isn't good for her reputation and Luke is looking for her. They stuff his coat into Echo's locker before Luke can see it. By Tuesday, Noah is cold. He waits her Echo after school by her locker. He is frustrated since it is his only day off for the week and she is locked away in a therapy session. When he finally sees her walking down the hall, she ignores him. He gets angry and says that he is sorry to soil her reputation. She finally looks at him and apologizes that she didn't see him. Noah sees that she is crying and he feels terrible that he has put his foot in his mouth a second time. He is mesmerized by her and gets her to start helping him with calculus. Soon they are bonding over their respective losses.
Before too long, neither Echo nor Noah can keep their thoughts from straying to one another. They come up with a plan to see their respective files in Mrs. Collins' office. Will they get caught? What happens when seemingly little miss perfect begins to hang around the school's stoner bad boy? Will Echo finally remember the events that took place the night her mother tried to kill her? Can she handle the truth? Will Noah be able to graduate from high school and get his little brothers back? And what will happen when two people that seem so wrong for one another turn out to be just right?
Crossing the Line - book 1.5
Lila McCormick met Lincoln Turner at Aries Emerson's funeral. Lincoln's older brother Joshua was killed in the same IED explosion in Afghanistan as Aries. His family traveled to Kentucky to pay their respects. Siting with Lila was the only time he broke down over his brother's death. For the next two years, Lila and Lincoln wrote letters to one another. They both kept every one they received from the other. With high school graduation upon them, Lila is horrified and heartbroken to learn that Lincoln lied to her. Determined to make things right with the girl he fell in love with through her letters to him. He travels to Louisville in an attempt to make things right.
What happens when Lincoln arrives unexpectedly on Lila's door step? What did he lie to her about? Can Lila forgive him? And is it possible for two people to fall in love with one another through written letters?
Visit Katie McGarry's website.