Oh... my... gosh!!! Better has officially jumped nearly to the top of my favorite books list. It is incredibly rare that I get so emotionally attached to a story, or even can identify closely with a character. So the fact that I did both with Better makes it the book equivalent of riding a unicorn over a rainbow. I cried, I laughed, and I cried some more. It was an emotional journey, but I loved every minute of it.
I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that I bawled my eyes out reading this one. The first chapter tugged on my heart strings and got me hooked on the story; the second chapter broke my heart and reduced me to a puddle of tears. But even though Carey ripped my heart out and tore it to shreds, she didn't leave it that way. For the rest of the book, I felt like I was on the trip with Aubrey; healing my own wounds along the way.
And then there is Adam. Hello, swoon worthy! He's strong and just a little bit of a jerk. But, at the end of the day, he is sweet, loyal and protective of Aubrey, and exactly what she needs.
Book Title: Better
Author: Carey Heywood
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 17, 2014
Aubrey is embarking on a bucket-list trip around the world, the last wish of her Aunt Ally. It was supposed to be the trip Ally would have taken when she got better. Now, it’s just a chance for Aubrey to say good-bye. Adam escapes in his solo trips overseas, working just enough to fund the next one. When the opportunity to circle the globe falls in his lap, he can’t refuse. The only catch is that he won’t be traveling alone this time. Unable to hide from each other, Adam’s overprotective nature thwarts Aubrey’s desire to find her own way. Can they move past initial assumptions to find something better?
“What are you doing in here?" I stammer.
He’s on his knees by the bed, reaching under. "This bed is a trundle. There's no way I'm sleeping on that sofa."
"But I'm sleeping in here," I argue.
I watch as he pulls the trundle out. It's smaller, maybe twin sized."Yes, and I'm sleeping here." He makes a wide sweep with his hands over the smaller bed.
I remember how awkward it felt, sleeping so near him the night before. At least the trundle is low to the ground. My mouth drops as he depresses a lever and raises it to the same height as my bed, and the way it's made, we'll be face to face with maybe an inch separating his bed from mine.
I gulp. He turns to look at me. "Um, I was going to get changed."
"Oh, don’t mind me."
"Out," I order him.
His eyes travel lazily down me, and I shiver. His mouth twitches before he turns to leave, closing the door behind him. I hurry over to it and lock it, sagging against it. I had been looking forward to a night away from him. I quickly change, unlock the “door, and climb into bed. I hear the door open and shuffle further under the covers.
When I wake the next morning, I'm facing him. Wiping sleep from my eyes, I watch him. He's shirtless, his sheet draping low across his hips. I lick my lips, mesmerized by the rise and fall of his chest. I quietly slip out of bed and out of the room, taking my clothes for the day with me. I need distance. I can't stay in that room any longer. It smells like him, a mixture of Irish Spring, his cologne, and something just him.I shower and get dressed. I'm in the kitchen, rummaging through the cabinets for something to snack on when he walks out. He's still shirtless. Why can't he put on a shirt?
"Hungry?" he asks, scratching the back of his head.
"A bit," I admit."Give me a minute. I saw a bakery close by."
He walks back into the room and shuts the door. A couple minutes later, he walks back out, now in jeans and a vintage looking M*A*S*H t-shirt.
He laughs. "It was my dad's."
"You're wearing hand me downs," I joke.
"Just trying to live the green life."
I don’t give him the satisfaction of a chuckle even though that was funny as I follow him out of the flat.
"What about Abe?"
"He can get his own breakfast," he says, grabbing a set of keys that are hanging on a hook by the door. I give him a look.
"Don't worry. I'll bring him something back." He holds the door open for me.
I tuck my hair behind my ear and hurry down the stairs. I wait for him at the bottom, not sure which direction to go. He comes up beside me, tilting his head to the right. We turn together and walk.
"I saw you."
"Excuse me?" I stop.” “He's now a step ahead of me. He looks back at me.
"I saw you watching me this morning."
"I wasn’t," I stammer, looking away.
"If you say so," he says as he continues to walk.I follow him but stay a step behind on purpose. I can't believe he saw me.”
About the Author
Carey Heywood is a self-published New York Times and USA Today bestselling author with six books out and many more to come. She was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. Ever the mild-mannered citizen, Carey spends her days working in the world of finance, and at night, she retreats into the lives of her fictional characters. Supporting her all the way are her husband, three sometimes-adorable children, and their nine-pound attack Yorkie.