Insatiable Reads Blog Tour: Always by Ellery Rhodes
I’m a hopeless romantic. I’m one of those girls that watches a movie a million times and cries like I’m seeing it the first time. Some of my favorites are Pretty Woman, Sleepless in Seattle, The Notebook, Sweet Home Alabama, Runaway Bride and Sweet November (I still cross my fingers in hopes that Sara will be magically cured and she and Nelson live happily ever and have lots of babies...and every time I’m disappointed lol). I believe in happily ever after and I believe that love is the most beautiful thing on this earth.
When I sat down and decided to write a New Adult romance, I knew I wanted to write something saccharine sweet. A story about two people who are on the cusp of figuring out who they want to be in the world and if they can overcome their past and make their relationship work.
I was listening to this playlist I put together to inspire me and I stopped on Colin Hay, “I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You”. Here’s my favorite lines:
Your face it dances and it haunts me
Your laughter's still ringing in my ears
I still find pieces of your presence here
Even after all these years...
As I replayed it a couple of times, I started getting pieces of a story and it all began with the sentence: You never forget your first love.
From there, the story about the son of a wealthy family and a daughter of their maid falling in love was born.
When Juliet and Lucas met as children, they had an instant connection that broke through class barriers. They were best friends: playing, growing, falling in love--until Juliet and her mother left the estate.
Six years have passed when they find each other in college. Juliet is running from the hurt of a failed relationship and a horrible freshman year, transferring in to Seattle University. Lucas is the resident player at Seattle University and reminds her of the guy that broke her heart into a million pieces. But Lucas is more than the playboy exterior he uses as a shield to keep people from getting too close. With Juliet, he wants to be more. But the past and family secrets stand in their way of finding the love they lost years ago.
Flash Interview with Ellery:
What’s your favorite line from any movie?
-What do you want to be married to me for, anyhow?
-So I can kiss you anytime I want.
from Sweet Home Alabama
If someone made a movie of your life, what kind of movie would it be?
Definitely a romantic comedy! I’m finally getting my happily ever after (I get married in October!), but man did I date some idiots to find my prince. :)
What's your favorite material object that you already own?
My phone. It’s the first thing I check in the morning and the last thing I check at night. When I forget my phone I feel naked. I literally freak out a little because I feel like I’m cut off from the world.
If you were to get a permanent tattoo done, what would it be and where?
Oh this one’s easy! (I already have two: ‘Let it Be’ in cursive behind my ear and a heart and music note on my lower back) I think the next tat I’d get would be a quote from a line from my favorite book, The Bell Jar, probably on my upper back:
I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart.
I am, I am, I am.
What is the best vacation you have had?
Last year, I took my fiance back home to North Carolina to meet my family and while we were there I took him to my favorite beach-y place, Emerald Isle. It was March, during the week, so it wasn’t crowded and we stayed at this hotel right on the beach called The Islander. It wasn’t crazy hot yet so we spent a lot of time lazing around, eating the BEST seafood ever (OMG the hush puppies at Crab Shack!), and just enjoying some time away.
Here’s an excerpt from my New Adult romance, Always:
She froze, then started moving.
I almost had to break a sweat to catch up to her. I gripped her arm. "Julie--"
She yanked away like my touch was venomous. Maybe she needed time to digest everything, but I wouldn't let her leave like this.
I pulled her back to me and pushed her against the wall, arms flexed, blocking her in.
She wouldn't look at me. "What are you doing, Lucas?"
"We're not done."
She glared up at me. "Are you serious? You came after me because you wanted to finish some assignment? The same guy who flunked a class you just have to show up to and pass with flying colors?"
The comment stung, but I didn't budge. She was trying real hard to piss me off, just like the whole 'A McNamara' thing from earlier. I knew my father was a ruthless businessman, building his empire off the slaughtered hopes and dreams of anyone that dared to cross him. I knew the name McNamara was synonymous with greed.
But I was close enough to Juliet that she couldn't hide the truth from me. At that very moment, my last name was irrelevant. It was Julie and Lucas, and we may as well have been up against that oak tree six years ago.
The night she left for what we both thought was forever.
I didn’t even have to close my eyes to remember every detail.
The night air was warm and intoxicating, with just the right amount of breeze to make it perfect. Wind rustled Juliet’s dark hair across her face.
I frowned. That’s weird. Usually she obsessively tucked it behind her ears or yanked it into a ponytail. She was always threatening to cut it all off. She didn’t care about any of that girly stuff…and it made her even more beautiful to me.
I dropped my frown immediately.
I willed my hand to stop shaking as I slowly brushed the hair away and my stomach clenched immediately. Her eyes were red and swollen and it was like a punch to the gut. It was crazy, but seeing her in pain brought me pain.
Her lips quivered as she looked at me with the saddest eyes I’d ever seen.
“We’re leaving, Lucas. We’re leaving tonight.”
All the air was ripped from my lungs. I’d never even considered that option. She’d been my neighbor for three years. Tears streamed down her face and if I was being honest, I was dangerously close to crying myself.
Keep it together. Julie needs you.
I’d never seen her like this. Emotional. Vulnerable. Not the girl that didn’t gasp at the sight of blood and wore her scrapes like badges of honor.
I cupped the sides of her face and before I had time to overthink it, I pressed my lips against hers. She tasted like cherry chapstick and some other feeling that stirred in my chest. When I pulled back and her eyes were still closed, I knew there was no denying it now.