Title: No Reverse
Author: Marion Croslydon
Age Group and Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Expected release date: August 12, 2013
A girl who needs to undo the past.
A boy who wants to forget it.
In love, there’s no way back.
At high school in Steep Hill, Kansas, Cassie O’Malley and Josh MacBride were the poster couple for quarterback/cheerleader romance until they starred in their own tale of teen pregnancy. No need to say: their shotgun wedding was low-key. But when there was no baby anymore, they went their separate ways.
Five years later, Josh has breezed through Georgetown and is about to finish his post-grad degree at Oxford University. He is set to join a lobbying group on Capitol Hill, owned by his new fiancée’s father. For Josh, the sky is now the limit… only he must first take care of a tiny legal matter: technically, he’s still married to the girl who broke his heart.
Meanwhile, Cassie has been waiting tables in Steep Hill to pay for her sick grandmother’s care. On the day of the old lady’s funeral, Cassie is served with two sets of papers. Josh is asking for a divorce. Her heart squeezes, but, well, he moved on a long time ago. But the second envelope shakes Cassie to the core. So, for the first time, she leaves Kansas and heads to good ol’ England.
There, Cassie finds that Josh has not just “moved on,” he’s freakin’ engaged to some blue-blooded heiress. The feelings Cassie had buried deep rush back to her. But no matter if he keeps thrusting the divorce papers under her nose, she needs him to save the only person she loves more than Josh, more than life itself…
“Hello, Sweetie, come in!” Mrs. O. gives me her familiar smile, almost
normal, but not quite. She knows something is off between Cass and me, and
she knows I don’t yet know what.
“I’m sorry to bother you so late. I come straight from football practice. I
need to talk to Cassie.”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ve made some apple pie. Would you like a slice?”
I’d usually say ‘yes’ because Mrs. O’s apple pie buys you a one-way
ticket straight to heaven. “Thanks, Ma’am. But I’ll pass tonight.”
The cinnamon smell is floating around me in the living room, but the taste
of the pie will be ruined by being dumped. Because tonight, that’s exactly
what’s gonna happen to me.
Mrs. O. shouts Cassie’s name up the staircase. Her hands clench around
the railing as if she needs it to keep standing. The old lady isn’t getting any
stronger. But the sound of footsteps walking down the stairs grabs my
Cassie isn’t happy to see me. She’s never been good at hiding her
thoughts, and tonight is no exception. Still, she looks worn out, dark circles
below her eyes, pale skin… and she’s lost weight. I can see that now she’s
only wearing a tank top and her shoulders are bare.
“I’ll give the two of you some privacy.” Mrs. O. starts walking up the
stairs but Cassie stops her when she reaches her level.
“Don’t worry, Gran. We’re going out on the porch.”
Her grandmother lifts an eyebrow but only says, “It’s chilly, so wrap
yourself up warm.”
Cassie nods, then makes a gesture for me to follow her outside. She grabs
a wide woolen shawl on the way out and throws it over her shoulders.
I close the door behind me and stare at her back. “You’re not covered up
enough” is all I manage to say. Pretty lame.
She doesn’t look back.
I take a few steps towards her and lay my hand on her shoulder. She
shudders but there’s still total silence.
“Listen, Cass, I’m not stupid. Something’s up. You’ve been avoiding me
for a week now. Tell me what’s wrong.”
She lowers her head and she’s biting her lower lip.
Okay, this has been going on now for too long. I’ve never lost my temper
with her, not a single time since we became best friends at age six. “Don’t be
a coward, O’Malley! If you want to break up with me, then do it. But stop
playing cat and mouse and behaving as if I don’t exist.” As if we’ve never
Her face slowly turns towards me and I see the tear tracking its way down
her cheek. I want to play tough, not let it get to me, but I can’t. I’ve never
been able to watch Cassie unhappy. It punches me straight in the gut. Every
“Cass…” My damned voice breaks. Instead of making a fool of myself, I
slide a hand behind her neck and the other one around her waist—the way
she likes me to—and pull her against me. She buries her face in my jacket
and I hear a small sob. I kiss the top of her head.
We stay like that for a while. For someone who can boss his team around
the field and shines on the debate team, I’m quite the loser when comes to
saying things that really matter. My brain is whirling around trying to figure
out what the hell has happened to make Cassie shut down like this.
“Is it Gran? I’ve seen how frail she looks.”
Cassie straightens up, steps back and readjusts the shawl around her
shoulders. Her cheeks are pink from the tears.
“Gran isn’t getting any better.” She’s not looking at me, but her eyes are
lost somewhere on my chest. She sniffles.
Her answer tells me the problem isn’t Mrs. O. I can feel the lump settling
back in my throat. If it’s not her gran, then the problem is me. The two of us
are Cassie’s world. She’s never opened up to anyone else, except Woodie.
But Woodie is fine. It can’t be about him.
“Have I done something wrong?”
She walked down the couple of steps that lead from the porch to the
muddy yard where I’ve parked my truck.
And I stay standing in the same place like a fool. So in a few steps, I catch
up with her and I’m about to tell her to spit it out because she’s driving me
nuts. But she spins around, and the lamps hanging over the porch make her
skin look even paler.
I take one last step toward her but she stops me by laying her hand on my
chest. I’m about to open my mouth.
Marion’s parents are terribly disappointed with her…
They wanted her to have a serious job, providing financial stability and social standing. For years, she really tried to make them happy; she studied hard, got into top schools, graduated with honors and found a high-achieving job.
But deep down, Marion was miserable. She never wanted to be a top executive, brokering deals in New York, London or Tokyo. Marion wanted to be… a ROMANCE WRITER. She wanted to spend her days in that good ol’ tracksuit of hers, in front of her laptop, popping down Oreos like there was no tomorrow. She wanted to fall in love with a different man each time she wrote the first line of a new book (while being happily married to the most handsome man in Great Britain).
That’s exactly what Marion does these days, and it makes her incredibly happy. She loves to share these happy vibes, talk book crush, fictional boyfriends and sexual chemistry with like-minded people. And because she spends most of her days on her own deep inside her writing cave, you are welcome to come and say “hello” from time to time. Just to make sure she doesn’t sink into insanity.
Her friends, family and arch-enemies (there are quite a few) will be forever grateful for your help.
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Prize Pack #1: Signed copy of No Reverse, £10 Amazon gift card (British Pounds), 1 No Reverse notebook, 1 No Reverse mug, 1 No Reverse mouse pad, 1 No Reverse pen
Prize Pack # 2: Signed copy of No Reverse, £10 Amazon gift card (British Pounds), 1 No Reverse notebook, 1 No Reverse mug
Prize Pack # 3: Signed copy of No Reverse, 1 No Reverse notebook, 1 No Reverse pen