Welcome to day 2 of the BREAKING THE RULES Excerpt Tour! If you missed day one, be sure to check it out over at Mundie Moms because my excerpt picks up where Katie's left off.
I gently nip her earlobe. While mornings aren’t her thing, she’s definitely a night girl. “I promised Jacob I’d video chat with him today. You wanted to shop for a new dress, and we have one more stop before we hit Denver.”
Jacob—my younger brother.
I spent the past three years of my life plotting and scheming to gain custody of him and our youngest brother, Tyler. This spring, after experiencing one of those life-altering moments you see in the movies, I walked away from the custody battle and gave my brothers the life I could never provide. I shattered the fucked-up remains of my heart in the process. But Echo, being a damned magical siren, gathered the pieces and has slowly sewn them together.
“I take it back,” Echo mumbles into the pillow. She fails at pulling the cover over her head when I pinch the blanket with my fingers to keep it in place. “I don’t want a new dress for Denver. You take the keys and go chat with Jacob.”
Echo’s been invited to an art showing, and this one has her on edge. If I had to guess why, I’d say she’s tired of the same pretentious jerks acting like they know everything. I’ve been over this nonsense since our second week, but Echo’s into it, and I’m into Echo. “We need to map out the rest of our trip so I can call ahead and get shifts. I need cash if you want to stay in a hotel again.”
I worked at the Malt and Burger for two years in Louisville, and thanks to their employee travel program, I can take swing shifts at sister stores throughout the nation. Gas and food on this trip hasn’t been cheap, and then I sent a chunk of money to my best friend, Isaiah, for a deposit on an apartment.
“I’ve got money.” Echo nestles in like it’s three in the morning instead of seven, and damn if she doesn’t look sexy doing it.
Even with the slump she’s hit this past month, Echo did well earlier this summer by selling her paintings at galleries. I agree she could finance us, but the only thing I have left is my pride, and I’ll eat shit before anyone rips that from me.
“I’m earning my way,” I say. “If you don’t come with me today, we’ll end up going through Kansas again.”
She wrinkles her nose but has yet to open her eyes. “It’s a large country, Noah. We can live without seeing Kansas again.”
“If you wake up and come with me, we’ll have plenty of time to plan a new route.”
“Know what I haven’t had plenty of in two years? Sleep. Now—shhhh. I’m nightmare-less, and you’re ruining my streak.”
Echo’s been nightmare-less for seven days. It’s a big milestone, for both of us. “Echo…”
“Please,” she whispers in this sensual Southern drawl full of the cracked grogginess that drives me crazy. “Pretty please?”
Everything inside me softens. Hands down, this girl owns me. I gave up caring this past spring how fucked I am because of it. “Five minutes.”
“Ten minutes, and we’ll stay in a hotel tonight.” We’re visiting Colorado Springs for the next two days before we drive to Denver. It’s our last sightseeing trip before going home. Until this point, I’ve been adamant we camp.
Accepting her silence as consent to the deal, I hook an arm around her and draw her into my body. Echo flips, rests her head on my bare chest, and I don’t miss the unrepentant smirk. Her breath tickles my skin, and the thought of seducing her creeps back into my brain. I shove the impulse away. I made a deal and I’m a man of my word.
With the soft sound of her even breaths and her body molded to mine, my eyelids grow heavy. I battle the urge to sleep along with her. This summer has brought a sense of peace I haven’t experienced since I was fourteen, since the night before my parents died.
A herd of footsteps race past the tent, and seconds later a small kid’s voice yells, “Hey, wait up.”
I force my eyes open. “Come on, baby. It’s time.”
“You’re mean, Noah.”
The blanket falls off her arm as I slide a finger down her shoulder. Goose bumps form along her skin at my touch. She may be cranky, but she’s responding.
BREAKING THE RULES Synopsis:
A summer road trip changes everything in this unforgettable new tale from acclaimed author Katie McGarry.
For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so . . . different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who's never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything--except the one thing Echo's just not ready for.
But when the source of Echo's constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants--even as foster kid Noah's search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love, and themselves.
Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah's more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he'd be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn . . . seriously epic.
And don’t forget to read the first books in the Pushing the Limits Series…
About Katie McGarry:
Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.
Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.
EXCERPT REVEAL SCHEDULE:
As a reader I always want to know what happens after the last page. Was it really happily ever after? It's rare that after a couple has their story that they get a follow up. BREAKING THE RULES is a glimpse into the life of Noah and Echo post-PUSHING THE LIMITS. Oddly enough, despite how much I clamor for these follow up books, wanting to reconnect with characters I love, I usually feel let down by sequel books. But in BREAKING THE RULES, I fell deeper in love with two characters that kickstarted Katie McGarry's career and my love of her books.
This book is a reader's dream. Not only did I get to catch up with Noah and Echo again, but I love that McGarry was careful to keep this book from getting overly fluffy and cliche. Don't get me wrong - this might be her steamiest book to date, but it's also so real. Noah and Echo are growing up and that means dealing with adult problems that question their relationship.
While on the road they both grow and learn more about each other and themselves. They fight, sometimes like teenagers over petty things, but then they also learn how to resolve issues and talk them out. This book isn't just about two people being in love, it's about the maturity that it takes to form a lasting relationship.
McGarry can do no wrong in my book, but with 3 books written between PtL and BtR, I thought Noah and Echo were my least favorite pairing. BtR made me realize that I was so very. very wrong. Time to go re-read PtL!
Rating: 5 Stars