The story that began in the USA Today bestseller RELENTLESS continues. Which team are you on?
In Relentless, college student Claire Nixon and surfer Adam Parker each had a painful past too heavy to carry alone. Claire tried to push Adam away, but Adam's relentless pursuit of her heart and her secrets made her walls come crumbling down.
Though their hearts will never be whole again, Claire and Adam now know they are stronger together than they are apart.But now Claire's attending college a hundred miles away from Adam. With their relationship already hanging by a thread, Adam is sent to Hawaii on business.
And rock star Chris Knight is back in Claire's life.Chris wants his ex-girlfriend back and he knows just how to get her: only he has the power to mend the final missing piece of Claire's broken heart. Now Claire must choose between a long-distance relationship with Adam and a second chance at love, family, and home.
New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language, drug use, and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.
The buzzing noise breaks me out of my trance and it takes a moment before I realize it’s my phone vibrating on my nightstand. I reach for the phone and see I have four missed calls. I must have been really out of it this time. Until now, I hadn’t meditated since yesterday morning.
All the missed calls are from an unknown number with a Raleigh area code. I debate ignoring the calls to continue my meditation, but the number of missed calls gives me an uneasy feeling.
“Who is it?” Senia asks from where she’s lying on her bed studying for a biochem exam.
I shrug then call the number. Someone picks up right away.
It’s Jackie and she sounds frantic.
“Jackie? What’s wrong?”
“Oh, my Lord. I left my phone at the shop. I’ve been calling you from Rachel’s phone. I didn’t think you would ever call back.”
“Jackie, what’s happened?”
“Claire, honey, I’m at the hospital. Chris had an accident.”
“An accident? What kind of accident?” My heart pounds as that uneasy feeling transforms into panic.
“Who had an accident?” Senia whispers.
“On his bike,” Jackie replies. “We’re at WakeMed.”
Just hearing the word WakeMed makes me want to vomit. I haven’t been there since I had Abigail five months ago. Jackie doesn’t know anything about Abigail.
“Claire? Are you still there?”
“Yes. I’m here. I’ll… I’ll be there in an hour.”
I’m shaking so hard as I pull on a pair of jeans and a clean shirt.
Senia grabs my hand as I reach for my car keys on the nightstand. “I’ll drive.”
“Drive fast, please.”
The whole forty-minute drive there, I keep imagining all the worst scenarios: he’s missing a leg, he’s in a coma, he’s on life support… or worse. Senia attempts to distract me with music, but I can’t stop my mind from wandering to the darkest places.
She drops me off in front of the emergency entrance then sets off to find parking. I stand outside the sliding doors under the red emergency sign for a moment, unable to move. This is exactly how it happened when I went into labor.
“Are you in labor?” the nurse with the blue cardigan and the straw-colored hair asks.
“Yes. Please put me in a room. Now, please.”
I’m more afraid of running into someone I know than anything else. I just want to get into a delivery room where no one but the doctors and nurses, and Senia, will see me.
“We’ll get you into a room right now, sweetie.”
Another nurse comes up behind me with a wheelchair and I’m hit with another contraction right as I sit down. It’s the worst pain I’ve ever felt and I’ve been suffering through it for the last three hours in Senia’s bedroom while waiting for the contractions to come less than four minutes apart. It’s 2:30 a.m. now and I can hardly keep my eyes open. My eyes roll back in my head and I feel as if I might actually die from the pain.
I’d rather be dead than be here right now.
Finally, the nurse wheels me away and it feels like it takes an hour before she finally arrives at the Women’s Pavilion. They set me up in a spacious room and hook me up to a zillion monitors. Every beat of my baby’s heart is like a hammer driven into my heart, breaking it into a million pieces. I finally ask the nurse to lower the volume on the heart rate monitor and she does it, but not without a judgmental scowl.
“Have you decided on any names?” another dark-haired nurse asks, putting on some gloves as she gets ready to probe my cervix for the third time since I arrived.
Senia throws her a look of disgust before she pulls the nurse outside. I don’t know what Senia says to her, but the dark-haired nurse, Sybil, is overly nice for the rest of my two-night stay. The entire staff is overly nice after that. Sybil must have shared the news about the adoption with everybody. But their kindness doesn’t soothe my anxiety or my guilt. I almost wish they would tell me what an awful person I am. Just confirm what I know they’re all thinking about me.
She’s just a stupid college student who got knocked up by having unprotected sex with some guy who probably wants nothing more to do with her.
If they knew the truth, if they knew that I kept this whole pregnancy a secret from Chris, they wouldn’t be this nice to me.
Senia places her hand on my back and leads me toward the emergency entrance. The doors whisper accusations as they slide open. Unfit. They slide shut behind me. Liar.
“It’s okay,” Senia whispers.
“Nobody knows what happened. That’s between you and Chris.”
I liked Claire's character, she is a strong woman trying to do better in life than her mother did. Her mother was raped by the man who is her father. Although Claire has never met him he leaves her a trust fund. Pissed off, she doesn't want to use the money or know anything about him. Her mother died when she was young and she was put in foster home after foster home until she found a real home with Chris and his mother (who takes in foster kids), who always treated Claire like a daughter. Chris and Claire fell in love and thought they would have a happily ever after. Chris is a rock star and has other goals and ambitions that don't always include CLaire. Claire has to make some tough decisions in her life that could very well kill her. Adam happens a year later. Adam is my favorite (I would choose him over Chris). He saves Claire from a life of sadness and makes her smile again but Adam comes with baggage as well. I loved the relationship between Adam and Claire. It seemed less selfish than hers with Chris (from both sides) and Adam, even though they have issues in their relationship, after a while he just seems to put Claire first, or tries to. This book had a lot of ups and downs and tears upon tears, very emotional (in a good way).
One complaint is the end, we'll have to wait for book 2 to finalize these issues, can't wait. I would recommend this book. 4 stars.
USA Today bestselling author Cassia Leo loves her coffee, chocolate, and margaritas with salt. When she's not writing, she spends way too much time watching old reruns of Friends and Sex and the City. When she's not watching reruns, she's usually enjoying the California sunshine or reading--sometimes both.
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