About the Book
Sometimes the truth hurts more than the lie.
Samantha Townsend knows a thing or two about love. She’d had it not once, but twice, and watched it slip through her fingers both times. But she got through it. She was always the silver lining kind of girl. Life never gives you more than you can handle.
When Sammi moves back to her old town, she’s faced with the one who got away. The first love. The big love. Connor Moore was everything she’d ever wanted in a boy. And now that they’re all grown up, she’s finding that she loves the man even more.
But some secrets are so big they break lives. And some truths are so hard that they can’t be overcome. When the weight of their decisions makes itself known, Sammi and Connor will need to decide how far they’re willing to go to find their happily ever after.
If it even exists.
I met Connor Moore when I was seven years old.
My dad had just been discharged from the Navy, and we’d moved back to his childhood home. It was foreign to me, this land of grain and corn. With all of the worldliness a seven year old could muster, I wanted the oceans of Japan. Instead, I was surrounded by a field of yellow and overly friendly neighbors who thought y’all was a proper form of address. I’d spent less than two years total in the United States, and most of that was when I was a baby. So I approached this new home with no small amount of trepidation and resentment.
The whining and crying of my little sister didn’t help matters any. Claire, at three, was a nuisance. All she did was cry, and scream, and steal my toys. And if I yelled at her, she started sobbing, so of course who was the one who got in trouble? Me.
Our new home was huge compared to our apartment in Kanagawa. Claire and I actually had our own rooms, and there was even an extra one where Daddy was going to put his office. I could get lost in that house. It almost made moving worth it.
Mama had been unpacking the kitchen when the doorbell rang.
“I got it!” I yelled and took off. I yanked open the door and stared blankly at the boy standing in front of me. A woman who I’d assumed was his mom, was standing behind him. She held a covered dish, and I eyed it suspiciously. Not much yumminess came from a casserole dish.
“Oh, aren’t you a pretty thing!”
I wrinkled my nose. The boy snickered.
“Who are you?” I asked..
The woman smiled. “We’re your neighbors, sweetie. I’m Mrs. Moore, and this is my son, Connor. Say hello, Connor.”
“Hello, Connor,” he muttered.
He glanced up with a sullen scowl, and I froze, staring into a pair of the bluest eyes I’d ever seen. They were huge, dominating his face and framed by thick, black lashes. Mama wore a lot of black makeup stuff to make her eyelashes look like that. They weren’t just one shade of blue, either. There were streaks of darker blue throughout, like little bolts of lightning in his eyes.
I saw a rock once, sitting on a shelf in a little store. It was so, so pretty. A really vibrant blue that just made me stop and stare. It had been framed in silver and attached to a chain. When I asked Mama to get it for me, she said that it was Lapis Lazuli, and it was too expensive for a little girl.
His eyes looked like that stone.
“Mama,” I called over my shoulder. “Neighbors!”
Mama came up behind me, and I half-turned to see her smile at Mrs. Moore. Claire toddled along behind, and I scowled when I saw one of my dolls shoved in her mouth. There was drool on its leg. Ew.
“Hello,” Mama said. Mrs. Moore held out the casserole dish, and Mama accepted it with a nod.
Mrs. Moore said, “We live across the street. I was just telling your daughter that my name is Ava Moore. This is my son, Connor.”
“It’s nice to meet you, Ava. I’m Noel Townsend. This is my eldest daughter, Sammi, and this is Claire.”
“Sammi is a boy’s name,” Connor said. “You don’t look like a boy.”
“I’m not,” I said, narrowing my eyes. “Sammi isn’t just a boy’s name. I’m a girl, and my name’s Sammi. Duh.”
“Don’t ‘duh’ me,” he said, arms falling to his sides. He took a step forward, and we glared at each other.
“I’ll race you,” he said suddenly, stepping back. “To the street corner. You win, and I’ll say Sammi is a girl’s name too. I win, and you have to admit you just want to be a boy.”
I fingered my braid and eyed the distance to the stop sign he was pointing to. Our house was almost halfway down the street, so it was a decent distance. Looked like fun. When I glanced up at Mama, she just gave me a shrug.
“Go play, Sammi. Just stay in sight of the house, all right?”
I nodded and turned back to Connor. “Fine.”
We lined up on the sidewalk, and I grinned as I felt excitement pulse through me. I loved this kind of stuff. Bets and races and dares. They were fun.
And I was really good at them.
“One, two, three, go!” Connor yelled, and we took off running and jostling for the street corner. I wrapped my hand around the stop sign seconds before he did and turned to smile victoriously, feeling it stretch wide across my face. My heart was hammering, both from happiness and from the run.
“Say it,” I said breathlessly.
He smirked. “Sammi isn’t just a boy’s name,” he said without hesitation. “But you’d make a pretty good boy. Just so you know.”
I laughed while pushing him back a step and shaking my head. “As if. I like being a girl.”
He smiled. “Cool. I like you. I’ve never really had a friend that’s a girl before.” “Well, I guess you’re going to learn all about it now.”
And that was that. Thick as thieves, the two of us. We ran half wild through the neighborhood. I didn’t even hate Iowa anymore. Not when I had Connor as a friend.
This was a boy that made cornfields worth it.
About the Author
Morgan Reeves is the author of the Never Ever After series. When she isn’t writing, Morgan chases around two energetic minions and tries to convince her loving husband that a miniature pig would make a great pet. She is also extremely fond of iced tea and hot coffee. You can find her books on all major retail sites, and she always loves to hear from readers so feel free to send her a message through Facebook at www.facebook.com/authormorganreeves. Morgan currently lives in Raleigh, NC.