Title: Back to You
Author: C.J. Miranda
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 25, 2017
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Cover Designer: Claire Smith
Four years after the most confusing summer of her life, recent college graduate Iris Tilley is moving back home with no idea of the repercussions waiting to greet her. Going home means reconnecting with her dad, facing her motherless home, and confronting her gorgeous neighbor, Weston Alcorn.
And all of this, unfortunately, has to be done in a small southern town where gossip is a prized currency.
As the summer forges on, Iris struggles to find her place in a town that’s changed as much as it’s stayed the same, and it doesn’t help that Weston doesn’t seem to know how to treat her. Through awkward encounters, tense conversations, and heartbreaking revelations, neither Weston nor Iris can ignore the spark they ignited four years prior. But as Iris's past and the prospect of her future violently clash, it's no longer a question of can they ignore it, but will they have the chance?
I just can’t handle it anymore.
All the smiles, all the hugs, all the congratulations, they’re all just so damn fake.
None of them will touch on the elephant in the room, comment on the woman who isn’t there.
They won’t act like my mom’s just bailed on me and my dad; no, they’re all so damn proud of me for graduating high school that it doesn’t matter.
So I slip out the front door and plop down on our porch steps, hugging my knees to my chest and then crying for what feels like the millionth time this summer.
It’s too much. All of it is just too much.
That’s why I’m getting the hell out of this place at the crack of dawn tomorrow. Instead of going to the state school just a short ride across the interstate, I decided at the last minute to accept the offer from the school in Shreveport, the city farthest from home where I’ll still get an in-state tuition rate.
It killed my dad, of course, to hear that I’m leaving. He’ll never say it aloud, but it’s like I’m doing the same thing my mom did to him. I know that. Of course I know that, and it kills me to know I’m hurting him.
But I feel like an animal with its hind legs caught in a trap.
I’m just so desperate to get away from this place, to get away from the memories of this household, of happy parents in my happier childhood. I can’t stand to keep walking the streets of the town I love, the town my mom claimed she loved until she said in her goodbye note that “it was just too small.” I can’t see the sympathetic faces of our neighbors, hear their pitying sighs as I walk by.
I need to get the hell away from it, to breathe.
And breathing in a town so close to the gulf that there’s a constant cloud of humidity lingering in the air isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do.
Especially now, now that it’s the middle of summer, now that it’s nighttime and there’s that lingering scent of oncoming rain. The moisture in the air is practically suffocating, but I’ll take it any day over being in that kitchen and having to act like going off tomorrow is more exciting than it is necessary for survival.
CJ Miranda is a twenty-three year old LSU graduate with a romantic side she’s never shown to the people in her life. Having grown up quiet, shy, and incredibly sarcastic in a small town she never felt a part of, CJ spent her spare time writing multiple romance novels that she posted for free online. Having done that since she was thirteen, she now feels that it’s time to pursue what has always been her dream.
When she’s not writing or reading, she’s either working at her day job or drinking wine with her best friend/roommate and laughing at whatever their diva dogs are doing.
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