From USA Today bestselling author comes the second book in the Lost Boys series of interconnected standalones. Holden and River’s emotional and heart-wrenching journey to love, redemption, and their happy ever after.
When You Come Back To Me by Emma Scott is now live!
At Santa Cruz Central High School, they called them the misfits, the outcasts, the weirdos. But most of us knew them as the Lost Boys…
Holden Parish survived his parents’ horrific attempts to make him “the perfect son.” After a year’s stint in a Swiss sanitarium to recover, he has vowed to never let anything–or anyone–trap him again. Brilliant but broken, he seeks refuge behind alcohol, meaningless sex, and uses his wicked sense of humor to keep people away. He only has to ride out one year in the coastal town of Santa Cruz with his aunt and uncle before he inherits his billions and can make his escape. Disappear.
Falling in love is not in the plans.
River Whitmore. Star quarterback of the Central High football team, Prom King, Mr. Popular, ladies’ man. He leads the perfect life…except it’s all a lie. His father has River’s future in the NFL all planned out, while River’s dream is to run the family business in the town that he loves. But his mother’s illness is tearing the family apart and River is becoming the glue that holds them together. How can he break his father’s heart when it’s already shattering?
River’s carefully-crafted façade explodes when he meets Holden Parish. A guy who dresses in coats and scarves year-round, drinks expensive vodka, and spends his free time breaking into houses for the fun of it. They’re complete opposites. River seeks a quiet life, away from the spotlight. Holden would rather have dental surgery than settle down.
Holden’s demons and River’s responsibilities threaten to keep them apart, while their undeniable attraction crashes them together again and again, growing into something deep and real no matter how they resist.
Until one terrible night changes everything.
Lost Boys is a new series of interconnected, coming-of-age standalones from USA Today bestselling author Emma Scott, coming in 2020
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I remember when I was editing The Girl in the Love Song, every scene that Holden was in, I wanted to equal parts hug him and shake him. I wanted to understand his allusiveness…his see-through stare…his outlandish attire…his ostentatious behavior. I also thought how fitting it was for him to be a bonafide member of the Lost Boys because I don’t think there’s a boy more lost than Holden Parish.
But as much as I knew his backstory was going to be tough to read, I didn’t anticipate just how much the people who were supposed to love him unconditionally let him down…how much they tried to make him into something that he was never going to be and shouldn’t have be…how truly scarred he was by other people’s actions that the only thing he could do to gain back any kind of control led him down a path that made him reckless and harsh…that made him do whatever it took to hide his scars, to maintain the perfectly put together facade, but in the long run, all it did was make his life harder, risking too much to quiet his demons and to dull the pain.
River Whitmore epitomizes the idea that selflessness sometimes comes with a cost. Because for someone who seems to have it all figured out and has the best of everything, he’s beyond lonely and out of sorts. The fact that his mother is dying and his father seems to be living his own hopes and dreams through his son make River feel like he can’t truly be himself…he can’t want what he truly wants because the repercussions are something he’s unwilling to pay, even though he doesn’t know for a fact the way things would play out, he won’t risk it, which only adds to the strain of not living for himself and instead keeping up the facade that doesn’t showcase what he truly wants and deserves for himself.
The push and pull between Holden and River has been there from their first interaction and the fact that Holden knows how to push people’s buttons so expertly and seems to revel in riling River up only adds to their angsty relationship. But I don’t think either of them realize how much of a lifeline they are for one another…how they count on their moments together to sustain them in ways they can’t quite acknowledge because if they did, what they share becomes something tangible, something they’d have to face, whether it’s just to themselves or to those around them. And caring or god forbid loving each other is not supposed to happen, not just because of how different they are but also because the future is not something they’re prepared for, at least when it comes to putting their hearts on the line and feeling something that could very well destroy them.
The idea of one’s worth is a theme strewn throughout the pages of Holden and River’s story and Emma Scott does a phenomenal job of allowing her readers to truly see just how worthy both Holden and River are and that their worthiness is not contingent on living a certain way, accomplishing certain goals, or ensuring that they make those they love proud of them. They simply deserve whatever and whoever they want because that is their right as human beings.
When You Come Back To Me is everything I adore about Emma Scott’s storytelling: the effortless way her words allow her readers to feel and understand every single one of her characters’ emotions; the dynamic and complicated story line that explicitly illustrates all that her characters have endured, allowing readers to understand why they do what they do, no matter if we agree with those decisions or not; the true beauty of the lessons and messages that are taught in the layers of her multifaceted stories and characters.
It’s clear that the driving force behind Scott’s writing is the need to be as open and honest as she can be, never sugarcoating life’s harshness or the hope that can still be found in the most devastating circumstances…because it’s in those moments where the light finds a way to shine through, offering hope to the hopeless and healing to those in the most pain.
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On the stage, Miller spoke into the mic in a low, almost shy voice. “Hey, my name is Miller Stratton. I’m going to play a song by Coldplay. It’s called ‘Fix You.’”
I let my gaze slide to Holden, studying the contours of his profile—his chiseled jaw and cheekbones, strong nose, full lips. He swallowed, and I watched the movement of his Adam’s apple. Thoroughly masculine. Nothing feminine about it.
“Can I help you?” he whispered, eyes forward.
“It sucks not talking to you,” I said, as Miller strummed the first chords of the song. “I don’t know why. You’re arrogant as fuck.”
“Fair. You’re a grilled cheese sandwich.”
I snorted. “A what?”
“Shh,” Holden said. “Listen. This is our song.”
Our song. Nothing was ours. There was no us. But Miller sang that if you never try you’ll never know, and the words pierced me like arrows.
I took my hand out of my pocket and let it hang by my side again. Again, my skin brushed Holden’s, sending shards of heat dancing up my arm while Miller sang about lights that ignite your bones.
I looked at Holden and he looked at me.
Without letting myself think, I slipped my fingers around the side of his hand and slid my palm against his. He gasped slightly—a small intake of breath only I heard in the darkened auditorium. Then he let his hand settle into mine. Another heartbeat, and our fingers laced together.
“And I will try,” Miller sang, his rich voice hovering in the air in that silent auditorium.
“To fix you.”
A short silence fell before the crowd erupted in thunderous cheers, unlike anything I’ve ever heard. Miller’s version of the song was unlike anything I’d ever heard either, as if he were singing directly to me. To us.
Because it’s our song.
Under the cover of applause, I let go of Holden’s hand and tugged the cuff of his coat.
I left without looking back but heard Holden’s footfalls following. Warning bells clanged in my head but were drowned in the thrashing beat of my heart that felt as it were trying to break free of its prison like it had at the pool. Only this time I was stone-cold sober. No excuses.
I pushed open the door next to the auditorium—the back area of the band room that was for instrument storage. Huge basses loomed in dimness, and drums of all sizes and styles lined the walls.
Holden followed me in and shut the door behind him. “Hello, friend.”
“I put in my college applications,” I said as he approached me in the darkness. “I’m going away to Texas or maybe Alabama this summer.”
“Establishing the rules, are you?” he drawled, though his voice was thick and tinged with nerves.
I swallowed hard. “Nothing’s changed. Nothing can change.”
“I told you,” Holden said, in front of me now. “I’ll never ask you for anything. I don’t have anything to give. Except this.”
I wanted to tell him that wasn’t true, that I was the one who had nothing to offer. I shouldn’t have led us here. I should walk out, but his goddamn voice, the scent of him, his presence was overwhelming. My hands itched to touch him, to grab him and…
My first kiss with a guy. It seemed as if I’d been waiting a lifetime for it and yet the moment was rushing at me like a speeding train.
“Stop thinking, River,” Holden whispered. “We’re here. Right now.” He leaned in.
“What are you going to do?”
Emma Scott is a USA Today and Wall St. Journal bestselling author whose books have been translated in five languages and featured in Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, New York Daily News and USA Today’s Happy Ever After. She writes emotional, character-driven romances in which art and love intertwine to heal, and in which love always wins. If you enjoy emotionally-charged stories that rip your heart out and put it back together again, with diverse characters and kind-hearted heroes, you will enjoy her novels. Visit http://www.emmascottwrites.com
Someday, Someday (M/M standalone)
A Five-Minute Life (standalone)
Bring Down the Stars (Beautiful Hearts #1)
Long Live the Beautiful Hearts (Beautiful Hearts #2)
A new YA/NA series of interconnected standalones, coming in 2020
“At Santa Cruz Central High, we called them the misfits, the outcasts, the weirdos. But most of us knew them as the Lost Boys.”
The Girl in the Love Song (Lost Boys #1) : http://bit.ly/2MLnYhU
When You Come Back To Me (Lost Boys #2) : http://bit.ly/37BsCHh
The Last Piece of his Heart (Lost Boys #3) : http://bit.ly/2QeVlfa
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