Painted Boots by Mechelle Morrison
Age Group: Mature Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 15, 2013
Amazon ♥ B & N
When her father drags her to a new life in Wyoming, Aspen Brand doesn’t expect to fall for a cowboy named Kyle Thacker—but she does.
At seventeen, Aspen and Kyle share unexpected ground: guitar, running, physics. And guilt. Aspen blames herself for her mother’s car accident, while Kyle can’t find a way past his brother’s suicide.
On their first date they open up to each other, forging an unbreakable bond between them. But Kyle has spent two years living with a vicious secret—one his ex-girlfriend will do anything to protect—and sharing his truth with Aspen makes her a target. Now if Kyle is to be her love story, Aspen must first win the fight of her life.
As Kyle walks to my bedside, my eyes fill with tears. I want him to wrap his arms around me and hold me like he’ll never let me go, the way he did the day we danced together at Monsters Stomp. I want to hear his beautiful, tenor voice telling me everything will be all right, that his heart hasn’t changed. But all he does is hunch over me, resting his forearms on the white railing between us. When Kyle gathers my hand in his, Dad coughs and mumbles something. Then Dad’s gone.
Maybe Kyle was waiting for Dad to go. Maybe now he’ll pull off his boots and climb up next to me and settle by my side. I want to cradle my head on his shoulder while we talk and talk and talk. I crave the warmth of his body. I need the soothing sound of his voice. But he just stands there.
He inspects my hand for a while, rubbing his thumb across my knuckles with careful, light strokes, his wheels turning. Terrifying silence builds between us. I worry this is all too much for him, that knowing Em hurt me brings back too many bad memories of his own.
It’s possible that what she did to me scares him, like he’s next or something. Maybe his demons are too strong, even stronger than all the intimate things we emailed back and forth: putting our bodies together and kissing and our future and stuff.
Kyle’s gaze shifts. He’s so intent on wherever he’s looking that I follow his stare to the far white wall of the room. A watercolor print hangs there, framed in cheap bleached wood, the flowery bouquet faded into tone-on-tone. As I look at it, the image blurs into nothing.
I hate waiting on what he’s going to say. I don’t want to hear him grope around for a perfectly phrased good-bye. Not now. I draw one breath and turn to face him, determined to ask him what he’s thinking. It’s better just to know. But before I can speak, his eyes lock on mine.
Mechelle Morrison loves language--she's always wished she could speak and write them all. She lives for chocolate, lazy summer days, spontaneously funny things . . . and family. She's sort of scared of dogs.
When she's not reading or writing or wandering the world, she can be found in her backyard in Utah with her husband, their daughter and the bevy of quail that live behind their garage.
If she didn't write she'd make stop-motion animation shorts. So she does that anyway.
Giveaway: (2) Signed Print Copies of Painted Boots – US/Canada(1) Swag: Ceramic mug from the author’s ‘AspenBlovesKyleT’ Etsy store (a mug with the lyrics from Kyle’s songs on it) and (1) Pair of Vintage Earrings – US/Canada