Chris King never saw it coming…
In some ways, closing the book on my first love was the worst day of life. I was gutted, and yet I was completely at peace with my decision. I walked away knowing that I did what was best for her, unsure if I could ever recover. Little did I know that one concert would change the entire course of my life. There I stood, signing autographs and snapping pictures with fans when a familiar face in the crowd catapulted my mind back in time—Salem Honeycutt, once a balm to my pain and a calm in my storm. Yet again, her smiling face gave me hope. Only one question remained: did she still see me as a wayward teenage boy who was completely off limits, or could she see the man I’d become…focused and driven, yearning for another chance at love?
For Salem Honeycutt, postpartum bliss seemed like a lie…
No one told me that I’d hate my baby when I brought her home from the hospital. No one told me that I’d want to put a pillow over my husband’s head and smother him in his sleep. No one told me that I’d want to slap every person who gave me the ever-so-cliché advice to ‘cherish every moment.’ No one told me that I’d despise my life the minute I became a mother, but I did. Then I met Chris King, the kid who made me want to pull myself up from the dark recesses of my mind and face each day. This kid, whose passion for life and talent for music, touched my soul deeper than I could ever touch his. Chris gave me a reason to live. I was once affectionately known as Mrs. H., Chris’s juvenile detention counselor. This is our story.
Wow! Melanie Dawn has completely left me in awe. I did not see this one coming, but I am so glad it did! This book is smart, witty and sexy. Throw in a dash of angst and a tremendous scoop of love and you have Then There Was You. This book had me sobbing and then slowly pieced my heart back together. I fell in deep with Chris King and I was so moved. This book quickly made its way onto my top five list! Yes, it is that good. I loved and adored each and every moment of it. I will never get that feeling of reading it for the first time again, but I will never give back the emotional ties I have to this book. It is so much more than just another book to be read. It was beautiful and heartwarming and it shows us all the value in a special bond. It shows us the power of love.
If you haven’t read So Much It Hurts, this has spoilers in it and I highly recommend you hopping over to one-click it right now! That way when you sit down to read this one, each piece of the Chris King puzzle will fall into place. My review will be here when you finish with So Much It Hurts. But to get the full picture of the amazing Chris King, you should start there.
After I finished So Much It Hurts, I spent a lot of time thinking about that amazing musician, Chris. I remember thinking he was such a stand up guy and a top notch character that would definatley be drool worthy in the right setting. Chris has found his setting here in the pages of Then There Was You. Kaitlyn destroyed his heart all those years ago and after finally seeing her again, she went back to her husband but she took another piece of him with her. It wasn’t until later that Chris found out what it was when he ran into Kaitlyn and her family in a grocery store. Staring back at him was this beautiful child with his eyes… wait, that little man was a reflection of Chris. He knew what he was seeing. But what he did was walk away. He knew that Kaitlyn was happy and she had a perfect little family, but she would always be the one that haunted him. She will always be the one that could never be.
When Chris left Kaitlyn the first time it wasn’t by choice. But by doing the right thing and protecting Kaitlyn, everything in his life was going to change. Being sent back to Juvie was not what Chris wanted, but protecting Kaitlyn left him little choice. He knew where he was going and when he said goodbye to her his life was going to change forever. He just didn’t realize how much.
Inside the halls of the juvenile dention center, Chris was broken. He didn’t want to be saved. He wanted Kaitlyn and that was it. He wasn’t in there to heal, he was in there to wait it out and get back to Kaitlyn. But something happened when he was there…
Salem had just returned from maternity leave and although she knew that she loved her baby, she needed a place to escape her own demons. Her place was work. She was a counselor at the center and Chris was one of the kids she tried to help. When she was at work, she wasn’t thinking about how much she hated being a mom and how much a baby had ruined her. She wasn’t thinking that this wasn’t the life for her. When she was at work she wanted to make a difference. Of course, working with Chris also seemed to heal a bit of the broken Salem.
Several years later, Salem is divorced and has taken her daughter to a concert and scored back stage passes certainly guaranteeing her mother of the year rights for her teenage daughter. Walking backstage and coming face to face with that 18 year old boy again after all this time… They still had their connection, their bond. She was 24 when they said their final goodbyes outside the facility that day, but standing here in front of her was that same boy, yet somehow different. Their connection stronger than ever.
Phew… so I am not telling any more of the story. It’s not my story to tell but this one just grabbed me and pulled me in. The first part of it was so emotionally touching and the second part was so emotionally freeing. I may have thought that Chris was a stand up guy after reading So Much It Hurts, but after finishing Then There Was You, I know that he is not only a stand up guy, he is amazing and talented and just plain beautiful inside and out. I just absolutely fell in love with Chris and the way he just reached into Salem’s soul was moving beyond belief.
I am not sure there were ever two so broken souls in a book that could heal one another like these two did, all those years ago and again now. Salem is such a kind soul and she truly believed in Chris like no other. But what Chris restored in her was quite remarkable too. I am not saying that this is the perfect situation and they are not without drama and angst but when these two were together, everything just fell into perfect harmony.
I want more of Chris King and his amazing ways. My original thoughts on Chris were 100% right on. He is a top notch stand-up kind of guy and definately made my heart skip a beat or two.This book was well balanced and beautifully written. This book just left me with a very content heart. It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t all hearts and roses, but it was touching and beautiful all the same. This book just moved me and I can’t wait to go back and re-read it!
“Goodnight, Alexis,” I told her.
“Night, mom.” She gave me a quick hug and darted toward the stairs.
The moment she was out of sight, Chris hopped up and wrapped me in his arms. “You don’t know how much I’ve missed this, you in my arms like this,” he said, pulling me tight against him.
I sank into his chest, laying my head over the thumping beat of his heart. “I miss this too,” I admitted, breathing in his manly, musky scent.
Our bodies melded together as he cradled my head against him. Kissing me gently on the top of my head, he whispered, “I’ve missed you so much, Salem.”
I lifted my eyes to look at him. “Thank you for coming tonight. I know it wasn’t easy to get here, especially knowing we only have a few hours together.”
He looked down at me, smiling. “Baby, even if I had to drive all night just to spend one minute with you, it would all be worth it.”
My heart flipped in my chest hearing him call me ‘baby.’ It was definitely a nickname I could get used to.
He lowered his lips to mine. The hot rush of passion tore through my body the moment his lips touched me. God, I’ve missed him. I parted my lips, an invitation for his tongue to find a deeper connection.
He ran his hands down my back, sending shivers up my spine. The caress of his fingers across my back left me hungry for more.
Chris reached up, gently grasping the sides of my face and caressing my cheeks with his thumbs. His soft, luscious lips moved against mine. My fingers found their way to his hair and tangled themselves up in it, pulling him closer to me. He thrust himself against me, causing me to arch my back in response. A gentle tug of his teeth on my lip sent a flaming burst of yearning through my core. He was hungry for me, too. I felt it in the gentle pulse of his erection beneath the fabric of his worn-out jeans.
A quiet moan escaped my throat, triggering a frenzy of him clutching, grasping, and pulling me toward him. I could sense the desperation behind his actions.
“Salem,” he whispered between kisses, “what are you doing to me?”
Pulling away from his mouth, I asked, “What do you mean?”
Tucking a strand of hair behind my ear and sliding his thumb down the length of my jaw, he said softly, “I didn’t mean to do this.”
“Didn’t mean to do what?” I asked, my eyes wide with worry.
Chris smiled that sexy half grin that melted my heart every time. His eyes held a softness, full of affection and adoration. “Fall for you,” he breathed.
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About Melanie Dawn
Melanie Dawn is a thinker, a dreamer, and a hopeless romantic. When her head isn’t in the clouds, she spends her time as a jack of all trades to her family. Melanie resides in the hills of North Carolina with her husband, her three children, and her cat. She enjoys lazy summer afternoons cruising around the lake on the pontoon boat with her family.
Melanie graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a BA in Psychology and earned her MA in School Counseling from Appalachian State University. She spent the first six years after graduate school as a middle school counselor. Those were years she deems as some of the best years of her life. That is, until she had children of her own. The last seven years have been spent as a stay-at-home mom. She has learned some tough life lessons, like what the inner absorbent pellets of a diaper look like scattered in the washing machine. She has also learned the strength of the willpower of a two year old lacking a nap. Through it all, Melanie has learned how to roll with the punches and appreciate the time she has been able to spend at home with her children.
Now that her last child has started Kindergarten, Melanie is ready to add a new chapter in her life. That chapter begins with her debut novel—So Much It Hurts.
Life is full of uncertainty, so what happens when a what-if from your past collides with your present?
Kaitlyn Thomas, a weary wife and mother, is taking a much needed getaway with her friends. All she wants to do is relax and rejuvenate on her weekend escape to the beach. Having a drink at the bar with the girls sounds like the perfect way to unwind. That is, until Kaitlyn hears a familiar voice from the stage that shakes her to her core. She grapples with her memory until Chris King, the lead singer of the band, walks up to her and eliminates the questions in her mind.
Chris King…the misunderstood bad boy who once saved her in ways that no one else could.
Kaitlyn’s friends beg to know the story behind this mystery man. Forced to revisit a painful past from which she has spent years trying to heal, Kaitlyn’s recollection of Chris awakens intense feelings that she has kept buried deep inside her heart. Has time changed him, or is he still the same person Kaitlyn fell in love with so many years ago?
Marriage vows are sacred, but temptation is a powerful thing.
Seeing Chris again has caused a war between her head and her heart. In the end, which one will win the battle? Facing a difficult decision, Kaitlyn just wants to be sure of one thing when she walks away from this weekend—no regrets.
To read Stephanie’s Five-Star Review of So Much It Hurts, CLICK HERE!