The Boyfriend Bookmark: ★★★★★
He’s twenty-four. She’s eighteen.
His life is exactly the way he’s always wanted it to be…stable.
She’s quite possibly the very definition of unstable.
Noah saved her.
Georgina never wanted to be saved.
Growing up, Noah Clark was passed from one relative to the next until he finally ended up living with his abusive, alcoholic uncle in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Thanks in part to the unwavering love and support of his best friend, Ellie Turner, Noah survived those years, escaped his uncle, and grew into the man he is today. Now he runs his own business and lives a pretty normal, no-nonsense life—one where he maintains a high level of control.
Georgina is Ellie’s younger sister. Four months ago, Noah saved Georgie’s life, but he thought that was where his involvement with his friend’s sister would end. Now Georgie has returned home from the recovery facility her parents sent her away to and Noah, still haunted by the night that connects them, can’t stop himself from continuously trying to protect this girl he barely knows. But is he willing to give up all of the control he’s worked so hard to build in his life and risk everything for her? Even more importantly, would she do the same for him?
I have to admit, when I signed up to read this book, I had no idea that Kill Devil Hills was a real place, but because of this book it has been added to my list of places I want to visit. I want to see the sights and experience the place this book has captured my heart with. I want to see the houses with names, I want to see the beaches where everything fell apart and was pieced back together. I want to actually experience this place outside of this book. When a location in a book captures me the way Kill Devil Hills did, I want more of it.
This book was so much more than a location. It was an awakening of the soul. I was so drawn to the characters. Noah has never had it easy, but he has always had the best friend that everyone wants. She’s got a lot of sass and spunk and she has the most amazing family. The best part of this relationship is that it is truly one where a guy and girl can be friends. The have the greatest friendship and I just adored that about Noah and Ellie. His family accepted Noah without question and he is just as much a part of the family as any of the kids.
When Ellie’s brother died, it was too much for her sister, Georgie to handle. She didn’t want to face life without her brother. But that is where the dynamics of Georgie and Noah’s story really begins. Noah had run upstairs to use the bathroom and in an instant everything changed. He ended up saving Georgie’s life. But something else happened between the two of them in that moment. A bond was formed.
Four months later, Georgie returns home and she finally gets to see Noah again after spending so many nights dreaming of the man that saved her life. But there is so much wrong with all of these fantasies that she has been having about him. She doesn’t even really know him. He has always been her sister’s best friend. He is practically one of the family. There is no way he could ever live up to the fantasy right?
Then there’s Noah. Noah didn’t have the perfect life, growing up with his abusive uncle was insane. But Ellie’s family always provide him the comfort and warmth of a family that he has always needed. He knows that the moment he saved Georgie’s life, his world was forever changed, but now that she has returned, his emotions have him all over the place. This is his best friend’s sister. She has to be forbidden fruit or something like that right?
This book was a beautiful story and completely caught me off guard. It starts out with such tragedy, but then it moves into a yearning for a forbidden love. Part of me questioned whether Noah and Georgie could ever be anything except for the bond that they created that night Noah saved her. I spent quite a bit of time wondering if their attraction was hinged on the memories of that one night. But the more I got to know these two characters, the more I completely fell in love with them.
Finding peace out of tragedy is never easy, but finding hope out of it takes a bit more time. But waiting for Noah and Georgie to find out if they can make it or if their attraction is simply based on that one night was pure torture on my heart. These two had a lot to overcome, but the willingness to try was just inspiring. Both had to learn to deal with their things in their own way and together if things were going to happen, and I just wanted it all to happen so badly. The obstacles are big and the pain can be great, but the hope of the future is so promising.
This book is full of strength, hope, passion and heat and worth every single moment of wonder. I loved this book and would highly recommend it to any and all! Sarah Darlington has written a treasure with this book worth five amazing stars!
Dammit, this girl was more drama than I ever bargained for. It didn’t matter, though. Because maybe, just maybe, she was going to be worth everything to me.
I retraced my footsteps, followed the stone stairs from the sand up to the deck, and found the table where everyone, minus Georgie, still sat.
“Where is she?” I demanded, not bothering to be polite.
Three blank faces and one smug face stared back at me.
“Nine minutes,” Ellie answered, checking her phone. “Booyah. Someone owes me a Coke.”
“I’m serious, Ellie. Where is she?”
Ellie took a giant breath. Then she pushed out her chair and made a big show of standing to her feet. That easygoing, shit-eating grin that always lingered on her face—it vanished. And a stern face, one I hardly recognized, replaced it. “Sit down your ass down, Noah.”
What? “Why?” I asked, leery.
“Because I have something to say.”
She meant business and Ellie never meant business. So I sat my ass down.
She sat back down in her chair, as well. “Here’s the deal,” she said, the entire table drawn into our conversation. Even Rhett seemed mesmerized. “You’re my best friend, Noah, but Georgie…she’s my baby sister. I love you, but if you’re not one-hundred bazillion percent sure about her—right now, right this moment—then you need to stop this. I can’t see her hurt. Never again. It would crush me.”
My jaw tightened. “That’s not what I want and you already know that.”
“I know,” she muttered, her voice cracking. Shit. I never meant to upset her.
And then I glanced up. Something across the room caught my eye. Georgie. She was talking to her asshole ex or current boyfriend or whatever the hell he was. I already knew Logan. He was Ben’s friend. I just hadn’t made the connection between him and Georgie earlier. Before this moment, based on my past knowledge of the guy, I’d already pegged him as a decent man. But he instantly became an asshole in my book—because what kind of fool would give up on such an amazing girl like Georgie? A real fucking asshole—that was who.
Ellie noticed what I’d seen and our conversation ended. All conversation at the table ended. Georgie stood there talking to the asshole for what felt like forever. I didn’t charge across the room or do anything stupid—because, frankly, that had never been my style. I knew when to shut my mouth, and I knew when to bide my time. And I also realized I knew Georgie a little better than I thought.
At work earlier, I’d spent a full thirty minutes studying her, memorizing that sexy little body of hers. When she felt comfortable, she had an easygoing, playful way about her. Not too unlike Ellie. But the Georgie I observed now, had her arms crossed tightly over his stomach and a rigid posture. She was wildly uncomfortable and possibly in pain. And every ounce of my being, every bone in my body, tingled with the need to go save her—to interrupt her conversation with the asshole, swoop her up in my arms, and just carry her out of this place.
I was about to go do exactly that because I couldn’t take another nanosecond of this torture. But then she jetted out her hand and he shook it. Well, that was a fucking relief. A handshake was about the last thing I’d ever want Georgie to offer me. It spoke volumes. It told me all I needed to know.
Logan gave her a small, cringe-worthy hug and they parted ways. Georgie back in my direction and Logan off in the other direction. And as Georgie turned around, I noticed a little falter in her step as she spotted me across the room. Heat scorched through my body as her eyes collided with mine.
That moment had come—the moment where I couldn’t go another minute without knowing what those sweet, plump lips of hers would taste like.
“I’m one-hundred bazillion percent sure,” I whispered to Ellie, standing, while my eyes stayed focused on Georgie. I left the table, crossed the room, and gave her the kiss my whole damn body was aching for.
ABOUT SARAH DARLINGTON
Sarah Darlington lives in Virginia with her husband and crazy-active 2-year-old son. She’s a former flight attendant, day-dreamer, traveler, and wannabe photographer. Her debut novel HE BELONGS WITH ME, a standalone, was released March 2014. KILL DEVIL HILLS will be the first book of a three book series. Each novel in this new series will feature a different couple’s story.
Also by Sarah: HE BELONGS WITH ME