Tori Albert is eighteen, her confidence level is zero. Her life experience…also zero. She’s a girl lost in the shuffle, hiding in the shadows, craving attention. If only someone, anyone, would notice her, maybe life would improve.
Grant Donovan can’t stop noticing Tori, but she is young, inexperienced and naïve. She is also his best friend’s younger sister. Grant knows the best thing he can do is just walk away. So why the hell isn’t he walking away?
When a late night knock lands across her bedroom door, Tori knows what stands behind it could end in disaster…but how many time does opportunity come knocking?
Just when she thinks her luck is finally changing, the assurance Tori believes she has finally found is taken away. With new assets and a new goal in sight, Tori will soon learn her new found confidence isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Unfortunately, some things you just have to learn the hard way.
*Contains Mature Content
This is a sweet story about finding yourself and learning that beauty is who you are and not what you look like. To get others to love you, you have to find the love within your own image. If you can appreciate who you are, there is someone else that will too. In this case, it just took a little longer.
Tori was never the most popular girl, she hid in the background so unsure of herself. She didn’t want to be the only girl in the picture without a body to show off, she wanted the guys to notice her, she wanted one person, just one, to look at her and tell her she was the most beautiful woman. She wanted someone to tell her she was perfect and love her with everything he had. But sadly, that just wasn’t the case. Sure she was thin. But that was about all she had going for her. She didn’t have a woman’s body. She didn’t have the curve appeal and she knew it. No guy would ever look at her like she was the one. She had no confidence in herself. Just once she wanted to feel something with someone. Even if he wasn’t the one, she just wanted someone to kiss her and make her feel for one moment that she could be.
Grant always thought she was beautiful, but he knew she was young and she was inexperienced. But he always thought she was amazing. He knew that the guys were looking at her but he knew she never once saw it. He was always a gentleman around her and was always the “nice” one of her brother’s friends. But he could never do anything with her or about it. It was breaking the rules of friendship with her brothers. You just didn’t do that. But he wanted her to know she was worth something. He didn’t want her to feel ashamed of herself.
After everything that happened with Kyle, he knew he could never do anything to her. He was going to protect her and keep her safe as long as he could. But when it came right down to it, he knew the first thing he had to do was make her believe in herself more. He could never push the boundaries and after all was said and done, he knew his only option was to walk away.
After all the time she spent worrying that she wasn’t pretty enough or good enough or thinking that guys just didn’t notice her, she decided it was time to change it all. But she wasn’t going small. She was going for it in a double D kind of way. She knew she held the cards in any dealings with me if she had the assets to make it happen. But even with all of the changes she made to her appearance, there was one thing she would never let go of, her time spent with Grant. She carried a piece of what they had with her at all times to remind her.
But after all this time and seeing him again, could they find that spark they once had? Could they get to where they wanted to be with everything that was going against them? So much of who they were stood in the way of who they could become.
This book was heartfelt and touching. It was a book about discovering who she was and learning to accept who she was and that yes, in the great somewhere, there is someone who would love her just the way she is. I loved watching her grow and learn and become who she was going to be. Though I wanted to slap some of the decisions out of her on several occasions, Tori really was a beautiful person, inside and out.
But Grant… now let me just tell you he had just as much growing to do. He had his own set of fears and his feelings were one of them. He had just as much growing to do in the book, we just didn’t see as much of what he went through after he left. You just couldn’t help but fall for him. He was a nice guy who was looking out for Tori, he was also trying to be what she deserved and he knew that she needed to find herself in life before anything else could happen.
It is a beautiful story and though it has been years since I was that age, I think all women can appreciate what Tori went through in one way or another. It was a touching story about finding the strength inside yourself to be the person you always never knew you were.
“Look around the bar, Grant. Give us an idea of what your type is. We’ll help hook you up with the perfect girl.” My sister’s friend, Gabby, tossed a pretzel into her mouth, and chewed while talking.
I scanned a few of the girls seated closest to us. Fair skin, red hair, casually sipping a beer and chatting with her friends. She was pretty, but not for me. Moving along. Dark hair, exotic, confident, drinking a Martini. Her eyes connected with mine and she rolled them uninterestedly. Not a problem, the feeling was mutual. Next. Ponytail and glasses picking at the label on her bottle of beer. Cute, but once again, I wasn’t interested.
“Doesn’t look like you see anyone,” Gabby said, exchanging glances with my sister, Julie.
I gave another glance around the room at the pretty faces surrounding us, but still no one held my attention. All of the girls were attractive. Just none of them seemed to do it for me.
Not like her.
The dull ache forming in my chest stopped me from going down that road again.
Crowds and drinking were never my scene. I was eager to leave even though we hadn’t been there very long. No matter what part of Jersey you were in, the bars were always mobbed. I’d almost forgotten how crowded it could get; it’d been so long since I was home. Not that Jersey was my home anymore. We paid the tab and the three stools we vacated were immediately snatched up in the packed bar.
As we made our way through the hoard of people, my eyes fell on a girl with the most unnatural looking blonde hair I’d ever seen. Platinum locks so light her hair actually bordered on white and eyes an odd shade of blue that just didn’t look right. Even in the poor lighting of the bar, I could see her make-up was piled on thick. Her jeans were tight and her blouse was low cut. The heels on her boots were high and her boobs were…ginormous. Way too large for her small frame. She stood in a circle of laughing girls, but there was something familiar about the sweet sound of her laugh that stood out.
After passing the group of girls, I turned my head to catch one last glimpse of the busty blonde before being tugged from the bar into the fresh night air.
What was it about that girl? Did I know her? What was on her wrist?
“No. Way!” Julie and Gabby both stated dramatically in unison.
“No way what?” I asked, turning to face them.
“There is no way in hell we would ever let you go for a girl like that.” Julie laughed, patting me on the back.
“Like what?” I questioned, lifting my brow.
Gabby shook her head giggling and Julie answered for both of them.
“A desperate girl with big, fake boobs.”