Carry Your Heart (Carry Your Heart #1 ) by K. Ryan
Publication Date: July 14, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Amazon • B&N • Kobo • Smashwords • iBooksSynopsis: When Isabelle Martin steps onto Sawyer Auto Repair’s parking lot, she can’t believe it’s come to this. After dropping out of a school she never really wanted to go to in the first place and dumping a boyfriend she never really loved to begin with, she thought coming home to Claremont, North Carolina would solve all her problems. Instead, she’s still reeling from her mom’s death six months earlier and trying, but failing to help her dad, who’s sunken deep into a whiskey-fueled depression. Working in the local, motorcycle club-owned, auto shop’s office is a last resort, but it’s the only option she has...even if it means working with Caleb Sawyer, the bad-boy biker with swagger to spare who used to drive her up the wall in high school.
Caleb Sawyer is on the fast-track to a downward spiral. He used to think he had the world at his feet--all he has to do is be patient, earn his keep in the club and in the shop, and his legacy within the Iron Horsemen MC will be his for the taking when the time is right. But that just doesn’t mean anything without his old lady by his side, who wants to leave Claremont more than she wants to stay with him. When the bottom finally drops out, nothing prepares him for the impact and he deals with it the only way he knows how--with whiskey and women.
Despite all that, being around Isabelle Martin, the girl whose feathers he ruffled so easily in high school, somehow brings him back to life. She doesn’t take any of his crap, but she calls him on it without judgment and without pity. Despite some initial animosity, Caleb and Isabelle quickly realize that the perceptions they had of each other in high school couldn’t be further from the truth. The more time they spend together, the closer they become and the more they gravitate towards each other. Both are at a crossroads, but stuck in reverse. Isabelle needs help; she just doesn’t know how to ask for it. Caleb needs a life preserver; he just doesn’t know where to find one. And ultimately, on the path to rediscovery and identity, all roads lead them to exactly what they need--each other.
New adult/contemporary romance told in alternating points of view. Recommended for readers 18 and older.
Book #1 in the Carry Your Heart series that follows Caleb and Isabelle’s journey spanning the course of eight years.
Something was happening between us.
If I was being completely honest with myself, that something had been happening for a long time, I’d just been too scared and too stubborn to do anything about it.
When we sat next to each other in American Lit class, the one thing I’d always been able to count on like clockwork was his low whistle and some sort of double entendre whenever I sat down. I think I’d always known that, deep down, those comments infuriated me because, even though I knew I shouldn’t, I’d always secretly liked the attention from him.
It was like I was always hyper-aware of him when he was in the room, like I could feel his presence before even making eye contact with him and there’d always been an electric charge between us. In reality, we’d been circling each other ever since I started working at the shop. Up until the moment I kissed him in his dorm yesterday, I’d always just chosen to ignore it.
I couldn’t ignore it anymore and I knew he felt it too.
All my preconceived notions about him had gotten tossed out the window a long time ago. Sure, he was cocky, more than a little self-absorbed, and it was no secret he’d had more than his fair share of conquests. All that history and all those girls were difficult to swallow, but if he felt the same way I felt about him...
Whatever this was, it wasn’t him rebounding. It wasn’t about a whiskey-fueled hook-up in the dark.
The way he looked at me, the way he touched me, the way he took care of me…
He was more than the cocky, panty-chasing, rough-around-the-edges biker persona he wore so well because he’d come through for me more than anyone else in my life combined. He’d stepped into the tornado that was my life and shrugged off the debris like it was nothing. He’d shouldered the burden of my dad with me and had literally forced me into realizing I’d needed help. He’d defended me and protected me. Hell, he’d even gotten into a bar brawl for me.
And in the process, he’d become the one person in my life I couldn’t live without and the best friend I’d ever had. I needed all of him because somehow, he’d become my partner in all this. Somehow, he made me whole.
That last thought had me skidding to a stop.
My mom told me once, long before she’d ever gotten sick and before I’d left for college, that love was like a puzzle. While the individual pieces themselves might not seem like part of the puzzle, it was about making all the pieces fit. It was about what made you feel like your best self. It was about what made you feel whole.
This gut-wrenching, all-encompassing feeling like I might combust right now if he didn’t feel the same way...that was love?
As I looked at myself in the mirror now, looking for some sign of change in me, I knew, without having to look that far, that the answer was simple.
That was absolutely what this was.
This was love.
I was in love with Caleb Sawyer.
I think a part of me had always been in love with him.
Even when he annoyed the hell out of me...maybe even because he annoyed the hell out of me. Even when we weren’t friends. Even when I had to watch him drink and screw his way through a breakup because of another girl.
I’d always loved him.