Slowly but surely, this series has become one of my favourite guilty pleasures of late, and Ms Singh’s extraordinary ability to keep bringing such distinct characters to life, as well as depicting them with so many compelling facets, is now something I have learned to trust and rely on. With each new story in this series, with each new emotional rollercoaster we step onto—regardless of how steep or bumpy it may be—we fall deeper and deeper in love with this unexpected group of characters, continuously moved by the tremendous ties of friendship and loyalty that bind them to one another irrevocably. A friends-to-lovers story of a man breaking free from the painful shackles of his past, and of a woman determined to love him at any cost, patiently and bravely—I was mesmerised by the sheer emotion driving this story forward, and quite literally hooked on every single delicious morsel of angst in it. Even though Noah and Kit’s story had my heart aching from the very first page.
“I f*ck everything female that moves. I don’t want that with you.”
Kathleen “Kit” Devigny has been in love with her best friend for longer than she wishes to admit to herself, her friendship with bad-boy rocker, Noah St. John, having always been one of mutual affection and support, but her feelings for him forever remaining unrequited. Having spent her childhood trying to gain her parents’ attention, and then her entire adult life proving her worth to others while trying to break free from the misguided perceptions people have of her, Noah’s blunt rejection of her affections becomes just another stab in her heart’s fragile armour, but one that never loses its sting. When a markedly low moment in the rocker’s life brings them back into each other’s lives, Kit is unable to walk away again from the man who would never love her the way she loves him, but this time around, she is determined to at least understand the cause behind Noah’s deep anger at life.
“No matter what Noah had done, how much he’d hurt her, she couldn’t imagine a world where he didn’t exist.”
Beautiful, gifted, broken rock star Noah St. John has always been the most scandalous member of Schoolboy Choir, the one most enjoying all the perks of a rock lifestyle, but no matter how many faceless women he takes to bed, he never sees any of them as anything more than a temporary reprieve from his nightmares. Only one woman in his life has ever owned his heart, the same woman he would never allow himself to touch. Believing himself to be tainted beyond redemption, ruined by a past he cannot erase, he keeps pushing her away, far away from his demons and the memories that torment him in his restless sleep…even though his heart keeps hoping she’d never let him go.
“I don’t expect you to forgive me, but please don’t shut me out. I can’t breathe knowing you hate me.”
So when a pretend romance between them is devised by their mutual publicist to feed the media frenzy surrounding them and thus improve Kit’s public image, the young woman fears her heart would be decimated by the time their charade ends, and no amount of acting skills could disguise it this time around.
“You’ve been very clear, Noah. Don’t worry, I’m not getting the wrong idea. I know you don’t want me.”
A truly stunning, perfectly paced and painstakingly woven romance that never rushes to the finish line, taking all the time it needs to build these characters into the people they need to be before they can have a future together. I’ve loved all the heroines in this series, but Kit’s kindness of heart, her selflessness even when faced with continual rejection, and her patient determination to love Noah no matter what, have made her one of my top favourites. I felt her every heartbreak, every jagged shard of rejection that hurt her heart, and I hoped with her, hoped page after page that the man she adored would just give her a chance to love him the way only she knew how. When it comes to friends-to-lovers stories, this is one of the most compelling ones I have ever read, flawlessly written as always, and utterly captivating cover to cover. A must-read.
“I can’t be what you need. But be with me anyway.”
“No.” Noah sliced out a hand. “No, Fox. I want her in my life, but I won’t pull her into the hellhole that’s my messed up head. She doesn’t need to know.” He held his friend’s eyes. “She never needs to know.” He couldn’t bear it.
“You know I won’t say a word.” The other man thrust a hand through the dark brown of his hair. “But it’s eating you up from the inside. You sleep even less now than you did when you were a kid, and you’re drinking so much it’s worse than with Abe.”
Noah couldn’t dispute either charge. He might not have ended up in a near-coma like Abe, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. “I poured all the liquor at my place down the drain.” He’d done it in the middle of fixing the blinds.
“You know it’s not that easy.”
“Then I’ll do it hard.” Because no way was he ever checking into rehab or any other place where they could fuck with his head.
“Damn, you’re a stubborn asshole.” Fox passed him the guitar. “Play something while I get us more coffee.”
Losing himself in the music, Noah stayed at Fox and Molly’s until almost five in the afternoon. At which point he got in his car and drove not to his own home but to the studio lot where he knew Kit was filming the superhero flick. Thanks to Noah’s own contacts, he had no problem getting past security or finding his way to a park outside the right sound stage.
He waited for an hour by her car before he saw her walk out with Casey. Kit sometimes rode with the slender black bodyguard and driver, but she generally preferred to live her life as normally as possible. And in a stalker-free world, Kit wasn’t the kind of woman to have guards and chauffeurs.
She froze for a second when she saw him.
Shaking off her surprise as Casey nodded to him and peeled off to get into his own car, she walked over, her glorious hair damp and plaited into a loose braid. “What’re you doing here?” No expression on her face.
It wasn’t Kit standing in front of him, he realized, but cool, sophisticated Kathleen Devigny.
His gut clenched. “I was hoping I could take you out to dinner to say thanks.”
Opening the car door, she dumped in her purse. “I’m exhausted. I need to get to bed.”
Gripping the top of her door as she got into the driver’s seat, he drew in the fresh scent of her. “Tomorrow?”
“Wrap party’s right after we shoot the final scene. Will probably go late.”
Noah knew he shouldn’t keep pushing when she was giving him a large, flashing “go away” signal, but he couldn’t make himself leave. “What about the day after?” he said. “We’ll go someplace where you don’t have to think about green superheroes or four-a.m. makeup calls.”
When she pulled at her door, he released his grip on it, well aware he’d already pushed far beyond the point where he should’ve stopped. He couldn’t blame her for her response; he was a bad bet even as a friend. He’d only stuck with Fox, David, and Abe this long because the three were as stubborn as he was… and in different ways, they needed him as much as he needed them. Kit didn’t need him, and so he didn’t know what to offer her to make her come back into his life.