Sarah Daltry's Flowering Series
18+ New Adult contemporary
This is a coming of age story, but it isn’t always sweet and innocent. If dirty talk, bedroom toys, and threesomes offend you… this is not your book.
“No one tells you when you start school just how homesick you will be, or how hard it will be to start life over with no direction and no friends or family. No one says that becoming your own person is terrifying.”
I never wanted anything but Derek, my brother’s best friend. When I chose a college, it didn’t seem to matter that he would be an hour away. We could survive it. After all, we were in love. But almost immediately, things change between us. I blame myself. Maybe I’m just not sure how to be a girlfriend and independent.
Life seems to be getting away from me – and then there’s Jack, the guy down the hall. He’s rude and vulgar and my parents would be shocked by him, yet every single time I see him, I feel like I’m being pulled toward him. It’s physical, sure, but there’s something in Jack’s eyes – and I want to know him.
I know I don’t always make the right choices, and I’m the only person at fault when everything falls apart. How do I tell Derek, the guy who was supposed to be everything, that I don’t feel like fighting for him anymore? And do I run to Jack, when I know his past is way too much for me to handle when I’ve just turned 19? Finally, where do I end up in all of this? Can I be more than just someone else’s idea of what I should be?
The movie is awful, but it’s fun spending time with people who are easygoing and, when Don suggests going to Denny’s afterward, I agree without even
asking Derek. When we get in his car, I worry that he is disappointed, though.
“Are you mad?” I ask him.
He shakes his head. “Of course not. Lily, I love you and I’ll be there for you, but you need to have other people. I wouldn’t expect you to demand that I have no one at school.”
“Do you have a lot of friends at school?”
“Yeah,” he admits. “There’s a group Jon and that I spend a lot of time with. If you come up sometime, I’ll introduce you. Although, if you stay with me, you know what that means...”
“Yeah. Hands off all weekend - under penalty of death by older brother.” I laugh. Jon would obviously never hurt either of us, but I still don’t think it would be kosher to get too frisky with Derek in his room.
I debate about asking the question I know I shouldn’t, one I have never worried about, but for some reason need an answer to now. I survived my entire senior year by not asking this question; now that we’re on the same page, I feel like I need to know. I have to know what I’m facing.
“This group. Are there girls in it?” I ask.
Derek pulls into the parking lot at Denny’s, puts the car in park, and turns to look at me. “Three. Alyssa, Maya, and Jodie. Jon had a thing with Alyssa for a while, but nothing serious came of it. And stop it. I see the jealousy brewing. They are all homely and hideous and you’re the only girl I’m interested in.” He kisses my forehead and I know it’s supposed to make me feel better, but it only makes me feel like a kid. I had moments over the past year when I worried that Derek would think I was too young, but now I have these three women to picture and I don’t want to picture them.
Although I was a virgin when I slept with Derek the first time, he wasn’t. I don’t know what he did at school before we got together, but he had plenty of girlfriends in high school and I can’t imagine he was celibate for those first few months last year. We’ve never talked about it; although I know how many people he’s been with, I don’t know for sure who they are or when he was with them. I can’t bear to know. I hate thinking of him with another girl so close to when we started dating.
I’ve managed not to be the jealous type for almost a year, despite him being away, although I can’t pretend that it doesn’t bother me if I think too much about it. I know it’s hypocritical, since my new group of friends includes guys, but I can’t help it. I feel like Derek’s going to realize sooner or later that I’m not enough for him.
We go into the restaurant, because I don’t want to think about Alyssa, Maya, and Jodie; it is easier to fake it with company. Everyone is in high spirits and I try to let the worry slip away. There is not a lot I can do anyway. I’m pretty sure that Derek has been faithful. Right now, all I can do is trust him. As hard as that is, I have no reason to think that he would cheat. Still, I can’t stop picturing him in bed with someone else.
I enjoyed this read and getting to know the beginning of Jack and Lily. I know that it will be a story that sticks with me always. A series that I will probably pick up again to revisit. The characters are strong and well written. The kind of characters you get inside and live the book with them.
Overall the story line is good. The love triangle I find is often over used in books, but Daltry makes this one work and puts her own spin to it. I really enjoyed the read. The realness of the story drags you in. I am not a fan of Derek. I know the author probably set it up that way but I wasn't a fan from page one. I don't know why really I felt that way, but I was glad to meet Jack.
Volume 1 Box Set (includes "Her Brother's Best Friend, Forget Me Not, Lily of the Valley, and Star of Bethlehem)
About Sarah Daltry
Sarah Daltry is a girl who writes books. The books are in all genres, because Sarah’s not so great at committing to things. She’s happily married and she and her husband live with their cats in New England. Sarah is painfully shy and, if you are able to find her, she is probably in a corner, hiding. She has also written the urban fantasy romance, Bitter Fruits; the YA gamer geek comedy, Backward Compatible; the literary reimagining, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock; historical erotica, The Quiver of a Kiss; and a variety of erotica and short stories.
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