From breakout New Adult author Monica Murphy comes the exhilarating conclusion to Drew and Fable’s story—the star-crossed young romance that began in One Week Girlfriend.
Lost. Everything in my life can be summed up by that one sickening word. My football coach blames me for our season-ending losses. So does the rest of the team. I wasted two whole months drowning in my own despair, like a complete loser. And I lost my girlfriend—Fable Maguire, the only girl who ever mattered—because I was afraid that being with me would only hurt her.
But now I realize that I’m the one who’s truly lost without her. And even though she acts like she’s moved on and everything’s fine, I know she still thinks about me just as much as I think about her. I know her too well. She’s so damn vulnerable, all I want to do is be there to help her . . . to hold her . . . to love her.
I just need her to give me one more chance. We may be lost without each other, but together, we’re destined to find a love that lasts forever.
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“I thought you said you were hungry.” He glances up, his gaze catching mine. “What are you in the mood for?”
You, I want to tell him, but jeez. I had him not even an hour ago. What’s wrong with me? I go without Drew for a couple of months and now I act like I need him every minute of every day.
“I don’t know.” I open the menu to check out my options. I’ve never eaten at this restaurant. It’s close to Drew’s apartment and I’m rarely in this part of town. “What’s good here?”
“Fable.” His deep, quiet voice makes me glance up and I find him watching me, his dark brows drawn, a little frown curving his mouth. “Are you okay?”
He’s got both elbows propped on the table now, his hands clasped together, and I want those hands on me. His black long-sleeve shirt clings to his arms, accentuating his bulging biceps, those broad shoulders, that wide chest. I’ve explored every inch of his body the last few days and it’s still not enough. I can’t believe he’s really mine.
And I can’t believe I’m his.
“I’m not very hungry,” I admit.
His frown deepens. “You’re the one who wanted to come here.”
I shrug, feeling silly, my gaze locked on his hands. They are so big. Long fingers, wide palms, a little rough, a little smooth. I love how they touch me, sometimes gentle, sometimes with force. I like it best when he wraps my hair around his fingers and tugs. Oh God, I really love it when he does that . . .
I want those hands on me. Now. “I guess I’m not as hungry as I thought.” My stomach is fluttering with nerves. I don’t want to eat. I want Drew. I feel sort of crazed with it. Like I need to have him as much as possible before he slips through my fingers and I lose him forever.
But I’m not going to lose him. We’re in this together. I need to remember that—and believe it.
“You’re being weird.” Worry fills his eyes. “Are you mad? Did I do something?”
Just his breathing—that does it for me. “I’m not mad. I’m, um . . .” I let my voice trail off, feeling like an idiot.
“I’m looking at your hands,” I admit with a little sigh. Can I admit out loud that I’m horny? That would sound ridiculous.
Those dark brows shoot up practically to his hairline. “Why?”
My cheeks are hot. I squirm in my seat again. “I’m . . . remembering what they did to me earlier.”
The frown is gone, replaced with a wicked smile that sends my body temperature skyrocketing. He leans across the table, his voice so low it vibrates through me and settles between my legs. “Maybe we should go back to my place so I can do that to you all over again.”
Oh my God, that sounds like the best idea ever. “Maybe we should.”
The smile never leaves his face. In fact, it grows bigger. My quiet, hesitant Drew has morphed into some sort of cocky sex god. “You don’t want to order anything?”
I slowly shake my head. “Can’t we just get pizza again? Later?” We had it last night, too. “From somewhere different this time. You know, just to mix it up. Or maybe Chinese? I love Chinese.”
He laughs, the sound husky. “You said you wanted to get out of the house for a while because you worried we were becoming addicted to each other.”
“Is that what I said?” I honestly can’t remember. What’s wrong with being addicted to each other? Aren’t we still in this pretend mode where we’re normal people who like to have sex without hangups or issues? I wonder if Drew has ever had sex like this. Carefree and so . . . normal.
“Yep.” He nods.
“Maybe I like being addicted to you,” I admit softly. We haven’t said we loved each other yet. I can’t work up the nerve. Maybe he can’t either. Silly, considering how consumed with love I am for him. He is just . . . amazing. Sweet. Attentive. Funny. Smart. Sexy.
I understand him. He understands me. We’re perfect for each other.
Maybe we’re too perfect together. Too perfect doesn’t really exist. This could all be a façade. Just like our week together over the Thanksgiving break.
That week felt fake, though. Surreal. There were real, grounding moments, but for the most part, we were caught up in an act. Maybe we’re pretending right now too, but I’m trying to be as real as I can with him. Without the baggage and the heartache and the trouble hanging over us. For at least a little while.
It’ll all come crashing down upon us soon. That’s a reality I don’t want to face quite yet.
He reaches across the table for my hands and takes them in his. “I really like being addicted to you.”
The smile I send his way is so big it hurts my cheeks. We are so in this addiction together.
For once, I know I’m not alone.
“Let’s go home and play true confessions,” I suggest because I’m feeling silly. “Nothing heavy, though. We can keep it light and easy.”
“True confessions? I’m intrigued.”
“You should be,” I say coyly. “It’s going to be a sexual true confessions.”
He stiffens the slightest bit and I squeeze his hands in my grip. We need to be open with each other and while the sexual connection we have is amazing, I know sometimes he holds himself back. I understand why. Sort of.
That’s where we’re complete opposites. I was the type who gave it away just so I could feel something, anything, for a little while. He’d rather box himself up and feel absolutely nothing.
“Fable . . .” His voice trails off and his smile fades. “I don’t know if I’m up to that yet.”
“It won’t be anything crazy, I promise.” I lean over our linked hands and bring them to my mouth, pressing a lingering kiss to his knuckles. “No pressure. Just fun.”
“Just fun?” He brushes his thumb over the top of my hand and my entire body reacts.
“Always fun,” I whisper.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite. A wife and mother of three, she writes New Adult and contemporary romance for Bantam and Avon. She is the author of One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend.
Emma is tired of being good. Always the dutiful daughter to an overprotective father, she is the antithesis of her mother -- whose name her dad won't even say out loud. That's why meeting Siobhan is the best thing that ever happened to her...and the most dangerous. Because Siobhan is fun and alluring and experienced and lives on the edge. In other words, she's everything Emma is not.
And it may be more than Emma can handle.
Because as intoxicating as her secret life may be, when Emma begins to make her own decisions, Siobhan starts to unravel. It's more than just Dylan, the boy who comes between them. Their high-stakes pacts are spinning out of control. Elaborate lies become second nature. Loyalties and boundaries are blurred. And it all comes to a head at the infamous Afterparty, where debauchery rages and an intense, inescapable confrontation ends in a plummet from the rooftop...
This explosive, sexy, and harrowing follow-up to Ann Redisch Stampler's spectacular teen debut, Where It Began, reveals how those who know us best can hurt us most.
First things first, I would like to
point out the beautiful cover. I usually remind myself not to judge a book by
its cover and it wouldn’t hurt to say that the first thing that caught my
attention was it―Well,
it’s the first thing that you will notice on a book so it must leave an
impression―Look at the colors, the lights, and the silhouette of a girl in a dress
carrying her shoes which gave an intriguing and fascinating feeling. It is exactly
the kind of cover that best describes the title, Afterparty.
The story is divided into three
parts and it was told from Emma’s point of view following her and Siobhan’s
life (Emma’s newfound friend) in a private High School in California. Emma describes
herself between two personalities, a Goody two shoes Emma and a bad Emma. Ha!
It might a tad confusing but when you read the book she’s just as confuse on herself
because while trying to be good for herself and for her Dad, whom she is afraid
to disappoint, she also feels like a part of her is destined to become somebody
like her Mom. Her Mom didn’t appear in the story but it is observable that she
has a huge effect on Emma. Well, to give a summary of what her Mom did that made
her father quite strict to her was her Mom’s addiction to vices (Drugs,
Drinking, et al.) so her father is just trying his best for her not to wind up
like her Mom although it would seem that on some level her father had been too
strict. I don’t mean to say that he should have let her loose or anything like
that but I think that because of it Emma learned to lie and she learned to keep
secrets from her father. I don’t support Emma’s character in the book not
because I hate her…Well, annoyed perhaps but not hate. I’m annoyed on her bad
decisions, Yeah…nobody’s perfect but she keeps on coming back on the same
mistakes because when she decides on a thing either she’s drunk or she’s
emotionally unstable which ruffle my feathers though one thing I admire about her
is her loyalty.
On the other hand we have Siobhan, a
total opposite of Emma in all aspects. She’s carefree, wild, and unpredictable
but she had become friends with her since the first day. She’s the person who
made the prep Afterparty check list for her that contain debauchery that Emma wouldn’t
imagine her father would let her do. I can’t say that she’s a completely bad
friend because she had shown her good and bad side but there were times that
when she fights Emma I don’t feel as if she were a real friend, friends fight
but it doesn’t look like they’re fighting as friends. It was like she’s a new
person and she’s trying to compete with her.
I hate her lies, her made up stories and the way she interferes on Emma’s
life unaware or deliberately messing it up or just trying to fix it. I’m not a
fan of Siobhan and she’s the type of person I wouldn’t mess with or have as a friend
but beneath it all I know that drinking or doing drugs is just her way of
coping up…a terrible and wrong path but who would tell her that when her mother
is always away and she’s very secretive. A redeeming quality of her for me is
keeping promises however her ability to keep promises may have been over the
top that it became a bad thing too and it could’ve lead to death.
As for the romance in the story, if
you are expecting a lot of swoon or cheesy scenes then I’m going to warn you
that don’t expect too much on that department. There is romance; actually it is
one of the problems that surfaced and it wasn’t instalove but ain’t the focus
of the story. The book gives emphasis on Siobhan and Emma’s love and hate
friendship. However, I assure you that Dylan Kahane is one hot guy that you
wouldn’t wanna miss. Regarding its title, Afterparty,
it fits the character and atmosphere of the book since it is all where it
started and where should definitely end.
Afterparty is the story of two girls that is utterly different, two
sides of the same coin, but has formed friendship despite their differences and
it is despairing to see their friendship crumble into nothingness because of
the string of lies and betrayals. Add to the mix the endless misunderstandings,
mistakes, forgiveness, love and hate and you’ll have the type of book that is
absolutely enticing and will keep you reading until you’ve read the conclusion.
It is not the best read for me because I have my dull moments with this book
too but not worst either so I’ll just stick with okay. This may not be the type of book for everyone but if you’re a
contemporary reader looking for something fresh and YA (and if you aren’t
afraid to hurl your copy across the room because some of the parts are so good therefore you are affected and hurt) then this book is definitely for you!
Afterparty is the first work of Ann Stampler I’ve read and I want to thank her for sending me an Advance Reader Copy of her book in exchange of honest review.
Where it Began marks the YA debut of Ann Redisch Stampler. She is the author of several picture books, including The Rooster Prince of Breslov. Her books have been an Aesop Accolade winner, Sydney Taylor notable books and an honor book, a National Jewish Book Awards finalist and winner, and Bank Street Best Books of the Year. Ann has two adult children and lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband.