“No thanks required, Madgirl. But I have to say, my brother must have his hands full with you around.”
“You’re a good-looking girl and obviously naïve to how attractive you are. I assume you get yourself in bad situations often, since you see only the good in everyone.”
“Gabe, your brother has been the only guy to even ask me out. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I am Jack’s little sister or ‘Trent’s girl’,” I say, using air quotes for emphasis, “but it gets really annoying sometimes.”
“I can see that.”
“So is Cooper telling the truth?”
He raises an eyebrow at me.
“That you are like him, make out with girls and then toss them aside for someone else the next night.”
“No. Yes. I don’t know. College is different, Maddy. Everyone just wants to have fun, no strings attached. You will see next year. Too bad I will be gone by then.” He looks genuinely upset that we won’t be able to attend the same school again.
“I don’t think that whole casual hooking up thing is for me,” I confess.
“You’re probably right. That’s why my brother always keeps you close.”
“What do you mean?”
“Nothing, let’s go in.”
I hadn’t realized we were at the house already.
“Tell me, Gabe. What are you talking about?” I grab his arm, stopping him from leaving the car.
“I just wonder if he knows you are the one he wants to settle down with in the future, but he wants to enjoy what’s out there before he will commit to you.”
“Or maybe we aren’t supposed to be together and that’s why it never works out. I don’t really think I’m his type.”
“Believe me, Mad, you are every guy’s type.”
There is something stirring in his eyes when he says that, but I can’t put my finger on what it is.
“Thanks for that, Gabe, and I am so sorry for tonight.”
“Don’t mention it. I just wish I could have shown you a better time.” He reaches over to remove my hand from his arm, but it lingers in his hand while chills spread through my body. “You better get in there to your boy before he comes out to get you,” he motions to the front window with his head.
Trent is peering out of the window, looking directly at us. When he sees me turn my head in his direction, he quickly moves away.
I lean over and kiss Gabe on the cheek, and then run into the house before I do something I will regret. Bryan and Kenna are wrapped in each other’s arms, lying on an air mattress in the living room, and Trent is feigning sleep on the couch.
I go into the bathroom and change into my pajamas. Afterward, I lie down on the empty couch, trying to turn off thoughts of Cooper, Trent, and the things that Gabe said.
“Did you have fun?” I hear Trent whisper.
“Yeah, it was okay.” I prop myself up on my elbows to face him.
“I missed you,” Trent says, staring at the ceiling.
“You should be asleep; it’s a big game tomorrow,” I say, trying to detour the conversation.
“Will you lay with me?”
“Trent, we aren’t a couple. We really shouldn’t.”
“Come on, Mad, we are friends. I won’t touch you anywhere you don’t want me to. I just need you next to me right now,” he confesses.
“Okay.” I get up, hoping this will help him get the sleep that he needs.
“Come here, girl.” A huge smile spreads across his face and he lifts the corner of the blanket for me. I snuggle on the narrow couch next to him with my back to his front, and he swings an arm around my waist, nuzzling his face in my neck.
After five minutes of quiet silence, my eyelids start to close.
“I love you, Madeline Jennings,” Trent whispers in my ear.
I ignore him, pretending to be asleep. That is a line I am unable to cross. Trent wants me when he can’t have me, but he doesn’t want me when he can.
I am a sucker for books like Love Me Back. Growing up with the love of your life, experiencing all your first together…they get me every time. And this one did not disappoint.
What I loved about this book was the past and present storyline that was expertly told, hooking me from the very beginning.
Maddy is going back to her small hometown outside of Chicago, for her brother’s wedding. She is not looking forward to spending a week in the town that she has been trying to avoid for the past 2 years. There are demons there and most of all, there are brother’s there…Gabe and Trent Basco.
Trent is the love of her life. At least that is what she has always believed. They have been inseparable since they were kids. For the past 11 years Trent and Maddy have had an off and on relationship. The thing is that Trent’s older brother has also been a fixture in her life too, as an older brother until college, where their relationship became complicated. Gabe watches over Maddy where his brother drops the ball. Maddy comes face to face with both brother and not ready for her to make a decision.
This love story is full of angst, sorrow, pain, joy, redemption and a HEA. I loved every minute of it. Can’t wait to read more from Michelle Lynn. 4.5 Stars!