Deep Down by Brenda Rothert

Deep Down 

by Brenda Rothert
I’m falling. 
Faster.
Further.
Deeper. 


Sometimes you fall so hard you can’t get back up. My closest companions now are shame and loss. But a sliver of hope lies in the only person I have left in this world – the one who’s growing inside me. 


Survival becomes living again because of my child, and the town where I begin anew. 

That’s where I meet the man who starts to melt the ice inside my heart. 

As we get closer, reminders of my past become sharper. Clearer. To confront the pain, I have to discover what’s deep down inside me. Is there enough left there to become whole again, or am I too wounded to heal?

**Warning** This book has mature content that some readers may find troubling. It is intended for readers 18 and up.

It happened without warning on a quiet, snowy January day. Or maybe there had been signs that I’d ignored because they were too painful to acknowledge. Either way, the course of my life was changed that day. After it was over I just remember watching the snowflakes through my open bedroom window. Falling silently from the sky, they were the closing curtain on eighteen years of trusting that all people were inherently good. 

———————– 

It was the first day back from the winter break and I was wrapped up in the excitement that filled the hallways of Lexington High School. There was an unspoken energy circulating around those of us who were seniors. 

Home stretch, baby. The last semester of high school is underway. Your future starts now. 

And, for me, this new term couldn’t end soon enough. My mom’s death this past September had plunged me into a deep sadness I still hadn’t fully emerged from. Over the course of the past four months I’d gotten good at plastering on a phony smile to let everyone know I’d moved on. Putting this school year behind me would be more sweet than bitter. Sure, I had great friends I’d miss when I went off to college in the fall. And dance team…for sure I would miss that. Most of all, I would miss my boyfriend Levi, but somehow I knew that once high school was over I really would be able to move on. 

A warm, familiar arm wrapping around my waist from behind made me break out in a genuine grin. 

“How was your day, baby?” Levi asked, pulling me against his side as we walked down the hall. 

“Good. You?” 

He shrugged. “Everybody’s talking about graduation. It hasn’t seemed close until now.” 

“Did you get those scholarship essays done?” 

“Yep.” He pulled me a little closer, steering me away from a cluster of loud underclassmen who were about to run me over. 

“Am I riding with you today? I can catch a ride home with Sami if you’re lifting weights after school.” 

He leaned down and kissed my temple. “The only weight I’m interested in right now is yours on top of me.” 

I held back a smile. Our after school make out sessions were one of Levi’s favorite things. But between the time off his parents and my dad had taken off over the holiday break, we hadn’t gotten much time alone.

This book was amazing. Such a powerful and moving story about a girl who faces the worst of nightmares but comes out a stronger and better person in the end.
Ivy is just trying to get through her senior year. She has so much to look forward to, but with the death of her mom the summer before, it’s been difficult. Luckily she has a boyfriend who is patient and is looking forward to starting her life at Stanford in the fall. Things are starting to fall into place. Her father, a local sheriff, is not taking the death of his wife well. Ivy is just trying to get through this year, taking care of her dad and maintaining as normal of a life as possible.
Then the unthinkable happens…its a nightmare within a nightmare and Ivy finds herself not being about to trust anyone around her. That is except April…one of her teachers that takes her in and helps her get through the rest of her year.
As graduation comes and goes, Ivy finds herself running from her old life and ends up in the small town of Lovely, Missouri. This is just the type of town where she can start new and hopefully forget about the terror of this past year.
Fast forward 3 years later.  Ivy has made a place for herself and her now three year old son. She keeps to herself, not letting anyone in except for Margie and Gene, the people who own the little diner that she works in.
That is until Reed Lockhart walks into the diner one day and everything starts to change. She feels a pull to him, but she knows that she can’t let anyone in. No one can know her secret about why she is here and about her son Noah.
Reed grew up in Lovely and after 5 years away, he’s back to work with his father’s law firm. Reed is not without rumors himself. Having been left at the alter 5 years earlier, he knows what its like to be the subject of the rumor mills of the small town.
Reed is immediately taken with Ivy, but the she keeps telling him no when he asks her out.
He has to win her over. He knows that she was made for him.
Ivy’s journey to peace is an incredible journey of love and forgiveness and strength to stand up to the toughest of nightmares.
Reed and his band of brothers will keep you smiling and swooning.
Such an incredible read and can’t wait for more in this series.
 

Brenda Rothert lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three sons. She was a daily print journalist for nine years, during which time she enjoyed writing a wide range of stories. These days Brenda writes New Adult Romance in the Contemporary and Dystopian genres. She loves to hear from readers by email at bjrothert@sbcglobal.net.
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