Friday, August 8, 2014

BOOK BLITZ - Had To Be You by Juliet Chatham

Had To Be You
Release Date: 08/05/14
Swoon Romance

After college, Rory Finn left behind the familiarity of her quiet, picturesque hometown to pursue a professional career in the city. With her sights firmly on the future, Rory pressed on in hopes of forgetting the past until a jarring bit of unwelcome news forces her to confront it.
Her first love, the one she'd tried so hard to forget, is about to marry someone else. That pang Rory feels isn't envy, it's not even regret. It's love. But Rory can't be that girl. She won't. But if she doesn't, she'll never know what could have been. She'll never have another chance to tell him how she feels. 
As she embarks on an impulsive, desperate bid to win him back, her mission turns into an unexpected and emotional journey of rediscovery. 
HAD TO BE YOU explores a history of love from its tentative beginnings to what may just turn out to be its final bittersweet end, as Rory ignores her head and follows her heart.

The  bus  finally  rolled  to  a  stop,  tires  crunching  over  gravel  at  the  end  of  the  drive  before  the door  creaked  to  fold  open. Rory already had  her  duffle  bag slung  over  her  shoulder, perched eagerly on the edge of her seat. She was up and out with barely a thank you and goodbye.

Camp certainly hadn’t been her idea, especially not the exclusive, elite one her father insisted  she  attend  just  because  it  was  the  place  all  his  big  shot  business  colleagues  sent  their kids. Per usual, however, he didn’t exactly take her wishes into consideration when making the decision.  Rory  knew  he  just  liked  the idea of  his  daughter  being  there. Much  like the idea of  a daughter in general, really—great in theory, but not so much in practice.

She took the front porch steps in two short leaps, bursting into the house to head straight for her room. She dumped the bag on her bed and quickly shed her green polo and cuffed khaki shorts, replacing them with a pair of denim cutoffs and pulling a plain white tank over her head. Her  long  skinny  legs  were  dark  with  a  tan  and  her  light  brown  hair  brightened  to  a  sunlit-streaked blonde.

On  the  kitchen  table  was  a  plate  with  a  wrapped  sandwich  along  with  a  note  that  her mother would be home by five o’clock. Rory grabbed a ripe peach from the fruit bowl on the counter instead before she flew out the back, the screen door slamming shut behind her.

Three full weeks of campfires, bug bites, swimming, sunbathing, sailing, archery, hiking, tennis, and now her real summer was finally about to begin.

She ran all the way to the end of the street, skirting the stone seawall until she reached the  rickety  steps  leading  to  the  weathered  wood  dock.  She  smiled  when  she  spotted  the  small Boston Whaler tied up to a slip, bobbing in the water.

They were all there, doing flips into the cool blue waves.


She grinned, lifting her hand to wave. “Hey, Kev!”

Suddenly Matt emerged from the water, smiling as he climbed up the ladder to the dock and hiked up his board shorts. He looked taller somehow, even dripping wet, his short dark hair sticking  up  in  spikes  as  he  swiped  a  hand  down  his  face.  His  eyes  were  as  blue  as  the  ocean against his smooth, bronzed skin.

“How was it?” he asked.

She lifted a shoulder to let it drop. “Okay.”

“I’ve been taking care of your boat.”

“I see that.”

“Matt! Let’s go!”Murph appeared from around a cluster of tall pilings in his dad’s Aquasport, calling out to him with a slight scowl. From the sound of his impatience, Rory assumed Matt must have been swimming out to meet him when she arrived. 

“We’re heading over to the island,” Matt explained. “You in?”


“I’ll meet you guys there,” he called back to Murph. “We’re taking Rory’s boat!”

Despite the fact he already carried a full crowd, Murph didn’t seem too pleased with the unexpected change of plans. 

Matt  waved  his  brother  Kevin  along with  the  others before  grabbing  his  t-shirt  and sneakers  from  the  dock.  He  dropped  them  into  the  blue interior  of  the  waiting  skiff  and  then offered Rory a steadying hand as they both stepped aboard. 

“Check this out,” he said. “I worked taking out the trash and stocking shelves and stuff like that for my dad, until I had enough to buy some parts.” Grinning, he took a seat at the stern and revved the little motor.
“I can’t believe it!” Rory laughed, taking a seat on the polished wood thwart. “It finally works.” 
She wondered exactly how many hours he’d put in at his dad’s marine store to make this happen. Mr. O’Shea wasn’t the type to let his sons off easy.

As  Matt  instructed  her  on  how  to  guide  it  out  of  the  busy  afternoon  harbor  traffic, warning  her  about  the  chop,  talking  a  mile  a minute  with  his  typical  enthusiasm,  their  arms gently brushed and bumped against each other. Although his body seemed so lean and hard, his warm skin, still dotted with water, was surprisingly soft.

“You got it?” he asked.


Leaning back, he draped an arm over the side of the boat and smiled as he watched her. 

“So, what else?”

Motoring across the bumpy currents, she shook her head in the salty spray. “Not much else to tell. It was summer camp. That about sums it up.” She narrowed her eyes when she noticed he was staring. “What?”

“You look different.”

“I do?” Rory frowned skeptically and pushed the windswept hair off her face, although she had been thinking something similar about him. “How?”

“I don’t know.” He brushed it off with a dismissive shrug of his shoulder. “Did you miss me?”

“Oh yeah.” The corner of her mouth curved up. “I cried myself to sleep every night.”

“I figured.” 

They eased away from home port, heading across an open stretch of water to the offshore rocky  outcropping  of  sandy  beach  and  shady  gnarled  pines  at  the  very  tip  of  Lighthouse  Point that they called their island. 

Rory snuck another glance at him before quickly returning her attention to the water.

“I didn’t miss you either—in case you were wondering,” he said finally.

She just smiled.

A lifelong New Englander, I divide my time between the North Shore and Cape Cod. My favorite things are beaches, boats, books, bars, the Boston Red Sox and boys, but not necessarily in that order. Consequently, you’ll probably find that these are the things I write about, too.

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