The Lovely Return Read Online Carian Cole

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Contemporary, Fantasy/Sci-fi, Forbidden, Paranormal Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 168
Estimated words: 162369 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 812(@200wpm)___ 649(@250wpm)___ 541(@300wpm)

What if death doesn’t do you part?

They say be careful what you wish for. But on December 5, Alex Fox makes a wish in the midst of a devastating tragedy. Little does he know that his wish will come true.

Six years after that fateful day, a little girl wanders into Alex’s studio. With her quirky personality, endless questions, and adorable smile, Penny Rose becomes an enchanting yet bittersweet distraction.

Penny Rose is an odd girl—at least, that’s what her parents say. Penny herself doesn’t feel particularly odd; she simply feels misplaced. As if somehow, in some way, she is living in the wrong place... in the wrong life.

As the years pass, Alex and Penny develop a friendship. But it becomes harder and harder for them to ignore their undeniable chemistry, no matter how off limits it is. Alex believes he’ll never find love again, let alone fall for a girl half his age. But Penny is everything he could ever want or need. Not only is she caring, witty, and beautiful, but she accepts the past that haunts him.

Penny couldn’t be happier. She’s been head over heels for sexy, brooding artist Alex Fox for as far back as she can remember. But when her childhood dreams and visions start resurfacing again—dreams of a life with Alex way before they ever met—she starts to think they’re not dreams at all.

They’re memories.

Penny’s revelation to Alex threatens to tear them apart, making them question the impossible and unbelievable. Can love truly transcend time and death, giving them a second chance at their happily ever after? Or is Penny battling a broken mind that has led her down a path of heartbreaking delusion?

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************


ALEX - 2006

Be careful what you wish for.

People say that all the time. A subtle warning, nudging you to wonder what would happen if you actually did get what you wished for.

Do you really want it?

Will you know what to do with it once you get it?

The same could be said for hopes. Goals. Dreams. Promises. All the elusive things we’d love to have in our grasp someday but usually are totally out of our reach.

Until they’re not.

As a curator of bad luck, I didn’t let myself think too far into the future. I didn’t make wishes; I didn’t ask for promises.

But on December 5, 2006, I did all those things.

It started just like every other day. With the promise of a new day, and a tomorrow, and a next year.

All lies.

I believed Brianna and I had an entire life stretched out before us, like a winding tree-lined road we couldn’t see the end of because it was so impossibly far away.

It wasn’t far away at all, though. In fact, it was less than six hours away.

I’ve replayed and overanalyzed every minute of that day thousands of times. Did I do something that day to set us off course, to alter the tick of time? To invite tragedy? If only I’d driven faster… or slower. If only I’d paid more attention.

If only. If only. If only.

Earlier that day, Brianna stood framed in the doorway of the old barn I used as my art studio, watching me quietly. She used to say it was her favorite thing to do, watching me create sculptures. She looked like an angel with her chestnut hair curling down over her white puffy jacket, snowflakes falling around her like confetti.

My muse.

My wife.

My everything.

As always, the sight of her made my heart leap into my throat. I wondered for the millionth time how, at only twenty-one years old, I was lucky enough to share my life with someone so incredibly good.

I saw Brianna for the first time during our senior year of high school in arts and English class. There was no way to miss her hypnotic eyes, but I was also captivated by how kind she was, how she smiled at everyone—even at me—the quiet loser sitting in the back of the room. Halfway through the school year, we were given the horrifying task of writing a poem and reading it aloud. I said fuck that and took the F. But Brianna strolled in front of the class and recited her poem from memory. She made eye contact with each and every one of us like she was injecting her words into our souls. Her poem was something about a butterfly falling in love with a snowflake. I wasn’t into poetry, but even I couldn’t deny how deep and magical it was. Her voice hiccuped with genuine emotion as she spoke, making me want to sit in the dark with her and hear all her secrets. The entire class was silent after she finished her poem, reveling in the finale, wishing for more. I think everyone fell in love with her star-crossed butterfly and snowflake that day.

Including me.

One day after school, I found her in the parking lot with her keys locked in her car, her hair frizzy from the misty rain. I used my unsavory yet useful delinquent skills to break into her car and retrieve her keys. I was embarrassed. She was impressed.

We became friends. Then became more.

I’ve felt like an impostor since our first date. I’d wake up every day thinking it was a dream or a sick joke. I kept waiting for her to dump me and I was shocked to see her every morning waiting by my locker. Getting into my car. Sleeping in my bed. Smiling at me. It made no sense to me. Why would someone as pretty, caring, smart, and popular as Brianna Brooks want to be with me? A scruffy dude living in foster care, driving an old beat-to-hell Dodge Charger, blasting grunge rock? She could’ve had anyone; hell, she deserved someone as amazing as she was.

But she picked me.

It was the biggest mistake of her life.

“I watched you for weeks,” she whispered in the front seat of my car at midnight on our third date. “Every day in class. You were so quiet and serious…so focused.” She stroked my cheek, her thumb moving over the corner of my lips. I froze under her touch. I’d never been touched so softly, so gently. My heart pounded until I thought it might explode. “Then I saw you smile for the first time—at me, no less—and I fell for you like a star falling from the sky.”

That did it. A girl as special as her spinning poetic words about me? Fuck. Sign me up for the rest of my damn life.