USA Today Bestselling Author Elisabeth Grace’s BUILT TO LAST is available now! We’re so thrilled for readers to get their hands on Scarlett and Luke’s story! If you love second chance romances and small town contemporaries, you definitely need to get your hands on this one!
Built To Last
Synopsis:At seventeen, the small town of Saltwater Springs had been everything to Scarlett Devereaux—as had her boyfriend Luke. Never had she imagined she’d have to leave them both behind—until the night that changed everything. A decade after skipping town Scarlett returns to start over in the only place that ever really felt like home. But when nothing goes as planned, she’s forced to turn to Luke for help.
With a drunk for a dad and a mom making pocket change at the local diner, no one ever thought Luke Garrity would amount to anything. After building a successful contracting business he’s proven everyone wrong professionally, but things in his personal life are upside down. Making it the exact wrong time for Scarlett to return to Saltwater Springs.
With a history of devastation and heartbreak between them can Scarlett and Luke make amends, or will secrets from the past threaten the foundation of Scarlett’s new life? Were Luke and Scarlett really built to last?
An Excerpt From Built To Last
“Place your left hand on the piece of wood away from where you’re cutting, but close enough that it’s comfortable.” She did as he instructed. “Good, just like that. Now you’re ready to cut.”
Luke moved to stand beside her. Scarlett was nervously biting her lip. “I don’t know if I can do this.” She glanced up to him, her eyes almost pleading with him not to force her.
He couldn’t help but wonder what had happened to the spitfire of a woman she’d been blossoming into before she left town. Not only had she lost some of her Southern accent during her time away, but apparently she’d also lost some of her “hear me roar” attitude. What had shaken her confidence so much that she questioned her abilities? His stomach twisted at all the different scenarios running through his mind that could have made that possible.
“I’ll help you with the first cut.” Luke positioned himself behind Scarlett and leaned over her bent frame, placing his hand over hers. Her soft hand twitched underneath his for a second and then settled. “All right, the key is to keep an eye on the saw base as you cut and to push with enough force that the saw keeps moving through the wood, but not so fast that the saw seems to slow down. Sound good?”
She nodded, the movement of her body shifting her hips ever so slightly—enough that he became painfully aware of his crotch’s proximity to the juncture of her thighs. He shifted his weight, trying to get comfortable in pants that were becoming more uncomfortable by the second. Scarlett’s whole body tensed underneath him.
With a deep breath, Luke decided the best course of action was to ignore her response to being so physically close to him, even though her rigidity further twisted the knife she’d dug into him a decade earlier, leaving him wanting to question why he was never good enough.
Scarlett cleared her throat. “Let’s get this over with.” Her words dug the knife in deeper. “Once I have the first one under my belt, I’m sure it will get easier.”
Maybe that’s all he’d ever been to her—a notch in the proverbial belt for experience sake. He’d never thought he was just a good time to her, but she’d left him questioning everything. “Turn the saw on then, and I’ll help you guide it,” he said in a brusque tone.
The sound of the blade whirling against the side of the wood cut through the silence in the storefront and Scarlett jerked a bit, startled, bumping into him.
Not at all helping the situation below his belt.
Luke lightly squeezed her hand below his, indicating that she should push the saw forward. As she did, bits of wood and sawdust bounced up and into the air. Five seconds later, the small piece they’d cut fell to the ground and the saw’s rotation started to slow.
The noise died down, and Luke was about to congratulate Scarlett on making her first cut when a shrill voice rang out from behind them.
“Well, well. Isn’t this cozy? Still trying to sleep your way into high society, are you, Luke?”
I’m a sucker for a good story about high school sweethearts losing touch and then reconnecting…I mean, who doesn’t want to relive the glory days of high school and young love? Those are some of the best times of our lives. High school boyfriends are young and dreamy and give us butterflies in our stomachs…they aren’t hairy, they don’t fart and stick your head under the covers, they don’t leave their dirty underwear on the bathroom floor for you to pick up and best of all? They can “hit it” ALL night long! What’s not to love?? I think we all have a fond, if perhaps “selectively untainted” memory of a high school boyfriend or crush and maybe even a fantasy of reconnecting and rekindling that first love….sigh….
Built to Last is the story of young love lost and then found again. Scarlett Devereaux has just come back to her hometown of Saltwater Springs, SC after being away for the last ten years. She is back in town orphaned, alone, almost broke and trying to get her dream bakery opened. Unfortunately, she is having some contractor issues and lost almost all of her money to a shady contractor who took her money and skipped town. To say the poor girl is down on her luck, is an understatement.
Enter one Luke Garrity and Scarlett’s high school boyfriend and her first love. Unbeknownst to him, he goes to check out a contracting job and finds himself face to face with the one girl he has never forgotten. The one who he wanted a future with and who left town all of a sudden without even a Dear John letter or a Post It note letting him know why.
“The girl that had shattered both his heart and his self-confidence when she’d left him behind…”
Scarlett never stopped loving Luke but was forced to leave town to hide a secret. Kind of a big secret and she doesn’t want him to know. Fate, however, has a funny way of making things go her way. With no other options, Scarlett hires Luke to finish her bakery and it doesn’t take long before old flames are rekindled and sparks are flying.
They both fight it at first but then Luke realizes Scarlett is the one for him and jumps at a second chance to get his girl back. Scarlett is still clinging to her secret and knows she isn’t what Luke really wants but can’t seem to help herself from getting involved with him. Of course we all know secrets never stay a secret and eventually it all unfolds…dramatically.
I have to say this is definitely not my typical read. It is very sweet, well written and a great story but a little on the “tame” side for me. Not a “cock” or “pussy to be found…and I’m not talking about roosters and cats here! Now don’t get me wrong…there is plenty of action and it’s sweet and steamy, but PG13. It was actually kind of refreshing to read something that made me use my imagination a little and kept me focused on the story. I will say that this is a great HEA and the epi is probably one of my favorites that I have ever read. I loved it!! This one was a solid 3.5 stars for me and I would definitely recommend it!
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