Love is complicated enough without your crush becoming your new step-sibling. Check out this exclusive excerpt for Together We Caught Fire by Eva V. Gibson, one of our most anticipated 2020 releases!
Ever since we came across this title, we’ve been waiting on pins and needles for it to come out. Together We Caught Fire promises to be a heart-breaking and deeply romantic read, perfect for fans of romance and contemporary YA.
The excerpt below has the perfect balance of adventure and angst, awe and electricity. Judging from this exclusive sneak peek, we’re all in for a real treat when Together We Caught Fire hits bookshelves next month.
Here’s your exclusive look at ‘Together We Caught Fire’
The wind clawed at my limbs, delved mist-heavy fingers through my hair as it tried its best to pull me through the open window. We’d lost ourselves in the twists of trees and shadows along the Blue Ridge Parkway, leaving the lights of downtown Asheville far behind. Grey sat rigid in the driver’s seat, clenched and flexed his fingers on the steering wheel in nervous bursts as the ancient Forester lumbered around the turns–a steady, reliable contrast to the idea unfolding inside it.
“No way. Absolutely not.”
“What better way to get acquainted than to risk our lives together?” Connor’s eyes were lit in the glow of the dash lights over a bright, sharp smile. “Lane. Laaaaane, come on. How else will we establish trust?”
“I’m sure we’ll think of something,” I deadpanned. “Maybe once you’ve known me longer than a week.”
“Fair enough.” He leaned between the front seats, zeroed in on my antsy stepbrother. “Grey?”
“Dude, this is just a bad idea. The statistics alone—”
“Yeah, I get it. I don’t need your academia. Sadie . . .” Connor turned to his sister, found himself face-to-face with a death glare she’d almost definitely learned from him. He fell back to the seat beside me with a shrug. “Know what? I won’t bother asking.”
“I am not riding on the roof of a moving car, Connor Hall, and you should know better than to even think it up. This is not how you and I were raised.”
“I know. Isn’t it great?”
He didn’t climb out the window, not exactly—just slid his upper body through the space, fingers tight around the assist handle, leaned out backward as far as he could. He was all frayed hems and unbound laughter. His chain-and-leather wrist cuff caught the moonlight, winked at me from the shadows.
“Oh Lord, I don’t like this.” Sadie twisted around in the passenger seat, made a grab for her brother’s ankle. He kicked her hand away. “Lane, honey, help him. Get him back in here.”
“Like he’ll listen to me?”
“Well, grab his arms, or something. He’s about to go all over the road.”
I undid my seat belt and scooted into his vacant seat, rose onto my knees to the left of his, ignoring the plaintive buzzing in my jacket pocket. Jeremy’s bravado had apparently crumbled all the way to fucking dust in the few hours since I’d reiterated my desire to remain single for an undetermined stretch of eternity. A text or two on the heels of that talk was to be expected, but holy shit.
My tap on Connor’s wrist did nothing; my insistent tug on his sleeve did less, and then I was caught—his hand closed around my biceps and dragged me through the window, pulling until my hips hit the doorframe. My shriek was a thin, useless thing, lost in the rush of night around us. Swept away along with his answering laugh.
“What are you doing??” I yelped. “Get back in there.” He shook his head and leaned out farther–dangerously, heart-stoppingly farther. His grin formed words that never reached my ears. “What?”
He repeated himself, let go of my arm long enough to gesture at the sky.
Nothing about those instructions resembled a good plan. I did it anyway. I twisted my torso, clutched Connor’s sleeve with one hand and the roof rack with the other. Tipped my head backward in a mimic of his.
We fell into the stars.
They funneled out of the darkness and seeped into my senses, overlapping and infinite, distant and impossibly close. The wind blew my hair across my tearing eyes, turned the sky to a moonlit blur of shadow and sound. My hand ached with the force of my grip, every joint threatening to pull apart. Every nerve poised to unravel.
Sadie’s frantic taps on my knee pulled me back to earth. I snagged the shoulder of Connor’s jacket and dragged him back into the car, where we landed in a breathless, dizzy heap.
“Not a bad view, huh, Lane?”
“Wild,” I gasped. “We totally should get on the roof.”
“Now you’re talking. Sadie, tell your boy to slow it down till we’re settled, then when I give the signal, give it all he’s got.”
“You’re just a big old mess, Connor.” Sadie shook her head, scowling at Connor over the back of her seat. “Both of you are way too much for me.”
“You know you love this mess,” he cackled. “Don’t even act like you don’t.”
He snaked back out the window, leaned out again, shaking off my grip; Grey’s foot pressed heavy on the gas pedal, as Sadie’s apprehensive squawks slithered into my ears. I stretched out on the seat, tipped my head back, returned my eyes to the sky. Sought a second glimpse of Connor’s view, from a significantly safer place.
We parked at an overlook, though there was nothing to see but deep, vast darkness, mountain shadows spackled with the twinkle of far-off cities. I drifted out of reach of the headlights, leaned against the guardrail as Grey cranked the music loud, and Connor cranked it louder. Sadie tugged at her brother’s arms, begging him to dance even as he playfully smacked her hands away.
“Hey.” Grey’s drawl brushed my ear, rode the chills down my arms and back. I looked up and lost my way, drawn to him with that familiar sickening swoosh. A pitiful tide, held fast in the grip of the moon. “I’m glad you came out tonight.”
“Oh. Thank you. Sorry for–I mean, I know Skye made you–”
“Elaine.” That name, falling softly from his mouth. He was the only one who’d even think to use it. “Mom has nothing to do with it. We–I want you here, or you wouldn’t be here. You’re my sister now, right?” His grin faltered into uncertainty. “It still sounds weird, I know. But it’s true.”
“I guess it is.” And it was–one week and counting, legally speaking, it was true. Horribly, unfairly, devastatingly true.
“You heard their vows. We’re in this together. Always.”
“Where is everybody?” Sadie’s twang blew past me and circled Grey, tugging his eyes from mine. She’d paused her solo dance party long enough to realize the rest of us had disappeared. “Grey? Baby, where’d you go? I can’t see one single blessed thing out here.”
“Coming, babe.” He darted past me, and it took everything I had to blink back the burn as he swooped away and into the wash of headlights, caught Sadie around the waist, lifting her off her feet to spin with him.
How many years had I waited, hoping to hear those words from him? How many more years would I spend sending habitual smiles across tables and rooms, through gritted, aching teeth? How many nights would I lie awake, listening through the thin wall of my bedroom for the sleep-jagged edge of his breath? This boy, so long unreachable–the core of everything I’d wanted, mangled and reassembled into a cosmic joke.
One week into eternity, and I wanted to cry every time it crossed my mind. Because that’s a healthy and productive method of problem-solving.
Admittedly better than my usual methods, though–all good-looking and nice and boring and replaceable–all attempts to feel something, for literally any attractive, age-appropriate guy who was not Grey McIntyre. All of whom lay in ruins behind me–stitches dropped from the end of the needle. Tiny holes, ruining the finished piece.
God. I should absolutely never be a life coach, in any form.
About ‘Together We Caught Fire’ by Eva V. Gibson
A forbidden attraction grows even more complicated when the guy Lane Jamison has crushed on for years suddenly becomes her step-brother in this sexy and gorgeously written debut novel about the lines between love, desire, and obsession.
What happens when the boy you want most becomes the one person you can’t have?
Lane Jamison’s life is turned upside down the week before her senior year when her father introduces her to his new fiancée: mother of Grey McIntyre, Lane’s secret, longtime crush. Now with Grey living in Lane’s house, there’s only a thin wall separating their rooms, making it harder and harder to deny their growing mutual attraction–an attraction made all the more forbidden by Grey’s long-term girlfriend Sadie Hall, who also happens to be Lane’s friend.
Torn between her feelings for Grey and her friendship with Sadie–not to mention her desire to keep the peace at home–Lane befriends Sadie’s older brother, Connor, the black sheep of the strict, evangelical Hall family. Connor, a metal working artist who is all sharp edges, challenges Lane in ways no one else ever has. As the two become closer and start to open up about the traumas in their respective pasts, Lane begins to question her conviction that Connor is just a distraction.
Tensions come to a head after a tragic incident at a party, forcing Lane to untangle her feelings for both boys and face the truth of what–and who–she wants, in this gripping and stunningly romantic debut novel.
Together We Caught Fire by Eva V. Gibson will be available on February 11, 2020. You can preorder your copy now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository, or your local independent bookstore. Also, don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads “to read” shelf!