Title: The Opposite of Falling
Author: Jillian Liota
Genre: Contemporary Romance
About The Opposite of Falling:
BRIAR MITCHELL is home in Cedar Point – single, broke and unemployed. Back in the town she tried so hard not to get stuck in. A job at the local grocery will have to do until she figures out what’s next, even if it means working for her teenage crush. Not that he noticed her back then.
ANDY MARSHALL has always loved the small town life. Things might be rough at the moment – the family business is struggling and his dad’s health has taken a turn – but he’s trudging forward. What he doesn’t see coming is the attraction he feels towards his newest employee.
Choosing to explore their instant chemistry, Briar and Andy embark on a no-strings ride they hope will provide a few things they each desperately need. Sweet friendship, sexy fun, and a chance to escape from a life that isn’t going according to plan.
But in the face of a town disaster, they start to realize that maybe there’s something more between them. Something with a depth they weren’t expecting. Something that feels a lot like falling in love.
“That was great,” Bells says from where she’s lying flat on her back next to me. “I know we gave Boyd shit about it when he said he enjoyed yoga with Ruby, but maybe he’s onto something.”
I smile, staring up at the sky and the trees that sway in the light breeze above us. We both lie there for a while, just enjoying the outside time and the beautiful weather.
When I feel her hand slip into mine, I look over and find my sister watching me, her light brown eyes narrowed with concern.
“I know I’m not Boyd,” she tells me, “and I know I’m younger than you and you’ve never really, you know, talked to me about your life in any kind of real way…but I just want you to know I’m here for you if you need somebody.”
Something thick settles in my throat, something that feels oddly like the sensation right before tears. I work hard to swallow it down.
“Like if you want to talk about what happened with Chad, or…”
I pull my body up so I’m no longer lying on my back, letting go of my sister’s hand in the process.
“Thanks, but I’m good.”
I know my words aren’t what Bellamy wants to hear. She’s the definition of being our mother’s daughter—outgoing, friendly, and above all, has a strong desire to talk about things.
But I don’t want to talk about Chad. I don’t want to talk about my life with him where I felt so unhappy. I think about it enough on my own.
Nobody else needs to hear about the mistakes I made. Nobody else needs to know about all the times I let myself down.
Because that’s really the reason I left Chad.
He didn’t cheat on me. He didn’t hit me or hurt me. Sure, he might not have been the biggest supporter of me going after things I wanted, and yeah, he basically just wanted me to be a woman who took care of him and slept with him and didn’t cause a fuss.
But I left because I was disappointed in myself.
I had all those big plans, big plans and big ideas for my big life in the big city, and I let myself get made small. I let myself get dismissed, settling into a life that made me so unhappy I hardly knew what to do with myself.
I’m ashamed of who I became. I didn’t recognize the woman in the mirror anymore, having allowed the man in my life to warp what I saw until I finally smashed my reflection to pieces.
How am I supposed to talk about that with my younger sister? She’s supposed to be able to look up to me, and all she’ll see if I tell her about Chad and my life down the mountain is someone who failed.
So I do the thing I know how to do.
I give her a smile and pull away, keeping the broken and ugly bits of myself tucked away safely inside.
Nobody really wants to see those parts anyway.
About Jillian Liota:
Jillian Liota is a new author writing contemporary romance and new adult fiction. She lives in Kailua, Hawaii with her amazing husband, 2 cats, and 3-legged pup.
She is the author of the new adult romance novel The Keeper, which focuses on a female college soccer goalie, as well as the follow up novella, Keep Away. Her newest release, Like You Mean It, is in the contemporary romance genre and has a more mature voice, as it follows a pregnant mother finding love in a new town. The next novel in the Like You Series, Like You Want It, will be published in Spring 2019
She has a master’s in Higher Education and Student Affairs, and she is passionate about all things improvement, development and organization.
She’s also a big fan of taking walks with her husband and dog Maia, reading romance (obviously), watching a handful of horrible reality TV shows, and exploring the island she calls home. Check out her Contact page for more information on how to connect.