Title: Love Me Back
Author: Michelle Lynn
Genre: New Adult
Hosted by: Love Between the Sheets
Growing up in small-town Belcrest, Maddy Jennings always thought she was destined to be with her childhood sweetheart, Trent Basso. Throughout the complicated road she has traveled with Trent, someone else has had a strong presence in Maddy's life. Trent’s older brother Gabe has always been someone she could count on, therefore neither of them can be blamed when lines blur from friendship to something more. However, promises made between brothers threaten to ensure that neither of them will have a permanent place in her life.
When Maddy returns to her hometown for her brother’s wedding, she is forced to face both Trent and Gabe for the first time in two years. While the two Basso brothers fight to win her heart, she is busy struggling with a past that won't seem to let her go. Whether she wants to or not, Maddy must decide to either forfeit her own happiness or forever tear a family apart.
Michelle Lynn has always been a reader, but her passion has become a full-blown addiction since her husband bought her a Kindle for Mother's Day. She's pretty sure that he regrets this on a regular basis. Especially when she has it propped up next to the stove while she cooks, which often results in a burnt dinner. Or when he loses sleep because the glow from the screen wakes him up when he rolls over at three in the morning. He does agree, however, that she uses this gift more than any other he has ever gotten her. She joking counters that, because of some of the steamy novels she reads, he also benefits more from this gift than any other he has gotten her. ;)
Michelle moved around the Midwest most of her life, transferring from school to school before settling down in the outskirts of Chicago ten years ago, where she now resides with her husband and two kids. She developed a love of reading at a young age, which helped lay the foundation for her passion to write. With the encouragement of her family, she finally sat down and wrote one of the many stories that have been floating around in her head. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can be found playing with her kids, talking to her mom on the phone, or hanging out with her family and friends. But after chasing around twin preschoolers all day, she always cherishes her relaxation time after putting the kids to bed.
“No thanks required, Madgirl. But I have to say, my brother must have his hands full with you around.”“Why?”“You’re a good-looking girl and obviously naïve to how attractive you are. I assume you get yourself in bad situations often, since you see only the good in everyone.”“Gabe, your brother has been the only guy to even ask me out. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I am Jack's little sister or 'Trent's girl'," I say, using air quotes for emphasis, “but it gets really annoying sometimes.”“I can see that.”“So is Cooper telling the truth?”He raises an eyebrow at me.“That you are like him, make out with girls and then toss them aside for someone else the next night.”“No. Yes. I don’t know. College is different, Maddy. Everyone just wants to have fun, no strings attached. You will see next year. Too bad I will be gone by then.” He looks genuinely upset that we won't be able to attend the same school again.“I don’t think that whole casual hooking up thing is for me,” I confess.“You’re probably right. That’s why my brother always keeps you close.”“What do you mean?”“Nothing, let’s go in.”I hadn’t realized we were at the house already.“Tell me, Gabe. What are you talking about?” I grab his arm, stopping him from leaving the car.“I just wonder if he knows you are the one he wants to settle down with in the future, but he wants to enjoy what’s out there before he will commit to you.”“Or maybe we aren’t supposed to be together and that’s why it never works out. I don’t really think I’m his type.”“Believe me, Mad, you are every guy’s type.”There is something stirring in his eyes when he says that, but I can’t put my finger on what it is.“Thanks for that, Gabe, and I am so sorry for tonight.”“Don’t mention it. I just wish I could have shown you a better time.” He reaches over to remove my hand from his arm, but it lingers in his hand while chills spread through my body. “You better get in there to your boy before he comes out to get you,” he motions to the front window with his head.Trent is peering out of the window, looking directly at us. When he sees me turn my head in his direction, he quickly moves away.I lean over and kiss Gabe on the cheek, and then run into the house before I do something I will regret. Bryan and Kenna are wrapped in each other’s arms, lying on an air mattress in the living room, and Trent is feigning sleep on the couch.I go into the bathroom and change into my pajamas. Afterward, I lie down on the empty couch, trying to turn off thoughts of Cooper, Trent, and the things that Gabe said.“Did you have fun?” I hear Trent whisper.“Yeah, it was okay.” I prop myself up on my elbows to face him.“I missed you,” Trent says, staring at the ceiling.“You should be asleep; it’s a big game tomorrow,” I say, trying to detour the conversation.“Will you lay with me?”“Trent, we aren’t a couple. We really shouldn’t.”“Come on, Mad, we are friends. I won’t touch you anywhere you don’t want me to. I just need you next to me right now,” he confesses.“Okay.” I get up, hoping this will help him get the sleep that he needs.“Come here, girl.” A huge smile spreads across his face and he lifts the corner of the blanket for me. I snuggle on the narrow couch next to him with my back to his front, and he swings an arm around my waist, nuzzling his face in my neck.After five minutes of quiet silence, my eyelids start to close.“I love you, Madeline Jennings,” Trent whispers in my ear.I ignore him, pretending to be asleep. That is a line I am unable to cross. Trent wants me when he can’t have me, but he doesn’t want me when he can.