Then he gets up and grabs my hands from the tops of my bare knees, pulling me to my feet.
“We’re going swimming,” he says. “And we’ll talk more about this later…like on the day your vacation is over and you’re standing at the gate in the airport about to kiss me goodbye.”
“Wow, you really think highly of yourself, don’t you?” I can’t keep the laughter from my voice.
“Damn straight!” he says and pulls me along beside him. “Before these two weeks are over, I can guarantee you three things.” He holds up three fingers as we continue onward toward the water. “One”—he holds up one finger—“you’ll never want to go back to San Diego once Hawaii is done with you.” He holds up two fingers. “Two—that photography love of yours will start to take the place of everything else in your life. And three”—he wiggles three fingers and we stop on the beach where the water can pool around our feet—“you’ll kiss me at least once before you go home.”
I blush hard and it feels like my eyes are bugging out of my head. “I might peck you on the cheek or something, but—”
“No,” he says, smiling and quite serious, “it’ll be a full-on, tongue-dancing kind of kiss.”
I smack him playfully on the arm—something is fluttering around inside my belly.
Luke grabs my hand and pulls me out to the water with him, where we swim and hang out on the cliffs until late in the afternoon. People come and go throughout the hours, sometimes leaving us with Alicia, Braedon, and a few of their close friends to have the area to ourselves for a while before more people show up in intervals.
“Backflip!” someone says just before Luke jumps into the water for probably the twentieth time.
And every time he does it, it ties my stomach up in knots. But there’s something about him that I can’t quite figure out when I watch him leap off the edge of that cliff; it’s not overconfidence or showing off or recklessness, but something deeper, more profound.
Maybe it’s a sense of freedom, or a natural high that consumes him while he’s in the air, as if he had been born with a pair of wings that only he can see. But the more time I spend with him, the more intrigued I become. Sure, he’s gorgeous and funny and polite and all the kinds of things—so far—that would make my mom love him to death.
But what intrigues and excites me more is how he kind of makes me want to jump off that stupid cliff regardless of how scared I am of it.
J.A. Redmerski Q&A
What scene from THE MOMENT OF LETTING GO was the most fun to write?
I loved writing the scene with the bug, where Sienna falls down the steps into the mud.
What are three things you can’t write without?
Grande Iced Vanilla Latte from Starbucks; writing laptop that never connects to the internet and has stickers all over it; and my favorite lounge chair.
What are you looking forward to most this summer?
My long-awaited throw-everything-in-the-Jeep-and-go drive to the Grand Canyon – though it’s beginning to look like I’ll be putting that off until the fall, or next summer.
Which do you love more, beginning to write a book or finishing one? Please explain why.
A few years ago my answer would’ve been that I loved starting a new book because I loved the journey I went through to get to the end. But I think over time I’ve grown to enjoy the finish line more because it means I get to start on something new - I have so many stories to tell! But I guess that’s the same thing as saying I love the beginning?
THE MOMENT OF LETTING GO by J.A. Redmerski (August 11, 2015; Forever Trade Paperback)
You can follow the rules or you can follow your heart...
Sienna Murphy never does anything without a plan. And so far her plans have been working. Right after college, she got a prestigious job and gained the stability she'd always craved-until work takes her to the sun-drenched shores of Oahu and places her in the path of sexy surfer Luke Everett. For the first time, she lets her heart take control. Drawn to his carefree charm, she makes a spontaneous and very un-Sienna-like decision to drop everything and stay in Hawaii for two more weeks.
Luke lives fast and wild. When he meets Sienna, he's convinced that some no-strings-attached fun is just what she needs. As their nights quickly turn from playful to passionate, Luke can't deny the deep connection he feels. But there's a reason Luke doesn't do long-term. He can't promise Sienna forever, when the enormity of his past has shown him just how fragile the future can be . . .
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I have just finished reading this book. I was lucky enough to win a signed copy, but also received it from Netgalley after signing up for the release week blitz. Review will be posted tomorrow.