Publication date: November 8th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance,
Genres: Contemporary, Romance,
One year. That’s how long it’s been since childhood sweethearts Sully Graham and Cadence Gilbertson broke up, since one adoption and one out-of-state move turned their worlds upside down.
Suddenly, Cadence is back in New York City, but something’s different about her. The light in her eyes, the music in her laughter, the warmth in her smile—all of those things have entirely vanished. In their place stand the makings of a girl Sully can’t even begin to recognize, much less understand.
Still, despite the collective history of heartbreak between them, he’s convinced he can win her trust again, and he’s committed to proving the invincibility of their love no matter what it takes.
But Cadence is quietly harboring secrets of her own. Dark secrets. Ugly secrets. Secrets that could break a person. And though broken herself and unbearably lonely, she’s determined to protect Sully from her terrible, biting truths. Even if it means locking him out of her life forever.
The only problem is it seems her heart hasn’t quite received the memo. One glimpse of him is all it takes for her to trip into familiar (and, she’ll admit, addictive) feelings that threaten to all but consume her. Now her biggest fear is that her secrets will begin to slowly unravel one by one…long before Sully’s resolve ever does.
The Secrets We Kept is a moving story about first love, friendship, and forgiveness, and the enduring bonds that forever connect us and give us our strength.
“Have you ever had a leaf fight?” He asked, dropping his empty yogurt cup into a waste bin.
Cadence did the same. “A what?” She took in her surroundings and placed herself at Prospect Park. Sully strayed from the sidewalk, and she followed him over a carpet of crisp foliage, the leaves crunching under their steps.
“Like a snowball fight,” he explained. “But with leaves.” To demonstrate, he gathered leaves into his arms and hurled them at her.
She froze in the shower of spades, blinking.
“You try it now,” he said. She didn’t move at first, but his smile never faltered. “Come on. Give it a try. It’s fun.”
She obliged him, only a stowaway pinecone had snuck into her armful of leaves, and it struck Sully on the head. “I'm so sorry,” she said, pressing her hands to her mouth with wide eyes.
He laughed. “You don’t have to apologize. Spencer's done worse. That's ten points for you, by the way. But don't get too confident.” Then he launched another attack against her, followed by another laugh. “Don’t just stand there. Gather your ammunition. Let’s go.”
Cadence quickly learned that failure to participate wouldn’t stop Sully from chucking leaves in her direction, and it was the only reason she relented and moved into action. For the next ten minutes, as Sully provided commentary fit for the trenches of war, they darted around, assembling mounds of leaves to throw at each other. When Cadence wasn’t slipping across the leaves, making them hiss like a thousand snakes, she was shielding herself against flying acorns or taking refuge behind massive oaks.
Then it happened. She hadn’t even meant to do it. It came of its own volition. She laughed. She actually laughed. It rose out of her organically. Tender and soft. Raw and free. When she heard it, when she felt it humming in her throat, she stopped mid-attack as if dumbfounded, wondering where such a thing had come from. She hadn’t thought it possible that she’d ever laugh again. Sully had proven her wrong.
Lily's debut young adult novel, The Secrets We Kept, released on November 8, 2015.
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