But then we were ripped apart and Blake Weston became the memory I turned to when everything else in my life fell apart.
Seven years later, a summer working at Camp Chance is supposed to be my fresh start. Beautiful scenery and the chance to better the lives of foster children–kids like me. But when my eyes land on him across the fire, time stands still and feelings come rushing back to the surface. I thought I’d moved on, tucked him away in my heart. One look into his soulful blue eyes and I know I’m wrong. Blake Weston can heal the broken parts of me. Restore my hope. Love me.
It’s our second chance. A sign we are supposed to be together.
I was twelve when I survived the accident that killed my parents. Fourteen when I survived the devil. And sixteen, when I survived a heartbreak of the worst kind.
But in my twenty-three years, Blake Weston might just be the first thing I won’t survive.
Most people felt lonely in solitude, but I welcomed the silence. I embraced it even. Something about the quiet, the knowledge no one else was around, comforted me. I knew it made me different. I didn’t need a shrink to tell me that, but it didn’t change the fact that I found sanctuary in being alone.
I lay there not really allowing myself to think. Thinking was dangerous; it led to remembering, and my memories were stained with pain and hurt and the kinds of things that made most people’s nightmares look like a walk in the park. Instead, I tracked the uneven cabin ceiling. My eyes followed the planes of the wood from one end to the other and back again until they grew heavy.
A knock on the door startled me sending my already restless heart into overdrive and I rubbed at my eyes.
“Hello?” I called out hoping to hear Marissa’s voice, but I knew it wasn’t her. She wouldn’t have knocked; she would have barged right in and demanded answers.
“Penny, it’s me.”
I squeezed my eyes shut, but my mind betrayed me as an image of Blake’s face filled my head.
Forcing myself to sit up, I swung my legs over the edge of the bed. He wasn’t going away. Blake—our connection—was something I was going to have to deal with sooner or later, and from Blake’s admissions over the last few days, it seemed that he was making the decision for me.
My legs were like lead as I walked to the door. It swung open and Blake stood there looking at me with such reverence in his eyes I almost crumpled. Maybe I did crumple because, before my head had time to process what was happening, I was in Blake’s arms, and he was holding on to me like he needed me to breathe.
“I’ve missed you so much. I’ve tried to stay away, to give you space, but I can’t. I can’t spend another day feeling like you might slip through my fingers again.”
One of Blake’s hands buried itself in my hair and cradled my head holding me to him. My face pressed up against the collar of his hoodie, and I breathed him in. He smelled familiar, like damp grass and fresh air, of a time when things were less complicated, and my heart ached for us. At that moment, we weren’t two strangers reunited by chance; we were sixteen-year-old Blake and Penny.
Heartbreaking but beautiful book about love, survival, and learning to live your life again despite your past!
Penny is a young woman trying to move past the pain of a terrible childhood and taking baby steps to learn how to trust others again, although, she gave up on love long ago. She loved someone years before. He was her security, safety, and showed her what being loved was all about. But, he was ripped away from her shortly before they were to be free from the foster care system they were in. Penny is taking a huge step becoming a counselor at a camp that specializes in helping foster children. She’s hoping not only to help herself but help the children as well. She will get more than she bargained for…her past is about to collide with her present and possibly affect her future when she locks eyes with the man, Blake, that once owned her heart and then crushed it when he left. As the two get to know one another again, those feelings are still there, but will they be able to overcome their pain and possibly have a future together? One thing is certain, it will indeed be a rocky road to happiness!
Penny and Blake were both well-developed and complex characters. Because of that, they both drew me into the story and tugged at my emotions. There were times I wanted to pull Penny in my arms and give her the security and love she deserved, I am a mother. Penny suffered a horrendous loss, and the people who were supposed to love her and help her did nothing except hurt her. Blake was a boy in the same foster home that became her friend and then became more. She gave him her heart even though that was difficult for her. He have her his heart as well, but outside forces pulled them apart. Therefore, Penny protected herself by not feeling any emotions. Going to this camp, not only brought Blake back into her life, but she was able to connect with others as well. I loved seeing her grow into a stronger woman who fought every day to not only survive but live life again. I also loved when Blake decided to make himself happy and not live his life for those around him. They are both characters that will not only forever stay in my mind but also my heart.
L.A. Cotton continues to surprise me. Lucky Penny is different from her other series, and while I love the Chastity Falls series, these characters and this story have a very special place in my heart. Cotton always throws a twist into her books, and this one isn’t any different. At times, the book was emotionally difficult to read, but it was done with sensitivity and love. I loved the hopeful message it delivers. Don’t ever let your past, no matter how painful, dark, or difficult, determine your future or happiness. Take back the control over your past and forge a happy future. I hope others who have endured some of what Penny and Blake did, will find hope and happiness as well. Well done, L.A. Cotton!
… written with feeling
L.A is author of the Fate’s Love Series and Chastity Falls Series. Home is a small town in the middle of England where she currently juggles being a full-time mum to two little people with writing. In her spare time (and when she’s not camped out in front of the laptop) you’ll most likely find L. A immersed in a book, escaping the chaos that is life.