The Summer Before Forever
By: Melissa Chambers
Release Date: August 22, 2016
Series: Before Forever #1
Some boys break your heart. Others teach you how to heal it.
Chloe Stone’s life is a hot mess. Determined to stop being so freaking skittish, she packs up her quasi-famous best friend and heads to Florida. The goal? Complete the summer bucket list to end all bucket lists. The problem? Her hot soon-to-be stepbrother, Landon Jacobs.
Landon’s mom will throttle him if he even looks at his future stepsister the wrong way. Problem is, Chloe is everything he didn’t know he wanted, and that’s...inconvenient. Watching her tear it up on a karaoke stage, stand up to his asshole friend, and rock her first string bikini destroys his sanity.
But there’s more than their future family on the line. Landon is hiding something—something he knows will change how she feels about him—and she’s hiding something from him, too. And when the secrets come out, there’s a good chance neither will look at the other the same way again...
This was a very unique story line with a variety of
difficult situations which the author did a great job in helping you through
these difficult situations. I always love
learning new things and Melissa Chambers had me googling all over the place for
the one learning disability in the book, so it’s always a plus when you can
learn something new.
We meet Chloe who is about to spend the summer with her
father and his soon to be new wife who happens to have a teenage son. You know this is a recipe for disaster
depending on how the two get along. It
definitely didn’t turn out to be a disaster for Chloe and Landon, quite the
opposite actually. The minute they see
each other there is a connection, it was a little too insta love for me, but
regardless as the story progressed I was intrigued and interested in their
Chloe is running away from something that happened to her in
her hometown, but with the help of her best friend Jenna and a list to boost her
confidence she prevails. Sometimes it’s
a difficult thing to try and gain confidence, it’s a scary thing that most
people can’t even accomplish while others just flourish with it, but her
different tasks definitely help change Chloe for the better. Landon on the other hand has a learning
disability that he can’t help but hide, he’s embarrassed by it and doesn’t want
anyone to think any less of him. It’s a
learning disability I’ve never heard of before but what a great way to bring it
to light so that others can learn more about it. I applaud Melissa Chambers for that great
The romance in this book is very low-key and innocent for
the most part, but it definitely showed how there are different people in this
world and you always have to be careful, because you never know what type of
situation you will be put into. I loved
that this story touched upon possible rape and how to handle a situation like
that. Running away isn’t always the
answer sometimes you have to face it, especially if they can do it again to
someone else. It’s a very serious issue
that needs to be discussed both with young women and men. Again I applaud Melissa Chambers for
Melissa Chambers writes contemporary novels for young, new, and actual adults. A Nashville native, she spends her days working in the music industry and her nights tapping away at her keyboard. While she’s slightly obsessed with alt rock, she leaves the guitar playing to her husband and kid. She never misses a chance to play a tennis match, listen to an audiobook, or eat a bowl of ice cream. (Rocky road, please!) She’s a member of SCBWI and RWA including several local and online chapters thereof. She holds her B.S. in Communications from the University of Tennessee.
Overall I think Chloe and Landon helped to build each
other’s confidence throughout the book and deal with their impending situations. There was family issues, learning
disabilities, dating situations and just a little bit of everything in this
book. It was an interesting and great
read, very quick and entertaining. The
cover is adorable, even if it’s not how I pictured any of the characters.
About the Author:
Read Below for an excerpt from The Summer Before Forever:
It’s not like I didn’t know better. How many times has it
been drilled into my brain—into the brain of every child over the age of three.
Don’t get into a car with a stranger. But can the guy you’ve been melting for
since the start of sophomore year really be considered a stranger…even if you
never officially met him before?
I accidentally gun the gas as I squirm a little. Eight hours
in a driver’s seat is hell on any behind.
It’s done. It’s over. In fact, I’m lucky. I got out of the
nightmare with all my firsts still intact…well, most of them. Not quite the
first kiss I have been waiting for these past sixteen years. But how juvenile is
it anyway that a girl on the brink of seventeen would go un-kissed? Sweet
sixteen and never been kissed—endearing. Seventeen and never been kissed—circus
freak. At least that’s out of the way.
Jenna rouses in the passenger seat, yawning. “Oh my God. There’s
So it is, Captain Obvious. My Honda Civic starts its ascent
up a fairly frightening looking bridge over an inlet.
“How long have I been asleep?”
She grabs her phone and squints at the screen. “Service.
I can’t help but smile. “What would Jenna Quigley do without
social media for a day?”
“I have my fans to consider,” she says.
Oh, but if only she was kidding. It’s amazing what placing
eighth in a karaoke contest can do for one’s ego. Okay, so it was the most
popular singing competition on any major network, but same difference.
She flips through her phone. “Oooh. I almost forgot. You’re
going to love
Jenna and I are two of the most unlikely best friends in the
history of friendships, but one thing that does bring us together is our shared
love of music.
Unfortunately, our tastes couldn’t possibly be further apart
on the spectrum.
“You’ve said that about the last five songs you played for
me,” I say.
She holds up her free hand, the thumb on the other still
scrolling. “I swear this is one of your people, not mine.”
She sets her phone down and stares at me with those huge
green eyes as the synthpop sounds of St. Lucia fill my car.
I eye her. I wouldn’t call St. Lucia one of my people, but
he definitely doesn’t suck. And as far as artists go that break the barrier
between her pop roots and my alt rock ones, this is one I can live with.
Besides, this song is highly danceable. My upper body moves to the beat without
She points at me. “See! I told you you’d love it.”
I let a smile through. “I don’t hate it. How did you get
And with that name, my shoulders still. Not that there’s
anything wrong with Mason. He’s not the one who tried to force himself on me.
No, that particular honor goes to his best friend, Trevor. I haven’t told Jenna
yet. She’ll be crushed when she finds out—and then murderous. With the summer
in front of us, I need to keep her living in blissful ignorance. If I don’t,
she’ll blow up to Mason about it, and then it will become this huge deal around
As far as she’s concerned, Trevor and I kissed, and there
was no spark.
“So this kid who’s going to be your stepbrother—what’s his
name?” Jenna asks.
Here we go. I suppose I’ve put this off long enough. “I
probably should mention… He’s not really a kid.”
“Great. Is he some pervy preteen who’s going to be peeping
through the crack of my bedroom door?”
“Not exactly.” I don’t know if he’s pervy or not, but I
know he’s not a preteen. He’s only a year older than
us. It’s stupid, but I’m not ready for Jenna to find out yet. If I’d told her
when I found out, she’d have found him on social media and wrapped him around her
pinky before we even arrived. I just want a chance to get to know him at the
same time rather than the two of them being old buds and best friends before we
even arrive…or worse, dating.
I stare past the road out into the sparkling ocean spread in
front of us. Secretly, I’m hoping he’s more like me than he is like her. I’ve
never had a brother. God, I need that right now. A guy I can trust, who’s got
my back. I have these ridiculous fantasies of this guy who immediately takes me
under his protective wing as he kickboxes Trevor in the balls for what he tried
to make me do…for what he swears we will
“So? What’s his name?” Jenna repeats.
“I don’t remember,” I lie.
She glares at me. “Well, what has your dad told you about
I hit the blinker, and we turn toward our home for the next
two months. “You think my dad and I have actual conversations?”
Jenna sits up and gasps, staring out the window. “No.
A massive stone archway with sleek, aqua letters reading Sea
Glass Cove welcomes us into a resort covered in pastel beach bungalows, a crazy
big golf course, and a pool that looks like it was hijacked from Atlantis.
“Why didn’t you tell me your dad was loaded?” Jenna asks.
“He’s not,” I say. “This is his fiancée’s house.”
She snickers. “Score, Mr. Stone. Your dad must be hotter
than I remember.”
I make a face. “Gross, Jenna.”
“Does he have a huge penis?” She pokes me in the side.
I swerve. “You’re going to get us killed, nasty.”
Jenna stabs a finger across my face. “265, there it is.”
I turn into the driveway of a two-story baby blue house. A
black Jeep sits next to a shiny red Porsche SUV in front of my Honda. All this
belongs to my future stepmother. Geez. Does
my dad have a
I open the door, and the salty sea air hits my face like the
smell of chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven. Florida, even the
humidity that’s so thick I think I might need an asthma inhaler, is my
temporary escape for the summer.
I know I have to go back home to Cliff Ridge eventually, but
when I do, the evil Trevor will be gone for college. As much as the next two
months are going to win the award for most awkward daughter/dad summer ever,
it’s better than the alternative of spending it back home looking over my
I open the trunk and start gathering our bags.
I glance at the house next door. “Yeah, you won’t find
lavender houses in Cliff Ridge.”
“Not the house,” Jenna says out of the corner of her mouth.
I look up to put a face with the unfamiliar male voice. Holy
Zac Efron. Who in the… Oh no. I bet this is—
“Hey.” He grins at Jenna. “Which one of you is my new little
Jenna’s eyes go wide and she elbows me in the side. “Thank
God not me.”
He gives her a mischievous lift of an eyebrow, and then
shifts his gaze to me. “Chloe?”
This guy has got the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen and short,
shaggy, dark hair that falls all around his face in that totally messy and
totally doesn’t care kind of way. Standing at least six feet tall, he towers
over me, but I’m used to that. A light sprinkling of freckles decorates his
tanned face, whereas I look like I’ve been hiding under a UV protected rock my
I scratch my eyebrow. “Yeah. Landon, right?”
“I thought you couldn’t remember his name,” Jenna mutters.
I cut my eyes at her in warning. He offers me his hand, and
I take it.
“So you’re the new sister. You’re my first.” He gives the
slightest hint of a smile and lets go of my hand. We watch as he wrangles our
big roller bags out of the trunk and carries them both by the handles into the
Jenna rests an elbow on my shoulder. “Who needs to use the
rollers when you’ve got muscles like that?”
She looks at me for a reaction, but I turn to the trunk to
“So, some kid brother you got there,” she says. “What the
I tug the rest of the bags out of the trunk and load us both
down with them. “I said he wasn’t a kid…exactly.”
Jenna points to his backside as he climbs the front porch
steps. “Not a kid, exactly
? That is a full-fledged
. His boy parts grew up years ago.”
I anchor a canvas bag to her right shoulder. “Don’t be
I shut the trunk, and we make our way toward the house.
Landon holds the door open for us, and we scoot past him
into the foyer. It’s weird stepping into this house that I guess will be my
home in a way. My dad lives here after all, but it’s not really his…at least
not yet. I glance around at all the white and aqua stuff, including a pristine
white couch. God, I hope I don’t spill anything on that.
“This is a beautiful house,” I say.
“My mom’s a real estate agent. She’s into decorating houses
I glance around. “Is my dad here?”
“They just texted. They’ll be here in just a little while.
They’re getting dinner stuff.” He smiles. “I think they’re going all out for
your first night.”
I suppose that warms my heart a tad. Doesn’t really make up
for my dad’s virtual complete absence from my life for the past five months,
but who’s keeping score.
“Where will we be sleeping?” Jenna asks with innuendo.
As he leads us up the stairs Jenna points at his behind
again and gives a thumb’s up. I give my throat a slice in warning, and it just
eggs her on.
He hauls our suitcases into a pale yellow room. Jenna tosses
her bags on one of the twin beds, and I sit down on the other.
“I’ll let you settle in. Nice to meet you, Jenna…Chloe.”
“Likewise,” Jenna says as he shuts the door to our room
She flops onto the bed she claimed. “What’d I do?”
“We’re going to be here two months,” I say pointedly.
“So if you hook up with him now and things go sour next
week, it’s going to be a long two months.”
She sighs and sits up. “Point taken. Besides that, he’s just
the first one we’ve seen. I bet there are a whole slew of them down at the
beach. Let’s go.” She rips into her suitcase and comes up with a hot pink
“I want to wait for my dad to get home. You go.”
“That’s cool. I’ll wait with you.” She pulls her phone out
of her pocket and flips through one of her seven or eight social media apps, I
“Ah, look at my sweetie.”
“Who?” I ask. It could be anyone.
She glowers at me. “Mason.”
I nod. Of course. They hooked up the same night I had my
fiasco with Trevor. Jenna never clarifies what she means by hooked up. I’m
guessing it’s somewhere between a peck on the cheek and full-on sex.
I hang clothes in one of the two closets, and then pull out
the bag with my shower stuff. As I go to set my shampoo down on the corner of
the tub, I notice a bottle of men’s body wash. I realize that the door I
assumed was to a linen closet is actually too big to be a closet door. I creep
toward it and give it a little shove. It leads to another bedroom. A guy’s
Gray, t-shirt material sheets pool on the unmade bed. A
football poster decorates one wall, while another poster of Kate Upton in a
bikini hangs on another. At least sixty or seventy hardbacks line the shelves
of a bookcase. I check the door, and then take a few steps closer to read the
titles—biographies, many of world leaders or prominent figures in history. I
spot one sitting on his desk with a bookmark peeping out of it.
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
He’s redeemed for the Kate Upton poster.
A classic tennis racket in a wooden case sits on a shelf
above his bed. A toddler-sized jersey hangs in a frame on one wall next to a
shelf housing a single trophy. I come closer and read the plaque. The Mean Green
Gorillas, Team Participant. I can’t help but giggle.
“I don’t come in your room and laugh at your stuff.”
I jump a mile and spin around.
Landon lounges against the doorframe.
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