Title: Little Things
Author: Madison Street
Release Date: June 2, 2014
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Everything in Duke Grayson’s life was all he could ever ask for: A loving family, loyal friends, a beautiful girlfriend, and a scholarship to his top choice college. It’s his senior year of high school, and all he needs is to focus on his grades, lacrosse, and keeping his girlfriend happy. That is until Raya walks into his life.
From the moment they meet, Duke is drawn to her, not only for her natural beauty and her stunning crystal blue eyes, but because he’s aware there’s more to this girl than just his alluring pull to her. He senses secrecy and fear.
Throughout the year, their bond grows stronger, and his feelings for her become undeniable. Just when he is about to express his love, tragedy strikes and Raya disappears.
For six years, Duke is tortured by his struggles, as he’s unable to find her and blames himself for failing to protect her. Until the day, she’s found, and he’s given a second chance. Will Duke become her beacon of hope and make her see that it’s the little things that make life worthwhile? Can Raya overcome her fears and fight against the terrors that haunt her? Or will her dark and torturous past be too much for her to battle against?
*Warning: This book contains some disturbing situations, strong language and sexual content. Suited for 18 years and over.
With a quick pace, I give Mrs. Robinson my test and race out of the class only to crash into Duke.
“Whoa!! Slow down!” He steadies me with his arms.
I chuckle, “Sorry, I’m just happy to get away from Jose. I’m happy this is the last class with him.”
“Me, too. He’s gotten in the way of a lot of things and I can’t fucking stand him. It’ll be alright, Raya. He won’t bother you anymore.” He caresses my arm for a few seconds and then pulls away, clearing his throat. “So, uhh, what did Taylor want?”
I glance away to avoid his eyes, “He asked me out on a date.”
“He finally did it, huh? Took him forever.”
My head snaps to look at him, “Wait. What do you mean?”
He laughs and shakes his head, “After the Halloween party, he asked me if he should ask you out and I told him to go for it. Honestly, I thought he would have asked you out weeks ago. I don’t know what took him so long.”
My heart drops and an unbearable sadness falls over me. “Oh, is that right?”
“You know he’s crazy about you. You should give him a chance. He’s a really good guy.”
I close my eyes and try to force back the tears that are threatening to escape. My heart aches at the loss of Duke’s affection. All I want is him and I know I won’t ever get it. “I’m not so sure. I like him, but not as much as he likes me. I don’t want to rush anything. Besides, I told him that I can’t make any promises. I’ll be very busy with work during the break and won’t have much free time.”
“Ehh, he’ll wait. He doesn’t have a lot going on anyway.” He glances at his phone and responds to a text message. “Okay, well I’m going to catch Melanie before she heads off to her next class. I’ll talk to you later, okay?”
“Okay. Tell her I’ll see her in English.”
“I will.” He waves at me as he heads off to go get his girlfriend. At that moment, I realize that my feelings for Duke are purely one-sided and I need to get a grip on them. A single tear escapes and I quickly wipe it away. I promised myself that I wouldn’t stand in the way of Duke and Melanie. I’m not like that and I refuse to be the reason for a breakup. Their friendship means so much to me and I won’t ruin it.
Maybe I should go out with Taylor, but how can I with Craig being home? Hopefully, he has a conference coming up soon and will have to go out of town. I’m going to have to find a way to explain this to Taylor. I hope he’ll understand. I grab my cell phone and send a quick text to him.
Me: Meet me at work tomorrow.
I head down the hallway, making my way to endure the next final in line. A few minutes later, I hear my phone beep with an incoming text notification. I grab my cell to read the message sent from Taylor.
Taylor: So, is that a yes?
I laugh to myself. He always gets a head of himself.
Me: It’s a maybe. I’d like to take things slow so if you want come visit me at work.
Taylor: Of course! What time is your shift?
Me: From 11-7
Taylor: Okay, I’ll see you there. Maybe we can do lunch?
Me: Yeah, that sounds good. See ya tomorrow. J
Taylor: See ya then sweetie 😉
I smile at his text and think about seeing him tomorrow. He really is a nice guy and maybe I should listen to Duke and give him a chance. My hopes and wishes are slowly diminishing and I can use any bit of happiness I can get right now. Maybe Taylor is just what I need.
Review by Denise
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
This is one of those surprise books I would say for sure. I go into it and it starts off with Raya and a prologue that grabs you by the neck and says come with me for a surprise inside if you continue. Next it is Duke you meet, in high school the all important it would seem is man got me a girlfriend, wow she is hot and all mine type of thing. High school has started and first thing after two weeks you are then there when Raya is there for her first day after transfer. She then builds on this by giving you each their perspective going to their classes becoming fast friends. The description of Raya is very vivid you are wondering if something more could happen between these two but he is faithful to his girlfriend with her also becoming friends with Raya. You get more glimpses into her homelife that has you crunching your teeth because you as the reader want to do a rescue mission but she has a plan. But in friendships if they are real secrets do not stay secret so eventually it does come out what is up because she misses school.
Time has passed quickly because I am soaking this up as fast as I can read it. Eventually though prom comes and they are finally honest with each other which is another can of worms all together because prom spells the beginning of the end as life as they all know it. Man talk about spine tingling the events that happen later. Duke he is a guy after a girls heart. Steadfast no matter how much time passes never giving up on Raya. You see she has up and gone disappearing (running away but oh will it cost her) sitting up a life away from all she wants or knows but looks will be deceiving when she meets a instructor that will be giving her instructions on a new way of life. By now this author has me by the jugular dragging me along for some wowzer events that will be uncovered thanks to Duke and the love in his heart. Raya has a life you would not wish on your worst enemy of a girlfriend but something that is happening for real and written very well in this novel. Who and why is the fascinating parts when reading. I will tell you truthfully this is one route totally unexpected when I first started but the intensity and drama is well worth the read. Love is the factor for Duke and also what keeps her alive that when things start to change for the better when his search pays off you will be whooping for sure. Anyways no giving spoilers from me but man thanks to love being the victor in this novel there are second chances which is very prevalent in this novel. So if you pick this up and read it just think of Cracker Jacks with a surprise inside is what this novel is like. 5 books
About the Author
Madison Street was born in New York City and was raised in the Bronx, where she resided until she was 17 years old. After 9/11, Madison joined the United States Navy to serve her country.
During the deployments, Madison constantly wrote short stories and she discovered her passion for writing. You will find Madison always on the computer, whether she’s on Facebook, designing websites, messing with Photoshop, or writing for her blog.
Besides writing, her second passion is music and dance. Even though she’s a terrible singer, she’ll still belt it out in the shower, especially if the song is her jam! She currently resides in Virginia with her husband of 8 years, 2 children, a dog, and a cat. She is so excited to start this amazing journey and is honored to be part of such a compassionate and loving community.
2 Signed Paperbacks of Little Things (US ONLY), 2 Signed Little Things Bookmarks (US ONLY), 5 ecopies of Little Things