Title: If We Could Go Back
Author: Cara Dee
Genre: MM Romance/Angst
My sister asked me if I could stand the sight my own reflection, if I’d caused enough damage yet, but I didn’t see myself when I looked into the mirror. I saw Kieran standing behind me, pressing a kiss to my shoulder while he undid my belt. I saw everything I wanted that I couldn’t have. Not unless I was prepared to hurt everyone around me.
Kieran was in a similar situation.
Were we monsters or men? Were they one and the same? Did we give a flying f—hell. We did care. Just not enough to stop, not enough to walk away, and I knew we constantly asked ourselves the same question because of it. If we could go back to when we met on the train…if we could erase the deceit, erase our first hello…would we?
Kieran Marshall was a good bloke. A great fucking guy. One of the best out there. He poured another round of shots, and I chased one down with a swallow of beer.
Who needed to try cocaine to spice up their boring life when you could meet an Irish enigma from Boston?
“Fuck, that’s it,” I hissed as the burn slid down.
I groaned and dragged my hands over my face. This was the life. This was the escape I’d needed for months now. I felt so good.
It’d taken us half an hour to get a buzz, and in that time, we’d gotten a few random topics out of the way. I learned we were the same age, only he was a September kid while I was turning twenty-nine in a few weeks. He’d gone to college in Savannah and dropped out after two semesters. It was in Georgia he’d met his wife, who was apparently six years older than him, and she was from Seattle. In order to escape the city rents when they eventually headed west, they’d settled down in Camassia and never left, even as his company started doing really well.
It was a Kieran Marshall crash course. Hardly enough, but it was a good beginning.
“I have a question.” I coughed into my fist, and Kieran waved a hand in go-ahead before downing another shot. “You said you worked three jobs and quit college. Today, you have a great job. Your wife, you said, earned a master’s in anthropology, and now she’s at home.”
“Yeah.” He pushed two shot glasses my way, both brimming with whiskey. “She’s…” He exhaled a chuckle. “She’s something else. Her mind—she’s one of the smartest women I know, but…she walked away. She doesn’t wanna work.”
“Huh.” I took a swig of my beer, and by chance, I caught a glimpse of a snack menu over the bar. Hell. I wanted wings. My stomach snarled in approval, so I got the bartender’s attention. “Can I have one of those, uh…” I pointed vaguely at the menu and squinted. “With all the snacks, a mix plate. Extra wings, thanks.”
“Sure thing.” The woman turned to Kieran. “Anything for you?”
“That sounds good—” He stifled a belch. “I’ll have the same.”
Glancing over my shoulder, I deduced the happy hour crowd had morphed into the group of lucky suckers who could go out on a Wednesday just like that. The music was a little louder, and everyone was a little drunker. My kind of people.
“Anyway.” I faced Kieran again and blanched. “What were we talking about?”
He laughed and shook his head. “I have no fucking clue.” He figured that was a reason to slide another shot my way, even though I hadn’t finished the other two. I had to catch up. “How did you meet Allison?”
“College.” I threw back a shot and made a face. “She had a full ride at Northwestern when she started. I was already a sophomore.” We were the same age, but Allison had taken a year off to plant trees in…some country where there were already trees everywhere. Okay, that was harsh of me.
Kieran let out a low whistle. “Good school. What did you study?”
“Marketing,” I replied. “Allison was studying finance, but—well.”
Kieran’s mouth twisted, and I narrowed my eyes at the little movement. He had…a mouth. And a faint five-o’clock shadow. My own mouth ran dry.
If We Could Go Back by Cara Dee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Such a stunning read!
This story does contain cheating which would normally put me off reading but knowing this was a Cara Dee book, I knew it was going to be something special and I am so glad I gave it a chance.
The feelings I experienced whilst reading If We Could Go Back will stay with me forever. The angst, the passion, the heartbreak, the love… it was everything! I felt every bit of emotion the characters were experiencing.
Bennett and Kieran meet on the train whilst commuting into the city for work. They have never spoken but have sat opposite each other for months until one day after a particular bad day, Kieran is the first to break the ice. A fast friendship is formed, and the rest is history.
Although the story is set out over several years, it certainly didn’t feel that way. The fast pace flowed really well, and you got to see the life both characters had built for themselves, wives, children, work…
Cara has a way of telling a story that gets you feeling like you’re in the same universe as these characters, I was sucked in from the very beginning and absorbed every word.
If you could go back, would you?
I’m often stoically silent or, if the topic interests me, a chronic rambler. In other words, I can discuss writing forever and ever. Fiction, in particular. The love story—while a huge draw and constantly present—is secondary for me, because there’s so much more to writing romance fiction than just making two (or more) people fall in love and have hot sex. There’s a world to build, characters to develop, interests to create, and a topic or two to research thoroughly. Every book is a challenge for me, an opportunity to learn something new, and a puzzle to piece together. I want my characters to come to life, and the only way I know to do that is to give them substance—passions, history, goals, quirks, and strong opinions—and to let them evolve. Additionally, I want my men and women to be relatable. That means allowing room for everyday problems and, for lack of a better word, flaws. My characters will never be perfect.
Wait…this was supposed to be about me, not my writing.
I’m a writey person who loves to write. Always wanderlusting, twitterpating, kinking, and geeking. There’s time for hockey and cupcakes, too. But mostly, I just love to write.
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