1. He doesn’t like many people, but dude, he loves his girl, Talia.
2. He reads…mostly nonfiction, but still, a guy with a book is dreamy.
3. He surfs and has the back muscles to prove it.
4. He’s a passionate environmentalist.
5. He has faith in Talia even when she has a hard time believing in herself.
Title: Upside Down by Lia Riley
Off the Map Series Book One
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 246 pages
If You Never Get Lost, You’ll Never Be Found
Natalia Stolfi is saying good-bye to the past-and turning her life upside down with a trip to Australia. Everything is going to plan until she meets a brooding surfer with hypnotic green eyes.
Bran Lockhart is having the worst year on record. Yet no amount of disappointment could blind him to the pretty California girl who gets past all his defenses. He’s never wanted anyone the way he wants Talia. But when Bran gets a stark reminder of why he stopped believing in love, he and Talia must decide if what they have is once in a lifetime . . . of if they were meant to live a world apart.
“Is it true you have no regrets, not even one?” Hopefully he has no idea how dead serious I am in his response.
“There’s no point.” His fingers tighten infinitesimally on the wheel. “The past is the past. That’s it.”
“Like whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?”
“No, that’s a dumb-ass cliché. I mean there’s no meaning to life, despite what people pretend. Once I figured that out, everything got easier.”
“Has anyone ever said you are intense?”
“Since the day I was born.” He checks the rearview mirror. “So I got to ask you something. Maybe I’m presuming but—”
“If that’s your lead-in, then you’re probably correct.”
“You don’t fool me.”
He’s right. No matter how hard I try to hide and pretend away my crazy, Bran sees too much.
“But you try to fool everyone, don’t you?” He turns and catches me staring. “With the act. You, all breezy, cute as hell, always smiling like we’re at some big-deal party. You know what I think—”
“No, actually.” Wait, I’m cute? He thinks I’m cute?
“Not sure what your issue is, but—”
“I’m fine,” I mutter tightly. Reality wanders back, as unwelcome as a drunk uncle at a family picnic. Let’s face it, no one wants to be around a girl with issues. “Really, I’m all good.” Right, I sound like a five-year-old watching worms die in puddles.
After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, LIA RILEY scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. When not torturing heroes (because c’mon, who doesn’t love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about as-of-yet unwritten books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. She and her family live mostly in Northern California.
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