(Come Back to Me, #1)
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: December 8, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance
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In this heart-wrenching tale of love and loss, a young Marine and his best friend’s sister plunge into a forbidden love affair while he’s home on leave.
When a Marine Chaplain knocks on her door, Jessa’s heart breaks—someone she loves is dead. Killed in action, but is it Riley or Kit? Her brother or her boyfriend…
Three months earlier, Marine Kit Ryan finds himself back home on leave and dangerously drawn to his best friend Riley’s sister, Jessa—the one girl he can’t have. Exhausted from fighting his feelings, Kit finally gives in, and Jessa isn’t strong enough to resist diving headfirst into a passionate relationship.
But what was just supposed to be a summer romance develops into something far greater than either of them expected. Jessa’s finally found the man of her dreams and Kit’s finally discovered there’s someone he’d sacrifice everything for.
When it’s time for Kit to redeploy, neither one is ready to say goodbye. Jessa vows to wait for him and Kit promises to come home to her. No matter what.
But as Jessa stands waiting for the Marine Chaplain to break her heart, she can’t help but feel that Kit has broken his promise…
Riley or Kit? Kit or Riley? Her brother or her boyfriend? Who’s coming home to her?
Mila Gray is the pen name for Sarah Alderson, author of Hunting Lila, Losing Lila, The Sound, Fated and Out of Control.Originally from London she has lived in Bali for the last four years with her husband and daughter. As well as writing young adult fiction under the name Sarah Alderson and adult fiction under the name Mila Gray, she also writes screenplays. You can find out more at www.milagray.com and on facebook: www.facebook.com/sarahjalderson
Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
What was Mila's inspiration for the book and for her characters.
The inspiration came from a few things. I was asked by my publisher to write a book for a slightly older audience, having written purely YA under my real name Sarah Alderson. I was asked to write a contemporary romance but I wanted to write something with a bit of grit to it, something with a real message too.
I had previously set a book (Hunting Lila) in Oceanside, southern California and so I decided to set this book there too and just as in Hunting Lila I have a main character Jessa who falls for her Marine brother’s best friend. That is where the comparisons stop though! I love writing about girls who fall in love with their brother’s best friend – it’s a trope but when it’s done well there’s nothing so hot! Throw in a forbidden aspect and some serious heartbreak and boom, you’ve got the bones of a really great story.
And I was interested too in writing about war and the knock on effects on family and friends as well as those who are serving in the armed forces and the impact on them. So I built a story that starts with a death but you don’t know if it’s Riley, the main character’s brother, or Kit, the boy she’s fallen in love with. And then I worked backwards from there.
In creating Jessa’s world I looked at what her family was like. Her father is a Colonel and has PTSD and this has really impacted on Jessa, to the extent where she’s walking around on eggshells and is very introverted. Her brother who she adores has moved out and it’s just her and her long-suffering mother. There are some complex family dynamics and I wanted all the characters to be understood. I never write all round bad guys, I’m fascinated by the grey areas and why people are the way they are.
Through her relationship with Kit Jessa comes out of her shell and grows more confident, eventually starting to explore all the things she really wants to do in life, even if that means rebelling against her father. Kit treasures her and looks after her and is good to her in a way that is really healing and super romantic (I’m a softie!).
With all my books I’m looking at creating characters you believe in and root for and what if situations that are compelling to read.