Only Between Us by Mila Ferrera
Publication date: September 3rd 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Last semester, Romy escaped from an abusive relationship with the guy she’d thought was the man of her dreams. This semester she’s putting herself back together, determined to reclaim her passion for art and for life. When she signs up for a painting class at the local art co-op, the possibility of passion becomes very real -- in the form of her teacher, Caleb. Both mysterious and seriously hot, Caleb bares his soul on his canvases, and Romy’s fascinated by what she sees.
Caleb is just trying to keep his head above water. Caring for his traumatized, unstable sister is getting harder every day, and his paintings are so dark and bleak that no one is buying. Teaching classes at the co-op is no longer enough, and now he’s going to have to sell more than just his art to the wealthy, sex-starved women in his classes. But when Romy comes along, she makes everything more complicated. She sees the truth in his paintings -- a truth no one else has realized, until now.
Romy and Caleb might have a real shot together -- one that could heal them both. But when ghosts from their pasts re-emerge, determined to keep them apart, will they be strong enough to hold on to each other?
The Only Between Us playlist:
I have playlists for all my books, and OBU is no exception. I put my lists up around pub time, and they can be found right here if you want to listen. If you’d just like a song list, though:
Only Between Us Playlist:
New Low by Middle Class Rut – “I have no space/No room to move around/And this box is getting smaller/I'm trying to get out …” At the beginning of the book, Caleb is so worn down and feels so trapped, and this song reminds me of that.
Be Calm by fun. – “I know you feel like you are breaking down/I know that it gets so hard sometimes/Be calm …” A perfect reminder during those moments of anxiety, and Romy has many of them.
Seven Devils by Florence and the Machine – “For what has been done/Cannot be undone/In the evil's heart/In the evil's soul …” I think this song is kind of terrifying, and to me it captures the kinds of memories Caleb and his sister face.
Iridescent by Linkin Park – “You felt the gravity of tempered grace/Falling into empty space/No one there to catch you in their arms …” This song is just the soul of loneliness, and I think it’s one Caleb would listen to as he paints.
Take Me Back To Where I Was by Shiny Toy Guns – “Please take what I've had to hide/Start me over from the start/Reshape my heart tonight …” A very melancholy song, but a beautiful one. Another Caleb painting song.
Timeless by The Airborne Toxic Event – “Just help me through this moment/After everything I told you/How the weight of their loss is like the weight of the sun …” Caleb has suffered incredible loss, and the moment he lets that out is pretty cathartic.
Both Hands by Ani DiFranco – “I am writing graffiti on your body/I am drawing the story of how hard we tried…” This one haunts me. It’s just a classic song about how you can love someone and still struggle to be together.
Dig by Incubus – “Dig me up from under what is covering the better part of me …” A lot of this book is about exactly this.
Guilty As Charged by Tegan and Sara – “And so I go back home to be by myself/I try everything I've ever read/Desperate, I still can't get you out of my head …” How Romy feels about Caleb, in a nutshell.
Soul Meets Body by Death Cab for Cutie – “Cause you’re the only song I want to hear/A melody softly soaring through my atmosphere …” There’s something amazing about finding peace and sanctuary in another person, and it’s how Caleb feels about Romy.
From Romy’s perspective #1:
The stairs creak and we look up to see a guy coming down the steps. He looks to be in his mid-twenties, maybe a few years older than I am, and he moves with the careless grace of an athlete.
“Holy hotness,” breathes Jude, mimicking my thoughts perfectly. It’s not that I’m on the prowl, but in this life, there are a few objective truths, and this guy’s attractiveness is one of them. His jeans hang from his lean hips and are stained with paint. A similarly decorated t-shirt clings to his frame, and there’s a smear of blue on his tanned, muscular forearm. He has chin-length, chocolate brown hair, but he’s pulled some of it away from his face in a partial ponytail high on the back of his head. And that gives us a perfect view of his wolf-gray eyes, which skate over us with mild interest as he descends the stairs and walks toward us.
“You guys here for my class?” he asks, nodding toward the classroom. Oh my God. He’s the teacher.
“Absolutely,” Jude says quickly, newly enthusiastic, and I can’t hold in my laugh.
“Head on in and grab an easel. We’ll start in a few minutes. I’m Caleb,” he says, holding his hand out to Jude, who shakes it and introduces himself.
Caleb turns his gaze to me and offers his hand. “Romy,” I say as I take it, my heart beating a little faster as my skin touches his.
He lets go first. “Have you painted before?” he asks softly, giving my toolbox a questioning glance.
“A little.” That’s a lie. I minored in art in college, and painting was my passion. Until last year. I was passionate about a lot of things until last year, actually.
He smiles, and it’s as warm as his skin and steals my breath. “You look nervous, Romy. You don’t have to be. This is supposed to be fun.”
From Caleb’s perspective #1:
Romy’s cheeks turn a shade of pink that twists my thoughts into all kinds of forbidden shapes. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’ve just met this woman. She’s one of my students, not some horny sorority girl in a dark club. But I’ve been having trouble prying my eyes from her since the moment I saw her. She’s really cute, with short, reddish brown hair, big green eyes, and a tight little body, not to mention the delicate ink-work of a tattoo on her wrist. I want to slide up her sleeve and see what it says. But there’s something wounded about her, too, something that warns me not to get close. When I found her up here in my space, though, staring at my latest failure like she wanted to run her hands over it, it made me feel jittery and tense.
I catch up with her as she heads for the stairs. “I’m glad you liked my painting.”
Her posture melts a little. “Don’t destroy it. It’s exquisite.”
I feel her words behind my ribs, deeper inside than I should. “I was … just experimenting with something,” I mumble. “I never know what’s going to work out.” I poured my soul onto that canvas. And she saw it. She wanted to touch it.
Her smile is faint but sweet. “It’s working out. Go with it.”
“You know a lot more about painting than a beginner would.” I knew it from the moment I saw that dented toolbox of hers. She’s not like those women downstairs, who spread the word to their friends and come on Tuesday evenings to stare at my ass, like I’m the attraction instead of the joy of painting, of creating something from pigment and canvas. But Romy … the way she looked at her paints and brushes … it was like they were a means to salvation, and I totally get that.
She turns away from me. “I know what I like.”
God, the slope of her neck makes me want to close my teeth around it. What the hell.
Mila Ferrera lives in New England, where she has a family and a job and does various normal, everyday things, all while plotting novels in her head. She has a passion for writing new adult/adult romance featuring psychological twists and tortured heroes. Her own psychology internship involved plenty of consultation, but alas, no sexy Swedish doctors, and her decision to make one up is what sparked her self-publishing adventures.
She's the author of SPIRAL (available now), ONLY BETWEEN US (9/3/13), and EVERYTHING BETWEEN US (11/5/13).
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