Title - Exhale
Author - Jennifer Snyder
Release Date - 10 December 2012
Genre - Contemporary Romance
Age Group - YA
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Inhaling in life is easy. It’s the exhaling—the letting go— that’s the hard part.
Katie Elliot has always known the Conner twins. For years she secretly pined after one, while playfully averting the advances of the other. Once upon a time, she was fine with that. Then came the moment when her twin of preference kissed her and changed everything.
As if realizing love can be complex—even when it’s reciprocated—isn’t hard enough, tragedy strikes, tearing Katie and the boy she’s always desired apart. Finding herself torn between love and guilt, Katie must learn when it’s acceptable to let go—when it’s finally okay to exhale.
Derek’s warm hands cupped my face, his thumb brushed against my barely parted lips as the green in his eyes deepened, giving way to the inner turmoil he felt with what he was about to do, and I held my breath. In the span of a heartbeat, his eyes closed and his lips were pressed against mine, moving in a soft, slow way. I kissed him back, allowing his lips, the feel of his touch, and the taste of his tongue to erase everything else about tonight. I forgot about the neighbors that could be watching. I forgot about Missy asleep on the couch and Kyle passed out a few feet away in the Jeep. I forgot about everything including what this moment meant and how it would change everything between us. I only thought of how I’d finally gotten what I had always wanted—Derek.
He pulled away, releasing my lips and my face at the same time. “How was that, any better than Cal Carlson?”
I didn’t respond at first. Instead, I raised my fingertips to touch my lips, saddened from the departure of his and curious to see if they felt any different, because I felt different, everything felt different. That kiss had changed everything that ever was between us, and I wondered if Derek knew, if he understood what had just happened, what he’d just done.
“Yeah, it was,” I said, my voice sounding soft and breathy. I dropped my hand to my side and swallowed hard. Blinking once, I realized Derek was staring at me, smirking like a fool. “It definitely didn’t suck,” I confirmed flashing him a mirror image smile of his own.
“Good to know,” he said with a little nod of his head, his eyes the perfect mixture of smugness and sheepishness. He shoved his hands back into his front pockets before sauntering back to his Jeep.