If We Fly by Nina Lane ~ Sarah A’s Review

The past won’t let her go.

When Josie Mays returned to her hometown of Castille, Maine, she wanted to say goodbye to the past and start a new future. Then the “past” loomed up in the form of Cole Danforth, Josie’s former love who has now turned into a ruthless CEO out for revenge on the town that failed him.

Though Josie is convinced her ocean-loving boy still exists behind Cole’s toughened veneer, Cole is determined to shut her out. But not even this cold tycoon can resist the cherry-sweet, talented artist he once loved with his whole heart.

Just as Josie and Cole are starting to find their way back to each other, the tragedy that tore them apart years ago returns to threaten everything they are. And when Josie discovers the secret Cole has been keeping, his worst nightmare comes true.

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If We Fly was a sweet, intriguing conclusion to Nina Lane’s What if duet. It tied up all the loose ends from the first book and gave us an incredibly satisfying end to Josie and Cole’s story. It was a pretty short read and every moment of it was full of love, answers, healing, and hope for the future.

Nina Lane packed an emotional punch into If We Fly, in many ways. Some moments were so beautiful they made my heart skip a beat, and there were times when the revelations were so heartwrenching the pain Josie and Cole were experiencing was palpable. Ms. Lane did a remarkable job of conveying the range of feelings her characters were going through in this book and took her readers on that roller coaster right along with them.

I loved that Ms. Lane didn’t add a lot of added drama and suspense to If We Fly. There was already so much going on with Josie trying to recover her memory, the town’s perception and treatment of Cole, and the tenuous rekindling of the relationships in Josie’s life, anything else would have felt gratuitous and unnecessary. Focusing only on healing from the mistakes of their shared pasts made this story more poignant than it would have been if any other elements had been brought in.

If We Fly is the third book in Nina Lane’s What If duet. These books are one story written in three installments – If We Leap, the prequel novella telling the story of Josie and Cole’s relationship ten years ago – and must be read in order; If We Leap isn’t strictly necessary to the understanding of the second and third books but does add a level of understanding about the extent of their love and devotion to one another. If We Fly is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Josie and Cole.

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We fell in love. Then our world fell apart. 

I wished so hard for Cole Danforth. And one day, he came true. He was my first boyfriend, my first lover, my first and only love. He should also have been my last. 

But in a split-second, we were ripped apart, our lives broken, my heart shattered. After ten years, I’ve returned to my hometown, the place of my greatest joy and darkest pain. 

Cole is still here, but the beautiful boy I’d loved is gone. Now he’s a ruthless, unforgiving man determined to feed both my resentment and my lust. 

Then our torturous past encroaches again, trapping us in a violent storm. 

But this time, there is no escape.

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New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances about professors, bad boys, candy makers, and protective alpha males who find themselves consumed with love for one woman alone. Originally from California, Nina holds a PhD in Art History and an MA in Library and Information Studies, which means she loves both research and organization. She also enjoys traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Although Nina would go back to college for another degree because she’s that much of a bookworm and a perpetual student, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer.

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NOW LIVE!! If We Fly by Nina Lane

The past won’t let her go.

When Josie Mays returned to her hometown of Castille, Maine, she wanted to say goodbye to the past and start a new future. Then the “past” loomed up in the form of Cole Danforth, Josie’s former love who has now turned into a ruthless CEO out for revenge on the town that failed him.

Though Josie is convinced her ocean-loving boy still exists behind Cole’s toughened veneer, Cole is determined to shut her out. But not even this cold tycoon can resist the cherry-sweet, talented artist he once loved with his whole heart.

Just as Josie and Cole are starting to find their way back to each other, the tragedy that tore them apart years ago returns to threaten everything they are. And when Josie discovers the secret Cole has been keeping, his worst nightmare comes true.

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While I’ll take Josie wherever I can get her, I’d rather be with her at the cottage than anywhere else. Reminds me of our cramped apartment where we were always bumping into each other and never had enough room.

As both a girl and an artist, Josie came with stuff. Hair bands. Fuzzy socks. Premium pastels. A thousand tubes of lip balm. I loved her stuff because I loved her. But I’d also been baffled by her inability to hang up a sweatshirt.

Her cottage isn’t any neater, which is just one reason I like it there. She doesn’t answer my knock. I unlock the door and let myself in.

She’s sprawled on the bed in the sunroom, her body moving with quick, shallow breaths indicating a restless sleep. One shapely legs rests over a pillow, and her T-shirt is pulled up far enough to reveal the curve of her ass encased in panties printed with purple butterflies.

Much as I love the sight of her, I dislike like her insomnia, the way she sleeps in fits and starts. Though I haven’t seen evidence of a nightmare, that doesn’t mean she’s not still having them. And going back to the accident site…

My chest tightens. I sit in a chair by the window and rub a hand over the back of my neck.

Two weeks. That’s it. Then she’s gone. After that…hell, you don’t have to think about after. You just need to make sure the truth stays locked down. That means keeping her away from Peterson and any reminders.

Or taking her away.

A roll of half-opened Lifesavers rests on the windowsill. Peeling it open, I find a red one and stick it in my mouth. Sugar and cherry spill over my tongue.

“You’re going to pay for that.” Her sleep-husky voice draws my attention.

She’s watching me, her arms around a pillow.

“I’ll share.” I push to my feet.

“You’d better.”

After crossing the room in three strides, I sink onto the bed beside her and lower my mouth to hers. Though I had every intention of talking to her first, her kiss fires me with heat. The tension in my chest loosens. I brush her silky hair back from her face and slide my hand over her cheek. Breathe in her strawberry smell. My unease slides away, overpowered by her soft sweetness.

She flicks her tongue into my mouth and over the cherry candy. After passing it to her, I lower her back onto the bed. My dick is already getting hard. I cup her breasts and rub my thumbs over her nipples, urging them to tighten. Josie sighs and shifts, hooking her legs around my thighs and wiggling her hips against me.

“You need to stop wearing jeans when you’re here.” She pushes me away and rises up to unbutton my jeans and shove them off. “Makes it hard for this spontaneous sex thing we’ve got going on.”

“I’m always hard for this spontaneous sex thing.” I shed my clothes before climbing on top of her again. Nuzzling my nose into her neck, I lick the hot hollow of her throat. I fucking love that tender little spot where her pulse beats so fast.

I inch my hand up her shirt, pulling it up far enough to expose her breasts, her pink nipples sticking straight up. The sight of her naked body jerks my cock into full hardness. Josie breathes out a moan and grasps my dick.

“God, Cole.” She shifts, urging me closer and parting her cherry-red lips. “Put it in my mouth.”

“Not this time.” With effort, I detach her hand from me and bend to kiss her breasts, pulling her nipple into my mouth. Her groan of satisfaction fires my lust hotter. I slide my hand between her thigh and into her pussy. Ah, fuck, my girl is already wet and primed, like she’s been waiting for me.

Moving lower on the bed, I push her thighs open. She rises to her elbows, her eyes widening. “Cole…”

When we first got together, it had taken her a long time to let me go down on her. No matter how aroused she was or how careful I was, she’d tense up and get self-conscious about being so exposed. But we’d both persisted, and I’d started with gentle licks of my tongue that soon had her panting and pumping her hips. And when she came…more than once, I’d been unable to hold back and ended up shooting my load all over the bedsheets.

That’s not happening this time.

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We fell in love. Then our world fell apart. 

I wished so hard for Cole Danforth. And one day, he came true. He was my first boyfriend, my first lover, my first and only love. He should also have been my last. 

But in a split-second, we were ripped apart, our lives broken, my heart shattered. After ten years, I’ve returned to my hometown, the place of my greatest joy and darkest pain. 

Cole is still here, but the beautiful boy I’d loved is gone. Now he’s a ruthless, unforgiving man determined to feed both my resentment and my lust. 

Then our torturous past encroaches again, trapping us in a violent storm. 

But this time, there is no escape.

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New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances about professors, bad boys, candy makers, and protective alpha males who find themselves consumed with love for one woman alone. Originally from California, Nina holds a PhD in Art History and an MA in Library and Information Studies, which means she loves both research and organization. She also enjoys traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Although Nina would go back to college for another degree because she’s that much of a bookworm and a perpetual student, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer.

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If We Fall by Nina Lane ~ Sarah A’s Review

We fell in love. Then our world fell apart. 

I wished so hard for Cole Danforth. And one day, he came true. He was my first boyfriend, my first lover, my first and only love. He should also have been my last. 

But in a split-second, we were ripped apart, our lives broken, my heart shattered. After ten years, I’ve returned to my hometown, the place of my greatest joy and darkest pain. 

Cole is still here, but the beautiful boy I’d loved is gone. Now he’s a ruthless, unforgiving man determined to feed both my resentment and my lust. 

Then our torturous past encroaches again, trapping us in a violent storm. 

But this time, there is no escape.

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Gut. Punch.  I had prepared myself for an emotional hurricane when I started If We Fall, but I was unprepared for all the twists and turns Nina Lane took us through in this book.  Particularly when it ended, and I started to piece together all the little hints places throughout the story regarding the night that forever changed Josie and Cole’s lives.

After reading If We Leap, I couldn’t fathom what could have pulled Josie and Cole apart.  When I finally found out the ins and outs of their separation, I was devastated, and from what we’ve learned of their time apart it was evident neither of them fared well alone.  My heart ached for what Cole had sacrificed – and why – and for everything, Josie had lost in one fell swoop.  I’m still reeling from all the pain and heartbreak they’ve suffered, and I don’t know how my heart is going to hold up through If We Fly if its even half as emotionally draining as If We Fall was.

I am thrilled I had the opportunity to meet Cole and Josie first in If We Leap; the changes in them were so stark in If We Fall I’m not sure if I would have appreciated how much they’d changed without that first glimpse at them.  I loved them in both iterations and just want to see them find the pieces of themselves they’ve lost over the years.  Getting to see little glimpses of their former selves has lit a spark of hope for healing and wholeness for them.  Both Cole and Josie deserve love and happiness, and I can’t wait to see how Ms. Lane delivers the future they both deserve.

If We Fall is the first book in Nina Lane’s What If duet.  These books are not standalones, and the series should be read in its entirety for comprehension.  There is also a prequel If We Leap, that tells the story of Josie and Cole’s first chance at love and I highly suggest reading it before starting this series.  If We Fall is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Josie and Cole.

Nina Lane has only recently appeared on my radar, and I’m impressed.  Her work is profoundly emotional and pulls deeply on my heartstrings.  The stories she tells are fascinating and complex, her characters sympathetic and real.  With both of the books I’ve read by her, I’ve found myself thinking about the stories and characters for days after I finished reading.

What If duet PREQUEL

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The conclusion to the What If Duet

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New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances about professors, bad boys, candy makers, and protective alpha males who find themselves consumed with love for one woman alone. Originally from California, Nina holds a PhD in Art History and an MA in Library and Information Studies, which means she loves both research and organization. She also enjoys traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Although Nina would go back to college for another degree because she’s that much of a bookworm and a perpetual student, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer.

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NEW RELEASE!! If We Fall by Nina Lane

We fell in love. Then our world fell apart. 

I wished so hard for Cole Danforth. And one day, he came true. He was my first boyfriend, my first lover, my first and only love. He should also have been my last. 

But in a split-second, we were ripped apart, our lives broken, my heart shattered. After ten years, I’ve returned to my hometown, the place of my greatest joy and darkest pain. 

Cole is still here, but the beautiful boy I’d loved is gone. Now he’s a ruthless, unforgiving man determined to feed both my resentment and my lust. 

Then our torturous past encroaches again, trapping us in a violent storm. 

But this time, there is no escape.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

“Sir?” The security guard phones in from downstairs. “There’s a woman here insisting she needs to speak with you.”

“Name?”

“Josephine Mays.”

“Let her in.”

I turn off the intercom and unlock my office door. A few minutes pass before the door flies open. Josie barges in, her hands fisted and an angry light in her eyes.

“You are an asshole,” she snaps.

“I’ve been told.”

“How dare you pull that kind of stunt?”

“It’s the truth.”

“And we both know damned well you brought it up only because I’m involved.” She tosses her backpack and art portfolio onto a chair. She’s trembling with anger. “I don’t care what you think about me, but bringing the people of this town into our personal shit is low, even for you.”

My shoulders tense. “Even for me? What do you know about me?”

“Nothing anymore.” She slams her hands to her hips, her features twisting. “But I used to know everything about you. Do you remember that? Then you walked out on me right when I needed you the most, proving you were never the man I thought you were. Now I find out that you run this company like a dictator, you’re crushing independent businesses and putting people out of work, and you’re publicly trying to stop me from creating a mural that’s intended for both this town and my parents. What the hell happened to you?”

You happened to me.”

The words fly out of my mouth before I can stop them. The pencil I’m holding breaks in two with the force of my grip.

Josie steps back, her eyes widening. Her dark hair is windblown, her cheeks flushed, her chest heaving under her old army jacket. I’d once had the right to comb her hair back from her forehead, slide my palm over her neck before edging my fingers into her V-necked T-shirt…

Anger crushes my chest. I shove away from my desk and stride toward her. Fear flashes in her green eyes, which pisses me off even more. When the fuck was she ever afraid of me?

I grab the lapels of her jacket, yanking her closer. Our lower bodies collide. She gasps, a little catching noise in the back of her throat that used to get me hot in a second.

It still does. My blood starts to boil. She tilts her head back, her eyes flashing. I lower my head to look at her, fighting to ignore her scent—goddamned summer leaves and cherry candy.

“I once would have done anything for you.” The words grate roughly from my throat. “And then I failed you in the worst possible way. I failed you, I failed Teddy, and I failed your parents.”

She stares at me, her eyes widening. “Cole, I—”

“When you left, I hoped with everything I was that you’d have a chance at a normal life.” I pull her closer, anger warring with the undeniable flare of lust. “That you could be happy again if you weren’t constantly surrounded by reminders of everything you lost. Everything I took from you.”

“Goddamn you, Cole Danforth.” Fire flames over her expression. She plants her hands on my chest and shoves herself away. “The only thing you took from me was you.

What If duet PREQUEL

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The conclusion to the What If Duet

***  PREORDER NOW ~ RELEASES SEPTEMBER 13  ***
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New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances about professors, bad boys, candy makers, and protective alpha males who find themselves consumed with love for one woman alone. Originally from California, Nina holds a PhD in Art History and an MA in Library and Information Studies, which means she loves both research and organization. She also enjoys traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Although Nina would go back to college for another degree because she’s that much of a bookworm and a perpetual student, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer.

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