People took one look and crossed over to the other side of the street. When that wasn’t possible, they gave us the widest berth possible.
Sheba, my sister’s amazing German Shepherd had the intimidation factor going in a big way. Whenever we would take her for a walk, people got nervous. These dogs have a bad reputation and are judged by the fact that they are often used by police officers. But I discovered just how tremendous they really are by hanging out with my sister and her dogs.
I have fond memories of playing with Sheba on the patio the week I stayed with my nephews so my sister and her husband could go away on a trip. She was so playful and sweet.
I think what made me fall for her the hardest was the way that she was such a hero. You see, one night, when my one nephew was maybe 6, Sheba went into my sister’s room and woke her up. My sis tried to brush her off and send her away, but Sheba was insistent. So my sister trudged out to the living room behind the dog only to discover that my nephew had been sleep-walking! The dog knew that this was a problem and rushed for help!
It Was Always You
by Judy Corry
Publication Date July 6, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Clean Romance
Setting: New York Contermporary
Main Character Ages: 15-18
Written for: High-School/Young Adult
What’s the first rule when pretending to date your brother’s best friend? Don’t let feelings get involved.
Sixteen-year-old Lexi Stevens has never been kissed—never even been asked on a date. So when she humiliates herself in front of her crush and her brother’s best friend offers to be her fake boyfriend for the week to make her crush jealous, she doesn’t know if it’s the stupidest idea ever, or a dream come true.
When Noah Taylor’s abusive stepdad kicks him out of the house, the last thing he needs is for anyone at school to find out—not even his best friend. But when his new “girlfriend” discovers he’s homeless and lets him sleep in her closet, he starts to wonder if he’s found someone he can confide in after all.
Soon Noah and Lexi are putting on a big show in front of the whole school while sneaking around behind her overprotective father’s back. It isn’t long before feelings develop, and it becomes harder and harder to discern between what’s fake and what’s real.
IT WAS ALWAYS YOU is a standalone novel in The Ridgewater High series, a collection of simmering YA contemporary romances. If you like sweet romance with ballad-worthy chemistry, swoony kisses, and endearing characters, then you'll love Judy Corry's latest book.
Current Books in the series: Meet Me There (Ashlyn and Luke's story) Don't Forget Me (Eliana and Jess's story)It Was Always You (Noah and Lexi’s story)
I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Noah had a bad rap. Even his dad thought he was headed in the wrong direction. . .
Poor Noah was so misunderstood. He had a heart of gold but having an abusive stepdad put him in situations that didn’t look good. In the typical “I’m hurting but can’t let anyone know” manner, he ended up with a reputation. I fell in love with him a little as my heart went out to him.
He was actually very noble. He had been injured more than once in defending his mom. His young half-sister adored him and ran to him for protection and comfort. And he rescued Lexi from teen-hell when she ended up at the movies without a date with a group of snotty girls who are quick to bad-mouth her. Aww! What isn’t to love?
Lexi was adorable. This nerdy, band-geek, trumpet-playing, excellent student fit all the stereotypes. She was slightly-awkward with big dark glasses. And she was Noah’s best friend’s little sister. She is such a nurturer. I love the way she refused to let Noah sleep in his car. In the middle of winter. In New York. Her solution of letting him sleep in her closet was such a cute way of solving the problem. (Okay, if she was my niece, I’d be giving her a major lecture for not telling an adult of his dilemma so they could help him, not her – but it makes for a good story.)
I also loved the way that Lexi was so nervous about things like holding Noah’s hand. There were paragraphs about her concern about whether she might do it wrong. Her innocence was precious. I included an excerpt from one of those scenes.
Another great part was when Noah and a fellow jock were watching Pride and Prejudice to help with a test they had coming up. Lexi was there because, well, it was her house. The way the guys reacted to the movie was so funny (Jake admired Darcy for proposing and insulting Elizabeth at the same time!), and the fact that they ended up liking it while Lexi fell asleep. . .
Here is a great example of how good the story is and how well it drew me in. I was reading the part about Noah and Lexi discussing why he can’t sleep in his car (did I mention it was the middle of winter? In New York?), and I knew I needed to go outside and feed the cats. I looked down at what I was wearing and thought, “I need to get something much warmer on before I go outside!” And all of a sudden started to giggle at myself for the thought. Because it’s July. In Florida!
It Was Always You was sweet, sensitive, romantic and fun all wrapped into one. I loved the book.
“Then let’s go.” He held his hand out to me.
I stared at his hand. Was he wanting me to put my hand in his?
My heartbeat spiked. I’d never held a guy’s hand before. What if I did it completely wrong? What if he could tell that I had no idea what I was doing?
“I promise that I wash my hands every time I go to the bathroom,” he joked.
I laughed awkwardly. Why was I so awkward? “It’s not that.”
Just grab his hand, Lexi. Put your trembling little hand into his big, strong, manly-looking hand.
It was just there, reaching out to me like it was the most normal thing in the world. At least it probably looked normal to everyone around me who actually knew a thing or two about hand-holding. But I wasn’t one of those girls. I’d never seen people holding hands much in real life since my mom had left when I was little and my siblings had never dared bring anyone around my dad.
Was I supposed to just slap my hand on his and give it a squeeze? Or was he expecting me to do that interlocking fingers thing?
My palms started to sweat, which was just the worst timing for them to do that if I was actually going to hold his hand. I didn’t want him to think I was this gross, sweaty girl.
This was ridiculous. I was sixteen years old. I should be able to hold a guy’s hand without analyzing it to death.
I released a big breath and decided the truth was probably the best in this situation. I forced myself to meet his gaze. His brown eyes were a lot less sure looking than they had been a moment before. “I-I um think you should know that I’ve never actually held a guy’s hand before and…” I let my voice drift off, not knowing what else to say. This was so humiliating.
“And you want it to be special? To mean something?”
Sure I’d go with that. That would be much less embarrassing than having him think that I just didn’t know what I was doing.