Rising Ridge by Alexa Jacobs

 

 

Olivia Reynolds was free. Twenty years old, living in New York City, and having absolutely no idea what she wanted to be when she grew up, every day would be an adventure, or at least that was the plan. When a phone call from her brother lands her back in her home town, and dealing with an unexpected tragedy, she comes face to face her brother’s best friend Dean and realizes that the feelings she had buried long ago were still there. Dean Winston has lived with the fact that Olivia walked out of his life two years ago, and was never coming back. With her back in town, he struggles to be the friend that she needs him to be, and not the lover that she once wanted him to be. With lines between childhood friends and secret lovers once again blurring, Olivia must decide between the possibilities of her future and the ties of her past. Some strings just refuse to be cut.

 

 

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They sat in silence for a while. Dean was good at that; he had always been good at that. At first, Olivia was so thankful for it. Her parents were always talking at her. What to do, where to go, what to wear. Their pursuit of the perfect children seemed relentless. Connor had always wanted to just help her do the things they asked her to do, and Elle was ready at a moment’s notice with an escape from life plan. Somehow, whenever she was looking for something that fell in the in-between, Dean was always the gentle hand holding her steady.

Now, the silence was maddening. Somewhere along the line, she realized he would always be there for her if she reached out to him, but she wasn’t sure he really wanted to be. She made him that. Just like her parents, she gave him a role he did not ask for and that does not fit.

What frustrated her, what caused the abyss of silence between them, was she knew if she reached for his hand right now, he would take it. If she laid her head on his shoulder, he would rest his head on hers. If she put her hand on his chest, she would feel his slow and steady heartbeat begin to quicken and lose its pace. She put him in the role she wanted him to fill, but he let her. It was moments like those when she wasn’t sure if his were the arms she would be safe in, or if they were the arms that would dance her to the furthest edge of a cliff and then let go. She hated herself for the itch she felt in her fingers to reach out for his hands, only inches from hers, and she hated him because she knew he would allow it if she did.

Two years. She had put two years and a few hundred miles between them, and it was all for nothing. She had fooled herself into thinking that she was over him and had moved on. She didn’t think of him in her life in New York. It was true that she had not dated, but she was giving herself time to get to know the Olivia who had never gotten a chance to live. She was happy there, and had the promise of everything she had ever dreamed of. She looked at him as he sat silently looking at the stars, and realized she had never gotten over him. It was just a room in her heart where she had turned off the lights and closed the door. It was still there, in the darkness, as big and complicated as it had always been. 

 

 

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Rising Ridge Sountrack

 

Feeling Good – Bassnectar Remix

Chapter 1:
Welcome to New York Olivia! Every morning that she wakes up in her little apartment in NYC, she looks out her window and sees the freedom that she has been longing for all her life. The birds in the trees know how she feels. It’s a new day, dawn and life for our girl and she is feeling good.

The Funeral – Band of Horses

Chapters 2 & 3:

A mixed bag of emotions are revealed between Olivia and Dean during the travel back from New York to Rising Ridge. She is dealing with the death of her parents, and her up and down relationship with them. She is internalizing her feelings for Dean, which she has only ever seen as something she does to drag him down. With both relationships, she very much feels the coming up only to be held under, the coming up only to show you’re wrong.

Tonight, Tonight – Smashing Pumpkins

Chapter 6:
Olivia sees her relationship with Dean as nothing more than stolen moments. She loves him, would give him anything in the world that he asked of her. He asks for nothing, just be with him here and now. Yesterday does not matter, and tomorrow is so far away. This is the time that we have, make the impossible possible. Even in the moments of a dream, all she ever has is tonight.

Kinda I want to – Nine Inch Nails

Chapter 7:
To know Elle is to love her, and her wildly free spirit. Of course she would be bopping along to this song while grocery shopping when she runs into Connor. She has spent a lifetime loving this boy from a far, and she can’t make sense of it. She can’t shake the feeling, she’s allowed herself to be no closer than from across the way, yet she simply cannot make the feeling go away. It’s the moment she begins to think…maybe, just for tonight.

I’d Rather be with you- Joshua Radin

Chapter 8:
Connor tries so hard to be the man that everybody needs him to be, and they all see him as brave. But he wants to be bold. He wants to just jump sometimes, or scream. When he looks at Elle, he begins to realize that he needs like a girl like her in his life. He needs to just jump like she does, be the man that she sees him to be. She is the pieces of him that he is missing.

Fly Away – Lenny Kravitz

Chapter 9:
Because Rohan is so fucking cool, and of course this is the song playing when he takes Olivia out on a date. As Olivia gets to know Rohan, she begins to relate him to the freedom that she craves. He encourages her to do, be, see, go. Fly away, so very high.

Fade into you – Mazzy Star

Chapter 10:
Olivia has made up her mind that she is leaving Rising Ridge, and she is leaving everything and everyone behind. That includes Dean, and the relationship that they never had. She looks at him, and sees nothing, as they never had the love that she feels in her heart. But it is there, it is the truth that she sees when she looks at him. She knows that he will live his life, that he will remain just a shadow of hers. She wants to take that breath that is true.

The Story – Brandi Carlilie

Chapter 12:
The story of Didier and Lorraine. It lasted a lifetime, and as he sees it, every one of his stories begins and ends with the love of his life. They were just made for each other.

Mr. Brightside – The Killers
Stay the Night – Zedd & Hayley Willams
Almost Lover – A Fine Frenzy

Chapters 13 & 14:
It started out with a kiss, and what oh what has happened since then? He’s jealous of her, she’s jealous of him and they can’t quite keep their hands off each other.
They find each other in these moments, upside down. So give in, let go. Olivia knows that she and Dean are never going to be right, they will always be a little broken, but sometimes…who cares. Just stay the night. She’s trying to convince herself more than she is trying to convince Dean.
Olivia finds that she needs to say Goodbye to Dean, for good. She loves him so much, but for both their sake, she must let go. He was always almost the greatest love of her life, and that is where he is doomed to stay.

Whatever you like – Anya Marnia

Chapter 21:
Elle has made up her mind, she is going to get her man. She’s going to do or be whatever it is that he wants her to be. She dresses exactly how she thinks he’d like, she makes him dinner, and gives him a glimpse of what he could have. He can have whatever he like, she just wants him.

Crash into Me – Dave Matthews Band

Chapter 23:
Dean sees Olivia as something that does exactly this, crashes into him. She shows up in unexpected corners of his mind, and in his heart. She has a hold of him that he cannot explain, when he’s with her, he just gets lost. Even though he knows he’s bad for her, he finds himself unable to deny her requests, or his own desires.

LA Woman – Brightside

Chapter 24:
Enter Anna. Enough said.
All I wanted – Paramore

Chapter 26:
Even in New York, settling into the life that she waited a lifetime to have, Olivia realizes something is missing. She wanted freedom. She wanted a career. She wanted to see the world. No..not really. All she wanted was him.

She is Love – Parachute

Epilogue:
Olivia has realized that Dean is her one constant. He is the home that she is looking for.  He let her go, and have her ways, and explore. He is love, and that is all that she needs.
Give it Away – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Dr. Feelgood – Mötley Crüe
Everlong – Foo Fighters

Kitchen Music:
Because…Rohan. It’s okay to swoon a little.

 

 

 

Alexa Jacobs was born and raised in the suburban outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland. She met her husband through friends in high school, and began what turned out to be a short lived career in the financial industry. With her first child, she became a stay at home parent and threw all of her energy into becoming the queen of Pinterest before Pinterest was a thing.

When her second child headed off to kindergarten, Alexa thought that it was time for a career change.

After a decade with at least one child underfoot 24 hours a day, it was time for her to discover who she was going to be when she grew up.

Turns out, she was a mom who sat by the window and cried the entire day on that first day of “freedom” from early parenthood.

A few months, and many kindergarten volunteer days later, she sat down at the computer and dusted off the rough draft of a story she had crafted years ago. That draft turned into her debut book, Rising Ridge.

Alexa is a member of the Romance Writers of America, and participates in many writer circle groups.

 

 

 

  

 

 

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