InterMix / January 21, 2014 / $3.99 digital
Robin used to be a party girl… until she got black out drunk and woke up in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend. Now she’s faced with being THAT girl, and couldn’t be more disgusted with herself. She can’t even tell her friends the reason for her sudden sobriety and she avoids everyone until she meets Phoenix—quiet, tattooed, and different in every way that’s good and oh, so bad…
Phoenix is two days out of jail when he meets Robin at his cousin’s house, and he knows that he has no business talking to her, but he’s drawn to her quiet demeanor, sweet smile, and artistic talent. She doesn’t care that he’s done time, or that he only has five bucks to his name, and she supports his goal to be a tattoo artist.
But Phoenix knows Robin has a secret, and that it’s a naïve dream to believe that his record won’t catch up with them at some point. Though neither is prepared for the explosive result when the past collides with the present…
In Erin McCarthy’s True Believer series, she illustrates that although money and upbringing can separate people, there are still issues that make up a person’s character that can bridge the gap between social levels and shows us that deep down we are more alike than we may first believe.
Robin, the heroine of Erin McCarthy's Believe, grew up in an average middle class home, with average middle class parents in an average middle class neighborhood. She went to college to get a degree in graphic arts so that she could get a plain old office job in a few years and someday marry an accountant or police officer and have her own average middle class home in an average middle class neighborhood and her requisite 2.5 kids.
But while she was at college, it was time to be young and have fun. Robin has spent her first two years being the school’s party girl—getting drunk and making out with strange guys was an almost nightly ritual. With Rory and Jessica already settling down, that left Robin and Kylie to take on the party girl roles all alone.
Life is going according to plan until the morning Robin woke up in bed with Kylie’s boyfriend and no memory of how she got there. Now guilt and remorse have become her two best friends, especially since she can’t burden Rory or Jessica with her secret.
I dropped to my knees, alarmed. That was not what I wanted to happen. I didn’t want Kylie to become even more dependent and more in love with Nathan.
“This is so weird,” she said. “This is totally not what we planned. It’s like complete roommate shuffle. What happened?”
Rory fell in love with Tyler. Jessica fell in love with Riley. I blacked out and had sex with Nathan.
Not exactly the same happy ending for me. I wanted to tell her so desperately I swallowed hard and clamped my mouth shut. Telling her would only mean she would have to keep a secret from Kylie. From Riley too. Telling Kylie would only hurt her to appease my guilt.
Sober Robin would never have slept with her best friend’s boyfriend. Sober Robin could never have done that to her friend. But worst of all is the fact that she drank so much she completely blacked out. Only losers and alcoholics drink until they blackout, not girls who are just having some fun.
I turned on the water and stepped in, wanting to wash away the night, the dirty, nasty smell of skank sex off my skin. I felt like a slut, like a bitch, like someone I didn’t even know, and my tears mixed with the steady stream of water from the shower as I scrubbed and scrubbed.
I spent the rest of the summer sober, far away from parties, guilt nibbling at my insides, making me chronically nauseous, and I avoided everyone. I begged Nathan to stop when he kept sending me sexy texts, and I ignored my friend Jessica, who had stayed in town for the summer and who kept asking what was wrong.
By August I was consumed by anxiety and fear that someone knew, that someone would tell, that I would be responsible for Kylie having her heart broken.
I slept whole days away and I couldn’t eat. I thought about getting meds from the doctor for sleeping or for anxiety or for depression or for alcoholism or for sluttiness. But what was done was done, and a pill wasn’t going to fix it. Or me.
So Robin does the only thing she believes she can: she turns her back on her party girl lifestyle and submerges herself in the art that she loves. She now spends time with Phoenix enjoying simple pleasures like drawing, movies and picnics. Except Robin never actually dealt with her drinking problem, she just buried it, and when secrets come out, will Robin’s new self-control win out against the pain of her betrayal?
Phoenix is the son of an alcoholic and drug addict, and he refuses to be dragged into the world of addiction once again. Can the party girl from the average middle class family admit that she truly is no different than Phoenix’s mother, a woman living in squalor looking for her next fix and get the help she needs before she loses the only person who truly understands her?
Learn more or order a copy of Believe by Erin McCarthy, out now:
Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog http://ebookobsessed.com. Her e-reader has turned her love of reading into an obsession. When she is not reading, she likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters.