Title: Choosing You (The Jade Series #1)
Author: Allie Everhart
Publication date: September 23rd, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
When Jade is given a scholarship to an elite private college in Connecticut, she sees it as a chance to finally escape her painful past and get a fresh start. She’s determined to succeed and that means keeping her focus on school and not guys. But her plan falls apart her first day on campus when Garret, a rich prep school boy with swimmer abs and a perfect smile, offers to help her move in.
Jade tries to push him away, but she can’t deny her attraction to him and Garret won’t let her. Things quickly heat up between them, but then come to a sudden halt when reality hits and Jade realizes that a relationship with Garret may never be possible. He comes from a world of wealth where there are rules, including rules about who he can date. And not following those rules has consequences.
As the two of them try to overcome the obstacles working to keep them apart, Jade is confronted with another challenge. On her 19th birthday, she receives a letter that her now deceased mother wrote years ago. In it are revelations that explain her traumatic childhood but also make her question the past she’s been running from.
He puts his phone away. “Can I come in? I’m kind of a target out here in the hall.”
“A target for what?” I ask, moving aside to let him in.
“Girls fondling me.” A smirk crosses his face as he waits for my reaction.
“Please tell me you’re kidding. Because if you’re not, then I need to start upping the insults again to bring you back down to earth.”
He’s trying hard to keep a straight face. “You saw Ava just now. Girls just can’t help themselves. What can I say?”
I shake my head and start rummaging through my drawer for a shirt. “I can help myself. I’m completely immune to whatever you think you’ve got going on over there.”
“Yeah, I know,” he mumbles. “You need some help?”
“Why? You think I can’t dress myself?”
He stands next to me, staring down at the open drawer. “Everything in here is black.”
“Yeah.” I close the drawer and open the one beneath it. “And everything in here is white.”
“Where are your other shirts?”
“That’s it. Well, I have a few in the closet.”
He walks over to look. “You only wear black or white?”
“Uh, yeah. Are you just getting that? You’ve seen me how many times and you’ve never noticed that?”
“Huh. I guess not.”
“It’s just easier that way. Black and white go with everything.” I take a black t-shirt from the drawer.
“You should wear purple sometime.”
I almost choke laughing. “Purple? Are you joking?”
“What’s wrong with purple?”
“I’ve never worn anything purple in my life. I’ve never even considered it. It’s one of those weird colors that old ladies wear.”
“Lots of people wear purple. And with your green eyes, you would look great in purple.”
“I hate my green eyes. The last thing I want to do is draw attention to them.”
He comes closer and lifts my chin up with his hand. “How could you hate your eyes? They’re the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen. Why do you think I’m always staring at them?”
“Yeah, that’s hilarious.” I push him back. “Now get out of here so I can change. Wait in the hall. I’ll be like two seconds.”
“Jade, you know I’m not safe out there.” He says it as if he’s really in danger. “Did you see all those girls running around in towels and robes?”
I roll my eyes. “I swear. The insults are coming, my friend. So tell your ego to get ready.”
He stands there.
“You’re really not leaving? Fine. Then turn around.”
I change into my jeans and black shirt. “Okay, I’m done.”
He inspects me. “Yeah. You definitely need some color. The black and white thing is getting old.”
“Well, I’m not planning on buying new clothes so you’ll have to get over it.” I search through my desk drawer for money. “How much are movie tickets? I haven’t been to a movie in years, so I have no clue. Six bucks? Seven?”
“Don’t worry about it. Let’s go.”
“Garret, you’re not paying.”
“You just saved me from being man-handled by Ava. That’s at least worth the price of a movie ticket. Maybe even some popcorn, too.”
Why did you write Choosing You?
About a year ago I started reading some New Adult books and I liked them so much I couldn’t stop! At the time I wasn’t even considering writing my own New Adult book because I was still writing my Young Adult series, The Samantha Project, (written under a different name). That series has some romance in it and I found that I really liked writing those scenes. I liked all the emotion that came through when the main character was dealing with her conflicted feelings over the two guys in the book. So when I finished that series, just for fun, I wrote an emotion-packed scene in which a girl in college is struggling to deal with issues in her relationship with a guy as well as issues from her past. After writing that scene, I instantly connected with Jade, the main character. The story took off from there and that scene ended up being the opening scene in Choosing You.
What else can you tell us about Choosing You that’s not in the description/blurb?
Jade and Garret take time to get to know each other in this book. There’s no insta-love. In a lot of the books I read, the guy and girl meet and are in love the next day. I didn’t want that for these characters. I wanted the relationship to build over time. Jade and Garret are definitely attracted to each other from the very beginning but they’re not in love right away. They’re friends first and Jade has to learn to trust Garret before she’ll move the relationship forward. This is more like real life, but it also creates tension and anticipation for the reader which is good because it keeps the story moving forward.
Another thing to mention is that I really wanted this book/series to have a strong female as the main character. Jade is tough and resilient. She lived through a difficult childhood and came out ahead. But sometimes her tough exterior is used to hide the emotions that she needs to deal with, and that’s where Garret comes in. He’s the only person who’s able to get her to deal with things and express the emotions she tries so hard to hide.
Why did you decide to include a mystery in the book? Why not just straight romance?
I wanted to make the story run deeper than just the romance. My YA series has lots of twists and turns, suspense, conspiracies, secrets, etc. I like all that stuff. I find it fun to read about. The Jade Series doesn’t have all of that, but it has some of it. There’s a mystery that runs through the whole series that involves both Jade and Garret. And as with my other series, there are some unexpected twists and suspenseful moments.
Allie Everhart writes about dating, love, and romance. She’s also a freelance writer for magazines and websites. Before freelancing, she was a book editor for a publishing company where she worked on several NYT bestselling nonfiction books. She loves to read as much as she loves to write. And when she’s not reading or writing, she’s outside running, which is when she gets her best book ideas.
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