Something Like This by Eileen Cruz Coleman
Secrets Series, #1
Publication date: April 24th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Twenty-three-year old Jadie Santiago has a secret.
One morning on her way to work she stops to offer a homeless man a bottle of water. As she meets the man’s eyes, Jadie instantly recognizes they belong to her father, whom she hasn’t seen since she was sixteen. Unable to accept the truth of her encounter, Jadie flees, hoping eventually to forget the experience and continue leading a normal life.
But then she meets Reece, an aspiring writer with a mysterious past who is set on capturing Jadie’s affection. Jadie wants nothing more than to give her heart to Reece, but her broken past and crippling secret keep her from surrendering it to him fully.
Things won’t come easy to Jadie as she fights for her place in the world, but there is strength in her, and she is determined never to stop struggling for what so many others have: love, happiness, and a sense of belonging.
Eileen Cruz Coleman was born in Washington, D.C. to an immigrant El Salvadoran mother and a Puerto Rican father. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in History. Her short stories have appeared in numerous literary journals both online and in print. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two children.
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I ran my fingers down the sides of my dress. Wow, could I be more obvious? Here I was trying to fix myself up in front of a complete stranger, who for some reason was making me very nervous. “Oh, well, why are you here?” I managed to spit out.
He winked at me. “To see you.”
Yep, I’m going to faint right here in front of him.
“I came to ask you if you’ve changed your mind about having lunch with me.”
I swallowed and forced my cheeks not to blush. “I have a busy day today…I’m not sure I can take lunch.” I lied. Mr. Walker didn’t have a single appointment on his schedule. And on days when he had a clear schedule, he often came in late or took a longer than usual lunch.
“I know for a fact you can take lunch today. I called my uncle and asked him.”
“Don’t take it the wrong way. I’m not stalking you or anything.”
“You called my boss about my schedule. Why would I think you’re stalking me? What you did is completely normal. Yep, totally normal.”
He crossed his arms. “Maybe it comes across a little weird.” Then he uncrossed his arms. “Look, I’m a good guy. All I’m asking is for you to let me take you to lunch. One hour, less, if you want, and then you can see for yourself whether or not I’m some crazy stalker, which I assure you, I’m not.”
I looked him up and down and gave in. “I’ll agree to coffee and if that goes well…”
He smiled. “Coffee it is.”
“Come back tomorrow morning,” I said, taking my handbag off my chair and placing it on my desk.
I sat down and pulled myself close to my desk. “I just got here.”
“Oh, come on, you’ll only be gone a few minutes.” He gave Mr. Walker’s door a glance. “My uncle isn’t even in yet.”
Sighing, I said, “Twenty minutes, and if I get fired over this…”
“You won’t get fired, I promise.”
Grabbing my purse, I stood. “Where shall we go?”
My stomach started aching. Had I known Reece was going to surprise me, I would have called in sick.
“There’s a place down the street just past the train tracks,” he said.
My heart melted and slid to my toes. We’d have to pass my father. “I’d rather not go to that one.”
I cleared my throat. “I would rather we not go to that one. Is that okay?”
“There’s one across the street. You okay with going there?”
“We’re off to a good start,” he said.
“What makes you say that?”
“We haven’t even been on a date and I already know something about you.”
“You’re very particular about where you get your coffee from.”