Two stories so deeply intertwined, you’ll think you know how they intersect…but you’ll be wrong….
Zack Martin: The day I met Emily Bennett my whole world changed. Sure, we were just kids, but I was old enough to know my life would never be the same. She was my best friend. My destiny. My fate. I wasn’t wrong…I just didn’t know how twisted fate could be.
Nikki Fallon: After the death of my mother, moving from my dark and dreary trailer park to sunny California, I was focused on one thing – finding a sister I’d only just learned existed. Falling in love with him wasn’t part of the plan. But he filled a void I never knew was possible to fill. He had to be my fate. My destiny. Until the day I finally found out who my sister was…and how twisted fate could be.
Nikki always knew the day would come when her mother’s body simply gave up; between the bipolar disorder and the diabetes, she just couldn’t last forever. Nikki simply hoped that day wouldn’t come before she turned 18 and could legally be on her own. If wishes were dreams, right? Her mother dying certainly sucks but the real suckage sinks in when Nikki finds out not only was her mother keeping secrets, she kept some very, very big secrets like an aunt and a twin sister Nikki never, ever knew about. With her choice being foster care or her aunt, Nikki takes a leap of faith and moves to California with her aunt.
As Nikki is trying to sort out and adjust to her new life and make sense of the mysteries left over from her old life, Zack is doing good just to continue breathing. Emily, his girlfriend and partner in crime since the age of nine has died and his last memories of her are of anger and the fight they had. For more than six months, Zack has refused to go to school, refused to see his friends and, generally refused to live his life. The despair and guilt are almost more than he can bear and the very thought of moving beyond Emily is damn near crippling. In an effort to help their son finally begin to live his life again, Zack’s parents insist he return to school and the life he knew before that fateful night.
Zack’s first meeting with Nikki is perhaps the most significant moment of his life. For the first time in what feels like forever, he feels a spark of something deep in his soul. Nikki is new to the area and the school and has no idea about Zack’s past or what it is that makes him seem so very lost and desperately sad. What both know for sure is that they are interested in the other and they have to find a way to make that interest fit into their respective lives. The feeling out process for both is at times funny, at times sweet and, at times riddled with guilt and misunderstanding. Both Zack and Nikki are still very young and have dealt with incredible loss recently and so, the thought of happiness for themselves and with someone else causes an increased level of guilt mixed with their burgeoning feelings for one another. On top of all the mixed up and confusing feelings is the ongoing mystery of Nikki’s twin sister and the crazy neighbor lady who is virtually stalking Nikki. Neither Zack nor Nikki are in any way prepared for the resolution of these mysteries and when the truth finally comes out, all of the happiness that they have recently found with one another is torn apart.
The Bottom Line: Left Behind is a solidly written read from Vi Keeland and Dylan Scott. Though I did enjoy this read and had no difficulty getting through it, I can’t honestly say there is anything here that just blew me away. Once the story gets rolling, the light mystery is pretty easy to unravel and that just leaves a love story. The love story is riddled with angst, desire, and, some humor but it really doesn’t offer anything new or exciting. I liked both Nikki and Zack and certainly rooted for them along the way but I didn’t ever feel like I had a real connection with either character. Would I recommend this read? Sure. It’s a straight-forward and easy read that will keep your attention as most light reads will.
He looks up and I watch his eyes take me in. Slowly. They rake over me, dropping from my eyes to my glossed lips down to my exposed shoulders. Taking his time, he follows the neckline of my simple, yet body contouring sundress, lingering when he reaches my full breasts. I’m sufficiently covered, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t aware that the dress showed off my assets well. Tight around my chest, gathering snuggly at the waist, with a scant amount of cleavage. Just enough coverage to still leave something for him to imagine. And I watch his face change as his imagination takes off running.
His eyes drift down my legs, tanned now from the eternal California sun. Momentarily he’s lost in what he sees and doesn’t even notice I’m watching him leer. Totally worth the extra effort getting ready tonight, I couldn’t be happier at the reaction I get. Eventually, his eyes make their way back up to mine and I arch one eyebrow, letting him know he’s been caught. A normal reaction might be to look embarrassed or perhaps even flustered a little. But not Zack. Instead, he flashes me a wicked grin. “You look incredible.” He’s the one doing the leering, yet I’m the one who ends up blushing.
Vi Keeland: Vi Keeland is a native New Yorker with three children that occupy most of her free time, which she complains about often, but wouldn’t change for the world. She is a bookworm and has been known to read her kindle at stop lights, while styling her hair, cleaning, walking, during sporting events, and frequently while pretending to work. She is a boring attorney by day, and an exciting smut author by night!
Dylan Scott: Dylan Scott is a New York trial attorney, wife and mother of four. She believes her job as a trial attorney is a subcategory to the field of entertainment more than law. With a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature she believed teaching English was a destined career choice until she realized her life long talent of “argument” could actually be her job. A recent, fairly boring, midlife crisis resulted in a brief stint as a middle school English teacher which confirmed that she wasn’t ready to give up the law. Dylan has also taught legal courses at the college level and worked with at-risk inner city youth in the roles of mentor and coach. She is co-author Vi Keeland’s biggest fan.