cover image Blink Twice if You Love Me

Blink Twice if You Love Me

Laurie Beach. Tule, $18.99 trade paper (292p) ISBN 978-1-959988-51-9

A hardworking girl from the wrong side of the tracks meets an emotionally wounded Army veteran in Beach’s poignant second Crickley Creek romance (after The Firefly Jar). Krista Hassell and her family are considered little better than white trash in small-town Crickley Creek, S.C. Meanwhile, her boyfriend of eight years, Rye Smithson, is from one of the town’s most prominent families and expects Krista to be grateful that he deigns to be seen with her. A year before the start of the book, Krista accepted a job in Myrtle Beach, happy to get away from claustrophobic Crickley Creek, even if it meant dating long-distance. Now Krista returns home to help take care of her brother, Zach, who has end-stage Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Also in town is Chicagoan Johnny Merrick, who arrives for his Army buddy’s wedding and decides to stay the summer. Johnny’s fighting his own demons and not looking for a relationship, but then a ferocious storm strands Krista, Johnny, and Zach together, during which Zach dies, leaving Krista and Johnny deeply bonded by tragedy. But will Rye’s possessiveness and the town’s gossip mill tear them apart? Beach expertly tugs at the heartstrings while painting a haunting and beautiful picture of South Carolina’s lowcountry. Readers should have tissues at the ready. (July)