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Forever Yours

Forever Yours

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Her crush is back. Too bad he's off-limits.

Main Tropes

  • Forbidden Romance
  • Second Chance
  • Boyfriend's Best Friend
  • Childhood Friends
  • First Love
  • He Takes Care of Her When She's Sick


Alyssa thinks she has everything figured out. Varsity cheerleading. Straight A’s. Even a date to the upcoming formal. But when Jace Carmichael, the boy she secretly kissed last summer, moves back to town, her life doesn’t seem so perfect anymore.

Jace is back in Ridgewater and confident he’s over Alyssa. After all, she’s moving on with his best friend and doesn’t seem to remember their kiss from last summer—the one he hasn’t been able to forget. But if she’s happy, he’s happy. Or so he tells himself.

But when his best friend offers Jace a chance to win her back without ruining their friendship, it’s an offer he can’t resist. One week to charm Alyssa and if he succeeds, his best friend will step aside. The bet is dumb, but Jace is desperate for a chance at Alyssa’s heart. But is taking a chance on love really worth the risk?

FOREVER YOURS is a standalone novel in The Ridgewater High series. Perfect for readers who enjoy sweet YA romance with ballad-worthy chemistry, passionate kisses and endearing characters.

Chapter One Look Inside

Me: We’re in your backyard now. Logan is about to come in looking like me.

I shot the text to my friend, Trey, and then turned to look at my identical twin brother, Logan. He wore the same blueish-gray jacket, light blue T-shirt, dark blue jeans and light gray shoes as me—an outfit our mom had given us for our seventeenth birthday last month. 

Yes, even though we were juniors in high school, our mom still tried to get us to dress alike.

It came in handy sometimes though. Like on nights like tonight when we wanted to test our old friends and see just how well they could tell us apart after eighteen months away.

Logan straightened his shoulders. “Should I head in to the party?”

“Just a sec,” I said, checking to make sure he didn't have a hair out of place. We couldn’t have his “run a hand through his hair and call it good” style showing through and giving us away. 

As identical twins, there weren’t a lot of ways that we could set ourselves apart from one another, so years ago Logan had started wearing his hair slightly longer than me and went for what I’d heard lots of girls call his “hot, bad-boy look.”

I had chosen to go to the opposite end of the spectrum and opted for the clean-cut and trendy look. I’d even gone through a short phase where I’d worn fake glasses just because I hated getting in trouble for things Logan did.

Thankfully I’d realized what a dork I was and had ditched the glasses a couple of years ago.

But since we were going all-out with tonight’s switcheroo, Logan had allowed me to drag him to the barber shop last week before we moved back to Ridgewater, and we’d both gotten the same haircut.

Logan had only complained a little.

"Does my hair meet your anal-retentive standards?” Logan asked, noticing my inspection.

I took in his brown hair. He had used the pomade I’d let him borrow, styling his hair just like I always did. And he’d even taken the time to tame the cowlick at the back of his head.

Deciding he did look just like me, I nodded and said, "I don’t think anyone will tell the difference, unless they’re paying close attention to your mannerisms. In fact, I doubt mom or dad could even tell us apart."

"Good.” He grinned. “And if someone figures it out, I guess we'll know they’re our true friend.”

I laughed. “I guess it’s good I already told Trey about the switch then. Can’t have him disappointing me on our first night back.”

Speaking of the devil, my phone buzzed with a text.

Trey: Perfect. Send Logan in.

Logan grabbed his water bottle—something that would only deepen everyone's assumptions that he was indeed Jace Carmichael at the party instead of Logan, since they didn’t know that he’d gotten sober last year.

"I'm gonna head in,” Logan said. “I’ll make the rounds and then come back to make the switch in about twenty minutes. Try not to freeze while you're out here."

I watched my brother walk up the steps to Trey's upper deck and zipped up my coat to ward off the cold. It probably would've been smart to have chosen to be the one inside the warm house, pretending to be the other, given that it was December in New York and I was still used to the nicer temperatures of North Carolina. But, when deciding who would go inside first, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to let him make the first contact with a certain person whom I wasn't sure how to greet. 

If Logan could make that first meeting less awkward for me, then standing out in the cold for twenty minutes would be well worth it. 

It had been eighteen months since I’d let Alyssa Turner see through my usually confident exterior and fumble my way through my first kiss ever. Eighteen months for me to cringe every time I thought about that kiss and how nervous I’d probably seemed to her. Eighteen months for me to wonder if she’d only let me kiss her because she felt bad saying no to me on my last night in Ridgewater.

I hadn’t always thought the kiss had gone badly; I’d actually been on cloud nine for the first few weeks after it. But when Alyssa started dating my best friend Trey shortly after, I realized that the kiss I’d relived so many times and daydreamed about had probably just been a pity kiss on her end.

I cringed again. I’d been such a fool to think a last-minute kiss would be a grand romantic gesture.

Oh well. Time had passed, and I’d dated a few girls and kissed several others while we’d lived in Sweet Water. So if Alyssa had told any of her friends about what a bad kisser I was, I could now demonstrate a much higher level of expertise and make it look like she was simply remembering that summer night incorrectly.

But even though I was much more confident in my abilities to kiss a girl the right way, that didn’t mean I wasn’t still anxious about seeing Alyssa for the first time.

I’d practically bared my soul to her that night by telling her I’d been in love with her since elementary. So if Logan could go in there, talk to Alyssa and let her assume he was a new, more confident me, then that would be great. Logan had never crushed on her and therefore wouldn't have any sort of reaction that I was worried I might have. 

And then once that initial meeting was over with, I could go to the party and pretend like everything was normal. We wouldn’t have to even address that stupid lapse in judgment, and she could continue dating Trey without feeling bad for me.

* * *

I was just about to text Logan and tell him I was freezing outside, and that he needed to get his butt out here, when a text from him came through on my phone.

Logan: I’ve talked to pretty much everyone at the party. They all bought it.

I didn’t know how to feel about that. Should I be sad that none of my friends had seen through Logan’s disguise?

Then an even more disturbing thought came to mind. If no one had noticed anything was off, it meant that even Alyssa hadn’t been able to tell the difference between Logan and me. 

Despite my embarrassing kiss, I had still always felt so seen by her. She had never once been fooled by me and my twin’s shenanigans. She’d always been able to tell when we were pretending to be the other.

I’d always just been Jace Carmichael with Alyssa. Not ‘I’m pretty sure he’s Jace, but he could also be Logan.’

My shoulders drooped with the thought. I guess it made sense though. She hadn’t seen us in a year-and-a-half.

But I had to text Logan just to make sure she had fallen for the trick too and that he had actually talked to her and cleared everything up.

Me: Did Alyssa not pick up on the switch then?

Logan: She isn’t at the party.


A mixture of relief and disappointment passed through me. 

Me: Why isn’t she at the party?

It was Trey's party. Why wouldn't Alyssa be at her boyfriend's party?

Unless they had broken up...

I immediately squashed down the hope that surfaced with that thought. I would not be the guy who waited around for his best friend to break up with his girlfriend just so I could have a second chance at kissing her the right way this time.

My phone vibrated, bringing me back to the present.

Logan: I asked a few of the girls on the cheer team whether Raven and Alyssa were coming and they said that they thought so. Apparently Raven embarrassed herself at the basketball game and needed a pep talk from Alyssa before they came.

The tightness in my chest relaxed. She was still coming.

But then the disappointment soon followed. If she was still coming, that meant she was still with Trey.

Man, I needed to get my crap together. My emotions were all over the place tonight.

Which meant that I really needed Logan to be the one to break the ice for me. I would rather freeze out here than be inside for that initial meeting.

So I shot Logan another message.

Me: Give them another 5 minutes. I know how much you wanted to see Raven.

Logan: More like I know how much you don't want to get caught staring at Alyssa when her boyfriend is watching.

I shoved my phone into my pocket, deciding not to even respond to that. That was the fun thing about being a twin. It was hard to keep secrets.

I stuffed my hands into my coat pockets and paced around the small rectangle of cement that had been protected from the snow by the deck above. A few minutes later, I heard the back door open and the sound of footsteps on the wood planks.

Good. Logan must have talked to Alyssa and Raven already.

I was just about to make my way up the stairs to meet him when I heard another set of footsteps step outside before the door shut.

Had he brought someone with him?

I guess it shouldn’t surprise me since Logan had never had much difficulty in getting a girl to like him.

The Carmichael twins did have a certain charm.

"What's the surprise you have for me, Trey?” a feminine voice asked.

My knee’s buckled when I recognized it, and I had to lean against the house for support.

Oh, crap!

Trey was bringing Alyssa to see me.

My face flushed with heat. I needed to get out of here. I wasn’t ready to face her yet. Logan needed to take away the awkwardness first.

Trey’s voice sounded next. “Just a minute and you can see my surprise for yourself."

And before I could figure out my escape route, their footsteps sounded on the steps.

Ten seconds later, she came into view. And when our eyes met, she looked like she’d just seen a ghost.

“Jace?” she gasped, shaking her head like she wasn’t quite sure she was actually seeing me. “I-is that really you?”

And in those few seconds, I realized she was even more beautiful than I’d remembered. Her honey-colored, blonde hair framed her face in soft curls. Her cheeks were slightly pink from the cold night air. And her eyes were just as bright blue as I’d remembered.

“Yeah, it’s me.” I managed to smile, though my pulse was racing so hard I could hear it in my ears.

Just act cool, Jace. Let her see the confident version of you—the version that had always been able to flirt with any girl, no matter how out of his league she was. 

Don’t revert back to the fifteen-year-old guy who was shaking the whole time he was confessing his feelings to his long-time crush.

I’d always prided myself on my ability to talk to anyone and everyone. I’d never had trouble striking up a conversation or flirting with a pretty girl. But things were different with Alyssa.

Alyssa was just so good. An amazing person through and through.

That’s why I’d been so elated when she’d kissed me back. I’d actually gotten the girl.

Well, until Trey swooped in and stole her.

“Is this my surprise?” She looked to Trey with a question in her eyes. “Jace is my surprise?”

“Yes.” Trey smiled, his typical happy-go-lucky-grin. “Isn’t it the best surprise?”

Alyssa looked back to me, her lips parted like she still wasn’t sure she believed that I was here.

I held my breath as I waited for her to say what she thought about seeing me again. Was she happy? Disappointed? Or just neutral about the whole thing?

I’d tried to imagine this moment so many times but had never been able to decide how I thought she would react.

After a few heart-pounding moments, her soft pink lips turned up into a smile and she said, “This is the best surprise.”

The best surprise.

Should I be interpreting that?

Before I could figure out exactly what she had meant, she released Trey’s hand and stepped closer to me. She hugged me and whispered something that sounded like, “I’ve missed you so much.”

My heart thumped hard in my chest.

I really wanted to interpret her words as meaning that she hadn’t kissed me out of pity back then. That she too might have liked me, at least a little.

I barely had time to return the hug and catch a whiff of her light perfume before she stepped away again, leaving me colder than I’d been before.

And when our eyes met again, there was a torn expression in them that I didn’t understand.

Trey stepped forward next to give me a hug, breaking the eye contact Alyssa and I had been sharing.

“It’s so good to have you back, Jace,” he said, patting me on the back.

“It’s great to be back.”

“Wait?” Alyssa asked when Trey returned to his spot by her side. “Are you like, back, back? Or just visiting?”

“My family just moved back to Ridgewater.” I pushed my hands into my pockets. “So I’m back, back.”

The flash of excitement in her eyes made my heart stutter in my chest.

I cleared my throat. “So, Trey tells me that you two are dating.”

“Yes.” She nodded and stepped closer to him as if just remembering. “We are.”

“You might say I’m one lucky dog.” Trey put his arm around Alyssa’s shoulders and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek before saying, “So do you think we should get you inside and introduce the real you to everyone?”

Alyssa narrowed her eyes. “Did you and Logan switch places again?”

A guilty smile lifted my lips. “Maybe.”

She shook her head and laughed. “You guys haven’t changed a bit, have you?”

“Not too much, I guess.”

And the smile she gave me then lit up her whole face. She’d always been breathtaking when she smiled like that.

I’d missed her more than I thought.

“I, um, guess we should probably get you back in the house and warmed up, huh?” She tucked a lock of hair behind her ear like she was suddenly self-conscious. “I bet there are a lot of people who will be excited to see you—the real you, that is.”

I nodded. “Let’s hope so, at least.”

I gestured for them to lead the way, and when Trey reached for Alyssa’s hand, I tried not to notice the way it made my stomach twist in a knot.

Watching them be boyfriend and girlfriend was going to be an interesting experience.

Hopefully it wouldn’t be painful as well.

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