ALWAYS SECOND BEST (Broken Dreams: Em & Nick #2)

ALWAYS SECOND BEST (Broken Dreams: Em & Nick#2)

Available as ebook, paperback. Links to stores and digital libraries below.

Sometimes being first isn’t what you expected.
Sometimes, you get a second chance at love.

ALWAYS SECOND BEST is a novel of hope and heartbreak and broken dreams. It’s a novel about falling in love and discovering that being first isn’t always what matters.

ALWAYS SECOND BEST is a novel of hope and heartbreak and broken dreams. It’s a novel about falling in love and discovering that being first isn’t always what matters.

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More ordering options below – including library options and audible free trial! As well as full summary and an excerpt

Coming soon as audiobook.

Sometimes being first isn’t what you expected.
Sometimes, you get a second chance at love.

Seventeen-year-old ballerina Emilia Moretti is tired of always being second best. And she’s going to prove the world she deserves to be first. In her upcoming School of the Performing Arts showcase. In the eyes of her birth parents. And in the heart of the guy she loves. She spends hours rehearsing, hours dreaming about becoming number one, hours imagining how her entire life is about to change. But when nothing goes the way she planned, she’ll need to realize what it really means to be first.

Eighteen-year-old Nick Grawski doesn’t want to follow Daddy Dearest’s rules any longer. He’s going to prove he’s meant to be a dancer—not a lawyer—and he is not going to stay away from Em just because his father demands it. He needs to show Em that—this time around—he’s there to stay and that he won’t break her heart again. Even when her world goes down to shit, even when he finds out his dad may have been trying to protect him all along, even if being there for one another is harder than falling in love.

ALWAYS SECOND BEST is a novel of hope and heartbreak and broken dreams. It’s a novel about falling in love and discovering that being first isn’t always what matters.

AVAILABLE AS EBOOK… 

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AVAILABLE AS PAPERBACK

CHAPTER 1 – EM

I SHOULD HAVE STAYED at the School of Performing Arts this weekend. I should have spent more time rehearsing for our big end-of-the-year showcase audition. I should have repeated each movement until I reached perfection…

I’m never going to be ready.

My throat tightens. I need more hours, more days, more time.

“Do you want more lasagna?” my grandmother—Nonna—asks. Her gray hair is cut short and even though the lines on her face are getting more pronounced, even though she’s pale and thinner, even though she gets tired more easily, her smile is still the brightest in all of New York. “Or maybe more salad?” She mixes the tomato mozzarella salad again. She grows the basil herself, and believes that she could have an entire menu using only recipes with basil, like pesto steaks, or basil sorbet.

“A bit more salad, please.” I hand her my plate. Nonna’s restaurant is usually bright and full of laughter and people and waiters trying not to run into one another, but tonight it’s only her and me. Nonna opens the restaurant for lunch on Sundays and keeps her evening free.

“There you go.” She sips her water. “Your father was so cute when he was little. That day he brought me a bouquet with roses from our garden, I didn’t have the heart to tell him he shouldn’t have cut them. Instead, I made sure to put one in his baby book,” she says and then inhales deeply as if trying to catch her breath. She smooths the red tablecloth on our small table. She called tonight a “grandmother-granddaughter” date night, setting up candles and even putting some Italian music on in the background.

Even though I should be rehearsing, I couldn’t say no to her. I didn’t want to say no. And not because her lasagna is the best in town.

“I’m talking, I’m talking but I know you have to go,” she says, standing up, holding on to her chair.

“I can stay,” I reply.

“You’re sweet, but you’ve started to fidget on your chair, that means you’re already running late.”

I cringe—I hadn’t noticed I was doing that. “Dinner was really delicious. Thank you.” I gather the plates, but she takes them away from me.

“I’ll take care of that. You go.”

And there’s so much tenderness in the way she looks at me that I want to bottle up the emotion I feel and keep it for when I have a bad day, or for when I see Nick—my forever crush, my brother’s best friend, the guy who broke my heart last summer. I hold her arm and together we walk to the entrance. The restaurant smells of fresh bread mixed with garlic and basil. It smells of my childhood spent in the kitchen with her and Poppa.

When everything was so much easier.

I grab my coat, careful not to knock one of the pictures she has on the walls. Her memory wall, as she calls it. Lots of pictures of Poppa, and my own father, and my entire family, and of Italy. She recently put one up of Mr. Edwards, the man who has been courting her for almost a year now.

“Goodbye, Bellissima,” she says, kissing my cheeks loudly. “Thanks for spending time with your old grandmother.” She winks.

“You’re not old.”

“You’re right. I’m ancient.” She laughs and hugs me again. The perfume Mom gets her every Christmas is another reminder of all the happy times I’ve had with her. She coughs and leans against the wall. “I know you wanted to stay at school this weekend, so thank you again.” And before I can reply, she pushes me out the door. “Now, go. You don’t want to be late.”

“Love you,” I tell her. I put on my coat and my scarf.

“I love you too, Bellissima.” She pauses. “And say hi to Nicholas for me,” she says.

Nicholas. Nick. I force my lips into a smile, I force myself to not think about Nick. I force myself to wave to Nonna. “I’ll see you next week.”

And I glance at her one more time before slowly making my way to the subway. I used to love going back to school on Sundays. I used to wait for Nick at the corner of our street and we’d walk together. We’d talk about our weekend. He’d make me laugh and I’d try to not stare at his lips while he talked about his parents, our last audition, the video game he managed to get his hands on before its release, because he knew I wanted to play it and he knew some guy who could make it happen.

That was before.

GRAB YOUR COPY NOW…

ALWAYS SECOND BEST is a novel of hope and heartbreak and broken dreams. It’s a novel about falling in love and discovering that being first isn’t always what matters.

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