“The Storms That Fated Us” by JP Summers

As Tia Deltoro’s 23rd birthday approaches, she looks forward to meeting up with her old high school friends and hitting the ski slopes. What was supposed to be a relaxing weekend getaway, staying in a beautiful cottage overlooking the mountains, turns out to be a hellish nightmare when Tia unmistakably recognizes the person delivering their firewood. 

It has been five years since Tia graduated from New Holston High, yet she remains emotionally shackled to her past, or more specifically ex-best friend Carson Rodriguez, the man holding the bundle of firewood. When he accuses Tia for setting up their chance meeting she fires back running him off. Unfortunately for these two former friends, Mother Nature decides to show them an intervention they’ll never forget! The drastic shift in weather conditions causes Carson to return and wait out the horrific weather conditions in the confinements of the cottage with Tia. 

While the storm rages outside, the two distance themselves to opposite sides of the living room for their own protection. Tia keeps herself distracted by looking at the old high school yearbooks that were packed in preparation for planning the upcoming reunion. Through a series of flashbacks, the memories come flooding back. She can’t help but wonder how things could have gone differently if her ex-boyfriend Evan didn’t always lure her back into his corrupting grasp or Carson’s on-again-off-again girlfriend Erin hadn’t been so conniving. 

In the end all of the jealousy, secrets, and lies ultimately severed the ties that held their four year friendship together. 

With the strong winds from this blizzard of mass destruction leveling their only means of shelter one window and roof tile at a time, only one question remains…will Tia and Carson be able to put aside their anger towards each other long enough to survive another storm?

I was given this book by the author, JP Summers, for an honest review and so I shall deliver.

The Review:

Tia and her friends are gathering at a cabin, to celebrate Tia’s birthday.  Her friends tell her they need to run into town for some supplies, but will be back soon.  They also mention someone will be delivering firewood soon.  As they leave, Tia notices the snow is really beginning to fall, but the weather forecast was only calling for a few snow showers, but nothing too severe.  Besides, her friends will be right back.  A little while after they leave, someone comes through the door with their arms full of firewood. It’s not who she ever expected.

Suddenly, I felt a chill in the air. The firewood had showed up in the hands of someone I had tried so hard to forget.
Son-of-a-bitch!
My stomach plummeted into my feet. I frantically searched for the remote as the rest of my body remained rooted to the sofa in total shock. I’m pretty sure my jaw hit the floor.
There I was, face-to-face with the one person who had known every single thing about me.
Like a dam breaking, every painful memory that I had tamped down in my heart flooded throughout my insides until I couldn’t breathe anymore. Bile danced around in my throat. I wanted to vomit.
His initial shock turned to rage the second he recognized me. My eyes and hair color were the only things on me that hadn’t changed since high school. The stress of the past five years had settled across my forehead, carving deep lines into my once smooth skin. My formerly athletic body was no longer toned because I had lost so much weight.
This is definitely not how I imagined looking the first time we would see each other after all this time.
Carson, my former best friend and the love of my life, threw the firewood down with a crash. I jumped up from the sofa. The look of rage on his face made it obvious he was still hanging onto his anger toward me, even after all of these years. We should be embracing each other and apologizing for the way things ended between us. Instead, he stood next to the fireplace as the reflection from the fire danced in his eyes, mimicking the anger that burned behind them.

Tia and Carson hadn’t seen each other since right after graduation.  They used to be so close and they’d had a complicated friendship/relationship.  It was one of those scenarios, one would have feelings, when the other wasn’t available, because they were in a relationship or recovering from a break up, then vice versa. Because of misplaced trust, all hell broke loose and everything was ruined.

Now after all this time, they’re face to face with each other.  Both harboring hurt feelings and anger. The worse part….they’re trapped together in the cabin.  The storm had become an all out blizzard, preventing Carson from leaving and their friends from coming back and breaking up the fights.

Carson’s nostrils flared as he said through clenched teeth, “I can’t believe we’re really trapped here. I honestly thought we’d never have to see each other again. I hope you will be as easy to forget the second time.”
That was it, the dam burst! I hollered out, “Trust me, being here with you wasn’t on my list of things to do this weekend. I was supposed to be having fun with my real friends, not stuck with a guy who couldn’t find compassion in a dictionary, let alone in real life. When did you become such a prick? Oh, wait… It’s all coming back to me now.” I tried to control my breathing.
My chest tightened from the effort of containing the steam rushing through my veins.
God, I loathe this man.
Pure hatred is not something you should feel toward someone who once took care of you for a whole summer after you injured yourself playing soccer or wiped away your tears and cheered you up every time a relationship went awry. I just couldn’t keep myself from feeling such powerful emotions around him. The bile in my stomach shot into my throat, making me want to spit out every vengeful word conceivable.
“Yeah, Matia, I’m such a prick. I guess you would be an expert on calling things as you see them. That’s rich. I wonder, do you still think you’re innocent and never ruined anyone’s life?” Carson’s eyes flashed as he drove the proverbial dagger right into my back…. Again.
Carson ran his hands through his hair. “I used to think you were such a goodhearted and caring person. Damn, was I ever wrong about you.” He cleared his throat, as if some kind of emotion was trying to seep through. He avoided looking at me just as I thought I saw a glimpse of weakness on his face.
A dull silence filled the air, and then so softly I could barely hear it, he whispered, “I honestly never expected my best friend to hurt me the way you did.”
“Well, you hurt me, too. …”

Can Tia and Carson rebuild their trust and friendship?  Will Carson find out Tia really DID mean to betray him, or was he betrayed by someone else he loved?  Will he forgive them?  Will Tia ever get Carson to feel the same way about her as he did for another?  Will they even survive the blizzard long enough to sort things out!!??

I loved this book from start to finish.  I honestly didn’t know how this was going to end until the very last word.  There were so many ups and downs, but that’s what happens when you hit a rocky spot in any relationship. Not only do Tia and Carson have to battle their inner storms, they’re trying to survive the one that has trapped them in the cabin.  But which one will finally hurt them the worse? The one created by nature or the one created by themselves? And which one will ultimately determine their fate?

I’ve never read a book by JP Summers before, but she has gained a new fan.  Her writing is flawless and beautifully done.  The story pulls you in and squeezes your heart….but you’re also able to feel the love and friendship they once shared.  You’re also able to feel the betrayal…and there WAS a betrayal. Which one is to blame though and should they be given a second chance? Read it and you decide!!  You’ll be happy you did!

~Robin