Title: Say You Still Love Me
Author: K. A. Tucker
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: August 6, 2019
Life is a mixed bag for Piper Calloway.
On the one hand, she’s a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multibillion-dollar real estate development firm, and living the high single life with her two best friends in a swanky downtown penthouse. On the other hand, she’s considered a pair of sexy legs in a male-dominated world and constantly has to prove her worth. Plus, she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancé—a fellow VP—on the other side of her glass office wall every day.
Things get exponentially more complicated for Piper when she runs into Kyle Miller—the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group Industries, and coincidentally the first love of her life.
The guy she hasn’t seen or heard from since they were summer camp counsellors together. The guy from the wrong side of the tracks. The guy who apparently doesn’t even remember her name.
Piper may be a high-powered businesswoman now, but she soon realizes that her schoolgirl crush is not only alive but stronger than ever, and crippling her concentration. What’s more, despite Kyle’s distant attitude, she’s convinced their reunion isn’t at all coincidental, and that his feelings for her still run deep. And she’s determined to make him admit to them, no matter the consequences.
ARC provided by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
“I can’t keep my gaze there for long. I never could, on anything else, not when Kyle was around.”
This is the first book I’ve read by K.A. Tucker (I know. Let the shaming begin) but it certainly won’t be the last. This book had everything I love in a contemporary: first love? Check. First love suddenly reappears years later just as swoony as he was before? Double check. And did I mention it features one of my all-time favorite settings? SUMMER CAMP. I was hooked after the first couple chapters on this one, and I never wanted to put it down. I ended up giving it 4.5 stars.
Say You Still Love Me follows two different time lines. The first takes place over ten years ago. Piper is off to her first-ever summer camp on her mother’s request that she get some normalcy from their extremely wealthy lives. She isn’t there ten minutes before she lays eyes on Kyle Miller – and life is never the same after that. She and Kyle are both counselors at the camp, and in-between watching over their groups of kids, they find plenty of time to cause mischief, learn about life and each other, and fall deeply in love for the very first time. While they come from two very different worlds, all of that seems to melt away at Camp Wawa and all that matters is their feelings for each other. That is, until their antics get them into a little more trouble than they can handle, and both Piper and Kyle are sent home. From then on, Piper never hears from Kyle again.
Flash forward to the present. Piper is 29 and the VP at her father’s company. While she’s smart and capable, as one of the only females in the company, she has to fight tooth and nail to make every proposal heard and to get the old boys club to take her seriously. Determined to succeed and earn their respect, Piper keeps her head down and works hard, kicks ass and takes names, and never takes her eyes off the ball – until one day, as she’s walking out of her building, she realizes the company has a new security guard… and it’s none other than Kyle Miller.
As you can probably guess, chaos spirals from there, and there’s certainly more to each timeline than initially meets the eyes. As feelings come out and secrets are uncovered, it becomes clear to both Piper and Kyle that they have some serious unfinished business. The only question is if they can make it back to that peace they felt at Wawa, bridge the differences in their very different lives, and find a way back to each other again.
“This feels like coming home, after thinking I’d never see home again.”
I really enjoyed this book, in part because the cast of characters was fantastic. I loved Piper, especially in the present – she’s bad ass and determined to prove herself. She wants everyone to know she deserves to VP because she’s smart, capable, and driven – NOT just because she’s the president’s daughter. The way she handles the ‘old boys club’ at the company was incredible and left me chuckling at the book more than once. As for Kyle, he was a favorite from page one as well. As a young boy, he’s your typical kid from the wrong side of the tracks with a great heart and a vibrant sense of humor. It’s easy to see how he’s the teen heartthrob among the counselors – heck, if I was 16 I’d be drooling over him too! As a young man, he’s more steady and centered, but just as attractive. But I think really the best thing about both of these characters was their chemistry. Neither Piper or Kyle were perfect, at Camp Wawa or in the present. The author did a great job at highlighting their flaws and making them relatable and realistic. But together, despite their physical chemistry and beyond the shininess of their first love, they brought out the best in each other. And that was really great to read in both time lines.
“I’ve seen him in that exact position so many times – first in real life and then in my thoughts. First as the tall, slender seventeen-year-old boy who stole my heart, then as the one who broke it. And now as the man who still holds my heart, despite everything.”
I am a total sucker for anything set at a summer camp, and this book was no exception. I absolutely adored it from page one. The only reason I knocked off half a star is because I was slightly annoyed at some things Kyle did in the present day about halfway through the book. I don’t want to get too into it because SPOILERS ARE RUDE but it did seem slightly out of character and is one of my pet peeves. Overall, this was great writing, a fantastic storyline, and the perfect summer romance read. If you love stories of first love, summer camp, or couples beating all odds, this book is for you. Pick it up – I promise you won’t regret it.
*All quotations are taken from an ARC and are subject to change prior to publication.
Say You Still Love Me releases on August 6, 2019.