COUNTDOWN TO VALENTINE’S DAY SPECIAL – Kaleidoscope Hearts by Claire Contreras

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One of our favorite new book couples of 2015 is Oliver & Estelle from Claire Contreras’ Kaleidoscope Hearts! Estelle has had a thing for Oliver, her brother’s best friend since, well…  forever. We love a little “off limits” romance and this one just touched us both. Check out the bonus scene from KH (CONTAINS SPOILERS) for a little bit more romance from Oliver!

Bonus Scene

Office Scene aka Oliver’s Chapter 33:

My heart plummets as I watch Estelle walk away from me knowing I can’t go after her. I want to. Everything inside of me is screaming for me to, but I can’t. Going after her isn’t going to solve anything when the crux of our relationship is in this house right now. I feel the bump of Victor’s shoulder as he walks past me headed the opposite way and I turn to follow him on autopilot. We walk behind his father, toward the office, the place where most of our teenage scuffles were solved, and I can only hope this one goes up there with the rest of them. I look around at the oak bookshelves that sit on either side of the huge desk in the center and sit across from Thomas, who leans back in his seat with a long, sharp exhale. The seat beside me creeks against the mahogany floor and that’s when I look at Vic for the first time since our altercation outside. He’s still glaring at me, so I look away and sit back in my seat.

Only when I look up at Thomas and take in the sharp look he’s giving me do I realize the gravity of the situation I’m in. I’ve played out countless scenarios in my head as to how things would go once we finally told her family. In one of them they all looked shocked for a second before they started hugging us and officially welcoming me into the family. In the other they all shouted, “we knew it!” unanimously. In none did the two most important opinions in Elle’s life glare at me, and suddenly their looks combined with the bright sunlight hitting me in the face and the flash of the look of disbelief on Estelle’s face when she heard that I took the job makes the injuries on my face throb.

“So, you’re in love with my daughter,” Thomas starts, clearing his throat and Victor scoffs beside me.

“I am,” I respond, looking him in the eye and turning my face to do the same to Victor, leaving no room for second-guessing, because as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing to second-guess.

“How long has this been going on?” Victor asks, his voice quiet, his eyes calculated. I take a breath.

“Forever,” I say. My answer is short, simple, there’s no other way to describe it because my love for this girl started before I can remember.

Victor rolls his eyes, shaking his head and stretching out his legs as he turns away from me.

“What are your intentions?” Thomas asks, leaning in to place his elbows on the desk.

“I plan to marry her,” I say, expecting another scoff from Victor, but instead his chair screeches as he bolts from it and glares down at me. I rear back slightly, preparing for another punch, but it never comes. I decided as soon as he landed the first one outside that I was going to let him get it all out of his system. I won’t hit back. I know him; I know how he gets when he’s angry. He’s a lot like Jenson. They act on things abruptly and then regret it five minutes later. From the way he’s looking at me I can tell this is the one case he’s not going to regret.

“If you’re going to keep hitting me, be my guest,” I say. “But you’re not going to beat what I feel out of me, and I’m going to be with your sister.”

His hands make fists at his sides as he rocks back in his heels.

“Victor, sit the hell down!” Thomas says in a forceful demand. “You’re not sixteen anymore. Do you go around beating up the people you’re up against in court?”

“No, but I don’t trust the people I’m up against in court! I don’t have a lifelong friendship with any of those people. I didn’t spend half my life warning them away from my little sister only to find out the one I trusted most, the one I always thought of us my own fucking brother would do something like this behind my back!” he yells, the veins in his neck pulsing.

“I’m sorry,” I say. “I’m sorry I went behind your back. I am, but I can’t apologize for loving your sister—“

“You don’t even know what love is!” he says, interrupting me. “Six months ago you were screwing a different woman every month and all of a sudden you’re in love with Estelle?”

My eyes narrow on his. “I know you don’t get it, but don’t…” I exhale. “I am in love with her. I’ve been in love with her since we started college.” I stop and put my hands up, quickening my words because I can feel both of them growing angry at my choice of words. “Nothing happened back then. Well, not until later, but nothing like that happened.”

“I trust my daughter, Oliver,” Thomas says. “I trust you as well, but I trust her more, and if she hasn’t said anything about the two of you I have to believe it’s for a reason.”

“Yeah, you’re looking at it,” I say with a laugh, pointing at my lip, which feels four sizes too big and my jaw, which I haven’t looked at but I know has a cut.

“Why wouldn’t you tell me?” Victor asks, his voice lower now, a hint of pain emerging in it. “Why would you do it to begin with?”

I close my eyes and take a breath before addressing him again. “I didn’t have a choice. It’s not like I meant for any of this to happen, but we just… we’re good together. We’re it together.”

“It,” Vic says with a laugh. “She was ‘it’ with another guy, remember?”

My jaw tics and now it’s my turn to glare at him. “She’s it for me, Victor. I don’t care about what she had or what you thought she had, she’s everything to me. I wouldn’t jeopardize our friendship or what I have with you guys,” I say, shooting a look at Thomas, “if this wasn’t the real deal. I’m not an idiot.”

“You’re a complete idiot,” Victor says, siting down beside me again and burying his face into his hands.

“Maybe I am.” I shrug. “Maybe I’m a complete idiot, but not for loving Estelle. I’m a complete idiot for taking job interviews away from here. I’m a complete idiot for taking the job and not checking with her. I’m a complete idiot for letting her go before and letting her get engaged to Wyatt, but I am so fucking in love with her.” I pause and look at Thomas again. “Pardon my language. But I am so in love with her that I don’t care what it costs me as long as I’m with her.”

“So you’re not taking the job?” Victor says, looking up at me with a raised eyebrow, as if he’s thrown down the gauntlet.

“I’m not taking the job,” I respond with finality. His eyes look like they’re going to pop out of their sockets as he searches my face.

“You’re serious. You’re going to turn down a high paying job. A secure, high paying job for my sister?” he says in disbelief.

I nod. “Absolutely.”

“Don’t you think you’ll regret that decision, son?” Thomas asks.

“I won’t. I don’t,” I say, shaking my head. “The only decision I regret is not opening my eyes before and not telling her that I took the job in a moment of weakness, which is what happened. For that, I’m sorry, and for that, I will say that I’m a complete idiot.”

Victor’s jaw unhinges as he looks from me to his father and back at me. “You realize what she’s been through, right? You realize that if you leave her—“

I put my hands up to interrupt him. “I would never, ever dream of leaving her. Ever.”

“Holy shit,” Victor says under his breath. “You’re not taking the job because of Estelle.”

“You have my blessing,” Thomas says, and for the first time since we stepped in here, I feel like I can breathe a little lighter. “I can’t say I didn’t know something wasn’t going on, but I will say I’m surprised, in a good way, to hear where it’s headed.” I feel my lips begin to tug into a smile, but stop myself before I get there. I still need Victor’s approval.

“Whatever,” he says, shrugging after a long moment of staring at me. “It’ll take some getting use to, but if you make her happy…” he lets out a breath. “And if she makes you happy… I guess I can overlook the going behind my back thing.”

“Yeah, maybe because of Madelyn?” I say, referring to the girl he’s been sort of seeing, who’s in the backyard and has a big brother of her own and Vic seems to have gotten close to.

He flinches slightly. “Yeah. It’s different, but yeah, I guess.”

“Different because Estelle is older?” I ask, chuckling at the murderous look he shoots me.

“Different because you’re like a brother to me and seeing you with my little sister will be weird,” he says in defense.

I shrug. “Try telling Bobby that.”

Victor laughs. “Fuck you. Don’t make me feel glad for fucking you up.”

I grin. “Hey, if this is what it takes to earn your blessing, I say it was worth it.”

Thomas claps loudly as he stands. “All right, now that you have our blessing, I believe you have a relationship to save.”

“I believe I do,” I respond, standing and giving them each a quick hug.

“Oh, and please explain this to my mom. I really don’t want to be the one to break the news,” Victor says as we walk out. “You know her and Bettina are going to start naming your kids as soon as you tell her, right? That should be fun.”

I gape at him, because marriage is one thing, but kids take planning and there’s only so much spontaneity I can handle at one time.

Thomas laughs that loud hearty laugh and pats me on the back. “I’ll go with you.”

Book Links

Kaleidoscope Hearts

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