Title – The Way We Rise
Author – Cassia Leo
Publication Date – August 21, 2015
Series – The Story of Us, #3
The highly anticipated conclusion to the USA Today bestselling Story of Us series.
With Liam’s fate no longer in the balance, Rory and Houston are poised on the precipice of a life-altering decision. When Rory’s father arrives in California to comfort Rory and make amends, Houston finds the decision becomes much easier to make.
When Houston suggests they take a break Rory thinks he must be joking. But he’s not. And his timing couldn’t be worse.
With Houston and Rory vowing to keep their new friendship strictly outside of the bedroom, their friends and family seize the opportunity to draw out the torture and surprises. Ensuring that Houston and Rory’s story has an ending they’ll never forget.
The Way We Rise is the final book in The Story of Us Series, which follows the tumultuous love story of Rory and Houston.
Cassia Leo could not have written a more perfect conclusion to The Story of Us Series. The Way We Rise was everything I’d come to love about Rory and Houston’s story and then some. This book embodies devastating heartbreak and unimaginable pain, ferocious love and unwavering hope. Cassia Leo has captured the delicate beauty that is falling in love and the even more fragile triumph that is nurturing it. The final book in Houston and Rory’s journey was raw, honest, and emotionally gripping. I often found myself lost in thought, contemplating the poignancy of this story and devouring Cassia Leo’s thoughtful prose. I adored the phenomenal storytelling and the clever integration of plot structure. This book explored the challenge of making the rewrites necessary to adapt to life’s unmatched ability to stray from the planed storyline while maintaining my hope for a happily ever after. The Way We Rise is touching, smart, and utterly breathtaking; every bit the ending Houston and Rory deserved.
“I learned that, whether it’s the love between father and daughter or the love between a man and a woman, you can’t erase love. Not with a delete button or six years or six hundred miles.” I reach up, brushing the tips of my fingers over the sandpaper scruff on his jaw. “That book isn’t us. This is us. Just you and me, getting through every day. That’s our story.”
Houston’s character really developed in The Way We Rise. In the first two books his sole focus has been on getting Rory back, but in this book we get to see a more mature and sympathetic man. Houston recognized the enormity of the events that had unfolded since he and Rory were reunited and he finally accepted the emotional significance of them. How he handles these challenges and the decisions he makes in their wake revealed so much about this character to the reader and gave Houston a polished feeling of completeness. Rory’s chance to grow as a character required her to face her family and eventually herself. Cassia Leo wrote Rory with a genuine vulnerability and understandable hesitancy that kept me feeling her struggle as she faced down the harsh realities of her world. One of the things I adore about this couple is the crackle of energy that seems to permeate their story. Rory and Houston have a palpable connection that never fades. No matter what these two face, their undeniable chemistry and stunning connection continues to shine through, giving this series a magical quality that kept me enchanted.
“The sun has almost completely gone down, painting dramatic swaths of billowy pink clouds across the western horizon. In the east, the stars are twinkling as they get ready to make a dazzling entrance. And here in the middle, on a rooftop in Portland, I feel high enough to touch the sky.”
Authentic to the tone of this series, The Way We Rise was not without several unexpected twists. Rory and Houston’s story unraveled in some ways I had desperately hoped for and in others I couldn’t have guessed. I loved that even after everything our characters had already been through, The Way We Rise still managed to surprise me. Emotionally, this book hit me hard. I found myself crying happy tears at even the smallest moments of joy, feeling deeply relieved to find glimpses of light amongst the darkness. I found this feeling to be the true measure of success in terms of this book, its demonstration of how deeply I had connected with the characters and events in the first two books. The Way We Rise was deeply satisfying, not only providing resolution to our couple’s journey but also delivering an exciting and comforting look into the future in the epilogue. Cassia Leo has truly outdone herself with this book and the entire series, leaving me with a book hangover it’ll be hard to relieve.
I climb the fence quickly and wrap my arm around her shoulders to guide her back to the car. “What are you doing out here? I told you to stay in the car.”
“I was worried about you,” she says, her teeth chattering as I open the passenger door for her. “Is someone going to let us out?”
“No one was there.”
Her eyes widen. “We’re stuck in here?”
I shake my head as I try to come up with an answer better than the truth, then I remember I promised to never lie to Rory again. “There may be a groundskeeper who’ll come by tonight and let us out. But if not, then yes. We’re stuck here for the night.”
Her mouth drops open in utter horror. “I’m sorry. It’s all my fault.”
“Bullshit. I could have carried you to the car and forced you to leave. It’s not your fault. And, hey, look on the bright side,” I reply, raising my voice to be heard over the sound of the rain battering the top of my car, and Rory looks at me as if I’m insane to even suggest there’s a bright side. “Spending the night in a cemetery will probably be the ultimate test of our friendship.”
She rolls her eyes as she climbs into the passenger seat. “You call that a bright side? I call that a nightmare.”
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Don’t miss the rest of The Story of Us series:
The Way We Fall (The Story of Us, #1)
The Way We Break (The Story of Us, #2)
To Portland, With Love (The Story of Us, #3.5)
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cassia Leo loves her coffee, chocolate, and margaritas with salt. When she’s not writing, she spends way too much time watching old reruns of Friends and Sex and the City. When she’s not watching reruns, she’s usually enjoying the California sunshine or reading – sometimes both.