Series: Off the Map #1
Published by Grand Central on August 5th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
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If You Never Get Lost, You’ll Never Be FoundTwenty-one-year-old Natalia Stolfi is saying goodbye to painful memories—and turning her life upside down with a trip to the land down under. For the next six months, she’ll pretend to be a carefree exchange student. Everything is going to plan until she meets a surly surfer with hypnotic green eyes, and the troubling ability to see straight through her act.
Bran Lockhart is having the worst year on record. After the girl of his dreams turned into a nightmare, he slunk back to Melbourne to piece his life together. Yet no amount of disappointment could blind him to the pretty California girl who gets past all his defenses. He’s never wanted anyone the way he wants Talia. A single semester abroad won’t cover something this serious. But when Bran gets a stark reminder of why he stopped believing in love, he and Talia must decide if what they have is once-in-a-lifetime . . . or if there’s a plane to California with her name on it.
“Never have I ever worn handcuffs,” I say.
Bran reaches over, yanks the lid off the water bottle and takes a sip.
“Really?” My stomach lurches at the idea of another girl within five feet of him.
“Once. Wasn’t for me. I prefer more control, you know?”
“Nope—not really.” My sex life is shorter than a haiku. I bite my inner cheek and pretend not to notice his gaze slant toward me. “All right, Kink Boy, your turn.”
“Never have I ever done something I regret.”
I giggle but he looks dead serious. “Wow, that must make you alone in the universe.” I take a drink.
“Your smile, it lights up your whole face, but your eyes stay sad.”
Is he being serious or is this yet another bait? “Never have I ever sleepwalked.”
Bran drinks. “When I was eight, my neighbors woke to me in their bedroom. Don’t remember a thing. Lucky they didn’t call the coppers.”
“Whoa, crazy. Do you still do it?”
“Sometimes. Lock your door tonight. Let’s see. . .never have I ever shot a gun.”
I don’t drink.
“Isn’t that Anti-American?”
“I’m a pacifist. Never have I ever kissed in the rain.”
“This is the single most depressing fact I’ve ever heard.” He drinks.
“Hence my sad eyes.”
I stiffen. No one ever calls me that except for my mom. “How’d you know my full name?”
“Read the luggage tag on your bag—Natalia Stolfi.”
“Oh, right.” I shake my head and regroup. “Is it true you have no regrets, not even one?” Hopefully he has no idea how serious I am about his response.
“There’s no point.” His fingers tighten infinitesimally on the wheel. “The past is past. End of story.”
“Like whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?”
“No, that’s a dumb ass cliché. I mean there’s no meaning to life, despite what people pretend. Once I figured that out, everything got easier.”
“Has anyone ever said you are intense?”
“Since the day I was born.”
She and her family live mostly in Northern California.