Exclusive Excerpt from Breaking the Rules by Katie McGarry - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Exclusive Excerpt from Breaking the Rules by Katie McGarry


Katie McGarry’s YA romance series, Pushing the Limits, is highly esteemed for its gripping, emotional and captivating story lines. And now, with Breaking the Rules, the companion novel to Pushing the Limits, Echo and Noah are back, and we get to see more of their story in this newest release. I’m so excited to share this excerpt with you today!

✦ Order Breaking the Rules: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play ✦


Dec-08A summer road trip changes everything in this unforgettable new tale from acclaimed author Katie McGarry.

For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so . . . different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who’s never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything–except the one thing Echo’s just not ready for.

But when the source of Echo’s constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants–even as foster kid Noah’s search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love, and themselves.

Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah’s more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he’d be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn . . . seriously epic.


“I’m tired of living in the past.” I’m tired of it dictating my future.

“Mrs. Collins likes going there,” Noah mutters.

She does, but it’s because it’s where Noah and I seem to wallow. “Can we pretend for tonight that we don’t have pasts?”

I warily glance at Noah, and he’s mirroring the same look. “What does that mean?”

It means it’s exhausting being the daughter, the sister, the girl with the scars… “I’m so defined by everyone else’s actions that…that I don’t know. I’m Echo, right? And you’re Noah.”

Raised eyebrow on Noah’s part. “Uh-huh.”

The chains strangling me unlock, and I practically float. I’m heading in the right direction, even though Noah’s convinced that I’ve bought a plane ticket to crazy.

“So I like to paint, and you like architecture, and let’s pretend that none of that has anything to do with our pasts. Like…we’re together because I love you and you love me and there is no other worry in the world.”

Noah gives me an amused grin. “You want us to pretend we’re who we are now. I need to define role-playing for you. If we’re going there, I’ve got a few ideas.”

A strange adrenaline rush of embarrassment and lust overheats my body. “Not role-playing.”

His shoulders shake as he laughs. I lightly smack his arm and settle back into his chest. “You’re impossible.”

“Damn straight.” Noah runs a finger down my arm. “Seriously, I get it. No more heavy stuff for tonight. I can deal with that.”

That’s exactly it, yet not. I scan the camp, and beyond the fires in the distance only total blackness exists. But when the sun shines in the morning, it’ll be a wonderland of sights: the mountains covered in green trees, the flowers creating a palette an artist would die for. Lying in that field today, I forgot my problems, and it felt amazing.

Frogs and crickets perform a symphony, and the smell of the pine wood burning in the flames tickles my nose. Noah and I are a thousand miles away from every push and pull and worry of the real world.

“I wish life could be like this forever,” I say. “We’d be okay then. We’d forever be okay.”

Noah kisses the bend of my neck, and I sharply inhale with the divine sensation.

“I could build you a house,” he whispers. “I thought about it while I watched you paint.”

I suck in the corner of my bottom lip. Is he saying this because he’s simply playing along with the idea that we’re unattached to anyone or anything but each other for the night? “Where?”

He points to where the mountains lie. “Up there. I can see you sitting on our front porch, completely entranced with the land below. You’d have all the inspiration you’d need and never have to leave our home.”

 Our home. A thrill circles in my chest. “So I stay home and you…” I drop the statement, curious how he’d answer.

“Stay home with you.” Oh God, his deep voice vibrates down to my soul.

“One of us has to make money. I’m assuming houses on mountains, especially those in national forests, are pricey.”

With a pop, more embers fly into the sky, and the fire begins to fade. Noah releases me, and cold air rushes to my back. He edges close to the fire and uses a long stick to stir the flames. “Didn’t you know? You bank millions off your paintings, and I run my architecture firm from home.”

My smile spreads from ear to ear, and I love how Noah’s chocolate-brown eyes dance when he peers at me from over his shoulder. I’m especially in love with the game we’re playing. It makes life, as Aires had told me, seem less complicated.

“Will we have pets?” I bite back the question regarding kids. While this might be a fun fantasy, imagining being responsible for something like that is terrifying.

“Sure.” Noah stays near the fire on one bent knee and occasionally pokes it to keep the dwindling flames alive. “I had a dog once.”

“What type?”

“A mix of some sort. Part Lab, part something smaller than Lab. Its paws were too big for its body, so it skidded across the kitchen floor.”

“Is that what you want?”

“If we’re going to live alone on a mountain, we need a guard dog. A German shepherd. Something like that.”

“Guard dog?” Not what I had in mind for the fantasy. “We need something cute and cuddly.” I squish my fingers in the air as if I have the little puff ball in my hands. “It can sleep in our bed.”

“No fucking way, Echo. I’m not sharing my bed with a dog.”

There’s something indescribably titillating about Noah taking this theoretical glimpse into our future so seriously. While I couldn’t care less if a dog sleeps in the bed I’d share with Noah, I can’t help but tease him. “But it’ll be our baby. We can’t let it stay on the cold floor.”

“I’ll buy it a pillow,” he says way too slowly.

I giggle and scoot to the end of the blanket to be near him. Placing my toes behind the heel of my other foot, I kick off my shoes, one after another. Then I peel off my socks and nudge Noah’s butt with my toes.

Noah eyes my foot then flashes a wicked grin. “Trying to tell me something, baby?”

I shrug. Maybe. “So we’ll have a front porch?”

“Wraparound.” Noah falls back to sit beside me and grabs my bare feet to put on his lap. “With a porch swing facing the west so we can watch the sunset every night.”

I blink and survey Noah as if it’s the first time I’ve seen him. He’s in the same clothes as when we left: black T-shirt, jeans, black boots. The bottom of the cross tattooed on his biceps peeks out from under his sleeve. The firelight dances across his face, and his hair hangs over his eyes. Noah’s just as beautiful as the time I sat next to him in the school’s main office all those months ago, but the words he just said—those aren’t from the boy that asked me to smoke pot with him the night of Michael Blair’s party.

Noah traces the small bones on the top of my foot, and I’m amazed how the simple touch races up my veins to private areas.

“Um.” Clear thoughts, clear thoughts. “One story? Two?”

“One and a half.” He won’t meet my eyes, and I’m okay with it. He’s permitting me into his typically guarded thoughts. “Rustic cabin style, but with all the amenities. Wide-open floor plan. Living room, large kitchen, stairs up the side that go to the loft that’ll hold our bedroom.”

“You’ve really mulled this over, haven’t you?”

Noah continues to draw his fingers along the top of my toes and stays silent. The fire cracks, and only a dim flame remains. He exhales as if he’s jumping off a cliff. “I’ve already drawn the plans.”

Reading Order and Links

pushing the limits cover crossing the line pushing limits Dec-08 dare to you pushing limits crash into you pushing limits take me on pushing limits


About Katie

katie mcgarryKatie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON,  BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

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