Exclusive Excerpt: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

One True Loves TJR

Just this morning on USA Today HEA, I exclusively revealed the cover of the much-anticipated One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid! I cannot wait to read this book, it’s one of my own most anticipated of 2016! So today, I’m even more excited to share with you the first excerpt from the book below… and just wait until you read it!… Whoaaa!

Pre-order Now: Amazon Kindle | Amazon paperback | iBooks | Barnes & Noble ✦

Synopsis

From the author of Maybe in Another Life—named a People Magazine pick and a “Best Book of the Summer” by Glamour and USA TODAY—comes a breathtaking new love story about a woman unexpectedly forced to choose between the husband she has long thought dead and the fiancé who has finally brought her back to life.

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

Excerpt

I am finishing up dinner with my family and my fiancé when my husband calls.

It is my father’s sixty-fourth birthday. He is wearing his favorite sweater, a hunter green cashmere one that my older sister, Marie, and I picked out for him two years ago. I think that’s why he loves it so much. Well, also, because it’s cashmere. I’m not kidding myself here.

My mother is sitting next to him in a gauzy white blouse and khakis, trying to hold in a smile. She knows that a tiny cake with a candle and a song are coming any minute. She has always been childlike in her zeal for surprises.

My parents have been married for thirty-five years. They have raised two children and run a successful bookstore together. They have two adorable grandchildren. One of their daughters is taking over the family business. They have a lot to be proud of. This is a happy birthday for my father.

Marie is sitting on the other side of my mother and it is times like these, when the two of them are right next to each other, facing the same direction, that I realize just how much they look alike. Chocolate brown hair, green eyes, petite frames.

I’m the one that got stuck with the big butt.

Luckily, I’ve  come  to appreciate  it. There  are, of  course, many songs dedicated to the glory of a backside and if my thirties have taught me anything so far, it’s that I’m ready to try to be myself with no apologies.

My name is Emma Blair and I’ve got a booty.

I am thirty-one, five foot six, with a blond, grown-out pixie cut. My hazel eyes are upstaged by a constellation of freckles on the top of my right cheekbone. My father often jokes he can make out the Little Dipper.

Last week, my fiancé, Sam, gave me the ring he has spent over two months shopping for. It’s a diamond solitaire on a rose gold band. While it is not my first engagement ring, it is the first time I’ve ever worn a diamond. When I look at myself, it’s all I can see.

“Oh no,” Dad says, spotting a trio of servers headed our way with a lit slice of cake. “You guys didn’t . . .”

This is not false modesty. My father blushes when people sing to him.

My mother  looks behind her to  see what he sees. “Oh, Colin,” she says. “Lighten up. It’s your birthday . . .”

The servers make an abrupt left and head to another table. Apparently, my father is not the only person born today. My mother sees what has happened and tries to recover.

“. . . Which is why I did not tell them to bring you a cake,” she says.

“Give it up,” my dad says. “You’ve blown your cover.”

The servers finish at that table and a manager comes out with another slice of cake. Now, they are all headed right for us. “If you want to hide under the table,” Sam says, “I’ll tell them you’re not here.”

Sam is handsome in a friendly way—which I think might just be the best way to be handsome—with warm brown eyes that seem to look at everything with tenderness. And he’s funny. Truly funny. After Sam and I started dating, I noticed my laugh lines were getting deeper. This is most likely because I am growing older, but I can’t shake the feeling that it’s because I am laughing more than I ever have. What else could you want in a person other than kindness and humor? I’m not sure anything else really matters to me.

The cake arrives, we all sing loudly, and my father turns beet red. Then the servers turn away and we are left with an oversized piece of chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.

The waitstaff left five spoons but my father immediately grabs them all. “Not sure why they left so many spoons. I only need one,” he says.

My mother goes to grab one from him.

“Not so fast, Ashley,” he says. “I endured the humiliation. I should get to eat this cake alone.”

“If that’s how we are playing it . . .” Marie says. “For my birthday next month, please put me through this same rigmarole. Well worth it.”

Marie drinks a sip of her Diet Coke and then checks her phone for the time. Her husband, Mike, is at home with my nieces, Sophie and Ava. Marie rarely leaves them for very long.

“I should get going,” Marie says. “Sorry to leave but . . .”

She doesn’t have to explain. My mom and dad both stand up to give her a hug goodbye.

Once she’s gone and my father has finally agreed to let us all eat the cake, my mom says, “It sounds silly but I miss that. I miss leaving some place early because I was just so excited to get back to my little girls.”

I know what’s coming next.

I’m thirty-one and about to be married. I know exactly what is coming next.

“Have you guys given any thought to when you might start a family?”

I have to stop myself from rolling my eyes. “Mom—”

Sam is already laughing. He has that luxury. She’s only his mother in an honorary capacity.

“I’m just bringing it up because they are doing more and more studies about the dangers of waiting too long to have a child,” my mom adds.

There are always studies to prove I should hurry and studies to prove that I shouldn’t and I’ve decided that I will have a baby when I’m goddamn good and ready no matter what my mother reads on the Huffington Post.

Luckily, the look on my face has caused her to rescind. “Never mind, never mind,” she says, waving her hand in the air. “I sound like my own mother. Forget it. I’ll stop doing that.” My dad laughs and puts his arm around her. “All right,” he says. “I’m in a sugar coma and I’m sure Emma and Sam have better things to do than stay out with us. Let’s get the bill.”

Fifteen minutes later, the four of us are standing outside the restaurant, headed to our cars.

I’m wearing a navy blue sweater dress with long sleeves and thick tights. It is just enough to insulate me from the cool evening air. This is one of the last nights that I’ll go anywhere without a wool coat.

It’s the very end of October. Autumn has already settled in and overtaken New England. The leaves are yellow and red, on their way to brown and crunchy. Sam has been over to my parents’ house once already to rake the yard clean. Come December, when the temperature free falls, he and Mike will shovel their snow.

But for now the air still has a bit of warmth to it, so I savor it as best I can. When I lived in Los Angeles, I never savored warm nights. You don’t savor things that last forever. It is one of the reasons I moved back to Massachusetts.

As I step toward the car, I hear the faint sound of a ringing cell phone. I trace it back to my purse just as I hear my father rope Sam into giving him a few guitar lessons. My father has an annoying habit of wanting to learn every instrument that Sam plays, mistaking the fact that Sam is a music teacher as Sam being his music teacher.

I dig through my purse looking for my phone, grabbing the only thing lit up and flashing in my purse. I don’t recognize the number. The area code 808 doesn’t ring a bell but it does pique my interest.

Lately, no one outside of 978, 857, 508, or 617—the various area codes of Boston and its suburbs—has reason to call me.

And it is 978 specifically that has always signified home no matter what area code I was currently inhabiting. I may have spent a year in Sydney (612) and months backpacking from Lisbon (351) to Naples (39 081). I may have honeymooned in Mumbai (91 12) and lived, blissfully, for years, in Santa Monica, California (310). But when I needed to come “home,” “home” meant 978. And it is here I have stayed ever since.

The answer pops into my head. 808 is Hawaii.

“Hello?” I say as I answer the phone.

Sam has turned to look at me, and soon, my parents do, too. “Emma?”

The voice I hear through the phone is one that I would recognize anywhere, anytime—a voice that spoke to me day in and day out for years and years. One I thought I’d never hear again, one I’m not ready to even believe I’m hearing now.

The man I loved since I was seventeen years old. The man that left me a widow when his helicopter had gone down somewhere over the Pacific and he was gone without a trace.

Jesse.

“Emma,” Jesse says. “It’s me. I’m alive. I’m coming home.”

***

I think that perhaps everyone has a moment that splits their life in two. When you look back on your own timeline, there’s a sharp spike somewhere along the way, some event that changed you, changed your life, more than the others.

A moment that creates a “before” and an “after.”

Maybe it’s when you meet your love or you figure out your life’s passion or you have your first child. Maybe it’s something wonderful. Maybe it’s something tragic.

But when it happens, it tints your memories, shifts your perspective on your own life, and it suddenly seems as if everything you’ve been through falls under the label of “pre” or “post.”

I used to think that my moment was when Jesse died. Everything about our love story seemed to have been leading up to that. And everything since has been in response.

But now I know that Jesse never died. And I’m certain that this is my moment.

Everything that happened before today feels different now, and I have no idea what happens after this.

Pre-order Now: Amazon Kindle | Amazon paperback | iBooks | Barnes & Noble ✦

About Taylor

Taylor Jenkins ReidTaylor Jenkins Reid is an author, essayist, and TV writer from Acton, Massachusetts. Her debut novel, Forever, Interrupted, has been optioned with Dakota Johnson attached to star. She is adapting her second book, After I Do, for ABC Family. Her most recent novel, Maybe In Another Life has been featured in People, US Weekly, Cosmo, and more.

In addition to her novels, Taylor’s essays have appeared in the Los Angeles TimesThe Huffington Post, xoJane, and a number of other blogs.

She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and their dog, Rabbit.

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Comments

  1. This book sounds very interesting. I definitely wants to know what happens and who she picks.

  2. I can’t seem to find the comment section on the USA today page….

  3. Thanks so much for the chance…..! Shared on Twitter!

    https://twitter.com/mmalavec/status/690523673472712704

    Can’t wait to read it! ♥

  4. I can’t find the comments section either…. Great article though by the way.

  5. Jessica Frider says:

    I love the cover and this book sounds good.

  6. I love this cover!

  7. This looks so good! I’m excited to read it. Shared on Twitter. 🙂

  8. Stephanie Stephens says:

    That first sentence. Damn. I’m very intrigued by this storyline!

  9. Patricia Lee says:

    Oh my – this book sounds like it will tear me up. Can’t wait!

  10. I love her books & can’t wait for this one!!

  11. So excited for this book! It is definitely on my must read list! Love the cover!

  12. Love her books!!! So excited a new one is on the not-too-distant horizon!

  13. Shelby Leah says:

    Shared the USA Today post on facebook (Shelby Leah). I am so excited to read this one! I LOVE TJR!!!! <3

  14. Oh my gosh!!! I love all of her books!! This makes me so freaking excited. I would love, LOVE to win a galley 😍 Like, seriously I would drop everything to read this! Thank you for the chance! Shared on my Fb page and already subscribed to your awesome newsletter. 💜

  15. This sounds really good. Lots of angst!
    I shared on twitter: https://twitter.com/amyp113/status/690558332055220224

  16. I really need to read her books.

  17. Alicia Meza says:

    Loved this cover and excerpt. I can’t wait!

  18. Melissa Krehley says:

    pretty cover, intriguing storyline. cant wait to read it

  19. Stephanie Saba says:

    I’ve been a fan since Forever, Interrupted first came out and am so excited to read her newest book!!!

  20. Thanks for sharing. This story caught my attention. I look forward to reading it.

  21. Shared this post on Twitter and already subscribed to the blog. Thanks for the chance! This book sounds so good!

  22. I would LOOOOVE to win a copy of this book! Forever, Interrupted is my favorite book of all time and I love all of Taylor’s books <3

  23. I’m so excited to read this book — one of my most anticipated books of 2016.

  24. I’m really looking forward to this one. I’ve shared on Twitter and signed up for email.

  25. Kelley Bailie Fechner says:

    I LOVE her books!!!!

  26. Jessica Sider says:

    I am so incredibly excited for Taylor’s new book! We have talked a few times and she is such an incredible author and person. Her writing hits me exactly where she is trying to hit. Congratulations to Taylor!

  27. Nicole Moncrieff says:

    Would love to win a copy! I was excited to read this before but now that I’ve read the excerpt I’m even more excited!!! Love Taylor’s books 🙂

  28. Shared and LOVE HER BOOKS!!!

  29. https://www.facebook.com/linda.romer.7505/posts/1636271326638388?pnref=story
    Shared and subscribed ♡
    I would love to read One True Loves! Thank you

  30. Shared your post on Twitter (@eema2emma) and will be sharing on the Chick Lit Central Facebook page this evening. (https://www.facebook.com/chicklitcentral/)
    Subscribed to your blog.
    Thanks for the chance!

  31. Lori Moore says:

    I’d ♡ to win this!!

  32. Can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the opportunity!

  33. Shared! Love TJR and your promotion!

  34. lindgrenkl says:

    Ah! I can’t wait for Taylor’s next book!

  35. Stephanie says:

    Wow. This sounds incredible. I would love to win. Thank you for the opportunity!

  36. Shared on facebook and subscribed to your blog via email. =]

  37. LOVE this woman’s work. And I love how this cover is different from the others yet ties in with them. Now I can have it on my shelf and it will match. (kidding I’d do just about anything to get a free copy lol) thanks for the chance!

  38. Diane Markowitz says:

    Shared your cover on Twitter. Love your new cover. Excerpt excites me to read your book! Would love to read it ASAP!

  39. Fatima par says:

    Tweeted @korygdl
    Sounds wonderful
    Thank you

  40. Would love to win! Thank you for the opportunity!

  41. Thanks for the chance! I love Taylor Jenkins Reid! Her books are awesome.
    I tweeted this post. https://twitter.com/loyally_yours/status/690665245027659776

  42. This is going to be one heartbreaking story! Thank you for the chance to win this!

  43. Shared on facebook, and already signed up for the blog. Thanks for the chance to win.

  44. Shared on Twitter (@ape1325), already subscribed to the blog by email. Thank you for the chance! This book sounds amazing.

  45. This looks really good! Would love to win!

  46. Charlene E says:

    Thanks for the chance.

    Shared to FB here: https://www.facebook.com/charlene.esler/posts/10153774185412279

  47. Laurice Mcclung says:

    I loved Forever Interrupted and I can’t wait to tag this one!

  48. rachbrown2015 says:

    Already subscribed to your blog. Shared on FB – Rachael Brown and twitter @Rachael75776212

  49. mjsymmonds says:

    Shared on FB. Already subscribed to blog. Thanks for the chance. Sounds fab!

  50. Signed up for newsletter on your blog, Thank you for this opportunity.
    lstacy@roadrunner.com

  51. Tiffany Johnson says:

    Shared on twitter and already subscribed to your blog, thank you!!!

  52. Sounds like another great book from Taylor!

  53. Shared on Twitter. I have been subscribed to your emails and blog for awhile now. Love this author and her unique writing style. Thanks for this awesome opportunity 💜

  54. Been a big fan of TJR for years! Very excited for both One True Loves and her next novel, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo!

  55. Trenesha Bivens says:

    Thanks for the chance!

  56. Shared on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cyndibecker/status/690777853802053632. already a subscriber to blog newsletter. Thx for the oppty.

  57. Shared on Twitter and already subscribed to your blog 🙂
    https://twitter.com/aznangel_dd/status/690782020641812480

  58. Thank you for the giveaway!
    Here is the link where I shared it
    https://twitter.com/marxmar_/status/690783600254398464

  59. Nicole Ortiz says:

    Shared on Facebook
    Signed up
    Thanks for the chance

  60. Kimberly S says:

    This looks great, love finding new authors to read.

  61. Kelly Benko says:

    Shared on Facebook and already signed up

  62. Shared on twitter. Done everything..
    thanks for the chance

  63. Cannot wait for this book. I absolutely love her books. Thanks for the chance, shared on FB

  64. Merelyn Reads says:

    Shared! Love this cover! Thanks for the chance! 🙂

  65. Shared via twitter, already subscribed! Would love to read this book, sounds interesting! Thanks for the chance

  66. So excited for another book! She does such a great job at writing complicated unique love stories.

  67. Shared on twitter. This book sounds wonderful! Thanks for the chance

  68. I love her books! Jpetroroy at gmail dot com

  69. First love v new love – I really enjoy this kind of dilemma in my reading!

  70. I’m a sucker for a good, tortured triangle. Shared on FB https://www.facebook.com/catlover415/posts/10208633211086512 and Twitter https://twitter.com/divacat415/status/691183847095025664 Thank you for the chance.

  71. sounds like an interesting read ,cant wait to read it

  72. Theanna Bischoff says:

    Taylor & I share an agent. I read her last book in a day and can’t wait for this one. Shared on twitter! @theannabischoff

  73. I am so excited for this book! Love Taylor’s writing so much! Thanks for the chance! <3

  74. I love the sound of this book! Shared on Twitter: https://twitter.com/valleybookdoll/status/691444761119461376

  75. I did everything that was asked of me. I hope I’m not too late! I love TJR books and am really wanting to read her latest! Thanks so much for the chance! I shared on Facebook and Twitter!

  76. I love Taylor’s books! Can’t wait to read this one. Shared via Twitter.

  77. Paul Holte says:

    You had me at helicopter crash and love story. 😉 Can’t wait.

  78. I haven’t read her before. Eeek! Must try!

  79. So excited about this! I love her books.

  80. Shared this post… very interested in trying this book out.

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