The Next Day

The Next Day

What do you do when the future is wide open? Scarier than the frigging Navy.

No clue what to do with the rest of his life, Zane Harris follows his Navy SEAL buddy to Foothills, an absurdly beautiful tourist town nestled in the mountains outside of Seattle.

Freya Marks risks her career to settle in her hometown, but it feels too dang good to be with her family and to gaze at the Cascades every morning.

Both struggling to find their footing, the last thing they need is to get caught up in off-the-charts pheromones that blind them to everything else.

But one night in Tahoe...

"Sensual, playful, and tender." - 2021 The BookLife Prize, Critic's Report


 

“What do you think, Jack? Hell and gone from New York or San Diego.” He glanced to the simple steel box buckled into the passenger seat at his side. The urn didn’t respond. Rubbing his eyes, he chuckled at himself. “No offense pal, but it’s time to scatter you somewhere around this absurdly beautiful place. If I keep this up, people are going to think I’ve lost my f@#*ing mind.”

“Nope. Don’t say it,” Freya cut her off, jumping to her feet and crumpling the breakfast packaging into a tiny ball. “That’s called blinding lust that kills your useful creativity, then when you think you’ve finally found a good rhythm, you discover he’s not who you thought he was. While he was all sweet and sexy and insatiable at first, when the urgency of falling in lust fades, where you thought there was love, there’s nothing but a few meaningless words passed, someone that doesn’t like your famous lasagna after all, that no longer finds your smile so irresistible, and wonders why you folded their underwear but didn’t match up their clean socks.”

Mouth parched like she’d swallowed a jar of glue then slept with her mouth open, underwire digging into her chest, thong riding up her crack, Freya groaned and raised her sandpaper eyelids. What an awful night. If her cousin hadn’t taken off yet, she was going to tear her a new one for lacing something they’d ingested. Wasn’t that illegal? And potentially dangerous?

As she shifted to drink a gallon of water then take a long, hot shower, Freya found herself locked in a firm embrace. Zane’s arm and leg were wrapped around her like tree roots, the belt on his slacks digging into her backside.

He swallowed his damn tongue as every logical thought in his brain was pulverized by… everything about her.

Pushing the door closed, he stood and stared like a gawking dumbass. That wild black hair was curled with inherent rebellion, a few strands framing her angular jaw. Piercing blue eyes saw and understood every deep thought that had passed through his soul from the moment he’d stepped foot on this earth.

He left his breakfast in the bag, the idea of eating making him nauseous. “That’s not what I was getting at.”

As he was quickly learning to expect, her eyes flashed with ferocity. “Well, it kinda came across that way.” Her tone was moving from defensive to flippant. And he thought he downshifted fast.

Knowing he’d stepped in it and there was no recovering, well, knowing him, he’d make it so much worse if he tried, he shut the hell up and headed back out of town. She downed the rest of her breakfast in silence; somehow, even her chewing seemed irate.

Knocking her on her metaphorical ass like a meteor plummeting into her chest, a wallop of blazing-hot pheromones exploded off of him. Like a photon blast or superhero serum, the effects of it fueled her veins. He was… Tall. Built. Ripped.

Okay, so maybe she was being dramatic, but holy shit, she’d seen attractive men before, but Zane emitted one hundred percent Freya-altering pheromones.

Midnight forest eyes held dark secrets. Those lips were somewhere between pouty and stern, yet hinted at a wicked sense of humor… and could kiss all night without coming up for air. Big hands that would fit perfectly over her…

She nearly choked on her own saliva as she tried to remember how to breathe. How to stand. How to use her useless brain that would be irreparably rewired.

Okay, Freya, stop staring at the Norse god standing in front of you. Holding back the blushing giggle she hadn’t heard herself make in a damn long time, she bit her lips together and tried not to pant. “Hi.”


 

What people are saying about The Next Day

Carrie Thorne always writes a beautiful story. This one is about Zane, a former Navy Seal and Freya, an artist with a difficult track record it’s relationships. I liked the way the story developed and the characters were well written and believable. Really enjoyed this one! ❤❤❤

- BookBub Reader Review

Loved it! 😍

A heartwarming novel with well-developed, lovable characters, both steamy and laugh-out-loud scenes, and a touch of mystery.

It’s rare to find a romance novel that begins with steamy, sexual chemistry and evolves into a truly heartwarming love story. The Next Day by Carrie Thorne is one of those rare finds.

The story begins when Zane Harris moves to Foothills to live near his friend Asher after leaving the Navy SEALS. Zane is grieving, dealing with PTSD, and trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life. Asher’s cousin Freya Marks becomes Zane’s new next-door neighbor. Freya is a talented young artist recovering from her third failed engagement and readjusting to her hometown after living in Europe for her painting career.

Zane and Freya first meet when Zane unloads and carries his boxes up to his new above-the-garage apartment. Freya helps, and though the two interact minimally, the chemistry between them is immediate. Both have experienced heartbreak through failed relationships, and both feel disconnected from their families. Neither believe they ought to pursue a relationship, but when they agree to help each other present happy, successful fronts to their families, they develop a meaningful connection and find their sexual chemistry increasingly more difficult to ignore. When they present a pretend romance, it begins to feel all too real.

Carrie Thorne’s well-developed characters were easy to empathize with, and I found myself smiling as I read, their happy moments feeling like my own. All of the characters were impressively unique with consistent yet dimensional personalities. I particularly enjoyed Freya’s outspoken aunt. The moments of comedic relief had me laughing out loud and the touches of mystery kept me turning the pages, all of which helped create an immersive story.

I would highly recommend The Next Day to romance lovers, readers who value deep emotional connections, and anyone simply looking for a genuinely good book.

~Mary S

- review originally published on Reedsy Discovery

"A full range of emotions is present in this reading experience—witty banter, laughter, lust, longing, love, drama, tears, violence, and so much sizzling hot chemistry!"

- goodreads Reader Review