In Your Eyes
(Seasons of Love, #2)
Publication date: January 5th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Crystal Davis got her wish for the Crew’s long-awaited post-graduation trip. Sun and fun before focusing on her new career as a pediatric RN at St. Francis ’Children’s Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was just what she needed. Bonus? She met Troy Bennett, and she realized she wanted less frivolity in her life and a little more serious.
Troy Bennett is a man fighting the demons who tell him he is worthless every day of his life. Demons his mother conjured. He quiets them with alcohol and casual relationships, never allowing any woman to get close enough to him so he will never have to disappoint one. Then on the spur of the moment trip to Panama City Beach with his Ranger buddies, he sees the future he’s always been afraid to pursue exit a Jeep Wrangler at a local donut shop.
Just as Troy and Crystal are finding their footing, she gets the call she never thought she would earn: Crystal Davis is going to Hollywood to be a contestant on America’s Next Chart Topper. What started as a way to honor her murdered friend has now become her dream. Chasing her dream means leaving Troy behind for a bit, and she wonders if her absence will cause what they’ve built so far to come crashing down.
Chasing her dream also means she’s put herself in a place where she’s vulnerable to the side of Hollywood that no one wants to acknowledge. A place where people only care about her and Troy’s story for the audience while behind the scenes, evil, selfish people work to tear them apart.
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“OK, girlie. Spill the tea,” Tina Reynolds said as soon as they entered the ladies ’room.
“I got the call, Tina.” Crystal watched Tina processing what she had said and saw when the lightbulb came on.
“THE call? From America’s Next Chart Topper?” Tina said excitedly.
“Yes. THE call. When the producers rejected me last year, it came by snail mail.”
Tina looked at her shrewdly. “Why aren’t you happier about this, Crystal? You’ve been working towards this goal for FIVE years!”
“I know, I know. I should be more excited. But I love my job at St. Francis, and Troy just told me tonight he’s in love with me. He’s been in love with me since we met in Florida. And you know about his struggles, and you’ve watched us fight for this relationship.”
“Crystal, Sweetie, I’ve been watching you fight for a lot of things since Hannah died. We’ve fought for some of those things side by side. I’ve never once regretted giving you Hannah’s guitar. Even knowing you didn’t play a lick, it felt right when I did it. You began taking lessons then added voice lessons. You took on Hannah’s dreams for yourself. You said you wanted to honor her, but it was more than honoring her, Crystal. And doing it for reasons outside of honoring Hannah is fine because as much as I think it’s incredibly kind, it’s more important for you to do it for yourself. I know Troy is important to you. I know the job is important to you,” Tina told her softly but firmly.
“But?” Crystal prompted. “I know there’s more.”
“There is. First, your job will be here when you get back, no matter how soon that is. Whether you go all the way to the end and get a recording contract that you decide you don’t want or whether you come home sooner because the judges obviously can’t recognize talent. Second, if Troy genuinely loves you, he needs to love all the parts of you and support you. Giving up your dreams for someone is a big deal, Crystal.”
“Except Troy doesn’t know about this, and it hasn’t factored into his feelings. I mean, maybe he wouldn’t have let our relationship get this far if he’d known I wanted to take off for Hollywood and someday move to Nashville. I shouldn’t have kept it a secret. The Crew doesn’t even know. Just you and my parents,” Crystal said, sitting down in front of the vanity.
“I get it. The opportunity is here, so now you’re second-guessing yourself. Is it because you think Troy won’t support you? Won’t understand? Or is he an excuse for you to not take a chance because you’re afraid of failing?” Tina asked pointedly.
“Ouch, Tina,” Crystal said, turning to look at her. “Say what’s on your mind.”
“We’ve always had that relationship since the day you came to see me after Hannah’s funeral. You made me make the same pinky-swear the Crew did. No lying to each other. Ever. Even if it hurt,” Tina reminded her.
“Maybe I am afraid,” Crystal said, turning to look in the mirror again. “Afraid this will change everything and me most of all. You know what they say about being careful what you wish for.”
“Do your parents know? What do they say?”
“Not yet. I only got the call about 30 minutes ago and haven’t had the chance to tell them.”
“Well, of course, I want you to get their advice, and their advice needs to carry more weight than mine. So, I’ll quit yammering at you until you talk to Lynette and Wayne. Except for one thing: Crystal Denise Davis, I believe in you. Whatever path you take, I believe in you, and I’m right here with you,” Tina said, reaching over to hug her.
“Thank you, Tina,” Crystal replied, hugging her back. “OK. I need to get back out there, settle Troy down, and make plans to start informing people. The Crew minus Rin are going to the zoo tomorrow afternoon, so I’ll fill them in while we’re there. In the evening, I’ll go over to Troy’s to have this talk with him.”
“I think all of that is a good idea. By the way, Girlie, did you know Troy could sing so well?”
“I had no idea, and it was kind of cool to discover we have something in common neither of us knew about. OK. Let’s powder our noses and pull ourselves together. We have a couple of hours left to celebrate this amazing day, and I’m not going to finish it looking like Moaning Myrtle,” Crystal said, opening her clutch to take out some makeup.
“Cowgirl Up,” Tina said.
“Cowgirl Up,” Crystal replied.
Jayne Townsley lives with her multi-generational family in Northeast Oklahoma’s aptly named Green Country. A transplanted Okie from the Chicago suburbs, she has grown to love this state and its people with a passion, happily calling it home for the past 15 years.
Jayne shares her home with a rescued Shollie named Maui and two cats called Gamora and Nebula.
Jayne enjoys old-fashioned road trips and is in the process of planning one to tour Oklahoma’s Route 66. She is also something of a Disney World addict.
Run to You is her debut novel.
You can find her on the web at the following places:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest
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