Name: Yaymed D. Arocho (Writing as Delise Torres)
Twitter Handle: @torresdelise
Title: PULLING ME BACK IN
Genre: Adult Women’s Fiction
Word Count: 87,000
My Main Character’s Most Stressful Relationship is:
Although Jeff causes Gwen a lot of turmoil and pain, when they are together, things are great. But her relationship with her mother is a different story. Gwen’s rebellious teenage years started the rift, but even as Gwen grew up and became contrite, her mother’s disapproval continued. The fact that Gwen’s older sister is the perfect daughter, a clone of their mother, doesn’t help matters much. Her mother always has to make a comment about Gwen’s provocative wardrobe or her dating life, or point out whenever she’s late, which is all the time. Gwen especially hates it when she’s right.
Gwen Prescott had her life figured out by the age of eight: she would work as a museum curator and marry her best friend, Jeff Crawford. There was nothing Gwen wouldn’t do for Jeff. She lost her virginity to him, defied her parents when they tried to keep them apart, put up with Jeff sleeping around, and almost gave up her dream college to run away with him. And in return, Jeff refused to take her with him and left her behind, never contacting her again.
Now twenty-four, Gwen is a gallery curator in NYC, convinced her love for Jeff was only an illusion; an unhealthy fixation fueled by hormones and adolescent fantasies. And yet, she’s still unable to let go. When a photo of Jeff in the New York Times stirs past feelings, Gwen begins to question whether she can be happy with anyone else.
After a chance encounter puts Jeff in her path, the pull she always felt for him—that need she could never fight or quite define—takes over. As Gwen rekindles her relationship with Jeff, she reverts to the naïve submissive girl she used to be. But in order to have the happy ending she always dreamed of, Gwen will have to learn to stand up to Jeff and ask for what she wants—even if it means losing him—or keep living for his needs and desires at the expense of her own.
Gwen felt the pull the instant she saw him.
Jeff’s smiling face stared at her from a photo in The New York Times. Ever since their first kiss at five years old, he’d had that same effect on her: he drew her to him and she never wanted him to let go.
She dropped her fork and it clanged against the plate, the pancake forgotten as she brought the newspaper closer to her face. Six years had passed since she last saw him. He looked the same, but older, even more handsome. She brushed her thumb across the photo, as if she were caressing him. His thick brown hair. The green eyes that could still disarm her. And that smile—the same one that always made her melt.
A need for him she hadn’t felt for years overcame her—a need she thought extinguished when she fell in love with Brian.
Brian. What the hell was wrong with her? She loved Brian. How could she react like this to someone else, someone who caused her so much pain? And yet, she could not look away.
“What are you reading?” Brian asked, right beside her.
Gwen jumped on the stool and shut the newspaper, dropping it back onto the breakfast bar. How did he get so close without her noticing? It was a studio apartment, after all. “Nothing.”
“Really? You were very engrossed. You didn’t even hear me talking to you.”
Did he know? Had he seen her stroking the photo?