Kyland – Signs of Love Read Online Mia Sheridan

Categories Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Young Adult Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 105
Estimated words: 98538 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 493(@200wpm)___ 394(@250wpm)___ 328(@300wpm)

From the NYT bestselling author of Archer's Voice , Mia Sheridan, comes a small town friends-to-lovers romance. Dirt poor. Hillbilly. Backwoods hick. Mountain folk. Tenleigh Falyn struggles each day to survive in the small, poverty-stricken mining town where she lives with her sister and mentally ill mother. Her dream of winning the yearly Tyton Coal scholarship is all that keeps her going. With it, she would get a free ride to a college of her choice and finally escape the harshness of this life. Secure a career that could one day get her family out of Dennville. But Kyland Barrett has worked just as tirelessly to win this scholarship, desperate to leave behind the town that has brought him so much pain. Through near-starvation, deep loneliness, and against all odds, he'll let nothing stand in his way―certainly not the girl who's his main competition. Then, one moment changes everything. Tenleigh and Kyland find themselves turning from strangers to friends, then tipping dangerously close to love. They're both determined not to form any lasting attachment, but the longer they're together, the more hopeless it seems. Only one of them gets to win. Only one of them gets to leave. And when that day comes, what happens to the one left behind?

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Seventeen Years Old

The first time I really noticed Kyland Barrett, he was swiping someone’s discarded breakfast off a cafeteria table. I’d glanced away, attempting to preserve his dignity, a gut reaction on my part. But then I’d looked back as he walked in my direction toward the doors, stuffing the small portion of leftover food in his mouth. Our eyes met, his flaring briefly and then narrowing, as again, I averted my gaze, my cheeks heating as if I’d just intruded on a deeply personal moment. And it was personal. I should know. I’d done it myself. I knew the shame. But I also knew the achy emptiness of a Monday morning after a long, hungry weekend. Evidently, Kyland knew it too.

Of course, I’d seen him before that. I’d bet everyone who was female had let their eyes linger on him, with his strikingly handsome face and his tall, solid build. But that was the first time I really saw him, the first time I felt a throb of understanding in my chest for the boy who always seemed to wear an expression of nonchalance, as if he didn’t care much for anyone or anything. I was well acquainted with men who couldn’t give a rat’s ass. That was trouble I didn’t want any part of.

But apparently I was the only girl in school who had a problem with trouble because if he was in anyone’s company, it was always someone female.

It was a large school, serving students from three towns. I’d only had a few classes with Kyland over the three and a half years we’d been in high school, and he’d always sat in the back of the room, rarely uttering a word. I always sat in the front so I could see the blackboard—I guessed I was probably nearsighted, not that we could afford an eye exam, much less glasses. I knew he got good grades. I knew he must be smart despite his seemingly careless attitude. But after that day in the cafeteria, I couldn’t help looking at him differently, and my eyes always seemed to find him. I searched for him in the overcrowded hallway—packed with teenagers moving slowly to class like cattle being herded to greener pastures—in the cafeteria, or walking ahead of me up our mountain. Most times I found him with his hands stuffed in his pockets, and if outside, his head down against the wind. I liked to watch the way his body moved, and I liked that he didn’t know it. I was curious about him now. And suddenly that look on his face seemed more wary than immune or removed. I only knew a little about Kyland. He lived up in the hills like I did. And apparently, he didn’t have enough to eat, but there was no shortage of hungry people around these parts.

In the middle of rolling green hills, breathtaking mountain views, waterfalls, and quaint covered bridges lies Dennville, Kentucky, a part of the Appalachian Mountains that would put any urban slum to shame, where hopelessness is as commonplace as the white oak trees and unemployment is the rule more so than the exception.

My older sister, Marlo, said God had created Appalachia and then had promptly left and never come back. Something inside me suspected that more often it was people who disappointed God than the other way around. But what did I really know of God anyway? I didn’t even go to church.

What I did understand was that in a place like Dennville, Kentucky, Darwin was the one who had his facts straight: only the strongest survived.

Dennville hadn’t always been as bad off, though—there was a time when the Dennville coal mine was open and families in these parts made a decent wage, even if some had to supplement with food stamps. That’s when there had been at least a few thriving businesses in town, jobs for people who wanted one, and folks who had a little money to spend. Even those of us who lived on the mountain in a sad collection of small houses, shacks, and mobile homes—the poorest of the poor—seemed to have enough to get by on in those days. But then the mine explosion happened. The papers called it the worst mining tragedy in fifty years. Sixty-two men, most with families relying on them at home, were killed. Kyland’s father and older brother both lost their lives that day. He lived in a tiny house a little ways below mine on the mountain with his mother, who was an invalid. What she suffered from, I wasn’t sure exactly.

As for me, I lived with my mama and sister in a small trailer nestled in a grove of pine trees. In the winter months, the wind would come howling through and rock our trailer so violently, I was sure we’d tip over. Somehow it had managed to hold its ground so far. Somehow, all of us on that mountain had managed to hold our ground. So far.