Amanda Kelly spent her entire life trying to control every aspect of it, while striving for perfection. Her obsession with being perfect, along with her feelings of worthlessness, consumed her. The one thing she thought was perfect in her life was the bond she shared with her best friend, Noah.
Everything was going according to her life plan until she woke up one day and realized she had fallen in love with him. The one thing she couldn’t control was the affect he had on her. Noah had the power to give her one hundred lifetimes of happiness, which also gave him the power to completely devastate her. He was the one thing in her life that was perfect, but she couldn't allow herself to have him.
Her life begins to unravel. Events take over and force her to let go of her dreams and desires. She needs to realize that a person cannot control the events in their life, only their reaction to them...but will it be too late for her to save her relationship with her best friend?
I was emotionally drained after reading Present Perfect. I cried a lot while I was reading, I got angry, I would be so happy then be crying all over again. This is the first self-published book by Ms. Bailey, and she wrote an emotionally heart wrenching read that drew me in almost immediately. I was able to feel to the emotions that she was trying to get across. I was compelled to finish this book, I couldn’t put it down, well except during my crying fits since I couldn’t see my kindle through the tears.
Amanda never thought she was good enough when she was growing up because her parents did the classic mistake of comparing her to her older sister, Emily. Noah always loved Amanda, or Tweet to him, just the way she was. He was always there for her. He was her first everything, first best friend, first date, first kiss and first heart break. The heart break though was her own doing. I cried every time she would say that Noah needed someone perfect for him when she was perfect in his eyes. She allowed cruel selfish bitches to bring her low when it came to Noah, instead of listening to her heart and holding on to her soul mate.
Noah wanted Tweet to not only be his best friend but his girlfriend as well. He wanted to do all the firsts with her, but sadly every time he would try to push for more she would push him away. He always held on to her, waiting for it to finally be Noah and Tweet but he couldn’t hold on forever. He is no saint, but he never intentionally tries to hurt her, even though he has. No matter what he would always be there for her, always wanted to take care of her, he wanted her to be his. When he begins to date someone else, things with Tweet get even rockier and comes close to ending their friendship.
Think back to when you were in high school, think of all the insecurities certain people could bring out in you by just stating some nasty comments without a second thought to your feelings. Reading this made me remember some of the hell I went through so I connected with Amanda’s character. She loved Noah but she didn’t want to admit it because Noah was her best friend since they were born and she didn’t want to lose him; I completely understood that. Noah, in a way reminds me of someone I once knew, he was my best friend growing up but sadly we grew apart, and that is one of the biggest regrets I have in my life that we are no longer friends.
There have only been a handful of books in my past that have made me feel the way that Present Perfect has made me feel, and if this is just the start for Ms. Bailey I look forward to reading more books of hers in the future.
Noah POV-The Dinner
It took me several minutes to calm myself down. Things between Tweet and I had gotten very intense, very fast. One great thing, though, was I knew she wanted to be my girlfriend as much as I wanted her to be. As I walked down the hall towards the dining room I could hear my parents and the Kellys already having a good time, talking and laughing. I stopped just before walking completely in. Tweet’s back was facing me. Her hair was piled on top of her head exposing her long neck, the neck that smelled like raspberry and vanilla, the neck I almost had my lips on. I was ripped away from staring at Tweet’s neck by the sound of Mr. Kelly’s booming laughter as he popped open a bottle of wine.
I took the only remaining chair, which happened to be right next to Tweet. I looked over at her and smiled. Her cheeks and nose turned a light shade of pink. Adorable. Her hands trembled slightly as she unfolded her napkin, placing it in her lap. As I grabbed my napkin our bare arms touched. The vibration started in my chest and spread to the rest of my body. I took in a deep breath and shrugged my shoulders as I let the feeling pass through me. I glanced over at Tweet. She felt it too. I smiled at her, but she quickly darted her eyes away. She was more flustered than usual when I flirted with her. I liked a flustered Tweet. She was fun to play with.
I placed my arm over the back of her chair, letting my hand lightly touch her bare shoulder. Her eyes shifted in my direction, but only for a second. I leaned in close to her and reached across her chest, heading towards the basket of bread. My lips were so close to her pink cheek they almost made contact. I let a couple of seconds pass before actually picking up a piece of bread. I wanted to see how many shades of pink I could make her cheeks turn tonight.
She was as stiff as a board, trying desperately not to have any part of her body touch mine. Keeping her voice low, she said, “I know what you’re doing.”
“I do too, I really like garlic bread.”
Glancing down, I noticed a big gap in the dress Tweet was wearing, giving me an unobstructed view of her chest. My lungs stopped working for three point five seconds. I had seen Tweet in a bathing suit before, but never from this angle, looking down. Plus, I couldn’t see through her bathing suit like I could see through her light blue lacy bra, showing me more Tweet than I had ever seen before. I swallowed hard and leaned back into my chair.
“I could have passed it to you if you had asked,” she said through her clenched teeth. This only made the smirk on my face grow.
“Yeah, I know, but my way I get to look down your dress.” Her eyes shot immediately to me. ”Oh, by the way, your bra selection tonight…Excellent.” I quickly glanced down and back up to meet her eyes. I lowered my gaze slightly to look down her drerss, I wanted to get one more good look in before I started eating.
Slapping her hand over her chest, she closed the gap.
I leaned as close to her ear as I possibly could without our parents noticing and whispered, “Please tell me your panties match,” Then I leaned away from her, glancing down, and shot her a wink and a smirk before turning my attention to my food.
I grabbed for my glass of water with one hand while the other slid under the table and on to Tweet’s thigh. My fingers started to slowly move up under her dress. I could feel the goose bumps popping up all over her skin and mine. My hand suddenly stopped when I heard the sound of Mr. Kelly’s voice.
“Noah, congratulations,” Mr. Kelly said.
“Thank you, sir,” I said without a hint in my voice of what was happening under the table.
“It’s pretty rare that a sophomore gets asked to join the varsity team. We’re proud of you.” I smiled over at him. Mr. and Mrs. Kelly were like second parents to me. It felt good to hear how proud he was of me, not as good as his daughter’s knee, but good.
“His mom and I are extremely proud of him. He’s a chip off the old block,” my dad added.
The dads laughed as if the comment was hilarious. I smiled at my dad while my hand began to move up Tweet’s thigh. She tried to slap it away, but inadvertently hit the table, causing it to shake.
“Amanda, are you okay?” Mrs. Kelly asked.
“Yes. I’m fine,” Tweet said.
I tried hard to hold my laugh in, but it came out as a snort.
“I was swatting a fly away,” she continued as she stared straight at her mom, not giving me a second glance.
Mrs. Kelly looked slightly annoyed, but didn’t sound mad, and said, “That’s ridiculous. We don’t have flies in this house.”
“My bad,” Tweet answered quickly.
My hand landed back on her knee. I squeezed slightly, causing a loud gasp to escape from her. All four parental heads turned to look in our direction. I just sat eating while they continued to stared and my hand stayed where it was.
“Um… Mom would you please pass me the…um…,” Tweet stammered.
My fingers started moving again. I would squeeze her knee then rub the inside of her thigh. She was having a lot of trouble getting her words out. I loved that I had this effect on her.
“The stuff in the bottle, that you…um…pour on…um…lettuce?” Her pitch grew higher with each word.
“You mean salad dressing?” Mrs. Kelly said. Tweet nodded her answer. “You already have some on your salad.”
“I need more. Please give me more,” Tweet pleaded.
The moms went back to talking. Out the corner of my eye I saw Tweet fumbling with everything she touched, the bottle of salad dressing, her napkin, her silverware. I figured it was time to stop teasing her, let her calm down, and actually eat her dinner. Besides, I had shifted so many times in my chair I looked like I was hyperactive. I needed to calm down too. I gave her knee one more squeeze before sliding my hand off. The sudden pressure of my fingers startled her, causing the fork to drop from her hands and under the table.
I felt a little bad that I had played with her for so long and got her so flustered she could barely speak or feed herself. Pushing my chair away from the table, I said, “I’ll get it, Tweet.”When I stuck my head under the table, I immediately saw where the fork had landed. I grabbed it, but before sitting back up, I let my eyes crawl up Tweet’s legs. She had great legs. They were smooth, toned, and soft. I needed to sit back up before the tent in my pants was impossible to hide, but I couldn’t move. I couldn’t leave her legs before finding out how they tasted. Tweet always smelled like raspberry and vanilla. I wondered if she tasted like that. I was getting harder by the second. I moved in and placed a soft kiss right by her knee. My tongue inadvertently darted out and gave her leg a little lick.
Alison was born and raised in Charleston, SC. As a child she used her imagination to write additional scenes to TV shows and movies that she watched. She attended Winthrop University and graduating with a BA in Theater. While at Winthrop she began writing one act plays which she later produced. Throughout the years she continued writing and producing several one act plays, but then life got in the way and she hung up her pen for a while. On the advice of a friend, she started writing again. In January 2013, Alison sat down at her computer and began writing her first novel, Present Perfect.
Alison lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, Jef, and their two furry children (dogs). She’s addicted to Diet Pepsi and anything with sugar.