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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Corinne Michaels returns to the Willow Creek Valley Series in this stunning small-town, brother’s-best-friend romance.

Fifteen years ago, I fell for Jack O’Donnell. I was just a girl, but I knew my brother’s best friend was the only man I’d ever love. On my 18th birthday, when I asked him to kiss me, I never imagined it would change my life so completely. 

I gave Jack everything that night. In order to move on, we had to go our separate ways and pretend like nothing happened...as though it wasn’t the greatest moment of my life. But even that wasn’t as heartbreaking as the secret we were forced to keep. 

I’ve tried not to think about how much I still love him. How I long to be back in his strong arms or the way his hazel eyes make my heart race. Until he kisses me again. And this time there’s no turning back. This time I know what it means. 

We belong together, and there’s no use denying it any longer. But our feelings aren’t the only thing that won’t stay buried. Our past resurfaces and threatens to destroy our second chance at happiness. When our love is tested once again, will we be strong enough to stand together?

©2021 Corinne Michaels (P)2021 Corinne Michaels

What listeners say about Could Have Been Us

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Could Have Been Us - Must Read/Listen

“I’m going to give you a future,” I vow.
“With you.”
“For as long as you want me.”
“Forever.”

Jack and Stella have been friends for a long time and been in love since she was sixteen. After one night together their lives changed forever and they promise to keep their secrets buried and go their separate ways. Twelve years later when being around each other all the time becomes too much for them to resist, they finally give into temptation. When their past secrets become unburied, they will have to prove how strong their love is and stand together.

An extremely emotional ride from beginning to end that tissues are a must. Jack and Stella have had so much heartache and the pain that they have had to endure was unbelievable. I was completely invested in the story and had tears in my eyes for eighty percent of the book between ugly tears and happy tears. You could feel the chemistry between Jack and Stella vibrating off the pages and could tell that they were soulmates that just needed to finally get past their pain and heartache. I had an extreme book hangover after this one and recommend it to everyone. A TOP 2021 READ!

Audio: Jason Clarke and Ava Erickson did an amazing job of bringing the characters and story to life and made it seem like we were living right in the story.

12 people found this helpful

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Book 2 perfection

Loved Stella and Jack in book 1, loved them even more in their own story. While each book is a standalone, I highly recommend reading Return to Us, since the beginning half of this story overlaps the timing of the first book. The epilogue definitely has me impatiently awaiting the release of book 3.

9 people found this helpful

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A Story About Love and Healing

You will be hooked in the first two minutes of reading this book…as we learn the secret that Jack and Stella have kept for the last 12 years. The Parkerson kids(4 brothers and Stella) have survived in spite of the parents who did nothing but break them down…and Jack..well he became a part of that family from an early age and needed their support when he lost his parents in a terrible fire. Jack and Stella made decisions that they hoped were for the best interest of everyone else…and for the lives they needed to survive…but now they have no choice to give in to the love that has always been there for them. They deal with a painful past…but try to live for today in hopes that they share their past with those they love and be accepted when they tell everyone the lies that they have told and have had to live with. It involves loss and love..and a beautiful coming together. Beautifully written...A must read in this Willow Creek Valley series.

6 people found this helpful

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She did it again

Boy Corinne delivered on this one. She ripped my heart out stamped on it broken into pieces and then put it back together. this stories is a definite emotional rollercoaster. Ava and Jason Clarke just brought this story to whole nother level and it was already a mach 5.

5 people found this helpful

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sniff

I cried so freaking much during this but it was fantastic! Ready for the next book to come out.

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Jason you are NOT a bear!!

Okay- I got this book bcz I love Jason and Ava’s voice acting. Jason’s voice is AWFUL! First book I can honestly say that. He sounds like a fake Sebastian York who smoke way more cigarettes! Dude- I’m on chapter 6 and I almost done want to finish bcz he’s trying to sound sexy, ugh! His normal voice is so much better than trying so hard to be something he’s not. Nothing about his voice made me swoon or fall in love with his character. I could see if he was a biker or some old guy but no- his character is supposed to be in his mid 30’s!

I HATE IT JASON! You are not a bear or SebYo!

Ava was fantastic...

The story and writing is amazing!

Jason is TERRIBLE!

That is all. 😑

2 people found this helpful

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Loved the book hate the ending

I love the book and the author. she is awesome! I just hate the way the book ended. I wanted more and it wasn't there. please finish this book and let us know what happens.

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Love this series and this book!

Great story. Got a little repetitive but overall great story and the adoption story line felt different. Overall I loved the characters and the story.

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Another Great Audiobook

Jack and Stella‘s story really hit home for me because I adopted my son. He was put into my arms the very day he was born. We had an open adoption and we agreed to send a picture and a letter to the birth family every year. I didn’t have a problem with that because they had given me the greatest gift ever. The love that Stella had for Misty is the same love I have for my son’s birth mom. We have developed a friendship through the years and I’m so thankful for that.

I can’t imagine giving up a child because I was on the receiving end of it. I didn’t feel the agony and sadness of empty arms after carrying a baby for nine months. My heart ached for Stella and Jack. Being forced to give up a child must be so difficult, but I’m thankful that there are people willing to make that unselfish sacrifice so that others could benefit from it.

I’m beginning to like this family. I’m jealous of Stella having all those brothers to look after her, but I love her spunkiness and the fact that her brothers are afraid of her. It’s just a cute story. I love how they stick together even though they have a horrible father. It makes me wonder if the author had a terrible father because many of her characters do not have a good relationship with their fathers.

The one thing I really like about her books is that she gives a hint about what’s going to happen in the next one. I’m looking forward to reading about Joshua and Delia, but mostly I want Oliver to have a happy ending.

1 person found this helpful

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All the Feels!

One page in and Corinne Michael’s had me shooketh with a capital S! My jaw seriously dropped. I thought I knew what I was getting into with Jack and Stella but I was clearly proven wrong. This woman began the story with a bomb drop of all bomb drops. She had me hook, line and sinker. From then I knew nothing could’ve prepared me for the emotional angst filled ride that would be Jack and Stella’s story.

Jack, oh Jack, this man...he was determined to get all my tears. Being inside his head, seeing behind the cool guy facade and witnessing his vulnerable side tugged at every heart string. His love for Stella left me in swoonsville. He was completely gone for this woman and I loved it.

Stella, this woman with her balls of steel and admirable strength and patience. Her love for Jack never wavered and I needed their hea like nobody’s business. These two deserved it more than words could say.

My heart was not safe from from the turmoil it was put through. Corinne Michaels hit with every single imaginable feel from A to Z. But, for a second chance like Jack and Stella’s, it was worth every second.

And Michaels was pure evil with that tease for Josh’s story. I need it like yesterday!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jacqueline Torr
  • 07-08-21

Brilliant

I just so love Corinne's books, her heros and heroines and can't wait to dive into the next one! Always so brilliantly narrated too ❤️

1 person found this helpful

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  • oziepossum
  • 03-08-22

oziepossum

Absolutely fantastic I was completely hooked to this book and so love it can’t wait to get the next thank you Corinne 👍🏻😊💚

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-15-21

Could Have Been Us

This was an amazing listening. Totally loved it. Just wish it had a few more chapters. hopefully it will follow through on book 3 of the series.

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  • Diana Thompson
  • 05-31-21

Just beautiful

This series is amazing so far. Corinne Michael you have done it again. I was crying, laughing, and swooning over Stella and Jack.
I love all you books, and can’t wait for the next one in the series.

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  • Barbra Lazzarini
  • 05-10-21

Loved it 💖💖

Omg these two had everything against them . They stay away for so long . Thank god they stopped pretending and came to terms with the fact they were meant for each other . Awesome . I can’t wait for more . 💜💖❤️🤎💖