What does Drew Evans have to say next? Find out in this forty page short story, filled with his sexy charm, unique advice and hilarious one-liners.
Book Blurb: Marriage: the final frontier. Steven went first. He was kind of our test subject. Like those monkeys that NASA sent off into space in the fifties, all the while knowing they’d never make it back.
And now another poor rocket is ready to launch.
But this isn’t just any posh New York wedding. You’ve seen my friends, you’ve met our families, you know you're in for a treat. Everyone wants their wedding to be memorable. This one’s going to be un-frigging-forgettable.
*Holy Frigging Matrimony takes place about a year after Tangled’s end and is from Drew’s POV*
About the Author
By day, Emma Chase is a devoted wife and mother of two who resides in a small, rural town in New Jersey. By night she is a keyboard crusader, toiling away the hours to bring her colorful characters and their endless antics to life. She has a long standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.
Emma is an avid reader. Before her children were born she was known to consume whole books in a single day. Writing has also always been a passion and with the 2013 release of her debut romantic comedy, Tangled, the ability to now call herself an author is nothing less than a dream come true.
My Review: 5 Stars Oh Drew I missed you! I don't think I'll ever get enough of him. Although this was a very short novella I loved every laugh inducing second of it. Seriously I love Emma's writing style. It just kind of reaches out and smacks you in the face and has you begging for more. If you are looking to scratch your "Drew" itch then this is perfect but be prepared it WILL leave you wanting more.
*I received an ARC from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Cami Broussard has her future all figured out. She'll finish her senior year of high school, then go to work full-time as an apprentice chef in her father's French restaurant, alongside her boyfriend, Luke. But then twenty-year-old ex-Marine Julian Wyatt comes to live with Cami's family while recovering from serious injuries. And suddenly Cami finds herself questioning everything she thought she wanted. Julian's all attitude, challenges and intense green-brown eyes. But beneath that abrasive exterior is a man who just might be as lost as Cami's starting to feel. And Cami can't stop thinking about him. Talking to him. Wanting to kiss him. He's got her seriously stirred up. Her senior year has just gotten a lot more complicated….
It’s maybe twelve-thirty when I decide to do the unthinkable. I slip my jeans back on, take a room key, glance at Estella—sound asleep—and tiptoe out the door barefoot, hands shaking. I knock lightly on Julian’s door, sure he too is fast asleep. I can’t hear a thing inside his room. But I know he’s got the cane and his legs to deal with, so I wait. Even though he’s sleeping. He said he was tired. This is stupid... I clutch my room key and decide I’ll leave. I’ll wait twenty more seconds and then leave. He’s not coming. Okay. I turn—and of course that’s when the door opens. Jeans. Cane. Bare chest.
“Hi,” I manage.
The door opens wider. I slip inside, and I’m instantly pinned to the wall by Julian’s free arm and body. “Estella’s asleep?” he asks.
“I... ” His kiss leaves me breathless; my arms are wrapped around him. His balance is better now, but distantly I worry about him falling again. My legs may give out also. “Ahh... ”
“Come to bed.”
About the Author
Sabrina Elkins, author of Stir Me Up, has also worked as a journalist, movie copywriter and prep cook. She graduated from USC and currently lives with her husband and three children in the greater Los Angeles area. Sabrina loves hearing from her readers, and encourages you to visit her at
Win 1 of 3 stockings filled with holiday candy, chocolates, a hand-crafted Christmas charm bracelet and $10 Amazon gift card. Open Internationally. Void where prohibited.
Regan Kane arrived in San Diego with nothing but a violin, his car and what feels like a lifetime of grief. Although he’s surrounded by friends and music, one delivery from the post office reminds him that the past is always just around the corner. When he befriends a local bartender, Regan wonders if he's finally ready to let go.
Georgia Hall has spent most of her life in the shadows of her mother’s mental illness. Pushing away those around her ensures they won’t get hurt when she succumbs to the same fate.
All of that unravels when she meets Regan. As her life spins out of control and the line between reality and fairytale blurs, she has to make a choice to trust or fall. Regan and Georgia are searching for healing among the wreckage. Will doing so together make moving on all the more sweet?
Or will the secrets and darkness of the past drive them apart?
Prologue: “This land is incredible. Who owns it?” I look around on the most perfect summer day that’s ever existed.
Rae slows down so her horse is walking in step with mine. “The Greyson’s. Lauren and Warner were friends with my parents for ever. We’d come up here all the time as kids and get lost on purpose.” Her smile makes me feel like I’m right there with her. Back in her memories.
“Did they have kids?”
Rae nods. “Older, though. Well, the girl was around Bo’s age, but she was never interested in him, and I don’t think he was in her. They were good friends. Zoë is her name. The boy, Kevin, was in college before I was in high school. I don’t really remember him.
The breeze picks up, and loose strands of Rae’s black hair whip from under her helmet. Summer breezes are the best; you hear them coming before you feel them, and they’re always warm. She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath through her nose.
I love you.
I can’t say it. I want to so badly, but I can’t. The way she lets her lips part as she’s lost in her smile begs me to say it. It’s too soon, though. Too soon. We’ve only been together for two months, even though it seems like longer. Everything is so effortless with her.
Rae is optimistic, bright in ways her older brother, Bo can’t be, especially with all of that brooding he’s doing over his ex-girlfriend, Ember. I still don’t really understand what happened there, but Rae assures me it will all work out for them in the end. Apparently Bo and Ember are meant to be. If the level of snark and brood one shows during a break up is directly proportional to the “meant to be” factor of a couple, those two are goddamn soul mates. That’s what Rae says, too. She uses the term soul mate as if it doesn’t come with centuries of baggage attached to it.
See? Effortless. Love is love. Soul mates are soul mates. And she is perfect. My term, not hers.
We come to the head of several trails that all disappear instantly into thick woods. My heart races a little in anticipation. Reality knocks, but I know I can stay here a while longer. In this dream. Before it’s shredded into a nightmare.
Normally I wake myself up when we get here, to the trail. Sometimes I push it, though. I just want to be with her a little bit longer.
“Which trail are we taking?” I ask, holding my horse back. He’s as anxious here as he was when it happened. Like he knew what was coming.
Rae points with her chin to a trail on the left of the tree line. “That one. It’s shaded and this sun is brutal today.”
I nod and back my horse up a few steps so she can take the lead.
I really should wake up now, but she still has more to say. And one more smile to give.
Not yet. Just a few more minutes.
“Oh,” she sighs in relief, “thank God for shade.”
My horse leads me just behind her and I’m grateful to find out she’s right. I didn’t realize how hot the sun was until I was in the coolness under the branches. Huge trees. Evergreens, pines, maples, and probably a few others my two years in Boy Scouts didn’t teach me, create a narrow tunnel of nature that we travel down in single file fashion.
Rae turns around and smiles.
Wake up. Now.
I don’t, though. I’m greedy tonight and want to hear her voice one more time.
“You with me, Regan? You got really quiet.”
“This trail … it’s … wow.” I gesture with one hand to the grandness of the earth around us.
I forgot she’d done that.
“Right? Come on, let’s get going. This trail is long.” She commands her horse to pick up its step, and it follows loyally.
I do the same with mine, but make it slow slightly as a low hum filters into my ears. It sounds like a far away tractor, or lawnmower, but I didn’t see anyone else in the large pasture we just crossed. And, she just said the trail was long.
Leave. Now. Open your eyes, Regan.
My throat closes and I try to swallow. Nothing. My horse pulls back as I try to push it forward. He shakes his head and lifts his front legs slightly. Warning. I’m not trained enough on horses to know that, though. I think he’s just not submitting to me.
You’ve seen this enough, man. Open your eyes. Wake up. Wake up!
The humming is louder now and I don’t say anything because I’m trying to find the source. Rae is several yards ahead and seems to hear it, too. Her head moves slowly side to side as she continues her stride forward.
Then, I look up. It’s there. Huge. Grey like brains and dangling from a branch just above her.
Book Blurb: What good is running AWAY when you only end up lost?
Cassandra Pierce had her whole "perfect" life planned out by her parents. One night of pure weakness and lust has her running away from it all and seeking refuge in Alamosa with her best friend. But it seems life has other plans for her when she finds herself lost in the small town of Keaton.
Jason Bradley is a charming country guy. He lives a simple life that’s nothing like what Cassandra is used to. A single moment in life changed everything he thought he once knew, leaving him with a broken heart and an unplanned future.
What happens in Keaton is nothing Cassandra or her heart could have ever prepared for. The instant connection she shares with Jason is no secret, but what they're keeping hidden from one another is. Will these two be able to find a way to trust each other or will their secrets tear them apart?
Excerpt: It was hard to sleep; I was tossing and turning more than ever before. The butterflies in my stomach were in full force as I recollected about each kiss Jason gave me; on my lips and on my bare skin. My thoughts were interrupted as I heard the beeping on my phone. I saw the light illuminating my room as I reached over to grab it; it was a text from Jason. I was suddenly extremely grateful I let him plug his number into my phone after we left the garage earlier today.
Are you asleep yet?
How could I be sleeping? His lips just rocked my world; my heart was racing too much to be sleeping.
Not a chance.
I put my phone down and got out of bed. I didn't know what else to do so I let my body decide. It would have argued with my brain either way. I let my infectious craving for his lips guide me downstairs to his room as I quietly crept to his door.
I took a deep breath and tapped on his door. He swung it open immediately as if he knew I was on the other side. The room was dimly lit, but I could see just enough. He was standing there in nothing but boxers; I couldn't help but look him up and down from head to toe. His mouth was open and his breathing was heavy as his chest rose and fell quickly, matching mine. It didn't take long for the hunger inside to take over. He stepped forward and grabbed a hold of me, pulling me close to him as he took us over to his bed. I didn't know where we were going to take this tonight, and quite frankly, I just didn't care; all I knew was I needed to be with him. It could have been Jase, it could have been my hormones, but every part of me was craving his touch. I got a taste and I needed more.
“Cassie,” he whispered.
“Shhh,” I whispered back. I put my finger over his mouth. I didn't want to hear what he was going to say, we had done enough talking for the night.
I stepped up closer to him, raising myself on my tippy toes so I was closer to his lips as I pressed mine hard against his. I heard a small moan escape him as he tangled his hands in my loose hair, pulling us onto the bed.
We fell onto the bed and I positioned myself with my back against it as Jason hovered over me, his arms on either side. I took my hands, placed them on his scruffy face, and pulled him closer to me. Somewhere between being pulled onto the bed and Jason hovering over me, our lips had lost each other; this was not going to work for me. I didn't even have to pull hard as his lips curled up and lowered down to my face. “I've never seen you like this Sweetheart,” he whispered into my ear as he nibbled on it.
I was sure a soft moan escaped my lips as he took my ear into his mouth. “I've been holding it in,” I told him.
“I can tell,” he said quietly before running his lips down my neck then into the curve of my shoulder. It was making me shiver from my neck all the way down to the aching spot between my legs. He was trailing his way down my neck when I suddenly realized I needed to take off what was keeping him from continuing further down.
“Wait,” I breathed out. Jason lifted his lips from my skin as I wiggled my arms enough to slip off the cami I was wearing, throwing it to the side of the bed. He closed his eyes and let out a deep breath.
“Damn Cassie, you are going to be the death of me.” He opened his eyes back up, piercing them into mine. I needed more.
“Please keep going,” I begged him.
“You don’t have to beg, but it's so damn sexy when you do,” he said softly as he brought his lips back to my skin, taking his time as he moved further down to my bare chest. He slowly grazed his lips across each breast before making his way down, trailing kisses until he got to the top of my yoga pants. He was driving me wild; I was having a hard time not ripping all my clothes off. This was not normal for me, but I loved every moment of it. He was bringing out a side of me that hadn't existed before, and I hoped it didn't go away.
I grabbed his upper arms and rolled us over so I was on top of him. I could feel that this was just as good for him as it was for me, as his excitement was sitting between my legs.
“Enjoying yourself?” I asked in the sexiest voice I could find.
“You have no idea. Now get down here,” he said as he pulled me down to his lips, biting down on my lower one before smiling and finally pressing our lips together again. Kissing him was what I always imagined it should feel like. Not wanting our lips to ever be apart because they felt too good pressed together. I knew deep down kissing had to be that amazing or people wouldn’t be so passionate about it. I completely understood it now and I could finally say the feeling happened to me. Jason, he made it happen, he was the spark that lit my lips on fire. I couldn’t help but go insane inside as his lips continued to kiss me like his life depended on it. I slowly released my lips from his and began placing kisses on his chin, running them all the way down from his chest to the very top of his boxers. I slowly raised myself up and loved seeing the satisfied grin plastered on his face. I put my hands on his shoulders and caressed them all the way down, feeling his chest form goose bumps as I did. I took my index finger and traced a line along the top of his boxers, making a soft moan rumble through him. I lowered myself back down on top of him; his hands grabbing my back as our bare chests collided together. I leaned my mouth close to his ear, whispering into it. “I know you green light this.”
That must have sparked something in him because I heard a growl escape his throat as he rolled us back so he was now hovering over me once again.
“Just so you know, I'm not this guy. I'm not normally the guy who has a hard time controlling himself. You seriously have me going crazy right now,” he said with a heavy breath
“Just so you know. I like it.”
Alt. POV, Jace (Bar Scene):
“I gotta go. I promised Kasey a dance,” Moose said before running off like he was up to something.
I shook my head and took another sip of water.
“Hey there. This seat taken?”
I didn’t even have to look at her to know who the voice belonged to. The sweet sound made everything inside of me melt. “For a girl like you? It’s never taken,” I told her as I finally realized what Moose was up to.
She smiled back, but this time, she didn’t take her eyes off of me. I knew the feeling all too well. I didn’t ever want to stop staring at her. She looked away and began fidgeting with her glass. The contents were clear and only confirmed what I thought I knew.
“What are you thinking about over there Cassie?” She swiveled her stool in my direction and I couldn’t help but watch her cheeks flush. It was the perfect shade of red on her. Jase, get a grip man.
“Nothing,” she replied.
The look in her eyes said otherwise. “I can tell you’re lying.”
“Fine, you seem sad, Jase,” she said.
How could she tell? How did she know? Was I not hiding my feelings or past good enough? I gazed down at the floor as I held my glass tight in my hands.
“You can talk to me,” she said, placing her hand on my knee. My skin blazed with heat under her touch. It was all I could do to keep from screaming out to her what was wrong. She had too much going on in her life to have to deal with my problems too. I was stuck. I couldn’t tell her the truth. She wouldn’t accept it and then it would just be heartbreak. At least at this point, we weren’t anything but friends. I wanted more. I couldn’t deny that part of my heart that was internally punching me for not making a move already. It wouldn’t be fair to her though.
A sudden coldness lingered over my knee. Her hand was back up on the bar. I missed her touch. I needed to touch her. We had to dance.
I hopped off the bar stool and stood behind her gorgeously dressed body. It was all I could do not to put my lips on her bare shoulder as I inched my mouth closer to her ear.
“You can talk to me too you know,” I whispered.
I moved her stool around so she was now in between my legs. “Let’s dance pretty girl,” I said.
A smile tugged on her lips. Her hand was still in mine as I started to walk away, except she didn’t budge.
I looked back; her eyes were double their normal size. “There’s a slight problem,” she said, quietly.
I moved in closer, put my hands on her knees, and leaned my ear by her mouth. She smelled so good. Jase, man you have got to stop. Focus.
“I don’t know how to dance country,” she confessed.
What? I moved back and started laughing, uncontrollably. That was what her problem was? It was adorable and innocent and in turn, only made my feelings for her that much stronger. Why couldn’t it have been that she had to go the restroom or something awkward like that?
The flesh of her palm suddenly covered my mouth and instantly stopped my laugh. My stomach knotted. It took all of the control I had in me not to press a kiss to the inside of her hand that so roughly covered my lips.
“Stop laughing, this is serious,” she said. Yes, it is serious; seriously cute.
I reluctantly took her hand off my mouth. “I’ll lead, you just follow. You’ll be okay. Just go with it, Cassie,” I told her. This time I made sure she came with me as I pulled her off the chair similar to a parent helping a child off.
The song that played through the speakers was perfect. I didn’t even plan it, but it worked out to my benefit. I really hoped she recognized it, but I wasn’t positive she would. I didn’t know if she was feeling the same pull I was and if our moment in the street was one that would stay with her, like it did me.
I took her hand in mine and placed her other behind my back. I pressed our bodies together as I wrapped my other hand around her lower back. I made sure there was no space between us, not even room to breathe. The song had me wanting her badly, and getting her as close as possible was all I could think about.
“Don’t be scared, just like we practiced in the street,” I said. Her eyes gazed into mine as if they were seeing them for the first time.
My mission at first was to get her to let loose and have fun tonight, but now, all I wanted to do was recreate the moment in the street. This was far surpassing that though.
I took control and did as I told her I would. I led and swayed us, keeping it smooth and slow, just like the song. Our eyes hadn’t stopped staring into one another since we stepped onto the dance floor, and every ounce of me wanted our skin to touch. The music kept us moving as I slowly rested my check against hers. The heat of her skin immediately radiated onto mine. It traveled down to my torso and only continued further. This girl had me flushed from head to toe. Her body suddenly relaxed into mine as my hand held onto her. It was that moment that I knew I had her; I had all of her, mind and body. And it was then that my voice box let loose and started humming along with the song.
Her body tensed in my arms and a second later her warm soft cheek slid away from me. Her eyes peered into mine as she searched them. I continued to hum as the wheels in her head seemed to turn. I know you know this song, Sweetheart. Come on. I know you do.
“This is the song you were humming in the street isn’t it?” she asked, her lips smirking.
God yes. She knew it. It came to her. My lips grew into a smile that was larger than life. I pressed our bodies back together and finally without having her eyes to distract me, I moved my lips by her ear.
“It’s called Wanted by Hunter Hayes,” I whispered gently.
Feeling her body mold next to me as I held her, I thought to myself how nothing could ever explain how badly I wanted this girl.
Her hands moved and delicately cupped behind my neck. Feeling her latch onto me was enough to make my brain fog over and my knees want to collapse. I did everything I could to contain myself as I locked both of my hands behind her back. We were a chain link; nothing could break us apart now. Our cheeks were no longer side by side, as our eyes were now peering softly into each other. Her eyes. Those damn eyes could kill a man. The soft hazel color could get you lost if you stared into them long enough. They swirled green and brown and became lighter the happier she was. They were like a drug as they caught your attention and didn’t let go. They pulled me in and I’d be lying if I said I tried to stop it. Her whole face was drawing me in like a gravitational pull. Those eyes, those flushed red cheeks, and those pink lips. They took me in and pulled me so close I could feel her warm breath hitting my lips. We weren’t inches apart or even centimeters. We were mere millimeters, a breath and one second apart.
As the song winded down my heartbeat only grew louder. It was the only thing my ears were hearing. Boom. Boom. Boom. It accelerated faster as I moved and passed our millimeter mark. One last breath and one more second my lips would be on hers. The rights, the wrongs, and every reason why I shouldn’t kiss this phenomenal girl in front of me silenced as my breath hitched and now we were only one second from kissing.
Her eyes seared into me, her body was snug against mine and her lips were within reach. They were almost grazing, and then it happened. We stopped moving toward each other and gravity now yanked us apart. The song changed, the mood altered, and the crowd around us went chaotic. Our moment was gone, vanished. Only one second away from our lips connecting and one second was all it took to steal it away.
Was it a sign? I knew I was playing with fire, but maybe it was bigger than a matchstick flame and more like a bonfire. I almost kissed this fantastic girl. What was I thinking? I couldn’t have her. She wasn’t mine to take. She would kill me if she knew the secret I was withholding from her while I stood there, trying to kiss her and make her mine. I was more than sure this was a sign and I was even more positive it was needed.
“My turn next,” Moose shouted as he grabbed her hand. The very one that was just around my neck.
The stinging pain behind my eyes threatened as I watched her face. It had lost its luster as we both stared. Was she thinking the same thing as I was? Were the wheels turning in her mind about the coincidence of the moment we lost? The first moment I reluctantly stopped and then this one that was cut short for us? I tried to smile for her but I’d be lying if I said it was easy.
Kasey grabbed my hand and led me off in another direction, far away from the only person I wanted to be next to. I lost sight of Cassie as we got closer to the edge of the dance floor, away from the crowd. We were dancing, but it was weak and the allure of having fun on a dance floor vanished the minute my hands left Cassie.
The look in Kasey’s eyes snapped me out of my thoughts. “Why are you looking at me like that?” I asked.
“What was all that about?”
I popped a brow and looked at her like I didn’t have a clue what she was asking.
“With Cassandra. Stop playing dumb. I know you better than you think.”
I felt the tension in my shoulders relax as I let out a breath. She knew me well. Too well. Growing up together didn’t help the fact that she already knew the things going on in my life and the blank emotions I wore on my face to hide my feelings.
“I don’t know what to do Kasey.”
A smile surfaced on her face like she knew something. “Make a move you pansy ass. She likes you. A whole helluva lot. I had to get the scoop out of her too.”
“What did she tell you?” I asked her, sounding way too eager for a guy that’s twenty two.
“I’ve already told you enough. She likes you, you like her. Make your move already.”
“I don’t think it’s a go-.” She hovered her hand over my mouth and stopped what she knew was going to come out of it; the reasons why I should not make a move.
“Just go with it Jason. I see the way you look at her. Even when you brought her over for dinner at Maggie’s,” she said as her eyes went soft. “What is it you always say? Let the-the-“
Damn her and her smarts. “Chips fall where they may,” I reminded her.
“That’s it. Let them fall where they may. Make a move and let the rest work itself out.”
“We’ll see. I can’t promise anything, but I appreciate the subtle nudge.” I laughed.
“You deserve to be happy too, Jason,” she said. Her eyes went from determined to soft as she gave me a knowing smile.
She was right. I needed to follow my own damn advice. Tonight I’d let the chips fall and not look back.
About the Author
B.A. Wolfe is a girl with a passion for reading and writing, and lives in the good ol’ state of Colorado with her husband (her biggest cheerleader), and her two crazy min pin fur babies. These days, her life is anything but calm, and there isn't one thing she’d want to change. B.A. spends all her free time either furiously typing stories on her laptop or happily reading through her endless TBR on her Kindle. Her list of favorites would be long enough to fill a book, but most would likely fall under the romance category. She is a sucker for a good love story that makes her cry, and an amazing book boyfriend who will melt her heart. ‘Away’ is B.A. Wolfe’s debut novel.
Wow! What an emotional read. Be sure to have your tissue ready for this one, and honestly I never even saw it coming.
Cassie is a sweet, sort of naive (at least that's the way she comes across to me) girl whose running from a bad decision and life as she knows it. Luckily for her, she takes a wrong turn during her escape and ends up stuck in a small town and in the arms of Jason. Ahhh Jase. Sweet, polite, gentlemen Jase. He immediately does everything in his power to take care of Cassie and try to get her to open up. They are instantly drawn to each other but don't act on it right away because of the secrets they are keeping.
Cassie's secret is revealed pretty early on to us as readers and it's not too far in that Jase knows but Jase's secret was harder to figure out. What exactly happened with his brother, where is he always going to "help" his father? I couldn't for the life of me figure it out. When it's finally revealed it's pretty shocking but not nearly as shocking as how the book ends.
Cue full on ugly crying and having to fight the urge to throw my Kindle across the dark bedroom. What. The. Hell? I can't even begin to process this and now I'm dying to find out what happens in the next book. There is a next book right? OMG.
This is a great debut and I highly recommend it but be prepared to have your heart broken and your eyes swollen.
*I received an ARC from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Valerie and Ryan have been living the American dream in Boston for more than ten years. Best friends since adolescence, their feelings changed when Ryan nearly lost his life. Now they're engaged and can't wait to break the news to their families and get married.
Valerie has been dreaming of getting married on Christmas eve since she was a child, and a Christmas wedding back home in Dublin seems like a very romantic way of celebrating the most important day of their lives.
Back on home soil Valerie and Ryan are surrounded by the love of their families and things start to change as homesickness creeps into their hearts. Can seven days erase a decade of hard work and life-long dreams? Or is it only a little nostalgia caused by the festive season.
Doubts fill their minds as they start questioning their choices, until an unexpected complication, only days before the wedding, makes Valerie and Ryan realize it's time they decided where they really belong. *A sweet Christmas romance that will warm your heart this yuletide season and all year long, A Christmas Melody is a novella and a short sequel to The Melody In Our Hearts, but can also be read as a standalone.
Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Smashwords
Valerie had been nervous since the moment she’d woken that morning. She’d blamed it on the hangover and on the stress of the last week, but she knew it was because this was the day she’d dreamed of all her life, and she was afraid she’d screw it up. It wasn’t until the moment she’d walked down the aisle and her eyes had locked with Ryan’s that she’d finally known everything would be fine. When he’d taken her hand and kissed it, she’d felt her heart fill with pure joy, and every doubt and fear had melted away like snow in spring. He was her safe haven, he’d always been, and she knew she’d never have to worry because he’d always be there to love and care for her. And, God help her, he looked so amazing in that white suit that she had to keep reminding herself she was in a church, and should concentrate on strictly pure thoughts. The ceremony passed by in a blur; she didn’t pay much attention to anything else but the warmth of Ryan’s hand in hers. When it was time for them to say their vows, her heart rate picked up just like it did every time she had to speak in public. Luckily, it was Ryan’s turn first, so she let him take her hands in his and looked at him with a smile. Ryan cleared his throat a little, and smiled, as he looked her straight in the eye. “I’ve loved you as a sister, and as a best friend, ever since the day we met; every time I’ve imagined my future since that day, you’ve always been one of the main characters in it. I knew, long before I realized you were my soul mate, that we would always be together, no matter where life would take us or whom we would end up marrying. Which sounds a little ironic now, as we stand here together at this altar.” Valerie smiled and he rubbed the back of her hands with his thumbs; as usual, the gesture gave her goosebumps. “It wasn’t until you held my heart in your hands that I realized you were the love of my life; now, I can’t even try to imagine living without you. You’re the missing piece in my heart that I’ve been looking for and now that you’re here, standing before me, looking like an angel, I finally understand the meaning of true bliss. With our families and God as our witnesses, I promise you eternal and unconditional love; I promise to be there for you, whenever you need a shoulder to cry on or someone to listen to your rants. I promise to lift you up whenever you fall, and to carry you in my arms whenever the road gets too bumpy; I promise to look after you and our children, and make sure you have everything you need. Most of all, I promise to love you until my very last breath and, even after I’m gone, I know my love will remain with you always, until the day we meet again to spend eternity together.” Valerie’s eyes filled with tears. She tried to swallow a sob that had crawled up her throat. Ryan smiled. “So, you see, it seems you’re stuck with me for a very long time, my love. You’d better not try to get rid of me ‘cause I’ll come back and haunt you even after I’m dead. Just so you know.” He winked and Valerie chuckled, along with most of the guests. Once again, just like every single time she’d been sad, nervous or on the verge of tears, Ryan had managed to bring the smile back to her face and she loved him for it. She would always love him for caring so much about her.
About the Author
An avid reader since her childhood years and being an only child, Roberta always enjoyed the company of her fictional friends from the children’s books she loved reading, while she dreamed of writing her own stories one day.
It was when she discovered novels by authors Rosamunde Pilcher and Maeve Binchy in her teenage years that she realized it was time she put down in words the stories she had kept well hidden in her mind until then.
What started as a hobby, soon turned into a real passion and a way of life, until she could no longer keep the stories to herself, and decided to get over her fears and share them with the world.
Roberta lives in Italy, but her dream is to move out of her country and live either in a thatched cottage in the Irish countryside or in a country house with a swing on the back porch, somewhere in the United States, where she would love to spend her days writing novels as a full-time job, and maybe one day even get as far as writing a screenplay for a movie.
A short, sweet story of friendship, love, family, home and happy ever-after's. I really liked Valerie and Ryan as a couple and will now be going back to read their full story in The Melody in Our Hearts. I loved the setting of Ireland and the Christmas Eve wedding. If you're looking for a quick read in between novels this is a perfect choice.
*I received an ARC from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Book Blurb: A new adult story of Love. Sex. Addiction. Blackmail. And Power...
Some say love can be an addiction. Others say it's the thing that makes life worth living. Let me tell you everything I know about love...Love isn't patient, love isn't kind. Love is a game, a chase. A thrill. Love is wild and war-like, and every man and woman must fight for themselves. At least that's how it was for me. A high-priced virgin call girl by the time I started college, I was addicted to love and to sex. Even though I've never had either. I controlled love, played it, and held the world in the palm of my hands. Then I fell down from those highs, and I'm being blackmailed for all my mistakes, forced to keep secrets from everyone, except the only guy I don't regret.
With all the other women, I knew what they were. They were temporary. They were pills, they were bottles, they took away all the pain, and numbed the awful memories that wore down my ragged, wasted heart. Until I met Harley. She's the only girl I ever missed when she walked away. But now she's back in my life, every day, and there are no guarantees for us, especially since I don't know how to tell her my secrets. What happened to my family. All I know is she's the closest I've ever come to something real, and I want to feel every second of it.
How can you love with no regrets when regret is all you know?
The Start of Us (No Regrets #.5)
**A FREE NOVELLA**
Every Second With You (No Regrets #2)
Releases Feb. 2014
About the Author
Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat, heart, and humor, and her books have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. Like the heroine in FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. Her novels include Caught Up In Us, Pretending He’s Mine, Playing With Her Heart, and Trophy Husband. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney.
My Review:5 Stars
Full Disclosure: I am one of LB's Lovelies (street team) and she just happens to be one of my favorite authors right now. I've loved everything she's written, which is why I joined the Lovelies in the first place. Her books are the perfect blend of charm and heat. Think Davis Milo...
Then I received a copy of The Thrill of It for review and I was truly blown away. This was so different than the usual Lauren Blakely book but equally, probably even more brilliant. The change from her simple, sweet stories to this gritty, raw story of addiction, blackmail, deceit and recovery was seamless.
I was hooked from the first line!
"I'm a sex addict and a virgin."
I couldn't. Stop. Reading. With every turn of the page my heart was racing and I just couldn't read fast enough, while at the same time I was trying to slow myself down to savor every second.
I got 50% through it and had to take a break to make dinner for my family but I'm not exaggerating when I say that the entire time I was cooking my stomach was in knots and my heart was all a flutter wanting to get back to it. It has been a while since a story has had such an effect on me.
Usually the male lead or the chemistry of the lead characters is what keeps me reading but in this one the meat of the story had my complete attention. Did I believe this was possible, this type of love/sex addiction? I've seen first hand what addiction can do to someone and how it affects their lives. Does a love addiction really constitute it's own classification, it's own meetings and therapy?
"What could be better than love? The thing that makes life worth living. If you're going to be addicted to something, it might as well be love right? It's such a better neediness than drugs or alcohol or eating disorders."
Lauren Blakely made me a believer.
Don't get me wrong I absolutely swooned for Trey. Those green eyes, and perfectly tousled hair, the tattoos and the scar...he's imperfectly perfect. His life is made of secrets that he tells no one and instead uses sex to hide from the reality that is his life.
Honestly I think that Harley may be one of my most favorite female protags ever. Raised by a mother who put looks and men ahead of everything else. Made into the perfect "pretty little pony, a figurine acquired from Tiffany's" she's given up on love and happiness. Yet somehow she manages to be strong and sweet beneath all of the pain.
A chance encounter brought them together for one night, their addictions bring them together and change their lives forever.
"You are stupid brave. And stupid courageous. And stupid amazing. And I won't let you go through any more of this alone."
The sexual chemistry and tension between them was off the charts!! I just kept waiting and waiting for "it" to happen and it just seemed like it never would. Then finally when it did...JESUS. That signature LB steam and humor shined through.
"That's adorable that you whistle after a blow job."
I am in love with Trey and Harley being in love. Thiers is the most honest and deep kind of love. It's messy and it's complicated but it's real.
"Most of all , you belong to the ugly beautiful. You belong to this messy, crazy, brave and honest love."
I will have a serious book hangover from this and am very anxiously awaiting book #2, Every Second With You.
(Note: I'm re-reading this review 3 weeks later and my hangover is still going strong!!)
While some of you may call the ending a cliffhanger I don't think of it like that. It's more like we are just waiting for a continuation of their story. A story that I won't be able to let go of anytime soon.
If you haven't read Lauren Blakely then I'm not really sure what you are waiting for. Go. Read. This. Now.
I promise you that you will not regret it.
When you're done with this one go read the FREE prequel novella The Start of Us to see how it all began.
*I received an ARC from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.