Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Charade by Nyrae Dawn Review {Audiobook}

Charade by Nyrae Dawn 
Series: Games #1
Publish Date: October 22, 2012

344 Pages
Source: book - purchased from Amazon for Kindle, 
Audiobook - purchased from Audible
Find It: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N

Nineteen-year-old Cheyenne tries to portray the perfect life to mask the memories of her past. Walking in on her boyfriend with another woman her freshman year in college threatens that picture of perfection. 

Twenty-one-year-old Colt never wanted college and never expected to amount to anything, but when his mom's dying wish is for him to get his degree, he has no choice but to pretend it's what he wants too. 

Cheyenne needs a fake boyfriend to get back at her ex and Colt needs cash to take care of his mom, so they strike a deal that helps them both. But what if Cheyenne’s past isn’t what she thought? Soon they’re trading one charade for another—losing themselves in each other to forget about their pain. The more they play their game, the more it becomes the only thing they have that feels real.

Both Cheyenne and Colt know life is never easy, but neither of them expect the tragedy that threatens to end their charade and rip them apart forever. -(summary from Goodreads) 



Charade by Nyrae Dawn 

My Thoughts:  Lately I've been having a marvelous time with the audiobooks that Audible has had on sale for super-cheap. I bought this one recently for $1.99 after having already purchased this book for my Kindle and you guys, that is the kind of sale that I like! Although I do not normally like to listen to audiobooks for my first-reads, I can't argue with a purchase like that and I'm finding that with the contemporary books, I do not have as much trouble keeping up with the audiobook on the first read. 

Anyway, Charade by Nyrae Dawn is a book that I've heard mentioned over and over in the reading world among fans of new adult and people seem to really like it. I've had it sitting on my Kindle for a long time, just waiting for me but I never paid it that much attention until I grabbed this audiobook and then I received the second book for review. No time like the present, right? 

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As we meet Cheyenne, she is devastated because she's just found her boyfriend, Gregory, cheating on her. Cheyenne is one of those girls that has had a tough life - her mother struggled with addictions and issues with men, often brushing her daughter aside and leaving her in dangerous situations alone from the time she was very young. Cheyenne now lives with her aunt and uncle, who provide a loving environment for her and have tried to step in and be parents where her mother failed. One of Cheyenne's biggest issues comes from the fact that she never understood why her mother abandoned her years ago - just left her and never came back. Although she loves her aunt and uncle and is grateful for everything they've done for her, she can never shake that feeling of being unlovable and unwanted. Having Gregory betray her like he has done only adds to everything. 

When we meet Cole, he is reeling from grief as he watches his mother lose her battle with cancer. She is getting closer and closer to dying every day, and it becomes harder and harder for Cole to see her like that. He hates going to class every day and only attends because her wish for him is to get an education. He works hard to try and give her a comfortable end of life, but he is barely able to afford the things that she needs, let alone things that would make life easier for her. Cole turns to a party lifestyle of alcohol and women to forget the struggles of life - it doesn't take everything away for long, but every minute of freedom from the weight of his burdens helps. 

Both Cheyenne and Cole are dealing with some super tough things while also trying to maintain student status. They do not know each other. After a brief encounter at a local coffee shop, Cheyenne makes a proposal to Cole that is really tough for him to refuse: she wants a fake boyfriend, one that will make Gregory jealous, and she's willing to pay him well for his time. It'll only be for a few weeks, and it'll only be pretend. Cole doesn't want to do it, but he needs the money. He initially refuses, but he later sees how awful Gregory treats Cheyenne and accepts the deal, hoping to help her out and also earn the money. Neither of them realize that their "deal" will become less and less of a deal and more and more of a relationship with each passing day. 

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Charade by Nyrae Dawn is not the most original of the new adult books that I've read but it is pretty good. The two main characters had some flaws but were likable. The story was predictable but entertaining and enjoyable. And I will certainly continue with the series. 

I have a few issues with both Cheyenne and Cole. First of all, Cheyenne is a little bit dramatic and her words and her story line is repetitive. She seemed to be looking for trouble, which is something that I often don't even mind in a book, but it was really obvious with this character. It's true that it made for a good story in this book - the point of this story, actually - but there were several instances that Cheyenne just handled poorly and I wrinkled my nose up and actually shook my head at her. I understand that she had a pretty crappy upbringing, but a lot of people do and it doesn't excuse bad behavior plus she has a great life now so CHEYENNE: get it together and stop acting like a child. And Cole - I really liked Cole. My heart went out to Cole for what he was going through because I've been through some of his circumstances (not the illegal ones, mind you, because yes, he had some unsavory activities). Even so, Cole could act stupid too. Just, stubborn and selfish in his thinking with a foul mouth. Lots of people have to deal with the things that Cole has to deal with too, and it doesn't excuse bad behavior or selfishness. So I guess Cheyenne and Cole were a lot alike, or written a lot alike in their ways. 

I realize that sounds like I didn't like the book but don't get me wrong: I did! I enjoyed this story. It was a simple story and easy to read/listen to. These two characters were not complicated at all, were not complex at all, were not hard to understand at all. They just acted like children and need to grow up a bit. Thankfully (and unfortunately at the same time), toward the end of the book both Cheyenne and Cole are kind of forced to grow up so I suppose you could say there is a wee bit of character growth. 

For all of their flaws, though, they balanced each other out really well. And I think that they needed each other. They understood each other, which was really great. Cheyenne obviously had trust issues, but for some reason she began to trust Cole. And Cole eventually began to trust Cheyenne as well. And with the trust, their walls came down, they began to kind of fall for each other, which is when their "deal" became to crumble a bit. Both decided they didn't want to play their little game anymore when they realized that they could be the one to help the other through the trials of life that they each were facing. This, I think, is way bigger and better than the summary of the book suggests, and it ends up being a really great story when it is all said and done because some really big things happen and both characters come out on the other side intact and stronger because of it. 

So ultimately I think Charade is a pretty good book. And I would recommend it to people, certainly. It is not my favorite in the new adult category. It was a bit predictable and cliche (except for some of the parts at the ending). But it was an easy, quick read and I do like that a lot. I have the next book on hand, which is a companion focusing on Cole's friend Adrian, and I will be starting it soon. I recommend Charade by Nyrae Dawn to fans of New Adult Contemporary Romance and fans of books that have a college setting. 

Audiobook NotesThe audiobook format of Charade by Nyrae Dawn is published by Audible, Inc. and is 7 hours, 41 minutes, Unabridged. It is narrated by Macy Sterling and as far as I can tell, this may be her first experience with narrating audiobooks (I may be wrong but cannot find any other audiobooks credited to this voice actor). I found her reading to sound very dramatic in the delivery, but to be honest - that's the way these characters talked almost the entire way through the story, so it was something that I got used to fairly quickly. I would recommend this audiobook for fans of the new adult category, particularly for this price, which was $1.99 (at Audible, IF you've previously purchased the Kindle book) at the time of my purchase and at the time this blog post went live. 

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Charade will appeal to fans of:

New Adult Contemporary Romance
with issues.
Romance: Slowly developing. No triangle. Swoons!
College Setting.

Charade by Nyrae Dawn
is currently available for purchase.

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Have you read Charade yet? 

What did you think? 

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The Wanderer by Robyn Carr Review

The Wanderer by Robyn Carr
Series: Thunder Point #1
Published by Harlequin
Publish Date: March 26, 2013
384 Pages
Source: Library, then Bought right away. 

Find it here:  Goodreads / Amazon / B&N 

Nestled on the Oregon coast is a small town of rocky beaches and rugged charm. Locals love the land's unspoiled beauty. Developers see it as a potential gold mine. When newcomer Hank Cooper learns he's been left an old friend's entire beachfront property, he finds himself with a community's destiny in his hands. 

Cooper has never been a man to settle in one place, and Thunder Point was supposed to be just another quick stop. But Cooper finds himself getting involved with the town. And with Sarah Dupre, a woman as complicated as she is beautiful. 

With the whole town watching for his next move, Cooper has to choose between his old life and a place full of new possibilities. A place that just might be home. -(excerpt from Goodreads) 



The Wanderer by Robyn Carr 

My Thoughts:  I love that I started reading adult contemporary romance because in many ways, it was exactly what I was looking for in books - I just didn't realize it. I've been wandering around the romance section - in real life and virtually - sampling authors, and I'm overwhelmingly pleased by most of what I've read so far. I've gotten great recommendations from reading friends and this is one of the best. I cannot wait to continue with this series, you guys. I absolutely adored this book. 


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The first thing you need to know is this:
Hank Cooper has come to Thunder Point to see about his friend

Ben's stuff. Ben recently died...suspiciously. 
Single hunk Hank Cooper is new to Thunder Point, arriving to town to see about his good friend Ben's property and affairs after his untimely death. It seems that Ben suddenly and suspiciously died. Ben owned a really nice piece of property on the Oregon coast that he was kind enough to share with both locals and the local wildlife. He had a run-down shack that was a popular hangout. And he had some money. But Ben was far too young to die in the manner in which he did, and Hank is curious about his death. So he parks his camper on Ben's property and decides to stay awhile. Besides, Ben apparently left everything to him anyway - Ben's shack was in such shoddy condition -  it'll need some work before Hank can sell it and be on his way. 

Hank meets the local deputy, Mac, and begins to learn information about the area, about the people in town, about Ben's death. Slowly he and Mac begin to build a rapport that becomes a friendship. Hank learns that Mac is a single father with several young children and that he and the kids live with their old, single aunt. His single-mother-also-best-friend Gina lives close-by and the two help one another out almost every day. Hmm. 

The second thing you need to know is this:
Hank sees a young guy walking a dog on his beach. 

The guy is being bullied. Hank sort of gets involved. 
The guy walking the dog is Landon Dupre, part of the local football team - a rising star actually. The guys bullying him are his teammates and they aren't too happy about Landon being better than they are, getting more playing time, etc. Shouldn't teammates be supporting one another instead of bullying one another? Landon is walking his dog by Ben's place (which is now Hank's place) and the two begin to talk. Hank talks to Landon about how he used to be bullied, how he should stand up for himself, who those boys are, etc. The two form a rapport and Hank learns that Landon lives alone with his older, divorced sister. He decides that he wants to see Landon play football for himself. 

At the next game, Hank watches Landon and is highly impressed. He sees all of the people that he is beginning to form friendships with - Mac and his family, Gina and her crew, some other people in town - and it is nice to be able to say hello here and there. 

You know, Thunder Point is kind of a nice place...

The third thing you need to know is this:
Hank needs to decide what to do with Ben's old place. 
Does he keep it - and maybe stay with it? - or get rid of it and move on?
There is a HUGE market for real estate along that stretch of coast where Ben's place is sitting and Hank is looking at making a fortune if he wants to sell it. And to be honest, the entire town is looking to benefit if a resort buys the area and moves in. The entire local economy could use a boost - restaurants, shops, everything. But Thunder Point would lose the very charm it holds, and that is what the locals want to keep.

There are some in the town that are trying to get Hank to sell - they see dollar signs! And Hank honestly is a bit of a nomad, never really staying in one place for too long. But the longer Hank stays, the more he finds to love about Thunder Point. 

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When I first started The Wanderer by Robyn Carr, it seemed like it was info dump for the first few chapters. It seemed like I would get settled with the author writing about a character for a few pages and then OH! she'd move onto the next character and do the same thing. This happened for a few chapters before I felt like I was digging in and hanging on - the thing is, Robyn Carr was laying the groundwork for this book and, I think, this series as a whole. 

See, there is a lot going on in this book. Don't get me wrong - it isn't too much. But there is an entire small town to get acquainted with - so Ms. Carr takes the time to make sure we know who each key player is. We get to know Mac, also known as 'Deputy Yummy Pants' by the locals. (He is yummy, actually.) We get to know his neighbor Gina, who is also his best friend. We get to know their relationship - or lack thereof - and how it has frustrated them both but neither one has had the gumption to say anything to the other one. We get to know how the entire town knows how they feel, but they're too stubborn to do anything about being honest with each other (OH MY GOSH, I LOVED IT). And while all of this is going on, all of their children are friends. Their relationship is made out of friendship and teamwork and it is LOVELY and wonderful and yummy to read about. You know what else? It isn't even the central focus of this book, you guys. But you know how I love those friends-to-lovers relationships, so I just HAD to mention it first. I have a feeling I will be reading about Mac and Gina very shortly in an upcoming book so YAY FOR THAT. 

We also get to read about football star Landon Dupre and his older sister, helicopter pilot Susan - the tough-as-nails-but-also-a-lady that performs Coast Guard rescues. These two siblings have had a tough past couple of years but lean on each other for everything. They are all they have - well, and they have a dog. This dog is how they meet Hank - Hank comes into their lives unexpectedly and kind of like a storm - first, as a friend to Landon. Landon needs someone like Hank in his life, but Susan is very standoffish about this man she doesn't know suddenly befriending her brother. The thing is, see, Susan has been hurt deeply by a man recently, and she's putting all of her negative emotion about men onto Hank as well. So while Hank is being kind to her, she's being super hard on him. She's so mean - it's kind of humorous at times, but there's also this really great tension that's so great to read. When Susan finally cuts him some slack and backs off a little bit, WOW the chemistry is definitely there. I loved Hank and Susan, and Susan and Landon, and Landon and Hank. That dynamic that acted-like-a-family-but-wasn't-really was so much fun to read. And the further into the book I got, the better it got. 

And there were other characters as well - super secondary characters. Some are almost like comedy relief, those people in your town that you kind of laugh at when you're not around them because they're so ridiculous? Yep, they're here in this book. Because every town has them. You know who else is in here? Those mean people, the ones that act like they are better than everyone else in town - because every town has those people too. 

And interspersed with all of the regular goings-on of Thunder Point - the day-to-day stuff - there is the underlying mystery of what happened to Ben, who had already died before the book began. After all, he's the reason Hank came to Thunder Point to begin with. The book isn't really a mystery book, thank goodness (because I don't like those) but as little clues pop up, and the events surrounding his mysterious death are revealed, the entire town is surprised. 

You guys, I get so excited when I begin a series that I love as much as I loved this one. I was a little bit nervous in the beginning because I thought it was going to be too complex to enjoy but I was wrong. Rather, the first few chapters are really laying groundwork for who each of these characters are as people. With this book under my belt, I feel like I know this town, I know these people, I am a resident of this area, and I think that speaks volumes for Robyn Carr and the beginning of this series. I cannot wait to continue with these books. 

I recommend The Wanderer by Robyn Carr for fans of adult contemporary romance with great family relationships, including sibling relationships, a fantastic setting, and some super swoony times. Finding this series was like Christmas. I'm not even kidding. 

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The Wanderer will appeal to fans of:

Adult Contemporary Romance/ChickLit
Romance: Slowly Developing. No Triangle.
Great Characterization, including Secondaries
Family/Sibling Relationships
Fantastic Small Town Setting
Football

The Wanderer by Robyn Carr
is currently available for purchase.

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Have you read any of the THUNDER POINT series?
Or anything else by this author?

I'll be reading them all. For sure. 

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Ten of My Favorite Beginnings/Endings In Books!



Click HERE to check out Top Ten Tuesday
at The Broke and the Bookish


Top Ten Tuesday: 

Nine Great Book Endings 
and 
One Great Book Beginning!

(please see my current giveaways
 listed at the bottom of this post)




1. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell.

This is probably my favorite book this year
and it has a lot to do with the ending. 
(But the book is fantastic all the way from beginning to end.)

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2. The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick.

I'm talking specifically about the BOOK here, which is nearly
100% different than the movie. 
But yes, this ending is superb. 
#ReadIt1st 

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3. Where She Went by Gayle Forman.
My Review

This ending is so good, so very very good - 
it's perfect for both the book and the series. 
It's like a deep exhale when you've been holding your breath for far too long.

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4. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. 
My Review

A perfect and quiet ending for a book that was full of every emotion, 
every feeling possible.  

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5. On The Island by Tracey Garvis Graves.
My Review

I love the ending of this one so much, which is why I keep re-reading it over and over and over...everybody loves a HEA. 

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6. Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty.

This is a case where I loved the ending of the book so much that I hesitate in every way to continue with the series. I really need to get over this and keep going but THE ENDING OF THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD. 

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7. Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer.
My Review

The ending of this book sticks out to me as so great certainly because it is so recent to my memory but it is also one of my favorites of this year. Such a warm and inviting book, the ending is warm and inviting too. Loved it.  

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8. Along For the Ride by Sarah Dessen.
My Review

I'm throwing this one on the list not because it is one of the best endings ever in a book, but because it was so hard for me to find a Sarah Dessen book that resonated with me and that didn't scar me for life. This one is one that I actually enjoyed, the ending was good, and I read it fairly recently. It's that simple. So YAY for throwing it on my list. 


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9. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

I love the way this particular installment of this book ended so much - 
I'm hesitant to continue with the series (much to the impatience of some of my friends).

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10. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.

Just to change things up, I'll throw one BEGINNING into my list. 
I absolutely love the way this story begins. 
It's awkward and odd and geeky and completely sticks out to me
as one of the best I've read this year - 
my second favorite book of the year
(Ms. Rowell holds both the #1 & #2 spots, you guys.)

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I included nine great endings and one great beginning today. 
Any other day, my list may be different depending on how I feel at that given time. 

What made your list?

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Escaping Me by Elizabeth Lee Review + Giveaway

Escaping Me by Elizabeth Lee
Publish Date: July 30, 2013
Source: Author for Review - Thank you!
Find It: Goodreads / Amazon 

All she wanted to do was forget. Forget the memory of walking in on her boyfriend in the middle of, well, another girl. Forget how she had her entire life planned out. And, forget about being perfect all the time. Unfortunately, she was Whitney Vandaveer and despite the fact that she moved to the middle of nowhere – she couldn't.

He always knew he would never be more than nothing. No job, no money, no future. Cole Pritchett had accepted the fact that he would always be the screw up and he was okay with it. Until he met her.

Here's the thing they quickly found out – sometimes we all need a little help escaping who we think we are. -(summary from Goodreads)

Hosted by the fabulous Inkslinger PR
Escaping Me by Elizabeth Lee

My Thoughts:  I've been wanting to read something by this author for some time now because I've heard good things about her books. I'll be perfectly honest and tell the world that when I saw the cover for Escaping Me, I knew I had to start here because it was so gosh darn pretty. I mean LOOK AT IT. You guys, the story on the inside of the cover is just as good and I read it in no-time-flat. You guys want a fun summertime story? I devoured this one.


The first thing you need to know is this:
Whitney Vandaveer caught her ex-boyfriend cheating on her. 

She's moved away from the city, away from her father, away from Wes. 
She wants to be a new Whitney. 
We first meet Whitney after she passed out at the end of her driveway from becoming overheated while jogging. When Cole Pritchett drives by and sees this beautiful girl in trouble, he'd much rather not get involved, but he stops anyway to help. He picks her up and carries her into her house where her mother and sister nurse her back to health and scold her for pushing herself to hard when it is too hot outside. Whitney doesn't remember Cole, but sister Mallory and mother Leanne assure her that she needs to find this good-looking boy and thank him for rescuing her. 

Whitney doesn't realize that just a few hours later, she'll get the chance - she runs into Cole at the local hang-out. She has a brief conversation with him and is not impressed at all. Sure, he's super good-looking, but his manners need some serious attention. He doesn't appear to be interested in her at all. In fact, he's outright rude! And when Whitney sees him again the next time, he's rude again! She doesn't get it - nobody has ever been so rude to her! Does she smell bad? She isn't that ugly, is she? What's the deal? 

See, for Whitney's entire life, she's done what her father wanted her to do without question. More recently, she even did what her ex-boyfriend Wes wanted or asked without question. She never stood up for herself or questioned her father, and thought she could be happy fulfilling the role of trophy girlfriend and unquestioning daughter. When she found Wes cheating on her and decided to spend the summer with her mother, she decided she wanted to change and find out who she really is... Whitney realizes that she likes making decisions for herself, being a little bit in control every now and then, etc. Ordinarily, she would never pursue a guy, but this isn't an ordinary summer. And she likes Cole. So she's going to let him know it - if only she can get him to be nice to her...

The second thing you need to know is this:
Cole moved to the area after being forced to leave his home

by his brother. He doesn't want any trouble in his new town. And he
certainly doesn't want Whitney to see him as the person he thinks he is.
Cole's brother Finn was on the local police force in their hometown and bailed him out over and over and over...not too long ago, Finn asked him to leave town and not get into any more trouble. Cole's family life has always been, well, horrible. Cole feels like he's a loser and that he'll never amount to anything. He's come to grips with this and is fine with it, he thinks - he just needs to stay out of trouble. He is able to find a blue collar job working with some great guys and a great boss, but he knows that he'll probably be like that for the rest of his life. He doesn't want to be like the old Cole - always getting into fights and getting arrested after drunken brawls. He just wants to live freely in this new little town and not get into any trouble - a new life. But when he sees Whitney, he gets a little bit worried that his plan for a new life might be in jeopardy. 

In Cole's mind, Whitney is the kind of girl that guys would fight over. She's beautiful. She seems to be carefree and kind and genuine. She's the kind of girl that an ex-boyfriend would have a hard time getting over. All of these things make Cole nervous that he'll fall right back into his old trap of fighting and getting into trouble, and he desperately doesn't want to be that guy anymore. So he has this super-smart plan to just be rude to Whitney and maybe she'll lose interest. What he doesn't realize is that Whitney is kind of making herself over too, and learning to be bold, and that she's going to pursue him until it becomes impossible for him to resist her. 

Eventually, he just can't. 

The third thing you need to know is this:
YESSS!!! Cole isn't ignoring Whitney anymore! 
So she asks him to - WHAT? - be friends? 
Friends? That can't be right! 
Whitney asks Cole to be friends, and he says yes - but they both are really disappointed in that - almost angry (it's kind of funny). Whitney wishes Cole had replied that he wants to be more than friends, and Cole wishes the same thing. (This is when you are supposed to just say how you feel and don't expect people to read your mind.) But both are too stubborn to say anything about it until one day they just blurt it out when the tension becomes so thick they can't stand it anymore. The romance that follows is so sweet and fun and awesome, and it seems that these two are just made for each other. 

HOORAY FOR KISSES!!!! Because yay there are kisses!! 

Sounds perfect, right? Well, the problem is this: Whitney is only in town for the summer. When school starts back, she has to move back to the city because her father is paying for her to attend college there. What happens if they both fall for each other, because they're both heading in that direction? What happens if they can't stand to let the other one go? Both are absolutely afraid to make the commitment, but both can't help how they're feeling for one another. 

OH HELLO THERE, SWEET AND SWOONY SUMMERTIME ROMANCE! 

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Escaping Me by Elizabeth Lee is a deliciously perfect summertime romance story and I absolutely could not put down once I started it. It is perfect for summer. It's a fun story. And I just fell in love with Whitney and Cole. The characters are fun, the setting is good, and I know that this will be on my re-reads shelf, which makes me so excited! 

Whitney Vandaveer. I mean, that name, right? You never really know what you're gonna get with a character name like that. In this case, we have a girl that comes from the city, from money, that is only visiting her mom and sister in the "country" because she caught her boyfriend cheating. She's jogging on one of the hottest days of the year and overexerted herself to the point of passing out at the end of her lane, only to have to be rescued by the new-to-town hottie. After my very first impression of Whitney, I wasn't sure how much I was going to like her, but I have to tell you all honestly that immediately after she woke up from her embarrassing bout of heat exhaustion, drank some water, and recovered - I just loved her. She is a great, great character. Whitney knew that the life that she was living "at home" in the city with her overbearing father and her controlling ex-boyfriend wasn't working for her, so she decided to make some changes. When she wasn't 100% sure how to go about changing, it was trial-and-error until she decided what worked for her. With the help of her mother and sister (fantastic characters, by the way) she was encouraged to stand up for herself, make choices for herself, and figure out what she wanted from life. And what she wanted from life was very, very different from anything she had experienced so far. 

Whitney realized that she loved going out with her sister and friends, dancing and having a good time. Whitney realized that she could have fun in a rural setting just as much as she could in the city. She opened her mind to her sister and new friends, and learned all kinds of stuff, and I loved Whitney's willingness to try anything. Whitney was fun, she was fun-loving, and she embraced this entirely different way of life in her mother's town. And..because of her open-mindedness, she was also able to embrace Cole Pritchett who was different from her previous boyfriend in every way possible. 

Cole Pritchett described himself as a "backwoods" boy, which is pretty much the opposite of what Whitney was used to in a boyfriend. Not only that, he had a tough upbringing and a history of getting into trouble. By the time the book began, Cole had already made the decision to change and be a better person, so the Cole we read about is a Cole that struggles to maintain this decision. You know what? He does a great job. It's tough at times for Cole, being alone/without family support and having to work extra hard for what he wants while his mind works against him, telling him he isn't worthy of Whitney - but Whitney is great for him and to him. She encourages him to push forward with his goals and keep going and that she is on his side, always. Throughout the course of the book, we are able to see both Whitney and Cole transform for the positive in several ways, and it is really great that they are able to support each other along the way. These positive changes come with a few bumps in the road which served to make the story more interested and also to make their relationship stronger (after testing them and making me bite my nails a time or two). I love these two characters a ton and I feel like I know them as people, which is kind of weird but completely true. They are written in a very real way, and I loved that. 

Aside from these main characters, I loved reading the secondary characters - they were vivid and fun and easy to picture in my head. I loved the setting - a rural, small town atmosphere - these are always wonderful to me. I love the family relationship that is present in this book between Whitney, her sister, and her mother. And I just love the story. The entire package of Escaping Me is easy to picture, easy to visualize, easy to imagine - just fun story-telling with the added bonus of a summer time-setting so it is a great summertime read as well. 

I recommend Escaping Me to fans of New Adult Contemporary Romance and fans of characters that make positive development across the story. Both main characters make great change in this story, which is awesome, and I love that neither of them began as angsty, angry individuals to make these positive changes - both are very relatable characters that just need to find themselves and encourage each other along the way. I love the ending of this story - it made me smile - and like I mentioned earlier, I love that I'll be re-reading this one, particularly as a summertime read. This may be my first book by Elizabeth Lee but it sure as heck isn't my last. 

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When I'm not writing or playing the part of wife and mother, you can find me dancing back-up for Beyonce, singing back-up for Miranda, or sunning myself on the beach with a drink in hand.  Here's the thing about being born and raised in a small town—you have a very vivid imagination!  Now, I channel it all to create stories where the girl always ends up with the right guy, first kisses are magical, and a happy ending is just that!

Follow Elizabeth Lee:  Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook / Website 

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Escaping Me will appeal to fans of:

New Adult Contemporary Romance
Romance: Swoons galore. No triangle.

Great Family/sibling Relationship
Great Setting

Escaping Me by Elizabeth Lee
is currently available for purchase.

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And now for the Giveaway!

Author Elizabeth Lee
is offering (1) set of Signed Elizabeth Lee books

for one winner in the US/Canada
*contest begins Monday July 29, 2013*

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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